In 1999, the Town of Ipswich began a growth management initiative for the 21st Century which came to be called “The Future of Ipswich Planning Project.” Its overall purpose was to help the residents, business owners, and property owners in Ipswich agree on a vision for the future of the town, a strategy to make the vision a reality, and action steps to implement the strategy.
A conference was held on January 19, 2000, resulting in a vision statement. Through the following year the initiative conducted surveys of local citizens and produced two reports, “Creating a Vision for the Future, Part 1” and The Vision for Open Space: the Ipswich Green Ring Report.”
There was concern about the proposal to construct a McDonald’s across from the Dairy Queen at the intersection of High Street and Mitchell Road in Ipswich. The following article was placed on the warrant for the 1999 fall town meeting. It was moved by Planning Board member Joshua Massey (member of the Future of Ipswich Planning Project), and passed by a greater than 2/3 vote.
ARTICLE 9 (read the full article): To see if the Town will vote to amend the Protective Zoning Bylaw of the Town of Ipswich, by
(2) amending SECTION V. USE REGULATIONS D. Table of Use Regulations, within said Table under the heading COMMERCIAL, as follows:
- Add the use “Formula fast food establishments which provide seating for at least sixteen persons within the building.”
- and amend the FOOTNOTES TO USE REGULATIONS by adding a new footnote to read as follows: “21. Only if pedestrian-oriented, evidenced by location of premises having no more than nine off-street parking spaces and having no drive-through facilities.”
The voice vote on the motion was inconclusive. On a hand count with 121 in favor and 44 against, the motion carried. (2/3 majority vote required)