Mike Sullivan told me today that Gatehouse today has asked to meet with the town about its proposed 40B project on West Street. Mike will be setting up the meeting, and I have been asked to be the representative from the Board of Selectmen to attend.
I asked Mike to look into the availability of using the state grant monies Representative Denise Garlick referenced, to hire a 40B consultant to assist the town with those discussions. The state consultant list I reviewed last week, of about a dozen approved consultants qualified for these grants, included one the town has used before and whose work we respect, so I suggested that a call to that consultant would probably tell us everything we need to know about how the state grants work.
As an architect that has been involved in millions of square feet of construction, I have represented developers and institutions in their negotiations with Town Governments, Zoning Boards and neighbors/abutters. In my experience, the most successful developments regardless of type are where the town, it’s residents and the project stakeholders engage in meaningful and positive conversation about legitimate concerns regarding any proposal. As a Medfield resident, I strongly urge the town administrators to enable these types of conversations to happen. Let’s make the most positive result out of this highly charged situation and avoid a pointless legal war.
Mike Quinlan, AIA
Thank you for your insights from your own experience. Given your relevant experience, would you be willing to assist our town in the particular process we face, to help to make “the town, it’s residents and the project stakeholders engage in meaningful and positive conversation”? I do not have your vast experience in this area, and I would guess that the town administrators do not either, from what you said, as it sounds like you have huge amounts of relevant experience. I will email you so you will have my contact information handy.
Pete – isn’t it true that, if the town had a master plan, we would have some control over 40B housing?
With the caveat that this not my area of expertise as a starting point, my understanding is that if (1) the town has an approved housing plan by which it will get to the 10% affordable housing threshold, plus (2) actually keep progressing towards realization of that by producing new affordable housing units each year, that it is then sheltered from unplanned 40B projects. Professor Mark Bobbrowski had recommended the creation of such a plan as part of the Medfield State Hospital development, once it got far enough along to qualify for one. To date, the Medfield State Hospital development never got that far.