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GA Blog: Manchester

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7.30.19 Manchester-By-The-Sea Continues Re-Codification


Manchester-by-the-Sea is making progress on the re-codification of its zoning bylaws.  This is following the Master Plan recommendation which stated: "A full zoning bylaw review and revision would allow the Town an opportunity to make the regulations easier to understand and administer and align zoning regulations with current land use goals, best practices and municipal capacity."

The next meeting is scheduled for September 11th and the public is welcome to attend. This meeting will focus on the creation a use table for each district.  Town Planner Sue Brown stated that there were no plans to change the district lines themselves and also added she would like to include new language in the zoning bylaws to allow more diverse housing options.


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7.17.19 Manchester-By-The-Sea to Update 1978 Zoning Bylaw


After over 40 years of slight changes and reorganization, Manchester-By-The-Sea has begun to take steps for a Zoning Recodification and Update.  This comes on the heels of the new Manchester Master Plan, which calls for more diversification of housing opportunities as well as opening up commercial areas for the possibility of residential housing.

This endeavor is scheduled to overlap multiple Planning Board meetings as topics being tackled range from cleanliness/readability issues to major procedural changes.  Once a rough draft is completed, the plans will head to a Community Workshop before finally arriving at a formal Planning Board Hearing where an approval of two-thirds will be needed for it to pass. 

Attention Manchester-By-The-Sea Realtors, the next meeting will be held today July, 17th at 5pm in the Town Hall Room 5.  This will be to discuss the general recodification and get an update from Mark Bobrowski, who is the consultant hired to assist in this process.

Read more on the town's website here.


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2.18.19 Housing Watch: Possible Senior Housing & Senior Center Discussed for Former Cricket Press Building in Manchester

During the January 7th meeting of the Board of Selectman in Manchester-by-the-Sea, a proposal was discussed to convert a portion of the former Cricket Press Building located at 50 Summer Street into age 55+ apartments and make use of the building as a potential site for a new Senior Center: 

"The possible conversion of a portion of the Cricket Building continues to advance. Owner Sam Byrne is willing to agree to a ten-year use, and longer term would like to see a senior center at the site when he hopes to redevelop the site as a 55+ apartment complex. The Town should hear back from Byrne next week about how generous he wants to be underwriting the efforts. It could be that he would front the capital dollars needed to do the renovations and recoup all or part of this expense through monthly lease payments. The Town should know soon if this option is a go. If it is not, we will restart the effort to examine other possible sites."

The 20,620 square foot building, sitting on 2.43 acres, sold for $2.85M in November 2018.

Read the Minutes of the Manchester Board of Selectman Meeting here (Page 4).


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1.19.19 Local News: Manchester & Essex to Hold Public Forum to Explore Greater Collaboration on Shared Services

The Boards of Selectmen for the Towns of Manchester & Essex will hold a Public Forum on Thursday, January 31st at 7pm at Essex Town Hall to formally kick-off a study of options for greater collaboration between Manchester and Essex. An overview of the study conducted by UMASS Boston's Collins Center will be presented. Staff and residents will be provided an opportunity to share ideas with the Collins Center consultants to assist with the exploration of ideas.

The official notice for the Public Forum is available here.

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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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4.22.13 Manchester Essex Conservation Trust - 50th Anniversary

Conservation Area via the Old Road along Manchester Essex Conservation Trust

According to the Gloucester Times, the Manchester Essex Conservation Trust celebrated its 50th year of land protection and property conservation.

The MECT owns about 3,500 acres of protected land, most notably the Manchester Essex Woods.  In the last few decades, the Trust has been deeded several parcels of land as gifts throughout the year, and it also makes property purchases, including a 150 acre parcel purchased roughly five years ago.

Trust president Charlie Kellogg said the trust has changed throughout the years, While its first incarnations were only geared toward preserving land for development, the trust has grown to recognize the fledgling wildlife in conservation lands and has made efforts to preserve the flora and fauna as well.

Read the entire Gloucester Times article.

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