North Yarmouth voters will be asked to approve changes to the town’s charter and land-use ordinance on Nov. 8.

A number of the charter changes pertain to the annual town meeting, including the date of the meeting. The charter now says the meeting must be held “on a Saturday in April.” That would be changed to “on or before June 30.”

“There’s never a great time for a town meeting in the spring,” Select Board Chairperson Brian Sites said.

The school budget often is not finished until after April town meeting, he said. The new timeframe will also allow the town to align its budget process with neighboring towns.

In addition, the charter would be changed to require the town meeting date to be set “no later than the preceding April 1.”

Another proposed charter amendment on the ballot specifies that the select board must elect a chairperson at its first meeting of any kind on or after July 1, as opposed to its first regular meeting after that time, which is now the rule.


Another, required due to a legislative decision, changes the language of “Overseers of the poor” to “Board of Overseers” and “selectmen” to “Selectpersons.”

A rule currently applicable to the select board would be extended to all elected officials in town, Sites said. An amendment would establish a requirement that all appointed members of town boards, commissions and committees must be registered voters and residents of the town. It also clarifies the phrase “permanent, principal residence in the town” as the “place where a person has established a fixed and principal home to which the person, whenever temporarily absent, intends to return.”

Voters will also decide on a select board proposal  to amend the charter to allow for two alternatives to be appointed to the Board of Assessment Review and to decrease the Parks Committee members from seven to five.

The Planning Board has proposed changes to the land-use ordinance, also on the ballot.

The board wants to alter dimensional and street frontage requirements. Street frontage would be set at a minimum of 100 feet, and the required structure setback from property lines would be shortened to a minimum of 10 feet on the front and side, with no maximum. Civic buildings would also no longer be exempt from maximum setback requirements.

The proposed ordinance changes would affect setbacks and street fronts in the village center. These “have been points of discussion in town for a while,” Sites said.

Voting in North Yarmouth will take place at Wescustogo Hall  and North Yarmouth Community Center, 120 Memorial Highway. The polls will be open 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

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