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GA Blog: Hamilton

Showing blogs: 16 of 24

1.7.19 Housing Watch: Hamilton to Tackle Housing as Part of Town's Master Plan Update in 2019

According to Hamilton Town Manager Joe Domelowicz, the town's Planning Board hopes to tackle the discussion of what housing is needed for Hamilton through an update of the housing portion of the town's Master Plan, which was lasted updated in 2004. 

More from The Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle


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10.15.18 Housing Watch: Harborlight Community Partners May Seek 200-Unit Development in Hamilton

A vote to reject a 40-unit housing project in Hamilton could result in one five times as big. 

The head of Harborlight Community Partners said Monday that the affordable housing agency will most likely proceed with a 200-unit project after Hamilton voters shot down a smaller plan that also would have required the town to contribute $600,000.

Executive Director Andrew DeFranza expressed disappointment in Saturday's Special Town Meeting vote and confirmed that his agency plans to pursue its backup plan for the larger development.

The agency will partner with a for-profit private developer to build a 200-unit mixed income development that would include 160 market-rate units and 40 affordable units. 

DeFranza said the development would be filed under the state's Chapter 40B rules, which give developers more leeway to build affordable housing in communities that are below the state's threshold. About 3 percent of Hamilton's housing stock is affordable, far below the 10 percent threshold set by the state. Under the 40B rules, a project only has to have between 20 to 25 percent of the units designated as affordable.

The development would be build on Longmeadow Way, near the high school. 

More from The Salem News.


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5.4.16 Sagamore Hill (Hamilton, MA) Conservation Grant

Energy and Environmental Affairs

Sagamore Hill, a 525 acre property in Hamilton, MA that encompasses farmland, and various wildlife habitats has been awarded a preservation landscape partnership grant of more than $1 million to conserve 340 acres of open space.

The award was announced, during earth week, by the department of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA).  The Essex County Greenbelt Association, Trust for Public Land, Town of Hamilton, and Hamilton Wenham Open Land Trust will administer the grant.

EEA’s Landscape Partnership Grant Program was created in 2011 to facilitate large acreage land conservation projects that sustain the integrity and resilience of ecosystems, enhance the viability of farm and forest economies, and expand public outdoor recreational opportunities, while expanding partnerships among state, municipal and non-profit entities. The grant program encourages a partnership between local communities and non-governmental organizations with interest in large landscape-scale land protection investments.

“The acquisition of over 340 acres of the Sagamore Hill property will not only benefit the people of Hamilton, but the entire region, by ensuring additional land is conserved for natural habitats and for the public to use,” said Department of Conservation and Recreation Commissioner Leo Roy.

Read the entire Energy and Environmental Affairs presss release.

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12.5.15 Sagamore Hill Open Space

 Essex County Greenbelt Association

The Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle reports that Essex County Greenbelt Association is working on purchasing Sagamore Hill, a 340-acre property located along Sagamore Street at the town line between Hamilton and Ipswich, behind the Donovan Field.

According to Essex County Greenbelt Association, the purchase would be through a $2 million state grant through the Landscape Partnership Program and a $1.5 million private fundraising campaign.  If successful Greenbelt will open the property to the public for passive recreation such as hiking, horseback riding, and more.

Greenbelt is a non-profit land trust dedicated to preserving open space throughout Essex County. The organization has partnered with The Trust for Public Land, a similar, national non-profit dedicated to preserving open space, to purchase Sagamore Hill outright from its private owners.  Greenbelt will own and maintain the property, but will provide the town with a conservation restriction on the land to ensure Sagamore Hill remains an open space.

Read the entire Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle article.

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11.8.15 Hamilton - Sagamore Hill Conservation

Sagamore Hill Hamilton, MA

According to the Salem News, residents at a recent Hamilton Special Town meeting approved a $1.75 million grant from the Community Preservation Act that should help the Essex County Greenbelt Association’s $5.1 million purchase of Hamilton’s Sagamore Hill property.

Greenbelt, in conjunction with the Boston-based Trust for Public Land, has been trying to acquire the 320-acre property as part of an effort to create a massive, open public space in Hamilton.  Greenbelt asked for $1.75 million from the Community Preservation Act, and it required a two-thirds majority approval from Hamilton townspeople in a meeting vote.

Sagamore Hill is the only location in Hamilton with ocean views.

Read the entire Salem News article.

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6.18.15 Hamilton Land Purchase Policy

According to the Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, the Hamilton Board of selectmen are currently working on a new land acquisition policy that is designed to help the town better react to acquiring properties classified under the state’s chapter 61 program, along with other properties subject to the town’s right of first refusal.

According to the summary, the policy would “…establish a set of procedures and criteria for acquiring interests in land for open space preservation, water supply protection, recreation, or municipal purposes.”

Chapter 61 is a program offered by the Commonwealth in which property owners are offered a property tax cut in exchange for keeping their property undeveloped and operating with at least some minor agricultural use. Property owners who sell their land while still enrolled in the Chapter 61 program, however, are often subject to their city or town purchasing their property before the general market along with potential fines.

Hamilton Selectman pointed to contentious discussions surrounding a prior proposal by the town to purchase the 86-acre Pirie property, commonly known as Aquila Farm, in 2013, as an example of the need for a new policy.

Read the entire Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle article.

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