TOWN OF MARION
AFFORDABLE HOUSING TRUST
November 10, 2008
MEMBERS PRESENT: Reg Foster, Chairman
Ora Mae Torres
ALSO PRESENT: Dick Heaton
Commencement – Mr. Foster called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Approval of Minutes
Moved by Rev. MacFarlane and seconded by Mr. Cushing to approve the meeting minutes of October 14, 2008 as written. VOTE: 5-0-2 (Mr. Henry and Mr. Blanchette abstained)
County Road Initiative – c/o EA Fish
Mr. Angelo submitted materials relative to a conceptual plan for a proposed affordable housing development on County Road. During the presentation the following information was provided to the Trust:
The site is 5.9 acres, located approximately three miles from the intersection of Front Street and Route 6.
The development would provide 45 units of affordable family and workforce housing with a 70% preference for Marion residents.
Plan A consists of two residential buildings and a community building, is approximately 54,100 square feet, is the least costly to build, provides the most flexibility with levels of affordability, and does not require wetland duplication. This plan contains five one-bedroom units, 35 two-bedroom units, and five three-bedroom units.
Plan B consists of five residential buildings and a community building, is approximately 56,100 square feet, is the mostly costly to construct per square foot, and requires wetland duplication. This plan contains six one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units, and six three–bedroom units.
Plan C consists of four residential buildings and a community building, is approximately 53,000 square feet, and requires wetland duplication. This plan contains six one-bedroom units, 34 two-bedroom units, and five three-bedroom units.
The development is proposed to have a private septic system and would be limited to 90 bedrooms.
The site provides 197’ of frontage and is located in a Residential D district, which requires 250’ of frontage. The proposal will need relief from the frontage requirement and might also need relief for the rear yard setback.
The permitting and construction timeline for the project is: work with local authorities to refine and permit the plan over the next six months, apply for DHCD financing in Spring/Summer, 2009, begin construction in Fall, 2009, complete construction in
Fall, 2010, with full occupancy by Winter, 2010.
Mr. Blanchette asked what the building height would be; he was told all of the buildings are proposed to be two stories and will not exceed 35’ in height.
Ms. Torres asked why Plan A offers the most flexibility in affordability. Mr. Angelo explained that the construction and operating costs were lower and the less it costs to build the project there would be more opportunities to provide a deeper affordability with it.
Ms. Torres voiced concern that there is a large range of people who need affordable housing and to limit the income limits to 30% and 60% of the AMI excludes a good population of people. Mr. Angelo offered to examine this further.
Rev. MacFarlane said he guessed that the lack of work relative to wetlands is a considerable saving as well; Mr. Angelo said it would save money and time.
Mr. Grady asked what type of financing from DHCD the developer would be applying for and was told LITC (Low Income Housing Tax Credits).
Mr. Blanchette recommended that the access drive be boulevard style with a layer of trees and was told that could be considered.
The Town’s SHI (Subsidized Housing Inventory) was discussed; Mr. Angelo was informed of the Town’s recent loss in court relative to the Baywatch 40B.
The following input was given to the developer:
In consideration to the two abutters, the further in the back the project is the better.
Trees should be placed on both sides of the driveway/boulevard and the entrance should be screened from the two abutters.
Plan B seems more conducive to quality of life for the residents of the development.
Construction should be placed as far away from the bogs as possible.
The site was previously used to store bog materials and the wetland is actually a created vernal pool, which should not be a very complicated replication.
A wider range of affordability should be provided.
Mr. Foster said the Trust set aside CPA funds to attract developers for the Little Neck Village expansion. He asked if the developer is seeking Town funding for this project. Mr. Angelo said it’s always helpful when developing an affordable housing project to go to DHCD with some Town support. He said CPC funds would also help bridge the gap on the lower end of affordability and asked the Trust to consider it in the future.
Mr. Heaton said the ZBA will need to approve the development under a Comprehensive Permit process. It was agreed that a multi-Board meeting will be scheduled to be held on December 8 to allow the other Boards and Commissions to review and comment on the conceptual plan.
Little Neck Village Expansion Project
The application for DHCD funds was submitted by the October 30 deadline.
The design development drawings are expected to be complete by the November 15 deadline.
Mr. Heaton said the negotiating committee met with the developers and reviewed the initial structure of the corporation and the initial documents for the long term lease. A more detailed meeting is scheduled for December 2.
Caretaker’s Cottage Disposal Plan
A memo from Mr. Dawson was reviewed and discussed. Mr. Dawson was recently informed that the building might be eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historical Buildings. The building can be moved but conditions will probably be imposed.
Moved by Mr. Henry and seconded by Mr. Blanchette to have Mr. Dawson place the advertisement at the earliest possible opportunity with the RFP including words to the effect that the successful bidder will abide by terms and conditions imposed by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and also with a deadline for completing the move of March 1, 2009. The RFP will be for the removal of the cottage and the garage. VOTE: 7-0-0
Policies for Little Neck Village
Ms. Torres said Peabody Properties has provided a tenant selection plan and updated policies and procedures for review. She noted that the procedures include CORI and credit checks, which are not currently required for occupancy at Little Neck Village. Trust members discussed whether the existing units should be rented or left vacant if and when they become available. Ms. Torres said if the Trust continues to rent it’s important that units not be offered to anybody who cannot meet the criteria that will be required by Peabody Properties.
Additional Consulting Support for the Little Neck Village Expansion
A memo from Mr. Heaton, dated November 7, was reviewed and discussed. Rev. MacFarlane noted how much work Mr. Heaton has done for the Trust. Mr. Foster said he was instrumental in getting the Trust where it is now.
Moved by Mr. Cushing and seconded by Ms. Torres to have the secretary revise the previous RFP for consulting services and submit it to Mr. Dawson to be put out to bid. Mr. Dawson and the Chair will be delegated to review the final version of the RFP. VOTE: 7-0-0
RFP for Affordable Housing Plan Update
A draft RFP for the Affordable Housing Plan Update consultant was reviewed.
Moved by Mr. Cushing and seconded by Mr. Grady to authorize Mr. Dawson to send out the RFP. VOTE: 7-0-0
Funds Remaining in Trust
A spreadsheet showing the funds remaining in the Trust was reviewed and discussed.
CPC Funds Application
Trust members discussed requesting CPC funds to contribute to the County Road development.
Moved by Mr. Grady and seconded by Rev. MacFarlane to find the project one that the Trust adopts and moves forward with, particularly as it relates to CPA funding. VOTE: 7-0-0
Reorganization of Trust
Mr. Foster announced that he will be resigning as Chairman of the Trust and that he cannot think of a better person so serve as Chairman than Ms. Torres.
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mr. Cushing to accept Mr. Foster’s resignation with great reluctance and regret. VOTE: 7-0-0
Moved by Mr. Blanchette and seconded by Mr. Cushing to nominate Ms. Torres to serve as the next Chairman of the Trust. VOTE: 7-0-0
At 8:45 p.m. the Trust voted to go into Executive Session. VOTE: A roll call vote was taken with Mr. Foster, Mr. Grady, Mrs. Torres, Mr. Cushing, Mr. Blanchette, Mr. Henry, and Rev. MacFarlane all voting yes.
Ora Mae Torres, Chairman