Sharon Voters Deciding Proposed Beach Dog Ban Tonight
The issue is on the annual town meeting warrant.
Tales might be told after a vote at Sharon High School tonight.
A proposal to ban dogs from Veteran's Memorial Park Beach is expected to be among the most hotly debated topics at the annual and special town meetings, which start at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium.
The annual town meeting warrant includes 24 articles. The special town meeting warrant has four.
Sharon Patch has set up a topic page devoted to town meeting.
The lake management study committee proposes banning dogs from the Beach Street beach and park. Dog droppings are polluting Lake Massapoag, the committee says. Police would fine violators $25 for the first offense, $50 for the second offense, and $100 for the third and subsequent offenses. Service dogs and dogs receiving a permit from the board of selectmen would be allowed.
Five town boards are backing the ban: the lake management study committee, conservation commission, recreation advisory committee, board of health and finance committee.
Selectmen oppose it. Sharon has not studied the lake pollution issue to determine the degree that dogs, and geese, are contributing to it, selectmen say.
Meanwhile, another annual town meeting proposal may get amended on town meeting floor.
Selectmen propose filing a home rule petition with the Legislature to allow Sharon to issue four all-alcohol sales licenses among three areas: Shaw's Plaza, Sharon Commons and Route 1.
The owners of Sharon Market and Bread 'N' Butter want their zoning districts included, citing competition. They've worked on an amendment with Sharon's town counsel. Selectmen and the finance committee are expected to take positions on that amendment tonight, shortly before town meeting.
Among the other proposals on the annual warrant are:
- To file a home rule petition allowing Sharon to reduce its seating requirement for establishments to sell alcohol for consumption there, from 50 seats to 18 seats. The move would affect Charlie's Deli, French Memories Bakery and Cafe', Pizza Market and the new Mangia Neapolitan Pizzeria.
- To amend a Sharon bylaw to require dealers of old metals, jewelry and other second-hand goods to file electronic photos and reports on the items with police.
- To amend an exemption allowing residents over age 60 to volunteer for town departments to reduce their tax bills. The change would allow disabled residents to have a proxy volunteer for them.
- To acquire a .24-acre parcel off East Foxboro Street for municipal purposes, most notably expanding the buffer zone for Sharon Well 6.
The special town meeting warrant, meanwhile, has four articles, all involving bookkeeping and related issues, Finance Director William Fowler says.