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GA Blog: Andover

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5.27.10 North Shore Towns Amongst 35 Massachusetts “Green” Communities

The Boston Globe reports that Governor Deval Patrick designated 4 North Shore cities/towns amongst the 35 first official “Green Communities”, making them eligible for $8.1 million in grants for local renewable power and energy-efficiency projects.  In order to qualify, cities/towns must meet five clean energy goals, including:

  • Adopting local zoning bylaws to encourage and speed up permitting for renewable energy projects
  • Purchasing only fuel-efficient vehicles for their municipal fleet whenever possible
  • Requiring all new residential construction over 3,000 square feet, as well as all new commercial and industrial real estate construction, to save energy by adopting new building codes.

Green Communities are eligible for millions in local aid under the 2008 Green Communities Act; they include Acton, Arlington, Athol, Andover, Becket, Belchertown, Cambridge, Chelmsford, Easthampton, Greenfield, Hamilton, Hanover, Holyoke, Hopkinton, Kingston, Lancaster, Lenox, Lexington, Lincoln, Lowell, Mashpee, Medford, Melrose, Montague, Natick, Newton, Northampton, Palmer, Pittsfield, Salem, Springfield, Sudbury, Tyngsborough, Wenham, and Worcester.

The communities’ deadline to apply for a piece of the $8 million is June 4; the grants will be awarded in late June.  Each community will also receive a Big Belly solar waste compactor to be delivered in time for the summer parks and beaches season.

Read the entire Boston Globe article.

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2.28.09 Andover Conservation Commission Looking to Increase Conservation Land

The Andover Townsman reported that the Conservation Commission is asking for $800,000 it can use to buy conservation land in town; however at this point, the funds are not earmarked for any particular piece(s) of land. If approved by Town Meeting voters, the $800,000 will go into the town's conservation bond fund.

Read the entire Andover Townsman article.

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3.22.08 Andover Considers Leasing Town Hall

According to the Andover Townsman, the Andover Old Town Hall is in need of roof and other repairs and crews have been conducting repairs, taking up parking spaces in the downtown shopping district. The recent repairs come at a time when Andover officials have said they'll consider leasing Old Town Hall to generate new revenue in light of the town's budget problems.

"I don't think we utilize the building well," said Selectman Mary Lyman. "I think we should examine it as an option. We're certainly not using it to full capacity." The proposal to lease Old Town Hall, also known as the Town House, was one of several cost-saving measures included in Town Manager Buzz Stapczynski's Feb. 4 budget presentation to selectmen, school and finance officials.

Read the entire Andover Townsman article.

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3.4.08 Andover Town Manager Requests $7.4 million to recap Landfill

According to the Andover Townsman, the Andover Town Manager recommended that residents approve $7.4 million to re-cap 25.8 acres of the former Ledge Road landfill. The money also will be used to acquire land around the site that might also need to be closed off. According to the article, the $7.4 million in general fund borrowing is by far the largest request in the town's capital improvement plan for fiscal year 2009. At $1.5 million, a request for school building roof replacement is the only other project over $1 million.

Read the entire Andover Townsman article.

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12.21.07 Andover to Decide on Lowell Junction Development of I-93

According to the Andover Townsman, Andover residents will likely have an opportunity at a Town Meeting sometime in 2008 to choose to make the Lowell Junction Development of I-93 a "priority development" for expedited permitting under Chapter 43D.

Such a designation would help attract interest among developers and ensure that local permitting decisions are made within 180 days, according to Planning Director Paul Materazzo. Such a designation could also open the door to technical assistance grants from the state, he said.

Read the entire Andover Townsman article discussing other Town Meeting topics including Anti-flooding plans and a bylaw update affecting the types of businesses that people can run out of their homes

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12.5.07 Andover Residents Oppose 88-unit Affordable Housing Development

According to the Andover Townsman, Andover residents are contesting an 88-unit affordable-housing development proposal. The proposed development, known as Northfield Commons, would include 22 affordable units priced between $142,300 and $157,500, according to a Zoning Board of Appeals application filed by the Groton-based, 69 North St. LLC. It would be built in the northwest part of town, near the intersections of North and Webster streets.

With a little more than 345 feet of frontage on North and Webster streets, the Northfield Commons proposal would consist of a mix of single-family, duplex, triplex and garden-style units along with a village green area, open space and walking trails spread out over 14.2 acres, according to the zoning board application. Because Andover’s affordable housing stock is currently under 10% of the state guidelines − at 8.9% with 1,027 units − this proposal could be considered under Chapter 40B, which allows developers to circumvent local zoning rules to encourage development of affordable housing. Market-rate units at Northfield Commons would range from $325,000 to $600,000, according to the zoning board application.

The application for Northfield Commons will go before the town zoning board for the 3rd time on Dec. 6, 2007.

Read the entire Andover Townsman article

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