Town Status on the Rosebay Project
I have been asked enough about the status of the Rosebay project that I thought I would share what I know. Rosebay is the private development proposal for 45 units of senior affordable housing on Medfield Housing Authority land that is directly adjacent to Tilden Village on Pound Street. Rosebay would be all seniors, all rental, and all affordable. The developer is Brian McMillin of NewGate Housing LLC of Westwood, who was selected by the Medfield Housing Authority. Brian McMillin previously worked for Gatehouse, at the time Gatehouse built The Parc in Medfield.
In general, the Board of Selectmen have been pushing to have more affordable housing, especially for seniors, so conceptually I support the Rosebay project.
The town’s active and effective Affordable Housing Trust has been meeting with the Rosebay developer and I understand that the Affordable Housing Trust has been advancing the Rosebay project as part of the town’s solution to our affordable housing needs. I also believe that the Affordable Housing Trust even provided some monies for fees to that developer to advance the project.
The Town of Medfield is in a good spot at the moment with respect to unfriendly 40B proposals because we are currently in a safe harbor, meaning that:
- we have a Housing Production Plan that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has accepted, and
- we are currently building 21 SHI units per year.
I believe that we have about another year and a half of safe harbor remaining, but we also have several irons in the fire that could extend that time frame.
So as long as we remain in that safe harbor, the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield can turn down any 40B that it does not like on the basis that we are in that safe harbor, and the developer cannot end run the town by appealing for state approval to the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) at the DHCD for an approval. The HAC routinely approves any developer’s 40B developments turned down by towns, but the HAC will not overturn a ZBA denial based on our being in a safe harbor, while we continue to be in that safe harbor.
The Board of Selectmen will soon send a letter to Department of Housing and Community Development opining about the suitability of the Rosebay project in general, and we would welcome citizen input as part of our formulation of that letter.
The project is not looking to be a Local Initiative Project (LIP), which is a town endorsed 40B. The need for that town endorsement of a LIP gives the Board of Selectmen a high level of control over any LIP. The Board of Selectmen therefore does not have that same high level of input and control over Rosebay that we would have if it were a LIP.
In this instance the Zoning Board of Appeals will be the main town entity that will deal with the nuts and bolts issues of the Rosebay project, and that will seek to ameliorate the proposed project and its impacts on both the neighbors and the town. The ZBA has even greater than usual control over the Rosebay proposal, because of the fact that we are in a 40B safe harbor, and any ZBA denial should be supported by the HAC.
I am trusting the Zoning Board of Appeals to see that the details are worked out as well as they can be so as to minimize the impacts and effects of the project on the neighbors.
The scale of the planned building is completely wrong for Pound Street and will adversely impact the quality of life for the people living in this neighborhood. The property values will aso take a considerable hit. A twin of Tilden Village would be one thing, but this plan is not the right scale. In addition, this is already an extremely busy pass-through street.
Thank you for keeping us up to date.
I agree with the comment on traffic. This area is already congested due to the cut through from 109.
Having lived at the intersection of South and Pound Streets since 1992 I have witnessed Pound St. become one of the most heavily travelled roads in Medfield. Lets not forget that, in addition to all the commuters cutting through to Rt 109, Medfield has its high school and middle school directly behind this proposed project. To suggest the Rosebay development project would be safe for its residents, the neighborhood AND our students strains credulity. I’m all in favor of more elderly housing however, the Town must take action to prevent such ill advised project from endangering its residents. To start, I am requesting the Town conduct a traffic and safety studies.
That has become a really high traffic area, both because of the school traffic and the commuter traffic. I drive by that area often myself, even though it is not my commuting route.
As a 40B, to move forward, this proposal will need a favorable decision from the Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals on an application for a comprehensive permit. Any such application gives the Town of Medfield, per its bylaws, the right to hire peer review consultants, at the applicant’s expense, to review the applicant’s proposal and any materials submitted. I think that you are absolutely correct that a traffic study is essential. I expect that the applicant will need to do and submit a traffic study, and further that the town will have that traffic study peer reviewed by traffic engineers who will be working directly for the town.
Pete Tx for the quick response. Can you let me know if/when the Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals hears the application?
I do not think there has even been an application submitted yet. I expect that the town planner, Sarah Raposa will post something about it on the town website when it happens. To be sure you get notified, sign up for the automatic notices from the ZBA at the town website. I think the ZBA must issue those, even though I do not seem to have signed up for the ones, as I think one can sign up for alerts from any town board to get notices of meetings, minutes, and agendas..
Dear Selectman Peterson and the Board of Selectmen Members,
I am writing in regards to the proposed building project, Rosebay.
My family has lived on Sanders Way, a side street directly off Pound Street, for
over 28 years.
We are totally and vehemently opposed to the project as it has been proposed.
Increasing traffic on Pound Street will be a danger to the hundreds of students who walk to and from Blake Middle School and Medfield High School.
Additionally, a 4-story building is completely out of character in relation to the surrounding homes.
As you are aware our neighborhood already has an elderly housing complex, Tilden Village. If there is a need for more elderly housing, I would hope another area in Medfield would be considered.
To repeat, I am totally and vehemently opposed to this project being considered for Pound Street.
I will share your comments with my selectmen colleagues, where you address it to them as well.
The project will be permitted by the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield, not the Board of Selectmen, so you should be sure to attend those ZBA hearings and share your concerns with he ZBA at those meetings.
Please let me know if you have any questions.