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10.30.07 Danvers Board denies Chapter 40B Permit for 71 Condos

The Salem News reports that the Danvers Board of Appeals denied a permit for developer Michael Demerjian to build 71 condominiums off Route 114.

Demerjian’s designs were to build on 10 acres at the former site of Natalie's restaurant and the Rio Grande Café. The project was to be built under the State’s Chapter 40B permitting regulation, a state law that allows developers to bypass most local zoning regulations if they set aside a portion of their project for affordable housing.

The development would have added 18 affordable units priced at $157,700.

Read the entire Salem News article

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10.30.07 What’s next for FHA loans?

According to the National Association of Realtors® website, here is the Realtor® position on Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans:
“NAR is a strong supporter of the single- and multi-family programs administered by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). However, FHA’s market share has diminished considerably threatening its ability to serve its public purposes. NAR is working with the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to modernize FHA to enhance its effectiveness in today’s mortgage marketplace.”
Click here for a Legislative/Regulatory status on FHA.

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10.30.07 Chapter 40R Smart Growth Districting

As an organization, Realtors® support “Smart Growth” special zoning overlay districts under the Commonwealth’s Chapter 40R provisions. According to the Massachusetts Association of Realtors®, as of October 14, 2007, approximately 19 communities in Massachusetts have enacted or were in the process of establishing Chapter 40R overlay districts, which provide financial rewards to communities that adopt special zoning districts allowing as-of-right high density residential development. Here are several summaries/literature on Chapter 40R Smart Growth Districting:

You can read about NSAR's post regarding Haverhill's Smart Growth districting here.

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10.30.07 Next Legislative Breakfast: Friday, November 9, 2007, 8:30am

The next North Shore Association of Realtors® Legislative Breakfast will be held on Friday, November 9, 2007, from 8:30am to 10:00am. All NSAR members who live in Amesbury, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Merrimac, Newburyport, North Andover, and/or West Newbury are encouraged to attend.

Topics will likely include:

1. Transfer Taxes.
2. An Act Protecting Children from Poisoning (SB. 1230)
3. An Act Providing Information to Real Estate Buyers. (H. 323, S. 201)
4. An Act Relative to the Disclosure of Wetlands on Property. (H. 767)
5. An Act Relative to Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund (S. 132) and An Act Relative to Financing the Smart Growth Housing Trust (H. 160).

Sign up today using this form, by calling 978-232-9410, or by emailing!

Please note: this Legislative Breakfast will be at ABC Real Estate Training Institute, 21 Wingate Street in Haverhill.

For directions, click here.

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10.27.07 Danvers Planning Board to Examine Industrial Zone Activities

The Danvers Herald reported on September 27, 2007 that the Danvers Planning Board will use an internet-based survey tool, known as Survey Monkey, to obtain public input regarding the types of activities which should be allowed in Industrial-1 zones. The Board, which plans to pursue a “dual” process by analyzing and recommending use and dimension changes to the existing I-1 zone guidelines and using overlay districts to encourage new uses which would be more acceptable in residential areas, has not decided if they will limit the survey to the Danversport and upper Danvers Square areas or extend it to I-1 areas throughout the town.

Industrial 1 is the most lenient of all zones, and includes the area off Water Street in which the CAI and Arnel plants were located. It is believed that these factories were the source of a massive explosion last November, which destroyed many Danversport homes and businesses.

The Board plans to provide more information regarding the survey in an upcoming edition of the Electric Division’s monthly newsletter, which is mailed to every household and business.

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10.27.07 Salem to Receive $474,000 for City Park

The Salem News reports that Salem will receive a $474,000 state grant to turn a blighted lot behind Wendy’s restaurant on Lafayette Street into an urban park.

The new park, which will be on Peabody Street, a former brownfield’s site on the edge of downtown, will include playground equipment, plans for a gazebo that could be used for a meeting place and game tables for cards and dominoes, and may also include a mural that would record the history of the neighborhood, which has long been a home for new immigrants.

Read the entire Salem News article

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