Sharon Housing Partnership
August 12, 2008 Meeting Minutes Approved September 9, 2008
In attendance: Jane Desberg, Mary Tobin, Susan Saunders, Alan Lury, Warren Kirshenbaum and Lou Modestino
Also present: Michael Intoccia, Bob Shelmadine and Paul Lauenstein
Voted to Approve SHP Meeting Minutes of July 8, 2008.
Mr. Intoccia presented information regarding the 168 housing units to be constructed at the Sharon Commons site. These units will consist of 100 rental units and 68 condominiums.
Thirty single family townhouse style condominiums will be built on the five acre parcel abutting South Main Street, on the right side of the Sharon Common entrance. These will be two bedroom units, approximately 1700 to 1900 square feet, with one car garages. The end units will have master bedrooms on the first floor suitable for 55 and older. Seven (23.3%) of these units will be affordable. Intoccia stated that the exterior of the units will be the same but that the interiors will be different- affordable units will have one less bath and different flooring and counter tops. Market rate units will sell in the high 500s.
On a second parcel that lies behind a 28 acre parcel preserved as conservation land, another 138 units will be built. One hundred of these will be apartments. Thirty-eight will be one level condominiums. Market rates for these will be in the high 400s. Ten (26.3%) of the condominiums will be affordable.
The apartment complex will be built in 2 phases. Upon completion it will contain 100 units. Twenty-five of these will be affordable. The market rate rents would range from $1700 to $2000. When asked what the affordable rents would be Mr. Intoccia suggested that the affordable rents at Avalon were lower than he would have thought. The Intoccia Company will be the management company for the units.
Intoccia suggested that the timeline for construction to be completed would be two years. He also stated that he is presently working to purchase two parcels of land owned by Gobbi. If successful he plans to build another 40 units.
Intoccia also informed the group that he will be coming to the November Town Meeting hoping to get approval for having this project accepted as a 40R. Under the 40R guidelines there is no limit on profitability for the developer and only 20% of the units would need to be affordable. He stated that the Town would benefit from having this project be a 40R as opposed to its current status as a LIP, as the Town would get back $1,000,000. If the 40R is accepted Intoccia would change his construction plans to put parking underground for 138 units.
Jane Desberg expressed the SHP’s interest in home ownership as opposed to rental housing if the Gobbi Land was purchased and 40 units built. She also expressed the SHP’s hope that rents would be based on 70-75% AMI.
Mr. Shelmadine requested that the SHP write a letter of support (for the current LIP project) to MA DHCD.
Inclusionary Zoning By-Law
Paul Lauenstein presented information concerning the present status of the IZ By-Law. He indicated that a study conducted with the help of the Town GIS department showed that presently undeveloped parcels in Sharon could support approximately 300 new homes if built under conventional zoning. Much of this land is “less desirable” due to steep slopes, etc. The study did not include data related to whether the land included as developable would perk. Golf courses were included as potentially developable.
He explained the rationale for IZ was to prevent backsliding once the ten percent affordable housing quota is reached. He gave a quick overview of the original warrant article which stipulated that any new development of six of more homes would be required to have 15% affordable. Affordable units could be on or off site. Recent Planning Board discussions have included changing the language of the original IZ By-Law to state that there could be no new construction on virgin land. The PB was also considering allowing the developer to buy deed restrictions from existing homeowners to comply with their affordable requirement. Lauenstein mentioned that this might be problematic as it would potentially allow unsuspecting homeowners to be taken advantage of.
Lauenstein indicated that three members of the PB supported the exclusion of the Brickstone project from the requirements of IZ. Those in favor of exclusion point to the money the Town will receive from Brickstone and the fact that the Town already made an agreement to accept $1.882 million from this developer to be used for affordable housing.
Those against the exclusion suggest that it would set a precedent for any future development and that it is a matter of fairness. Sixty-nine additional units of affordable housing are needed for Brickstone to keep the Town’s affordable housing inventory from slipping backwards. Brickstone is currently “grandfathered” and any changes to zoning By-Laws would not affect them for 7 years.
There was some discussion of the fact that the developable land analysis does not reflect the fact that large parcels that are presently inaccessible to developers could be accessed with the purchase of existing properties and that the Town is therefore still vulnerable to large scale 40B type developments. The present 40B moratorium is presently only in effect for another year.
Eli Hauser Proposal
Jane received an e-mail from Hauser suggesting that the SHP should consider the idea of using ~$1 Million dollars from Brickstone’s contribution to affordable housing for the construction of a septic treatment facility for the Town Center. This would allow Delapa to construct a large apartment building ~ 100 units where his existing property is located on Pond Street. These units would all count toward the Town’s 10% affordable housing quota and 25% would be affordable. As this property is presently located in a MUOD District (43R) such development would be acceptable.
Several members of the SHP expressed concern that use of money designated for affordable housing for the construction of a septic system that would service the entire Town center was problematic.
9 Glenview Update
Jane Desberg reported that the application to DHCD has been completed, however, a home inspection still needs to be done. Tom Whitting is available to do the inspection for $350.00. After speaking with Ben Puritz and being informed that the DPW was managing the property- Jane Desberg got in touch with Eric Hooper. He replied one week later that the DPW was, in fact, not managing the property and that this department does not have keys to the property.
The group expressed concern regarding lack of notification to the present tenants who have school age children. Jane Desberg will follow up with the Town Administrator.
B’nai B’rith Housing New England
Jane Desberg reported that she has been contacted by this organization. This group has been involved in the development of affordable housing throughout the area and they have resources that may be beneficial to the goals of the SHP. Warren Kirshenbaum offered to contact this organization and invite them to our next meeting.
Chapter 40B Project Updates
Avalon Sharon- There are still some affordable units available.
Wilber School- Two upcoming ZBA meeting on 8/13/08 and 8/20/08 will address landscaping and exterior design issues.
Election of Officers
Jane Desberg made a Motion to approve the following slate of officers:
Susan Saunders, Chairperson
Alan Lury, Vice Chair
Mary Tobin, Clerk
Warren Kirshenbaum Seconded this Motion.
The vote was approved unanimously.
The issue of applying for CPA funding to reactivate the Sharon Affordable Housing Corporation was raised. This will be discussed at the next meeting.
The group discussed how to proceed in regard to Attorney Shelmardine’s request for a letter of support from the SHP for the Sharon Commons LIP. It was agreed that before such letter is written, discussions with the developer and a commitment that affordable housing be priced at 70-75% AMI should be negotiated.