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GA Blog: Merrimac

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1.25.19 Housing Watch: Merrimac Zoning Board of Appeals to Hold Public Hearing on Ramshead 40B Housing Project

The Merrimac Zoning Board of Appeals will hold a public hearing on the Ramshead at Merrimac 189-unit Chapter 40B apartment complex project next Monday, January 28th at 7:00pm at Merrimac Town Hall. 

At least 10 percent of a municipality’s housing stock must qualify as affordable housing under state income guidelines. Since Merrimac does not meet the 10 percent standard, Ramshead LLC is allowed to build apartments under Chapter 40B in which a certain percentage meets the affordable housing standard.

Of the proposed project’s 189 units, 48 apartments would fall under the affordable housing criteria and rents would range between $1,150 and $1,557 per month. 

More on this project is available from The Newburyport News

The original project plans as proposed to the Merrimac Board of Selectman in March 2018 are available here


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5.5.08 Rail Trail Continuing to be Debated

The Tri-Town Transcript is reporting that the proposed rail trail, a 26-mile trail to run from Salisbury to Danvers, is continuing to be debated by committies and town selecteman.

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11.12.07 Merrimack River Dredging Project Survives Presidential Veto

The Eagle Tribune reported recently that the U.S House of Representatives overrode President Bush’s veto for the Water Resources Development Act of 2007, which would allow the Army Corps of Engineers to study the possibility of dredging the Merrimack River from Newburyport to Haverhill, a 16-mile stretch.

According to the article, “Newly elected U.S. Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, D-Lowell, was among the lawmakers to cast an override vote. Tsongas said the dredging is important to Haverhill's downtown renaissance − deeper waters would allow larger boats to dock in Haverhill, bringing in more visitors to shop and eat downtown.”

Read the entire Eagle Tribune article. Photo courtesy of Greater Haverhill Chamber of Commerce

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11.10.07 November 9, 2007 Legislative Breakfast

On Friday, November 9th, NSAR sponsored its 4th Legislative Breakfast in 2007, attended by State Senator Steven Baddour (D-1st Essex) and State Representative Harriett Stanley (D-2nd Essex).

The Breakfast was held at ABC Home Inspections, Inc. and ABC Real Estate Training Institute in Haverhill; NSAR would like to thank Affiliate Member Andy Consoli for allowing us to use his conference room and facilities (seen here).

MAR Associate Counsel, Margy Grant, presented the five legislative topics on the agenda and gave the legislators the Realtor® position on each issue. These issues included:

1. Transfer Taxes. Realtors® oppose real estate transfer taxes as bad tax policy for several reasons including: a community wide responsibility should be paid for by the entire community; a transfer tax is inequitable and discriminatory as it singles out a small segment of the population [specifically home buyers & sellers] to pay for a community wide need; a transfer tax is exclusionary because it would increase the cost of home ownership; a transfer tax would be an unstable source of revenue due to the instability of the real estate market; a transfer tax would subvert the Proposition 2 ½ override process; the state legislature has already given cities and towns many equitable tools to create affordable and workforce housing through passage of Community Preservation Act, Chapter 40B, and Chapter 40R and 40S.

2. An Act Protecting Children from Poisoning. Proposed legislation SB. 1230 would (a) require lead inspections on all sales of property, instead of at the buyer’s option; (b) require owners and sellers of property to abate lead in soil and tap water; and (c) require letters of compliance for rental units to be renewed every two years, regardless of whether children reside in the unit, or whenever there is a change in occupancy, if that is earlier.

3. An Act Providing Information to Real Estate Buyers. Proposed legislation H. 323, S. 201 is a little unclear but seems to suggest that a homeowner would be expected to review the databases of nearly a dozen different governmental agencies and then create some type of report or hire and pay someone to do it for them. It is not clear how many millions of dollars this could cost Massachusetts homeowners every year or that buyers and sellers could review this data and provide an accurate assessment of what implications, if any, information on one of these databases would have on a home.

4. An Act Relative to the Disclosure of Wetlands on Property. Proposed legislation H. 767 seeks to require that a real estate broker disclose to prospective buyers that a property to be sold may be in its entirety, or in part a wetland as defined in Chapter 131 of the General Laws of or any other regulation or local by-law of the municipality where the property is located. It is the Realtor® position that however well intentioned this proposal may be, it would create an impossible standard for real estate licensees to meet and generate confusion for consumers.

5. An Act Relative to Smart Growth Housing Trust Fund (S. 132) and An Act Relative to Financing the Smart Growth Housing Trust (H. 160). Realtors® support both these bills, as it would create a steady stream of revenue to support the continued success of 40R Smart Growth districts.

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11.6.07 Affordable Housing in North Essex County

According to the Newburyport Daily News, here is breakdown of affordable housing percentages in many of the Northern Essex County communities:

Amesbury 11.1%
Georgetown 13.9%
Groveland 3.5%
Merrimac 6.5%
Newbury 3.6%
Newburyport 8.4%
Rowley 4.4%
Salisbury 8.3%
West Newbury 1.8%

SOURCE: State Department of Housing and Community Development

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11.4.07 Underground Gas Station Tanks Approved in Merrimac

The Newburyport Daily News reported that Merrimac Selectman recently approved an underground storage tank license requested by Broad Lancaster LLC for their proposed gas station at 32-34 Broad Street. The site was originally to be a convenience store, gas station and car wash, but last month, the town Selectmen approved a beer and wine license for the convenience store.

Read the entire Newburyport Daily News article

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