TOWN OF MARION
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST
October 14, 2008
MEMBERS PRESENT: Reg Foster, Chairman
Ora Mae Torres
MEMBERS ABSENT: Jon Henry
ALSO PRESENT: Dick Heaton
Commencement – Mr. Foster called the meeting to order at 7:01 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Moved by Mr. Cushing and seconded by Mrs. Torres to approve the minutes of September 11, 2008 as corrected. VOTE: 3-0-1 (Mr. Grady abstained)
Little Neck Village Expansion Project
Status update from Dick Heaton
Mr. Heaton stated the following:
The next major milestone is to submit the application for funding to DHCD by the October 30 deadline. The two critical items in the application are the requirement that the applicant show site control and also that local permitting has been approved. The public hearing of the Board of Appeals closed last week and the final decision language will be reviewed at this week’s meeting.
A negotiating committee has been set up, consisting of Mr. Dawson, Mr. Grady, Mr. Foster, and Attorney Witten. They have met once and drafted a set of objectives that will be the basis for discussion with EA Fish next week.
The Baywatch 40B developer has raised two issues relative to the Conservation Commission and the Board of Appeals. Mrs. Torres asked if that would interfere with the expansion moving forward and was told no but it might have an impact after the application. Trust members reviewed and discussed a letter from Baywatch’s attorney. Mr. Foster said the Baywatch project and the Little Neck Village expansion are totally different, with different sets of circumstances.
Mr. Foster explained that the RFP called for a two tier rent calculation. A spreadsheet showing a four tier rent structure was reviewed and discussed. Rent structures dictated by LIHTC and other sources were also addressed.
The developer has indicated that the caretaker’s cottage will not be included in the project and will be demolished on March 1 if not already removed from the site. Trust members discussed different options (removing the structure, using for Fire Department exercises, demolition.)
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Mr. Cushing to approve the removal of the building known as the caretaker’s cottage, through all legal and appropriate process, with due deliberate speed. VOTE: 4-0-0
Status Update – Hermitage Trust Purchase & Sale Agreement
Mr. Foster said negotiations with the Hermitage Trust have concluded and a Purchase & Sale Agreement has been agreed upon. The price for the land was $230,000, which included resolving a sewer easement issue. He expressed, on behalf of the Trust, deep gratitude to the Hermitage Trust for their willingness to put the interests of the community as first priority. Mrs. Westergard asked if the P&S would be available for viewing and was asked to contact Mr. Dawson. She asked about the status of the fence and was told the language was softened with respect to the fence and that will probably give way to a split rail fence.
Update of Marion Affordable Housing Plan
The current Affordable Housing Plan will expire in February, 2010. Trust members discussed hiring a consultant to aid in the plan update.
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Mr. Cushing that Mr. Foster be authorized to investigate hiring an outside consultant for the update of the Affordable Housing Plan, and that the use of CPA funds be explored, if possible. VOTE: 4-0-0
Mr. Foster has been contacted by John Sweeney, who is considering a project with five or six second level apartments.
County Road Initiative
EA Fish has entered into an agreement to purchase a site on County Road to develop as an affordable family housing project. It was agreed that a copy of the letter from EA Fish and the relevant assessors map will be mailed to Trust members prior to the November meeting, and also that EA Fish will be invited to the November meeting to discuss the development.
CPA funds application
Mrs. Torres said it’s believed that the Town will get a 50% match from the State. According to Mrs. Mooney, the CPA revenues are expected to be approximately $300,000 - $320,000. Mrs. Torres told the Trust that the Town is in a five year commitment in the Act, with three years remaining, and it’s expected there might be discussion about ending CPA participation. Mr. Foster said the Trust is probably in a much higher position of credibility than previous years. He recommended that members start thinking about what projects they would like to request CPA funds for.
Mr. Grady recommended working on zoning that would allow construction of affordable multifamily housing in specific areas without the requirement for Town Meeting approval. An inventory of Town owned land that would be appropriate for multifamily units was discussed.
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Mr. Cushing that the Trust go into Executive Session to discuss two contracts under negotiation. At the conclusion of the Executive Session the Trust will be adjourning. VOTE: A roll call vote was taken with Mr. Grady, Mrs. Torres, Mr. Cushing, and Mr. Foster all voting yes.
Reg Foster, Chairman