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MHP provides Saugus with $15K grant

Posted on February 1, 2019

SAUGUS --- The Massachusetts Housing Partnership (MHP) has provided a $15,000 Chapter 40B technical assistance grant to the Town of Saugus so it can hire a technical consultant to assist the town  with the proposed Saugus Ridge affordable housing development project at 170 Broadway.

The Town of Saugus applied for MHP’s 40B Technical Assistance Grant program last year after Toll Brothers Apartment Living submitted a comprehensive permit application for Saugus Ridge, a 300-unit apartment proposal. Toll Brothers filed the application under state statute Chapter 40B, which enables local zoning boards of appeals to approve affordable housing developments under flexible rules if at least 20-25 percent of the units have long-term affordability restrictions.

With the MHP grant, Town Manager Scott Crabtree and the Zoning Board of Appeals engaged and hired professional engineer Joe Peznola of Hancock Associates, Inc. to act as the town’s consultant with the review of the proposed Saugus Ridge development.  

Peznola hosted a training session for members of the Saugus Zoning Board of Appeals and town employees at the end of last year, where he provided  explained the entire 40B development process, discussed next steps and strict deadlines, and shared his insights on how to run a meeting with a 40B developer. Peznola will continue to assist the town and ZBA throughout the  development period, attending meetings and providing continued consultation services.

A professional engineer, Peznola has 28 years of experience in land development and 20 years of experience working with Chapter 40B developments. In addition, Peznola was a member of the Hudson Zoning Board of Appeals for 20 years. Peznola’s services include technical review of engineering issues, assistance in interpretation of regulatory requirements, assistance in drafting conditions of approval, review of construction documents prior to building permit for adherence to permit conditions, and assistance in overseeing construction. 

“I would like to thank MHP for their technical assistance support, which has already been and will continue to be of great benefit to the Zoning Board of Appeals and town staff. This support will allow the Zoning Board and town employees to be prepared, knowledgeable, and to better advocate for the residents of Saugus throughout this development process,” said Town Manager Scott Crabtree. “I would also like to thank the Zoning Board of Appeals for their assistance in securing this grant, and Mr. Peznola of Hancock Associates for providing his Chapter 40B expertise.”

The town and Zoning Board of Appeals have also hired legal counsel from Anderson & Kreiger, a Boston-based law firm that specializes in 40B projects.

MHP created the 40B technical assistance program in 1999. Since then, MHP has used its own funds or funds from a housing inter-agency technical assistance pool to provide over $2.5 million in grants to over 200 communities.

For more information about MHP technical assisstance, contact Katie Bosse at 857-317-8517 or kbosse@mhp.net.

(Material from the Town of Saugus news release was used in this release).