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GA Blog: Danvers

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10.8.18 Housing Watch: Rezoning Downtown Danvers on the Agenda for Fall

Danvers Town Manager Steve Bartha told the Board of Selectmen Oct. 2 that among the issues the Planning Board and Planning Department will be dealing with this fall is the rezoning of the downtown area to allow mixed-use developments that include commercial and residential spaces.

The move is based, in part, on a study commissioned by the Planning Board in 2006.

“The focus on planning for more than a decade has been to do something with outdated industrial districts,” Bartha explained. “The only growth we’ll see is making use of the industrial area, but we have districts left behind zoned for industry from the 19th century that is gone.

“There’s not enough housing and there’s a demand for small housing units within walking distance of downtown,” he continued. “Projects coming to us tell us that story. We know industry is not coming back.”

More here from The Danvers Herald.

Danvers

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1.6.17 Danvers to Consider 40R Development Proposal

The Town of Danvers could receive up to $1.2M over time in incentive payments from the state if it moves forward with a plan to create its first 40R overlay district. The plan would involve rezoning approximately 14 acres just north of downtown.

The state's Department of Housing and Community Development has offered to make a $350,000 zoning incentive payment in return for increased density and development of business, market rate dwellings, and affordable housing units within a new "Smart Growth Zoning District". Currently 283 new dwelling units are being proposed but a mix of businesses would also be included.

Click here to read an article from the Salem News on the proposal.

 

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8.18.15 Historic Danvers Albion F. Welch House Demolished

1894 Albion F. Welch House, a Queen Anne Revival @ 22 Conant Street, Danvers

The Salem News reported that despite preservation efforts, the Albion F. Welch House, a 1894 Queen Anne Revival located at 22 Conant Street, Danvers, was recently demolished.

The house was being used as a funeral home.  It was knocked down to make room for 36-space parking lot for St. Mary’s church.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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3.9.15 Habitat for Humanity Lottery - 2 Ipswich Condos

6-8 First Street, Ipswich, MA

Wicked Local reports that Habitat for Humanity is building two affordable condos at 6-6 First Street in Ipswich, MA.   The two, 3-bedroom, 1.5 bathroom duplex condominiums (“condexes”) will be side by side in one building, originally built in 1890 as workforce housing for the Ipswich mills.  The interior, currently in terrible condition, will be gutted and rehabbed. The exterior will be restored to what it was historically. 

Habitat has already built three homes on Essex Road, across the street from the Bruni Market Place.

The town took the First Street property for nonpayment of taxes and the property is now part of the Affordable Housing Partnership, said Terry Anderson, affordable housing coordinator.  The town put out a request for proposal to rehab the building and chose Habitat for Humanity.

Each condo is to be sold for approximately $130,000, at no interest.  

The homeowner will be chosen by lottery among qualified buyers - those who live or work in Beverly, Danvers, Lynn, Lynnfield, Marblehead, Nahant, Peabody, Salem, Saugus, Swampscott, Topsfield, Gloucester, Rockport, Manchester, Essex, Ipswich, Hamilton, Wenham or Rowley.  The chosen buyer will be requires to spend 400 hours of construction duties as a condition of the purchase.

There are income requirements - the family’s total gross income must fall within the specific ranges based on family size: Three members, $33,880 to $50,820; four members, $37,640 to $56,460; five, $40,70 to $61,020; and six $43,700 to $65,520.

The application deadline is April 30.  

Read the entire Wicked Local article.

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2.23.15 Danvers Downtown Zoning Planning

 

Intersection of Maple and Locust streets in Danvers, MA

According to the Salem News, the Danvers Planning Board is looking at ways to rezone downtown Danvers to create a new gateway to Danvers Square from Route 62.  They are focusing on the compact 0.3 square mail industrial area in and around Maple, Hobart and Locust streets, with a slue of industrial, commercial and retail businesses, including several eateries.

Senior Planner Kate Day and Planning and Human Services Director Karen Nelson say the area is unique, with large parcels and lots of parking that make it different from another industrial zone at the other end of the downtown on High Street.

A lot of the discussion/debate has been whether to take a piecemeal approach to rezoning the downtown, first focusing on this off-to-the-side industrial area, or whether to rezone the entire downtown commercial corridor from Route 62 to Route 128 to allow for a mix of businesses and residences in the same building, which is not currently allowed under current zoning laws.

The town is working with the Metropolitan Area Planning Commission on the Maple Street industrial zoning study, thanks to $15,000 grant from the state Department of Housing and Community Development.  Planning Board Chairman Jim Sears said tackling the downtown commercial zones would involve getting input from businesses, property owners, tenants, residents, and the Downtown Improvement Committee. It would require time and money to do research, hold workshops, and call public meetings to gather input.

Read the entire Salem News article.

Watch a walk around the industrial-1 zone in downtown Danvers, from which the Planning Board wants to create a mixed use district:

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8.23.12 Danvers Rail Trail Gets New Signage

The Danvers Herald recently reported that volunteers have dug holes and installed vertical rail posts that will soon be used to mount new signs along the Danvers Rail Trail, a popular walking and biking trail.

The 200 pound beams placed into the ground will hold new signage that was funded by a $2,500 Essex National Heritage Commission grant. The signs will commemorate the railroad in Danvers, covering the histories of the Danvers railroad, the Tapley Station, the Plains Station, and Grenville Dodge, the Union Pacific's chief engineer who was born in Danvers. The signs will utilize text, images and maps to educate trail visitors.

 “I think it is exciting to be at a point in the project where we can add really nice details on the trail,” said Senior Planner Kate Day. “These signs are so interesting. The whole connection between the railroad and the path people find themselves on is often lost. But these signs tell the story of the railroad and how it changed the community and what it looks like now.”

Read the entire Danvers Herald article.

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