Another Point of View

Hello, I believe if that photo is shared, then so should the following, please and thank you, Elana Baron

Hello all,

I never join in on political debates and generally avoid it like the plague. When it comes to Article 3, it is imperative that everyone pays very close attention to the language of the Article.

I agree that Walpole is not the place for box stores or a plethora of chain stores. My husband and I moved to Walpole six years ago because of the town it is.

That said, though an Article such as this one does have a place in Walpole, it cannot pass as it is currently drafted. The language of the Article is so broad that it could be used to limit even small local businesses. As much as I don’t want to see more dollar stores or the like, when an Article isn’t written properly it can be very dangerous to a community and its future. It can be used for purposes other then what it is intended because intent isn’t what prevails, the language does.

Please consider the following: the definition of a formula business is a two-part analysis. The first analysis is that it is any business with two of the five elements listed. The first element is it has an “array of services, menus, or merchandise with at least 50% of stock having uninform markings”. A logo is a uniform marking. Any business has this element, even our local maple syrup producers or our small honey stands will qualify for this element so long as that maple syrup producer or honey maker also sells other products such as maple butter or maple candy, or the honey producer sells in addition to honey some wax candles s/he crafts from the bees wax, or maybe some lip balm or hand salve with the bees wax in it. Now any maple syrup producer or local honey maker who puts a uniform marking on his or her products qualifies for element number 1. Now let’s go to the second element; you need a trademark, logo, or service mark. How is this second element different from the first? Now, our local maple syrup producers or local honey makers have satisfied two elements. Which means we move to the second prong on the “formula business” definition.

The second prong is you “share the same or substantially the same two or more features as 10 or more other businesses, regardless of ownership or location”.

I can’t say how many of us produce maple syrup or honey in Walpole but I bet there are more than 10.

Voila, you are now a formula business that can be told to shut down.

You don’t need a store front, you don’t need ugly signage, you don’t need to be a brick and mortar store of a certain square footage, all you need are two elements and or than 10.

In short, all I ask is that before you vote, don’t just focus on the dollar stores or the Dunkin Donuts because this Article, as drafted, is far more far reaching. Always remember that language is paramount and the devil is always in the details.

5 thoughts on “Another Point of View

  1. Marilyn Shriver 03/14/2023 at 10:23 AM Reply

    Well said, Elana! I tend to be suspicious of any NIMBY legislation, but your analysis of the regulation itself is much more meaningful than a kneejerk comment by me. Thank you!


  2. Antonia Andreoli 03/14/2023 at 3:41 PM Reply

    Thank you Elana! I too will not vote for article 3. Perhaps there were good intentions but it is far more invasive and restrictive than is clear on the first reading.


  3. Ben Daviss 03/14/2023 at 9:43 PM Reply

    Agree that while the article is well-intended, it’s both overly complicated and wide open to unintended consequences. More thought needs to be given to the simplest way to “keep Walpole Walpole”. I thank the author of this article and hope the town and planning board can use it to begin a continuing discussion here, in the Clarion, at planning board meetings, and among all of us as to how to preserve the specialness of the place we live.


  4. Jill 03/15/2023 at 10:05 AM Reply

    Thank you for taking the time to provide this analysis. I see the article is up for vote both Tuesday and Saturday. What’s up with that? Anyone know?


  5. Vicki Gohl 03/22/2023 at 2:10 PM Reply

    It is ONLY up for vote on the Tuesday March 28 Ballot


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