Housing News Roundup
To keep in touch with what's going on at the local level, MHP regularly summarizes and links to housing stories that have appeared in newspapers around the state.
No. Attleboro: Selectmen give 45-unit 40B thumbs down NORTH ATTLEBORO --- With some anguish, selectmen unanimously voted not to support Great Bridge Properties' bid to build a 45-unit rental 40B on 2.5 acres near Rt. 1, saying the proposal was too large and not in keeping with the neighborhood's smaller homes. Great Bridge can continue to pursue a 40B permit with the town's zoning board of appeals but has indicated it would not do that without town support. Selectman Michael Thompson struggled with the decision. "I'm really torn," he said. "I'm one of those kids who grew up in triple deckers on the north end of town. We weren't rich, far from it, not even close. With these projects, I realize all these bells and whistles go off that we're going to get bad people in town. I'll tell you something, all of us kids that grew up here and grew up in those neighborhoods now contribute to this town."
Publication: North Attleborough Free Press, Sep 6, 2013
Norwood: Board OKs pursuit of 270-unit downtown 40R NORWOOD --- By a 3-2 vote, selectmen have approved the town's application to the state for a Ch. 40R smart growth overlay district for the former Plimpton Press site, which is steps away from the town's downtown commuter rail station. If approved by the state and then a two-thirds vote at town meeting, the owners plan to redevelop the 7.82 acre property into 270 apartments.
Publication: Norwood Trascript & Bulletin, Sep 6, 2013
Boston: JP residents question 280-unit plan at Forest Hills BOSTON --- At a recent community meeting, Jamaica Plain residents called for more affordability and more three-bedroom units at the proposed "Commons at Forest Hills Station" apartment project. The developers, John M. Corcoran & Co. and the Brennan Group, are planning to buy the property at 3593-3615 Washington St. and are proposing a 280-unit project with 10 three-bedroom units and 37 affordable units. Residents want at least 25 percent affordable units.
Publication: Jamaica Plain Gazette, Sep 5, 2013
Bridgewater: May OK downtown housing on upper floors BRIDGEWATER --- The town is poised to approve zoning amendments that would allow housing in the central business district by special permit as long as it is confined to the upper stories of commercial buildings. The plan would allow up to five housing units per acre, or six to eight units if 25 percent of them were affordable. Town council was scheduled to discuss the matter on Sept. 3 and could OK the measure at that time.
Publication: Boston Globe, Sep 2, 2013
Williamstown: College land added to list of possible sites WILLIAMSTOWN --- Sparked by the damage or loss of approximately 200 mobile homes due to Hurricane Irene, the town continues to discuss several less flood-prone sites for affordable housing, including the possibility of building a small-scale development on land owned by Williams College.
Publication: North Adams Transcript, Aug 31, 2013
No. Attleboro: Residents want property near Rt. 1 rezoned NORTH ATTLEBORO --- Residents are pushing to have the town rezone a property near Rt. 1 from commercial back to residential, while at the same time voicing concerns about a 45-unit apartment building proposed for the site. The developer, Great Bridge Properties, can proceed with its Ch. 40B application no matter how the property is zoned but residents fear that if housing is not built on the site, a commercial building will be built, eliminating the property as an effective buffer zone between the neighborhood and Rt. 1. The property was rezoned as part of the town's effort to eliminate properties that sat in two zoning districts and most residents did not discover the change until Great Bridge began the 40B application process.
Publication: Attleboro Sun, Aug 30, 2013
New Bedford: HA's 5-year plan adds more handicapped units NEW BEDFORD --- At a public hearing on the housing authority's five-year plan, Executive Director Steven Beauregard outlined priorities that included making more units handicapped accessible, converting 104 state public housing units into better-funded federal units, and turning the vacant Westwood public housing development into eight to 12 units for the handicapped.
Publication: New Bedford Standard Times, Aug 27, 2013
Northampton: Changes resident zoning for first time in 30 years NORTHAMPTON --- Substantial changes to residential zoning for the first time in three decades will give property owners more flexibility to add to their units and could lead to smaller, more affordable single-family homes, especially near downtown. The City Council adopted most of the changes before it - including a measure that will allow large lots to be split into smaller lots - but hedged on a proposal that would set new rules for develoopments of seven units or more, instead adopting a nine-month moratorium on such projects so they can consider the measure more.
Publication: Hampshire Gazette, Aug 27, 2013
Brookline: Worries 271-unit plan will add too many children BROOKLINE --- After years of trying to work out a satisfactory development plan with the town, Chestnut Hill Realty has decided to pursue a Ch. 40B comprenhensive permit that would allow it to build 271 rental homes in the southern part of town. Known as Hancock Village, the developers propose to build 11 three-story buildings and one five-story building that would total 124 one-bedroom apartments, 125 two-bedroom apartments, and 22 three-bedroom apartments. Town officials have worried that a development of this size without any age restrictions would result in overburdening the nearby Baker School with school children.
Publication: Brookline Tab, Aug 26, 2013
Milton: Developer scraps 3-home plan, seeks 77-unit 40B MILTON --- Frustrated by neigbhor oppoistion which he characterized as "pay taxes, don't use your land for anything," developer and former planning board candidate Todd Hamilton has scrapped plans to build three homes on 12 acres and will instead seek a Ch. 40B comprehensive permit to build 77 two- and three-bedroom townhouses.
Publication: Boston Globe, Aug 26, 2013