TOWN OF SHARON
Minutes of a Meeting of the Planning Board held on September 14, 2005, at 7:30 p.m., in the Town Offices.
PRESENT: REGINA MANISCALCO, CHAIR
ELI HAUSER, VICE CHAIR
WAYNE BRADLEY, CLERK
I.Meeting called to order. The Minutes of the August 31, 2005, meeting were reviewed and accepted with corrections.
FORM A PLANS
II. REVIEW OF PROPOSED ZONING BY-LAW CHANGES AS SUBMITTED BY THE BOARD OF HEALTH
The Board decided to skip this item, as there was going to be a public hearing on these changes on October 5.
Minutes of Meeting Page Two September 14, 2005
III. COMMUNITY PRESERVATION ACT
This program was adopted by Town Meeting in May of 2004. It places a surcharge of 1% on real estate taxes. The funds generated from the CPA will be put towards three areas: preservation of historical districts; affordable housing; and open space acquisition. This year these funds will be collected for the first time and the funds disbursed. The Planning Board needs to appoint a member to this new Committee. Mr. Cohen volunteered to be the Board’s representative to this Committee. Mr. Hauser moved to appoint Mr. Cohen, seconded by Mr. Lauenstein and unanimously voted.
Ms. Cheyer, a resident, reported that the procedure for distributing these funds was as follows: The Committee researches where they would like to see the funds applied and then makes recommendations to Town Meeting as to which projects it would like to endorse. Town Meeting not only votes on the Committee’s recommendations, but can also lower the amount requested. However, it cannot increase the amount recommended by the Committee.
IV. OTHER BUSINESS
---Intoccia/Gobbi property off South Main Street and Old Post Road – Ms. Maniscalco and Mr. Cohen reported that they had attended a meeting, with many other Town board representatives, with Mr. Intoccia and his lawyer, Bob Shelmerdine. Ms. Maniscalco reminded the Board that Mr. Gobbi had come to the Planning Board several years ago requesting that the zoning be changed for these parcels from residential to commercial. The Planning Board drafted articles to bring about this change, which was placed on the Town Meeting warrant. The Town’s people rejected it. Mr. Intoccia now has an option on the property. He said he could build a 40B there with as many as 500 units.
Mr. Intoccia stated that he also had an option from Mr. Gobbi on the property on Norwood Street across from the nursing home. He planned to build a 40B there, which would include 106 duplex units. He had already met with the abutters to this property.
Minutes of Meeting Page Three September 14, 2005
Mr. O’Cain pointed out that the proposed road for this project would be right at a very dangerous curve on Norwood Street and that the property itself was very steep. From the preliminary plans, it looks as though the developer is planning to cover the entire 22 acres of the parcel.
Ms. Maniscalco felt that the meeting was positive and that Mr. Intoccia said he wants to work cooperatively with the Town. He stated that he is willing to make some compromises and said that once his parcels are built out, the Town will not have to worry about 40B’s any more. Ms. Maniscalco added that she is not sure why these subdivisions would not qualify as LIP’s, since the applicant would be working with the Town. Mr. Intoccia is saying that at this point he can solve the Town’s affordable housing problem if the Town will work with him. The build out would be over a longer period of time, say seven to ten years. Mr. Bradley said that the Town should make it a condition that the applicant build the affordable units at the beginning of the project.
Mr. Cohen said that Mr. Intoccia is willing to build a certain number of units as rentals, but not all, maybe around 25%. There is not a large enough market for all the units to be rentals. Mr. Intoccia said he was open to some commercial development in the South Main Street parcel.
Mr. Hauser explained that in a LIP, the Town has to file with the State that the Town and the developer agree to work cooperatively and provide a definite plan. The Town does get some influence on the design.
Mr. Lauenstein said that the Town worked on and submitted the Housing Production Plan (“HPP”) for a reason – to hold off 40B’s and give back the majority of local control to the Town. For the developer in this instance to suggest that he will be holding all the cards is a little overblown. The Town has this control because of the HPP. Avalon is already going forward in the next four years. It is quite possible that the Town’s bargaining position is better than Mr. Intoccia believes. Mr. Lauenstein further explained that the economics of the proposal just don’t make sense for the developer.
Minutes of Meeting Page Four September 14, 2005
He is proposing 400-500 units between the two areas. He would need to supply 250 affordable units to help meet the Town’s 10% requirement. This would be a huge economical sacrifice for the developer, as half of his units would have to be affordable.
Ms. Cheyer, a town resident, said that she agreed with Mr. Lauenstein and that he made an excellent point. The Town should not believe everything a developer says, but should take it with a grain of salt. The developer is looking out for himself and not the Town. If he does file a 40B, he has to get in line with the other 40B’s already filed.
Ms. Maniscalco further explained that the developer had presented sketch plans for the Norwood Street property at that meeting. She did not particularly like what she saw as the build-out was far too dense and pretty much covered the entire lot, the entrance was at a sharp curve in the road, there was no open space and the property was steeply sloped.
Mr. Cohen asked that if Avalon goes forward and they build a certain amount of affordable units, does that further immunize the Town and what does it mean regarding Intoccia – would he still be able to build all that he proposes?
V. There being no further business before the Board, the meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.