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GA Blog: Chapter 40B

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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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3.11.20 Peabody 'Friendly' 40B Goes to Zoning

The Residences at Farm Avenue is a proposed rental development in Peabody utilizing Chapter 40B.  Mayor Ted Bettencourt has stated that “the city of Peabody is very pleased to support the multifamily residential rental development known as The Residences at Farm Avenue.”

The development has secured a project eligibility letter from the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and is seeking a comprehensive permit from the city.

The Residences at Farm Avenue would have 116 rental apartments in total with a mix of one, two, three-bedroom units.  Six units would be accessible to those with disabilities and 25% of the project would be Affordable Housing at 80% of Area Median Income.  Because 25% of the units are Affordable Housing all 116 of the units would count towards Peabody's Subsidized Housing Inventory.

You can learn more about the proposed project here.

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2.19.20 Peabody Voices Opposition to 40B Development

Neighbors and city officials have voiced their opposition to a proposed development of 133 condos at the site of the former J.B. Thomas Hospital site. 

Hemisphere Development Group LLC. Is looking to develop the site under Chapter 40B.  Since Peabody does not meet the state minimum of 10% Affordable Housing stock under 40B, the development is not required to meet all local zoning regulations if at least 20% of the units have long-term affordability restrictions.  The development is proposed to include 34 Affordable Units, which would be 25%. Hemisphere had submitted a different, 110-unit senior condo plan to the city last year but withdrew it amidst opposition.

February 18th was the deadline for comments to MassHousing.  Peabody is reported “to have hand delivered … to MassHousing a packet of about 50 letters and a petition with more than 500 signatures opposing the project.”

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11.2.16 Chapter 40B Senior Housing in Ipswich

Town Farm Road Chapter 40B Senior Housing in Ipswich

According to the Ipswich Chronicle, there is a proposed senior housing development for a 40-home, 20-building complex in Ipswich, to located at 30 and 34 Town Farm Road, with access from Locust Street.

The housing development would be a Chapter 40B affordable housing subdivision, with 25% affordable housing.

MGL Chapter 40B allows builders to bypass local housing zoning restrictions,  including density, as long as the building project includes at least 25% affordable housing.  Communities with 10% of their housing stock qualifying as affordable are exempt from 40B developments.  Ipswich would be subject to Chapter 40B with approximately 8.5% of the town’s housing stock currently qualifyng as affordable.

Ethan Parsons, senior planner, estimates that Ipswich would need between 70 and 80 more affordable units to meet the 10% affordable housing goal.

L.A. Associates Inc., of Wilmington, a firm that guides 40B developments through MassHousing and then manages lotteries for affordable units, has filed a MassHousing application for the development and has notified the Ipswich Board of Selectmen.

The parcel is 7.2 acres with approximately 10% wetlands.  Current zoning would limit a development to between 8-10 homes, if built in a cluster development, which is allowed.  Cluster developments increase allowed density if the developer “clusters” homes more closely together than traditional zoning would allow and leaves a larger portion of the land as open space.

Read the entire Ipswich Chronicle article.

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1.4.16 Proposed 96-Unit Chapter 40B Housing in Peabody off Route 114

According to the Salem News, a Peabody Developer is proposing to build a 96-unit housing project on undeveloped land off Route 114 in Peabody, currently featuring a Verizon store and Sleepy’s, in between between Mt. Pleasant Road, Richartson Road and Hog Hill Road, a neighborhood near Brooksby Farm on the other side.

The would-be developer is James Decoulos and his three brothers (sons of Peabody attorney and developer Nicholas Decoulos), whose family previously built the Verizon store and Sleepy’s complex, located at 262 Andover Street.

This project is planned under the state’s Chapter 40B law, which would allow the developers to bypass local zoning regulations since the city has less than 10% of its housing stock classified as “affordable” under Chapter 40B guidelines. Those guidelines use a ratio of housing costs to income that ensures housing is affordable for people who earn up to 80% of the area median household income. Because Peabody is under the 10% threshold, developers can bypass local zoning boards and seek a comprehensive building permit directly from the state Housing Appeals Committee.

Plans, permitting and discussions seem to be in early stages at this point.  

Read the entire Salem News article.

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12.10.14 Affordable Housing Proposal in Wenham

Proposed 60-unit elderly affordable housing project on Maple Street in Wenham
The Salem News reports that Harborlight Community Partners is pursuing a 40B project on Maple Street in Wenham.

Read more about Chapter 40B here.

The proposed project would consist of 60-elderly-only units, build on a 18,588sf, roughly 35-foot-tall building on 3.5 acres of land.  About 65 parking spaces are planned, according to Harborlight executive director Andrew DeFranza.

All 60 units will be affordable, one-bedroom apartments measuring 650 square feet.  They’ll rent at two rates: 48 units at $988 for households with an income below 60 percent of the area median income and 12 units at $529 for households with an income less than 30 percent of the area median.

If approved, the project will be financed in part with public dollars.  Harborlight, based out of Beverly, MA who already owns and operates assisted living, elderly and family housing throughout the North Shore, is looking to secure $975,000 from Wenham’s Community Preservation Committee and another $850,000 from the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust.

Read the entire Salem News article.


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