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GA Blog: Chapter 40B

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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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10.23.13 State House Discusses Chapter 40B

According to the Recorder, housing developers and real estate industry leaders met with Massachusetts law makers yesterday to discuss Chapter 40B, the state's affordable housing law which allows developers to seek comprehensive permits for housing developments that can bypass local zonign rules for communities that have less than 10% of its housing "affordable".

Local officials and some state representatives are pushing the Commonwealth to change the rules on how affordable units are counted towards the 10% affordable threshold, including counting mobile homes, group homes, in-law apartments, and Section 8 housing. 

In 2010, there was a ballot initiative to repeal Chapter 40B, which has been in effect for over 43-years, but that failed to get a majority of votes.

The Realtor® Association argued at the state house that housing remains unaffordable for a large population of citizens and a 10% affordibility goal is a reasonable goal for communities to achieve.

Read the entire Recorder article.

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3.12.13 240 Apartments Planned for Route 114 in North Andover

Former Horse Farm located at 16 Berry Street, North Andover

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.

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