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Board of Health supports Zoning ByLaw amendment

Post Date: 11/25/2019 2:53 PM
November 25,2019
Dear Town Meeting Representative
This is with regard to the proposed amendment to the Zoning Bylaws under
Article 12 of the warrant. As you may recall, the Board of selectmen referred the matter
of firearms businesses to the Board of Health earlier this year, asking the Board to
consider whether the existence or location of firearms businesses is a public health
issue. The Board worked with staff, Town counsel and residents to initially review this
issue.
The Board of Health attended all meetings and heard the concerns of residents
both for and against this issue. we would like to express our appreciation to all of those
who presented studies and scientific research related to gun violence. We hold the
health and safety of our residents in the highest priority and appreciate your patience
throughout this process.
While this initial research was ongoing, the Board of Selectmen also referred to
the Planning Board a proposed Zoning Bylaw amendment seeking to regulate firearms
businesses as a new "use" under the bylaw. As the Board of Health has no authority
with respect to adopting, amending or enforcing Zoning Bylaws, a decision was made to
await the outcome of the proposed Zoning Bylaw amendment at the already-scheduled
Fall Town Meeting.
At this time, however, the Board of Health wishes to express its support for the
Zoning Bylaw amendment. At its November 20,2019 posted meeting, the Board
unanimously voted in favor of the amendment. The Board believes that if the
community is supportive of regulating the location of firearms businesses, the adoption
of a Zoning Bylaw for such purposes is the expedient, and likely most effective, manner
of so doing.
Should the zoning amendment be unsuccessful for whatever reason, the Board
of Health will act quickly to continue to gather and analyze the resources necessary to
consider appropriate next steps.
Leanne M. Jasset, Chairman
Katherine Reda, Vice-Chairman
Mary Ellard
Dedham Board of Health
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