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Showing blogs: 1–6 of 467
According to the Gloucester Times, the Manchester Essex Conservation Trust celebrated its 50th year of land protection and property conservation.
The MECT owns about 3,500 acres of protected land, most notably the Manchester Essex Woods. In the last few decades, the Trust has been deeded several parcels of land as gifts throughout the year, and it also makes property purchases, including a 150 acre parcel purchased roughly five years ago.
Trust president Charlie Kellogg said the trust has changed throughout the years, While its first incarnations were only geared toward preserving land for development, the trust has grown to recognize the fledgling wildlife in conservation lands and has made efforts to preserve the flora and fauna as well.
Read the entire Gloucester Times article.
The Eagle Tribune reports that Haverhill Mayor James Fiorentini plans to alter the zoning around the Merrimack River to redevelop several former industrial sites, including efforts to the Ornstein Heel property in Bradford. In addition to the Ornsteil Heel lot, the Mayor is hoping to develop the following areas:
- Portions of Merrimack Street to allow artist lofts housing and office space on upper floors of under-used buildings and retail businesses on first floors
- On Water Street, the plan is to encourage residential and retail development. Included are the 1.1-acre property commonly known as the old Cleary’s Cleaners and the old Skelley’s gas station property
- Closer to downtown is the property that formerly held the Friend’s Landing night club
- The large property known as the old Taylor-Goodwin lumberyard site on the Bradford side of the river near the Basiliere Bridge
Fiorentini said he plans to appoint a new zoning advisory committee to develop a so-called “innovation district” modeled after the one in Boston.
4.8.13 Ipswich's Whittier Motel
According to the Ipswich Chronicle, the Whittier Motel on County Road in Ipswich is expanding to 40 rooms. In December, the Planning Board granted owner Roger LeBlanc a special permit to build a 10-room addition along Essex Avenue where the swimming pool used to be.
The Whittier Motel is presently zoned as a motel, which prohibits long-term rentals. However, there are many long-term rentals at the motel which may pose a zoning violation. Additionally, several of the rooms have kitchen equipped for eating and cooking. The owner of the property is working with the Ipswich Planning Board to resolve these issues.
According to the North Andover Citizen, developer North Andover Holdings LLC is planning on building a Chapter 40B apartment complex along Route 114 in North Andover. The project is tentatively titled Riding Academy Preserve, which would be six-buildings feature 240 new apartments for rent, along the site of an old farm located at 16 Berry Street (pictured above).
The 40B permit, issued by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development, allows a developer to consolidate and expedite the application process for building within a town provided they offer some portion their property at a reduced rate for lower income tenants. A town must allow developments bearing comprehensive permits to proceed if the community has yet to hit the state-mandated affordable housing quota. Communities need at least 10% of all property to be classified as affordable; North Andover is said to be around 6% and therefore subject to Chapter 40B.
North Andover Holdings plans to offer 60 apartments for lower rent in the development. A typical one-bedroom apartment in the complex would rent for $1463 at market value, but would cost $1091 at the affordable rate.
Read the entire North Andover Citizen article.
The Eagle Tribune reports that John L. O’Brien, Register of Deeds for the Southern District of Essex County, recently filed for $1.3 million in restitution to clean up thousands of potentially invalid property documents affecting more than 9,500 pieces of property following the guilty plea of the owner of a reputed “robosigner” company. The filings of DocX, a Georgia-based company that created and signed mortgage and lien transfer documents for large banks and mortgage lenders nationwide, are all in doubt after DocX founder and chief executive Lorraine Brown pleaded guilty in November to federal fraud charges in Florida.
According to the Salem Five article, the South Essex (Salem) Registry of Deeds so far has identified 10,567 documents filed by DocX between 1998 to 2011, all of which the Registry considers suspect. O’Brien said in the filing that a fraudulent document in a chain of title puts a cloud over every subsequent valid property document, and could complicate homeowners trying to sell their properties, refinance their mortgage or extract equity from their properties. Many of the documents are mortgage assignments, which declares the sale of a mortgage from one company to another.
The $1.3 million restitution from DocX, which includes fees and the cost of the 2011 audit of documents, would be used to ensure banks create and file valid documents to replace the DocX documents. Attorney General Martha Coakley in December 2011 filed suit against five major banks for, among other things, “pervasive use of fraudulent documentation in the foreclosure process,” according to a press release from her office at the time.
Coakley’s office participated in a $25 billion state-federal settlement against those banks for claims that included fraudulent documents. The agreement earmarked $318 million for Massachusetts borrowers for refinancing, loan modifications and direct payments.
The Tri-Town Transcript reports that the Essex County Greenbelt has been working to help farmers lease and buy farmland as a way to curb the reduction of farmland and support the next generation of farmers.
Nearly 25% of all the farmland in New England and New York are owned by farmers aged 65 and older; therefore ensuring that farmland stays in farming as it transfers ownership will be critical. The Farmland Advisors program, which advises on farmland transfer and farm access, will address this challenge through a series of progressive learning and networking opportunities, including webinars, a regional conference, and peer-to-peer exchanges about farmland and farm transfer issues.
Read the entire Tri-Town Transcript article.
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