Ordinance Committee Meeting Text Size

Event takes place on May 23, 2017 at 6:30 PM
Holyoke City Hall: Council Chambers

City Council
Holyoke Massachusetts

Notice of Committee Meeting
There will be a regular meeting of the Committee on

At City Hall in the Council Chamber, on Tuesday May 23rd at 6:30PM
Per order of the Chair: Linda Vacon

Item 1: Approval of previous meeting minutes

Item 2: Lopez 2/21/17: Ordered that the Ordinance Committee adopt a special permit application for any methadone/suboxone clinics coming into the City

Item 3: McGiverin/Leahy 3/21/17: Ordered that the Council review and amend Section 7.1.6 of the City’s zoning ordinance regarding Drive-in, Take-out restaurants, and consider amending the special permit for commercial drive-thru and/or add a special permit for restaurant drive thru.

Item 4: Lopez 1/3/17: Order:  That the DPW Superintendent and Police Chief come to the Ordinance Committee to discuss the prevention Ordinance of Panhandling at the following locations by creating or erecting barriers for Panhandler’s to freely walk along the Road side soliciting money and interfering with the traffic flow:
1) Hampden and Northampton st.
2) Dwight and Northampton st.
3) Main Street by 391
4) 391 Main Street exit
5) 391 and High St.
6) Maple st and Resnic Boulevard
7) Whiting Farm Rd – Mall entrance

Item 5: Vacon 8/2/16: Ordered that any person or group soliciting money from the public on City (public) property must obtain a permit from the police department prior to any solicitation. The permit shall remain in effect for a time designated by the Police Chief for up to 1 year.

Item 6: Leahy 1/17/17: Order:  that the City Council adopt a special act requiring the installation of monitored fire alarm systems in residential   buildings with four or more units.

Item 7: Sullivan/Jourdain 2/7/17: Order:  That a complete review of Chapter 42 Fire Prevention and Protection be undertaken.  Many sections are outdated or need to be reviewed and updated.  Some sections are being ignored or circumvented.  Article III. which deals with the actual composition, staffing, and benefits of the department Is vague at best and receives less attention than the sale of cigarette lighters as detailed in 42-19.

Item 8: McGee 4/4/17:  Order:  that the city install permanent speed bumps on George Frost Drive, resident petition to be filed.  Temporary speed bumps and traffic study has been completed.

Item 9: Bresnahan 4/4/17: Ordered that DPW install a parking sign for loading in front of 27 Olive St. to allow the bodega on Dwight and Olive to have deliveries to it’s store.

Item 10: Leahy 4/18/17: Ordered that the Dept. of Public Works put up a sign on the existing corner sign approximately 15 yards away from the corner of Cherry and Dale on the even side. The sign shall read “No Overnight Parking 9pm to 7am”

Item 11: Bartley 10/18/16: Ordered that the City of Holyoke consider lowering the speed limit on Willow St.

Item 12: McGee 11/7/16: Ordered that the speed limit of 30mph be lowered to 20mph on Old Ferry Rd.

Item 13: Jourdain/Vacon 3/7/17: That an ordinance be created as follows:
“No elected official, department head or other city employee shall issue any order that shall knowingly violate any law or regulation of the federal, state or local government or the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or the Charter of the City of Holyoke, or any lawful order of a court of competent jurisdiction.  No such order given shall be valid or shall be enforced by the City of Holyoke or its departments.”

Item 14: Bresnahan 2/21/17: Order:  that the City Council consider amending section 18-35 with respect to the vacant building fee charge. In that we consider suspending the fee if owner has an open and valid building permit on said vacant property and work is actively taking place.  Also if a new owner purchases a vacant property the vacant permit fee charge starts at year one for the new owner

Item 15: Jourdain 3/7/17: Ordered, that the Ordinance Committee review Section 18-35 “Regulation of blighted and vacant buildings” to consider revising the appeal process for vacant building registration and applicable fees.

Item 16: McGee 9/21/17: Ordered that the ordinance committee look into increasing the fines on property owners who violate the ordinance when performing illegal car repair on their property

Item 17: Greaney/Leahy 9/6/16: Order:  that the City Council order that all clothing drop boxes on property throughout the City are the responsibility of the property owner to police and maintain. Any and all such clothing drop boxes shall be kept clean of any clothes and trash that might accumulate outside these boxes. Any violation of this ordinance shall be culpable for a fine of up to 25 dollars. It should be noted that all property owners who allow these drop boxes on their property should be in communication with the owners of these boxes to prevent any eye sores in the neighborhoods of Holyoke.

Item 18: Jourdain 1/17/17: Ordered that the City Council create and adopt a new comprehensive ethics ordinance

Item 19: Lopez 2/21/17: Ordered that the Ordinance Committee starts the process of drafting an ordinance for the City Council to have it’s own legal representative instead of the acting City Solicitor

Item 20: Sullivan 4/4/17: Ordered that the City Council review section 6.4.5 #5 signs-institutional use.

Item 21: McGee 5/2/17: Order:  Whereas new businesses that have developed around the mall area are looking for better directional signage for their business and such signage could be placed on private property owners property, it is therefore requested that the ordinance committee considered the following as a possible new ordinance 



Billboard-a freestanding sign larger than 40 square feet in gross area or a wall sign covering more than 10% of the area to which it is affixed; 

Non-Accessory Sign-  A sign which advertises a business, service, product, commodity, entertainment or similar object or activity which is conducted sold or offered on a Lot other than the Lot where the sign is erected. They are also known as off-site signs or off-premises signs. No property shall have more than one (1) non-accessory signs including on its property. 

Sign A Sign includes any letter, word, symbol, drawing picture design device flag pennant article light or object that is designed to advertise, inform, direct or attract attention to or indicate any business, person or activity

1.  Non-accessory signs shall be allowed as matter of right in the BH zone
2.  No property shall have more than one (1) non-accessory signs including on its property.
3.  All signs must conform to the Sign Ordinances of the City of Holyoke.
4.  The owners of all Non-accessory signs shall have a written lease or rental agreement with the owners of the property on which the sign will be erected.  In that agreement, there shall be clauses stating who is responsible for both maintenance and insurance for the sign and the leases or rented area where the sign is standing.
5.  All non-accessory signs will have a minimum height of five feet to the bottom of the sign above the mean finished grade where the sign is located.
6.  All non-accessory signs will have a maximum height not to exceed thirty feet to the top of the sign above the nearest pavement grade.
7.  The maximum message area of the non-accessory sign shall not exceed eight feet in the BH district.
8.  Where such sign consists of two parallel flat signs, the maximum thickness between the two signs faces is two feet.
9.  Every sign shall be maintained in good condition.  If a sign shows corrosion or deteriorated paint over 25% of the area of side of the area of one side;  or if damage causes a loss of 10% of its substance, or if the sign suffers damage or deterioration which creates a risk of harm to the person or properly of another; or if the establishment is no longer in business, such sign shall be removed by the property owner.
10. The area around each sign shall be erected without a Building permit from the Building Commissioner for the City of Holyoke.

Item 22: Lopez 2/7/17: Order:  That the Ordinance Committee create an Ordinance requiring the Mayor to provide any financial burden to the City when entering or allowing a private company contract to use any City buildings or facilities.  Also, that the City Council has final approval of such contracts using any buildings (Example: recent Ambulance contract moving part of the services to the Fire Dept. Headquarters and others).

Item 23: Roman 1/17/17: Ordered that the City of Holyoke amend its zoning laws and establish a permit for Seasonal Amusements.

Item 24: Roman 12/6/16:

 Ordered, that the City of Holyoke through ordinance pass the “Fair Chance Rule,” requiring that the city itself as an employer make revisions to its current civil service processes and eliminate any barriers including the checking of the “box,” during an interview and application process, that may preclude applicants with criminal records from gaining employment with the City of Holyoke and/or its contractors.  Giving exception to any employment having to deal with the elderly, finances, and the youth.  Re-file order, originally filed on January 5, 2016. 

Item 25: Jourdain 5/16/17: Order:  That the Ordinance be amended to increase parking fees as follows: $1 per hour for both meters and garage $60 per month for garage


Administrative Assistant: Ryan M. Allen
The listing of matters are those reasonable anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law

Posted on May 18, 2017 by