Category Archives: Affordable housing / 40B

Safe Harbor claimed for Rosebay

The Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield notified the Rosebay applicant at the initial August 15 hearing last Thursday that the Town of Medfield was claiming its safe harbor rights, but that the ZBA would still proceed with the hearing to see if the applicant and the ZBA could get to an acceptable compromise on the project that the ZBA can support.

Below is the town’s special counsel’s notice to the Rosebay developer.

BLATMAN, BOBROWSKI & HAVERTY, LLC ------ATTORNEYS AT LAW------ PAUL}. HAVERTY Paul@bbhlaw.net HAND DELIVERED Brian J. McMillin, Manager Newgate Housing LLC 61 Blueberry Lane Westwood, MA 02052 9 DAMONMILL SQUARE, SUITE 4A4 CONCORD, MA 01742 PHONE 978.371.2226 FAX 978.371.2296 August 15,2019 RE: The Rosebay At Medfield - Pound Street, Medfield, MA Notice of Safe Harbor Pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(8) Dear Mr. McMillin: Please accept this correspondence as formal notification on behalf of the Medfield Zoning Board of Appeals (the "Board"), pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(8), that the Board has determined that the "Housing Production Plan" Safe Harbor, pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(4), is applicable to the comprehensive permit application filed by you on July 19, 2019. The Board timely-opened its public hearing on August 15, 2019. Pursuant to 760 CMR 56.05, the Board has fifteen (15) days from this hearing to provide you written notice of any Safe Harbor claims it may have pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(3) through (7). Please accept this correspondence as written notification that the Town of Medfield has the benefit ofthe Housing Production Plan Safe Harbor pursuant to 760 CMR 56.03(4). Pursuant to a letter of certification issued by the Department of Housing and Community Development ("DHCD") dated June 10, 2019, the Town has a one-year Safe Harbor which commenced on May 10,2019 and which runs through May 9, 2020. A copy ofthe DHCD certification letter is attached hereto as Exhibit 1. While the Board has determined that the Housing Production Plan Safe Harbor is applicable, the provision of such notice does not constitute a determination on the merits of the Project. This notice is provided to protect the Town's rights with regard to the Housing Production Plan Safe Harbor, which would be lost if notice was not provided within the fifteen (15) day period proscribed by the Regulations. The Board remains open-minded about the development that has been proposed, and intends to conduct a thorough review to determine whether legitimate issues of local concern may be adequately addressed through changes to the project design. If you have any questions regarding this correspondence, please feel free to contact me. Cc: Phil DeMartino, DHCD Sarah Raposa, Town Plmmer 2 Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Janelle L. Chan, Undersecretary June 10,2019 Mr. Gustave Murby, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 Housing Production Plan- Certification Approved Dear Mr. Murby: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) certifies that the Town of Medfield is in compliance with its Housing Production Plan. This certification is effective for a one year period beginning on May 10,2019 to May 9, 2020. This Certification of Municipal Compliance is based on the following findings: 1. Medfield has provided evidence that the required number of units described in its request is eligible to be counted towards certification. 2. The 27 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHJ) eligible units in this project (Medfield Meadows SHl ID # 10290 meet the number (21) necessary to satisfy a one year certification threshold~ 3. The housing development is consistent with the production goals outlined in Medfield Housing Production Plan. Please note that all units must retain eligibility for the SHJ for the entire certification period. If units are no longer eligible for inclusion on the SHI, they will be removed and will no longer be eligible for certification. This action may affect the term of your certification. I have included an updated list of SHI eligible units. Medfield's current SHI stands at 8.29%. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or Phiilip.DeMartino@state.ma.us. Associate Director, DHCD cc Senator Paul Feeney Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield John J. McNicholas, Acting Chair, Zoning Board of Appeal 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 www.mass.gov/dhcd 617.573.1100 Medfield DHCD ID# 1890 1891 1892 1893 4360 9953 10062 10063 10221 10222 10290 6/10/2019 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CH408 SUBSIDIZED HOUSING INVENTORY Bulltw/ Total SHI Affordability Comp. Subsidizing Project Name Address Type Units Expires Permit? Agency Tilden Village 30 Pound Street Rental 60 Perp Yes DHCD Allendale Dale Street Ownership 17 Perp YES DHCD DHCD The Village at Medfield Turtle Brook Way Ownership 6 Perp YES DHCD DHCD ~~------- Wilkins Glen Wilkins Glen Road Rental 103 2042 YES MassHousing DHCD DDS Group Homes Confidential Rental 5 N/A No DDS The Pare at Medfield One Gateway Drive Rental 92 Perp YES DHCD Country Estates 21, 25, & 29 Hospital Rd Ownership 8 Perp YES MassHousing Cushman House aka Cushing 67 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD House 71 North Street 71 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD Hillside Village 80 North Meaovvs Road Rental 16 Perp YES DHCD Medfield Meadovvs 41 Dale St Mix 27 Perp DHCD Medfield Totals 350 Census 2010 Year Round Housing Units Percent Subsidized 4,220 8.29% Medfield Page 1 of 1 This data is derived from information provided to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by Individual communities and is subject to change as new information is obtained and use restrictions expire.20190815-BBH-Safe Harbor Notification 08-15-19_Page_220190815-BBH-Safe Harbor Notification 08-15-19_Page_320190815-BBH-Safe Harbor Notification 08-15-19_Page_4

 

Rosebay – Hobson’s choice

Rosebay at Medfield

First, the Medfield Press’ Mike Gleason did a good article on Rosebay this week, available here

Second, I answered a query from a neighbor this morning that I thought others might find useful, so I am inserting it below.

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Rosebay, which is technically not an expansion of Tilden Village, proposes to provide 45 units of income restricted housing for seniors on Pound Street land owned by the Medfield Housing Authority next to Tilden Village, which project has been initiated and pushed forward by the Medfield Housing Authority.

The Board of Selectmen have for years asked the Medfield Housing Authority to move forward with such a project. The current Director, Candace Loewen, and her board have been the ones to actually get it done, and for that the town needs to thank them. However, I think the town was surprised by the size and scale of the end product.

The only way to create such a project at this time is by using low income tax credit financing, where the tax credits for such projects issued by the state get sold to pay for the building of the project. The rental income would not be great enough for such a project to get regular financing. The Parc was also built using this method.

There seems to be universal agreement that more such senior housing is needed in Medfield, with the point of disagreement being whether the size and mass of this current proposal is disqualifying.

The decision of what to do with that project rests entirely with the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield, in response to the application for a comprehensive permits that was recently filed. There will likely be several nights of hearings, the first of which is scheduled for August 15, 2019. The ZBA will retain, at the developer’s expense, its own experts to peer review the application and to make recommendations to the ZBA. In the usual circumstance, the ZBA has a Hobson’s choice, since if they deny the application the developer will merely appeal to the state Housing Appeals Committee (https://www.mass.gov/service-details/housing-appeals-committee-hac), which tends to always allow almost all developer appeals. Therefore the usual ZBA task is to thread the needle of approving the application, but with conditions that make it more palatable for the town while not making it “uneconomic” (statutory term) for the developer.

In this instance, the ZBA has the additional decision to make, namely as to whether to invoke the town’s current “safe harbor” status under G. L. c. 40B, which allows the ZBA to deny the application outright.

So the ZBA decision will need to be a political balancing act by the ZBA members between a desirable, needed project that can apparently only be economically done with all 45 units, versus a project that many seem to feel is generally out of scale with the existing neighborhood. It would be a much easier decision if the project was only two stories tall – I spoke to the developer about reducing it to two stories, and was told it cannot be done.

Further complicating the decision is the fact that the project is used by the Affordable Housing Trust’s projections as what is both necessary to keep the town within the 40B safe harbor while we get to the ultimate 10% affordable housing and to achieve the 10% affordable housing number that then provides ongoing safe harbor to the town. Therefore, denying this project would put the town back at risk in several years of unfriendly 40B projects, such as the Mega-B, and as long as the town if below the 10% Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) level by even one unit, we are at risk from an unfriendly 40B of up to 200 units..

The Rosebay developer has already reduced the size and scale of the project some, as the result of a series of meetings with an ad hoc group of residents, mainly from the Planning Board and the Affordable Housing Trust. The recent positive memo from that group to the Board of Selectmen can be found on my blog.

The Medfield Housing Authority Director and board members were active and strong proponents for the project when it was discussed at the Board of Selectmen meeting Tuesday evening, making the points about how long their waiting list are for seniors seeking affordable housing and now much the 45 units of housing are therefore needed in town. That is an argument and a constituency that will be hard for the ZBA to ignore. Similarly, the neighbors have valid concerns about the size and scale of the proposal, as it would not be allowed there but for being a 40B project.

This presents a true Hobson’s choice for the ZBA – does is disappoint the neighbors, or does it disappoint the seniors, the Medfield Housing Authority and put the town at risk for unfriendly 40B’s. Perhaps the ZBA can craft an acceptable compromise.

Rosebay update

Yesterday I had an informative telephone call from Brian McMillin, the developer of Rosebay, about my prior blog post wherein I stated that he preferred to make design changes to the project within the ZBA comprehensive permit process, and then in response to my outreach to her for a status update on the ad hoc group, an emailed MEMO from Town Planner, Sarah Raposa.

  • Brian outlined for me the many project changes that he had made to accommodate the concerns expressed by the town and the ad hoc group with whom he meet over concerns about the size and scale of the design.
  • Sarah shared her 7/22/2019 MEMO to the Board of Selectmen about the work of the Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group (copy attached below).

Contrary to my prior understanding, I learned that the ad hoc group had made substantial progress in getting changes made to the design, which are enumerated in the MEMO.  I also learned from Brain McMillin that none of my own personal suggestions from having studied the plans this week for how to make it a two story project would work, if it is going to remain a 45 unit project.

This is the conclusion stated in the MEMO:

  • Conclusion:  . . . The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development.

Finally, I note that our fellow residents who so kindly served on this ad hoc group, Greg Sullivan, Todd Trehubenko, and Jim Brand, have tremendous professional experience in the real estate development and design area, so our town got truly first rate, high quality professional input in this process.

Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Memorandum To: Board of Selectmen From: Sarah Raposa, Town Planner Date: July 22, 2019 Re: Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Review Group Recommendation In August 2018 DHCD and the Town of Medfield received an application for a 45- unit senior rental development called “Rosebay at Medfield” submitted by Newgate Housing LLC / Brian McMillin. The Board of Selectmen were specific in their municipal comment letter in that the Board is in support of the concept (providing affordable senior rental units as articulated in both the 2016 Housing Production Plan and the Medfield Affordable Housing Trust’s Action Plan) but may opt to not support the project because of the current design and recommend that the ZBA deny the project, as is their right due to the Town’s position in Safe Harbor. Despite the process being a traditional 40B, the Developer agreed to meet, informally, with a few members of town boards that may be helpful in working through some of the massing, height, and bulk issues associated with the proposal. Rosebay Ad Hoc Design Group:  Greg Sullivan Planning Board  Brian McMillin NewGate Housing LLC  Jim Brand AHT/PB Assoc.  Mark Major VMY Architects LLC  Todd Trehubenko AHT  James Koningisor Project Manager  Sarah Raposa Town Planner  Courtney Starling COG Meeting #1 (January 10, 2019): In assessing the major factors influencing the development; the size of the lot, the number of units proposed by the developer, elevator requirements, and the desire to utilize rooftop mechanical systems while maintaining a proportionate roofline, the group felt that that it would be difficult to substantially reduce the massing without reducing unit count. The group challenged Newgate to evaluate additional design changes that might reduce impact. These included recommendations to reduce roof pitch, removal of even taller roof elements, increasing setbacks from road and abutters, continuing character of street frontage with a stone wall, trees and other vegetation, aspects of lighting, and other related changes. The group suggested the applicant create a contextual elevation or graphic showing adjacent buildings, providing neighborhood context, and a site plan showing all site-specific elements such as trees, other vegetation and landscape elements, lighting levels, and their proposed pedestrian path through the site. The Newgate team was proactively engaged and open to the comments of the group. Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 (508) 906-3027 Meeting #2 (May 2, 2019): The Newgate team presented revised plans, elevations and neighborhood context graphics that included design changes that addressed in actuality or the spirit of the comments of the Design Review Group. The following changes and clarifications were made to the proposal: 1. The front setback from Pound Street was revised from 30.5’ to 60.4’. This is twice the required setback in the RU zoning district. 2. The building height was reduced by 10’ to 40’. The zoning bylaw allows a height up to 35’ for multifamily use in the RU district so this would be a 5’ waiver request. 3. The gross building area was reduced by more than 2,000 square feet (from 50,670 sf to 48,524 sf). 4. The distance to neighboring buildings is shown on the revised site plan indicating compliance with the side setback requirements in the RU zoning district. 5. The walking path from Pound Street to the High School/Middle School is proposed as stone dust. 6. An 8’ privacy fence is proposed between walking path and the adjacent historic property at 58 Pound Street. 7. As requested, the Developer submitted landscaping and lighting plans. The landscaping plan provides context on the preservation of existing vegetation and proposed additional screening. The lighting plan confirms no unnecessary light-spillage over the property line. 8. Additional handicapped parking spaces were provided based on comments from the Fire Department. 9. An outdoor trash enclosure was eliminated from the plan because this building has interior trash and recycling facilities on each floor. 10. Certain exterior architectural elements were added or enhanced to improve the appearance of the building, maintain visual interest, and create character on the building’s elevations. 11. Interior changes include a revised layout of the first floor front and rear entries, lobby area, and amenity spaces to improve the flow of foot traffic and to provide for flow through from front entrance to rear entrance; as well as corrected unit plans. The developer provided additional renderings that provided context with the neighborhood. This area is transitional and includes single family dwellings, multi-family dwellings and institutional structures (high school/middle school complex). The viewpoint looking down Pound Street from South Street still reflects a significant development, but is an improvement considering the previous building. From the other direction, the building is closely abutted to Tilden Village. Conclusion: The Ad Hoc Design Review Group recognizes the position decision that the Board of Selectmen need to make relative to this project, senior affordable housing, and the impacted neighborhood. The group has worked to openly review the design and make recommendations that allowed the developer to put forward the best version of their proposal, and conversely Newgate has been open to the recommendations suggested and have made improvements to their proposed development. We appreciate the BoS taking this into consideration as they assess the current design as this moves forward with the Zoning Board of Appeals process.20190722-Memo_re Rosebay ad hoc design group 07-22-19_Page_2

 

Rosebay filed with ZBA

Rosebay-comphensive permit appl

See the full comprehensive permit application the town website, via this link.

The Select Board will need to decide soon whether to invoke our safe harbor where the developer, Brian McMillin, has refused, to date, to reduce the mass and bulk of the proposed development.  We need to claim that safe harbor at the outset of the ZBA process, if we want to claim it at all.  I understand that Brian McMillin wants to deal with any such such size and bulk changes within the context of the comprehensive permit application process.  I expect that to be an agenda topic at our July 30 meeting.

This is what “safe harbor” looks like!

John Kelly’s Medfield Meadows went from being the Mega-B to being the most recent, welcomed Local Initiative Program (LIP), that gives the Town of Medfield another year of safe harbor from unfriendly 40B’s per the notice received this week from the Department of Housing and Community Development (copy attached below).  Our affordable housing – Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) – #s have increased from about 4.5% when we finally woke up, to 8.29% today including Medfield Meadows.  If the planned Rosebay on Pound Street and the Mayrock development at the Legion site are permitted, we will be very close to the 10% permanent protection threshold.  However, those threshold numbers will adjust upwards based on the 2020 census’ number of housing units in town, so we will need even more SHI to stay fully protected.

Kudos to the Affordable Housing Trust for shepherding the town to a place of safety.

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Janelle L. Chan, Undersecretary June 10,2019 Mr. Gustave Murby, Chairman Medfield Board of Selectman Town House/ 459 Main Street Medfield, MA 02052 Housing Production Plan - Certification Approved Dear Mr. Murby: The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) certifies that the Town of Medfield is in compliance with its Housing Production Plan. This certification is effective for a one year period beginning on May 10,2019 to May 9, 2020. This Certification of Municipal Compliance is based on the following findings: 1. Medfield has provided evidence that the required number of units described in its request is eligible to be counted towards certification. 2. The 27 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SID) eligible units in this project (Medfield Meadows SID ID # 10290 meet the number (21) necessary to satisfY a one year certification threshold. 3. The housing development is consistent with the production goals outlined in Medfield Housing Production Plan. Please note that all units must retain eligibility for the SID for the entire certification period. If units are no longer eligible for inclusion on the SID, they will be removed and will no longer be eligible for certification. This action may affect the term of your certification. I have included an updated list of SID eligible units. Medfield's current SID stands at 8.29%. If you have any questions or need assistance, please contact Phillip DeMartino, Technical Assistance Coordinator, at (617) 573-1357 or Phillip.DeMartino@state.ma.us. Associate Director, DHCD cc Senator Paul Feeney Representative Shawn Dooley Representative Denise C. Garlick Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, Medfield Michael J. Sullivan, Town Administrator, Medfield John J. McNicholas, Acting Chair, Zoning Board of Appeal 100 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02114 www.mass.gov/dhcd 617.573.1100 Medfield DHCD ID# 1890 1891 1892 1893 4360 9953 10062 10063 10221 10222 10290 6/10/2019 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT CH40B SUBSIDIZED HOUSING INVENTORY Builtw/ Total SHI Affordability Comp. Subsidizing Project Name Address Type Units Expires Permit? Agency Tilden Village 30 Pound Street Rental 60 Perp Yes DHCD Allendale Dale Street Ownership 17 Perp YES DHCD DHCD The Village at Medfield Turtle Brook Way Ownership 6 Perp YES DHCD DHCD Wilkins Glen Wilkins Glen Road Rental 103 2042 YES MassHousing DHCD DDS Group Homes Confidential Rental 5 N/A No DDS The Pare at Medfield One Gateway Drive Rental 92 Perp YES DHCD Country Estates 21, 25, & 29 Hospital Rd Ownership 8 Perp YES MassHousing Cushman House aka Cushing 67 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD House 71 North Street 71 North Street Rental 8 Perp YES DHCD Hillside Village 80 North Meaows Road Rental 16 Perp YES DHCD Medfield Meadows 41 Dale St Mix 27 Perp DHCD Medfield Totals 350 Census 2010 Year Round Housing Units Percent Subsidized 4,220 8.29% Medfield Page 1 of 1 This data is derived from information provided to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) by individual communities and is subject to change as new information is obtained and use restrictions expire20190610-DHCD-ltr from-Medfield HPP 2019 Cert OK_Page_2

AHT seeks members

affordable-housing

Mike Marcucci, selectman and Chair of the Affordable Housing Trust, mentioned at the Board of Selectmen meeting last night that the Affordable Housing Trust is seeking new members, due to some departures.  Interested residents should contact either Mike or Sarah Raposa.

Mayrock at Legion site recommended to BoS by AHT

The Board of Selectmen today received the memo below from Jim Brand of the Affordable Housing Trust recommending that the Board of Selectmen approve as a friendly 40B the Mayrock Development of 56 rental units at the Legion site.

If John Kelly’s Medfield Meadows project on Dale Street gets Zoning Board of Appeals approval and if Mayrock is approved too, Jim Brand states that “[t]his will bring us to a total of 411 units and 9.7% …”  Plus the 45 unit Rosebay project on the Tilden Village site is still in the works, which could put the town comfortably over the 10% affordable housing threshold that allows the town to avoid unfriendly 40B’s.

The town owes a lot of thanks to the Affordable Housing Trust members for their work sheparding the many various developer initiated friendly 40B projects that have the town on the cusp of achieving a permanent 40B safe harbor.

affordable-housing

To:                   Board of Selectmen

From:              Jim Brand, Affordable Housing Trust Board of Trustees

Date:               February 17, 2019

Subject:           Mayrock Development at 50 Peter Kristof Way

 

I write as an Affordable Housing Trust member and project liaison to brief the Board of Selectman on the process and deliberations leading to the endorsement of the Mayrock Development, Inc’s LIP proposal for the American Legion site at 50 Peter Kristof Way.

The Legion property is listed as a potential project in Medfield’s Housing Production Plan and tracked by the Affordable Housing Trust (AHT) since first convening in August of 2017.  As is the process, I was assigned as the project liaison to keep open channels with the property owner and any potential developers, serving as a resource and a way to keep the Trust informed.

The American Legion entered into a purchase agreement with Mayrock Development, LLC in late July of 2018 and Mayrock immediately engaged in the Medfield prescribed “friendly 40b” process.  Mayrock proposed a 56 unit four story apartment building comprised of 32 one, 18 two, and 6 three bedroom units, 25% of which will be affordable.  Additionally, the proposed development includes a common meeting room that will be used by the Legion for their meetings.

The formal interactions of the AHT and Mayrock are as follows:

8-2-18          – Intro meeting with Mayrock, Sarah Raposa and Jim Brand as AHT liaison

9-26-18        – Abutter meeting held by Mayrock at the American Legion.

10-4-18        – AHT Meeting #1 – Presented design.  AHT requested traffic & market surveys.

12-6-18        – AHT Meeting #2 – Provided material, took additional questions.

2-4-19          – AHT Meeting #3 – Presented final material, AHT voted to endorse to BoS.

 

The abutter meeting had very few abutters in attendance, but had a few other citizen and Legion members.  There were generally no significant objections voiced about the proposed project.

During the formal AHT meetings Mayrock was open to the comments and suggestion of the Trust, and performed requested traffic studies and housing market analysis.   These showed a minimal impact on total traffic, and a satisfactory housing demand and saturation rate for apartments of the type and cost being considered.  Concurrently the AHT initiated a “mini market review” through its housing consultant Community Opportunities Group (COG) that looked at Medfield and the neighboring towns taking into account the development that is in the pipeline.  This similarly showed market support.

Building size, unit count and traffic were taken into consideration as part of the deliberations, it was generally felt by the Trust that this location could adequately accommodate a development of this size without negative impact to the area.

As it relates to safe harbor and our drive to 10%, 25% of the apartment units are affordable, allowing the town to receive credit for all 56 units and provide two years of safe harbor for 2020 and 2021.  Being self-financed or carrying low debt, there is low risk financing will not come through.  This will bring us to a total of 411 units and 9.7% assuming Medfield Meadows received ZBA approval.

The only other significant development on the horizon is Rosebay on Pound Street, the proposed 45 unit senior housing development.  For several reasons, including those stated in the Town’s comment letter and the development’s dependence on DHCD tax credit funding, it is unlikely that this project would ready for the Town’s 2020 safe harbor deadline if it proceeds at all.

 

At the 2-4-19 meeting the Affordable Housing Trust board vote 4-0-1 (two members absent, one abstained) to endorse this project to the Board of Selectman for consideration as a Local Initiative Project.

 

Respectfully submitted,

Jim Brand

Affordable Housing Trust member