Category Archives: Downtown

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 follow up #2

Rosebay

EMAIL EXCHANGE THIS AFTERNOON BETWEEN TOWN PLANNER AND NEIGHBOR:

Email from neighbor =  “Our main concern is the scale of the project is massive in relation to the neighborhood.”

 

Sarah Raposa email back = The Planning Board will be requesting that the ZBA include architectural and design review as part of the the ZBA’s technical review process in order to find ways to reduce the height and bulk of the building.

Sarah

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

www.town.medfield.net

 

 

Better Rosebay update

Rosebay

Always best to get your information from the people who really know things.  This is the response email from Sarah Raposa to the abutting neighbors providing the straight story.

==================================================

Pete did a good job of summarizing the process and addressing your concerns. I think that some of the aspects of the failed Senior Housing Overlay District Bylaw may have trickled into your thinking on Points 4 & 5. The Rosebay units are indeed proposed to be perpetually affordable to seniors who income qualify (Point 4) and the Town will likely exercise its right to request 70% local preference (Point 5). The local preference step is done after a comprehensive permit is issued. We have done this for all of the 40B thus far.  Affordability and local preference were issues that came up at special town meeting that we could not control through the zoning but are part of the 40B process.

Please let me know if you have additional questions or concerns.

Best,

Sarah

Sarah Raposa, AICP

Town Planner
459 Main Street
Medfield, MA  02052
(508) 906-3027
sraposa@medfield.net

www.town.medfield.net

 

Rosebay update

Rosebay

I responded this morning to an email from Pound Street neighbors of the proposed Rosebay project to both me and Sarah Raposa, Town Planner, and I  thought others might be interested in that response, which follows.

=====================================================

Sarah will know this landscape better than I, but I will share what I know and my current thinking.

 

The current step calls for the Board of Selectmen to make a submission to Department of Housing and Community Development about the appropriateness of the site for the project, which is an initial determination that DHCD must make for the developer to move forward to the real permitting phase, which is the application for a comprehensive permit before the Zoning Board of Appeals of the Town of Medfield.  It is really before the ZBA where the decisions will get made as to all the details of the sorts of land use issues that you are raising as concerns will get addressed and decided.  The ZBA will undoubtedly be seeking neighborhood input into what it should decide, and I encourage you to be involved in that process.  It is usually an iterative process over many meetings, spread over many months, as the developer will submit detailed plans and the town will hire, at the applicant’s expense, its own peer review engineers and other experts to analyze those plans and to make recommendations to the ZBA on the developer’s submission.

 

At this stage, DHCD is merely issuing a preliminary yes or no as to whether the proposed project is appropriate enough to the site so as to be allowed to proceed to the comprehensive permit filing process.  You may recall that the 200 unit proposed 40B at the intersection of Rte. 27 and Dale Street was denied site approval by DHCD at a similar stage, in what all said at the time was a highly unusual denial.  It is my understanding that almost all proposed 40B’s receive DHCD approval to move forward to the comprehensive permit stage.

 

To date, the Board of Selectmen has generally been in favor of expanding the senior housing at that site, but to date has not weighed in on the current proposal.

 

However, I can share with you my thoughts on your particular issues (in the red):

  1. The proposed development is inconsistent with the character of the residential aspects of the neighborhood.  I say this because the proposed structure is a single, three- story building on a relatively small site.  A three-story building will dwarf the homes on the opposite side of Pound Street and the adjacent homes on the same side of the street.  Tilden Village is far more consistent with the character of the neighborhood.    — I would prefer to see a two story structure.  However, I do understand the benefits of such a building for seniors to be in one large building instead of the many smaller buildings as was done at Tilden.
  2. Light pollution from the development.   — I have learned from my involvement with the Medfield Energy Committee and its study of converting the town to LED streetlights that light from LED’s can be directed, so as to prevent such light pollution into neighbors lands.
  3. Potential traffic impacts on a street that is already congested in the mornings and afternoons due to traffic associated with the school campus.  — Yes, agreed.  I do not see a way around the traffic issue.  Traffic studies will likely be required, done, and peer reviewed, but more housing units means more traffic.
  4. The apartments are not affordable in perpetuity.   — I thought that they would have continued protection, but if that is not possible, then I would still favor doing the project is we can get a good number of years of such units for seniors. 
  5. Whether Medfield senior residents are likely to qualify for these affordable apartments.   — I do not know when one can build local preferences in and when one cannot, but even if we cannot with this particular project, these units will assist a lot of local seniors.  I expect the ZBA will build in whatever local preference is allowed.

 

This project is being planned by Brian McMillin, who formerly worked with Gatehouse when Gatehouse developed The Parc on West Street, and if Rosebay is build, the plans say that it would be managed by Gatehouse.  Therefore, I would expect Rosebay to both look and operate much as The Parc has.  From my recent inquiries of those who live directly across West Street from the Parc, I have learned that those people have found The Parc to be a problem free neighbor.

Volunteers Needed for the 2018 Holiday Stroll

From Diane Borrelli of the Medfield Cultural Alliance –

camfinal26001

Volunteers Needed for the 2018 Holiday Stroll

 

The Cultural Alliance of Medfield is seeking volunteers for the 4th annual Holiday StrollFriday December 7, between 3:30 and 9:30pm, we’ll need volunteer ‘greeters’ in 2 hour shifts.

Greeting duties include smiling, welcoming visitors, tallying head counts, helping some artists set up/break down booths, and providing general event information to visitors. It’s fun, social, and easy, and you work in pairs, so sign up with a spouse or friend!

Click here for information on time slots, and the link to “Sign Up Genius”. And, visit www.medfieldculture.org and check out the “2018 Holiday Stroll” tab to learn more about this annual Medfield event!

Thank you,

Diane Borrelli
D.frances@verizon.net
MedfieldCulture.org

2018 Holiday Stroll Medfield

From Diane Borrelli of the MedfieldCulture.org –

Holiday Stroll 2018

2018 Holiday Stroll Medfield

(Medfield MA): The Cultural Alliance of Medfield (CAM) announces its fourth annual Holiday Stroll on Dec. 7, 2018 from 4 – 9 pm. This is a festive family event that takes place at seventeen venues along Main Street (Route 109), North Meadows Road (Route 27), North Street and the Dwight Derby House on Frairy Street. Included are 40 juried artisans at three main locations, an outdoor ice sculpture demonstration, food vendors, carolers, photos with Santa and M.E.M.O.’s outdoor tree lighting ceremony. All events are within walking distance, FREE admission and parking nearby. For more information visit https://medfieldculture.org/holiday-stroll-2018/

DHCD OK’s Medfield Meadows

The following letter was received by the Board of Selectmen today, wherein Department of Housing and Community Development approved the John Kelly 40B at the corner of Dale Street and Route 27.  –

Commonwealth of Massachusetts DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING & COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT Charles D. Baker, Governor + Karyn E. Polito, Lt. Governor + Janelle L. Chan, Undersecretary October 19, 2018 Mr. Michael Marcucci Chair, Board of Selectman Town of Medfield 459 Main Street Medfield, Massachusetts 02052 Mr. John P. Kelly Medfield Meadows, LLC 18 Forest Street Sherborn, Massachusetts 01770 RE: Medfield Meadows, Medfield, Massachusetts REeEIVEO OCT 2 fl l0 1B MEDFIELD SELECTMEN Determination of Project Eligibility under the Local Initiative Program (LIP) Dear Messrs. Marcucci and Kelly: I am pleased to inform you that your application for project eligibility under the Local Initiative Program (LIP) for the proposed Medfield Meadows project has been approved. This approval is based on your application that sets forth a plan for the development of 36 residential units: 12 homeownership units and 24 rental units. The proposed sales prices and rents of the LIP units are generally consistent with the standards for affordable housing to be included in a community's Chapter 408 affordable housing stock. As part of the review process, Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) staff has performed an on-site inspection of the proposed project sites. DHCD has made the following findings: 1. The proposed project appears generally eligible under the requirements of the Local Initiative Program, subject to final program review and approval; 2. The site of the proposed project is generally appropriate for residential development; 3. The conceptual plan is generally appropriate for the site on which the project is located; 4. . The proposed project appears financially feasible in the context of the Medfield housing market; I 00 Cambridge Street, Suite 300 Boston, Massachusetts 02 11 4 www.mass.gov/dhcd 617.573.1100 Page 2 Medfield Meadows - Medfield, MA 5. The initial proforma for the project appears financially feasible and consistent with cost examination and limitations on profits and distributions on the basis of estimated development costs; 6. The project sponsor and the development team meet the general eligibility standards of the Local Initiative Program; 7. The project sponsor has an executed Purchase and Sale agreement for the site. The proposed project must comply with all state and local codes not specifically exempted by a comprehensive permit. Please provide us with a copy of the comprehensive permit as soon as it is issued. The DHCD legal office will review the comprehensive permit and other project documentation. Additional information may be requested as is deemed necessary. Following the issuance of the comprehensive permit, the specifics of this project must be formalized in a regulatory agreement signed by the municipality, the project developer, and DHCD prior to starting construction. As stated in the application, the Medfield Meadows project will consist of 36 units, 9 of which will be affordable: 12 homeownership units, three of which will be affordable and eligible for inclusion on the Town's subsidized housing inventory; and 24 rental units, six of which will be affordable and all of which will be eligible for inclusion on the subsidized housing inventory. The affordable units will be marketed, rented and sold to eligible households whose annual income may not exceed 80% of area median income, adjusted for household size, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The conditions that must be met prior to final DHCD approval include: 1 . A final affirmative fair marketing and lottery plan with related forms shall be submitted that reflects LIP requirements including consistency with the Comprehensive Permit Guidelines, Section Ill, Affirmative Fair Housing Marketing Plans; 2. Any changes to the application it has just reviewed and approved, including but not limited to alternations in unit mix, sales price, rents, development team, unit design, site plan and financial pro forma reflecting land value, must be approved by DHCD; 3. The project must be organized and operated so as not to violate the state antidiscrimination statute (M.G.L. c1518) or the Federal Fair Housing statute I ~ i t ! Page 3 Medfield Meadows - Medfield, MA (42 U.S.C. s.3601 et seq.). No restriction on occupancy may be imposed on the affordable unit (other than those created by state or local health and safety laws regulating the number of occupants in dwelling units); and 4. The Town shall submit to DHCD the finalized details of the comprehensive permit. The Department expects that the development team will work closely with the public safety officials of the Town to address concerns relative to access for emergency vehicles fo all buildings on the property. As the Medfield Meadows project nears completion of construction, DHCD staff may visit the site to ensure that the development meets program guidelines. When the units have received Certificates of Occupancy, the developer must submit to both DHCD and the Medfield Board of Selectmen a project cost examination for the comprehensive permit project. This letter shall expire two years from this date or on October 17, 2020 unless a comprehensive permit has been issued. We congratulate the Town of Medfield and Medfield Meadows LLC on your efforts to work together to increase the Town's supply of affordable housing. If you have any questions as you proceed with the project, please call Alana Murphy at 617-573-1301. Catheri e Racer Associat Director cc: Sarah Raposa, AICP, Town Planner Michael Sullivan, Town Administrator Stephen Nolan, Zoning Board of Appeals Office of the Chief Counsel, DHCD Enc. RESPONSIBILITY FOR COST CERTIFICATION: By your signature below, Medfield Meadows, acknowledges and accepts this approval letter, including the obligation under law to provide the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Town of Medfield with a project cost examination .. Signature: ___________ _ Name (print): __________ _ Date: ---~--~------~ Upon receipt, please make copy of this letter and return a signed copy to Division of Housing Development, Department of Housing and Community Development, 100 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA 02114 ATTN: Local Initiative Program Medfield Meadows, ·Medfield, Massachusetts LOCAL INITIATIVE PROGRAM-COMPREHENSIVE PERMIT Sponsor: Medfield Meadows, LLC 18 Forest Street Sherborn, MA 01770 Project Addresses: 41 Dale Street Medfield, MA 02052 This project will provide ownership opportunities according to the following breakdown: Utility #of #of #of Gross Allowance Type of Unit Maximum Sales Units Bdrms Baths SF (Rental) Price/Rent Condo Fee (HO) Market Units 3 1 1 750. $2, 100 (rental) 13 2 1 900 N/A $2,520 2 3 1.5 1,300 $2,990 Market Units 1 2 2.5 1,600 TBD $528,000 (ownership) 8 3 2.5 1,800 TBD $594,000 LIP Units 2 1 1 750 $153.00 $1,089 (net) (rental) 3 2 1 900 $226.00 $1,265 (net) 1 3 1.5 1,300 $286.00 $1,436 (net) LIP Units 1 2 2.5 1,600 TBD $191,500 (ownership) 2 3 2.5 1,800 TBD $210,900 Total Units 3620181019-DHCD-ltr from_Page_220181019-DHCD-ltr from_Page_320181019-DHCD-ltr from_Page_4