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5.26.20 Housing Lynn Online Open House

Housing Lynn just launched a new Online Open House to receive public comment relevant to the development of the new Lynn Housing Production Plan (HPP).

The Online Open House is a survey you can complete here.  You will have the opportunity to comment on a summary of housing challenges in Lynn, rate the importance of draft goals, prioritize potential strategies, and add additional thoughts.

Using information collected from the survey draft recommendations on policies and programs will be created to achieve plan goals.  From there, a public online webinar on housing development will be held in June and complete recommendations will be available for public feedback in the fall.

If you are a resistant of Lynn or work in that market, NSAR encourages you to take a moment to participate in the Online Open House.

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5.26.20 MROD Projects Get Green Light

The Salem Planning Board has given the green light to two North Shore CDC projects that were able to apply for special permits because of the Municipal and Religious Overlay District.  NSAR wrote in support of the overlay when it was considered by the City Council last year.

The two projects, previously vacant religious buildings, will create a total of 62 apartments and add much needed affordable housing. The Immaculate Conception project will offer preference to those working in the arts. The St. James project will give preference to residents 55 and over.

Next step will be coordinating and receiving funding for the project.  You can read more about the wait for funding here.

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5.13.20 Beverly Historic Preservation Online Survey

Work on the Beverly Historic Preservation Plan is again underway with a new community-wide online survey.  Beverly residents can provide input on the plan by completing the survey which addresses historic neighborhoods, buildings, preservation tools and more.

Community workshops had been planned for mid-March and April but were put on hold due to the COVID-19 concerns.  Further opportunities for participation will be available in the coming months.

The North Shore Association of REALTORS® supports local zoning regulations which are dedicated to preserving historical structures. Careful planning is key as preservation must be maintained in balance with respect for the rights of private property ownership.

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5.5.20 Salem Public Hearings Conclude

Yesterday, Public Hearings for the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance and the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance were concluded during a joint meeting of the Salem City Council and Planning Board.

The vote to conclude the Public Hearings moves the ordinances to the Planning Board for their recommendation.  The Planning Board may make recommendations for changes upon review of the ordinances.  Two possible changes that were discussed during the meeting were to require special permits for ADUs in new construction and the removal of R1 zones from the ADU ordinance.  NSAR will continue to monitor the ordinances as they move through the Planning Board and City Council.

NSAR had a letter of support for the ADU Ordinance read into the record by NSAR President Cynthia Nina-Soto at the first Public Hearing.

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5.5.20 King’s Residences Gains Site Approval

The Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency has given site approval to King’s Residences, the development of 133 condo units at the site of the former J.B. Thomas Hospital in Peabody.

Site approval allows for an application submission to the Peabody Zoning Board of Appeals for a comprehensive permit under Chapter 40B.  Peabody is currently short of the 10% subsidized housing minimum in order to prevent a developer from bypassing local zoning (in favor of less restrictive state zoning) in order to develop affordable housing.  The proposed project would have 34 for-sale, affordable units, 25.56% of the total project.

A letter writing campaign had been organized to oppose the project getting site approval.  There are still steps required of the developer by the site approval letter, such as a traffic impact study and long-term maintenance plan.

The developer now has two years to apply for a comprehensive permit before the approval expires.

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5.1.20 Public Hearings Continue for ADUs and Inclusionary Zoning in Salem

On Monday, a joint meeting of the Salem City Council and Planning Board will meet at 7pm over Zoom to hear additional public comment on the Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) Ordinance and Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.

This will mark the third public hearing for the ADU Ordinance and second for the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.  The Salem Planning Department is expected to deliver a presentation on the Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance.

You can find the meeting agenda and Zoom link here.

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