WAKEFIELD — Two articles seeking changes to the Zoning Bylaw drew the most discussion at this week’s Annual Town Meeting. Article 17 passed but Article 18 failed to get the required two-thirds majority. The articles were the result of separate citizen petitions.

Article 17 was a request from the owner property at 343 Albion St. to change the zoning for the property from the Single Residence District to the General Residence District. The property is on the corner of Albion Street and Jordan Avenue and was for decades a small gas station/auto repair shop. The gas pumps were removed years ago, but the repair shop remains.

Attorney Brian McGrail represented the current owners of the property, Acorn Spruce, LLC, at Monday’s Town Meeting. He said that the gas station/car repair shop was built around 1920, prior to zoning in Wakefield, and was operated for many years by the Doyle family.

When the area that the property was in was later zoned as “Single Residence,” the gas station was grandfathered as legal nonconforming use of the property, McGrail explained.

In recent years, he noted, the property has been the subject of neighbor complaints about noise and overflow parking, some of which have landed in front of the Zoning Board of Appeals. McGrail said that these issues have resulted in a constructive proposal to solve the problem.

He explained that while most of the parcel in question is in the Single Residence zone, a small sliver of it is in the abutting General Residence District. He said that his client would like the entire property to be changed to the General Residence district so that the current car repair business can be torn down and replaced by one two-family home. A two-family dwelling would not be allowed if the site remained zoned as Single Residence.

McGrail maintained that it would be in the interest of all parties to change the zoning to General Residence. He said that a new, two-family home would blend in with the neighborhood, which has a number of two-family homes, including on either side of the 343 Albion St. property.

Planning Board Chairman Matthew Lowry said that his board recommended that Town Meeting approve the requested change.

David Kelly of 48 Jordan Ave. supported the change, calling it a “win-win” for all concerned.

James Hogan of Gould Street (and also a member of the Planning Board) also supported the change, noting that the neighborhood was in favor of it.

Only Robert Mitchell of Spaulding Street opposed the change, basing his opposition on excess development and density in town.

Article 17 was approved by a hand-counted vote of 89-9, easily surpassing the required two-thirds majority needed for zoning changes.

Article 18 was the result of a petition from Daniel Luu and others seeking the repeal of Zoning Bylaw 190-31(H), which pertains to setbacks from open streams. The bylaw states, “In no case shall any building or structure be permitted within 50 feet of the embankment of any open stream, as defined by the Conservation Commission using the applicable Massachusetts Department of Environmental Quality Engineering standards.”

Speaking in favor of his article, Luu said that the Planning Board supported repealing the bylaw, which had only been the subject of four variance requests since 2019. Planning Board chairman Matthew Lowry confirmed that the Planning Board favored repeal.

Luu maintained that the bylaw offered no added protection beyond what the Conservation Commission provides. He claimed that there are no embankments near streams in Wakefield that meet the bylaw definition.

Conservation Commission Chairman Jim Luciani said that his board also supported repeal of the bylaw.

Daniel Lieber of Elm Street favored leaving the bylaw alone pending an upcoming review of all of the town’s Zoning Bylaws.

Susan Palmer of Oak Street said that repeal of the bylaw would remove environmental safeguards. She favored further study before repealing it.

In the end, the voters favored repeal by a margin of 50-39. However that was not sufficient to reach the two-thirds majority needed for a Zoning change, so the article failed and the bylaw will remain in place.