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Poll: 40B Concerns in Medfield

What about 40B in Medfield and the West Street apartment complex proposal are you most concerned about?

Sparked by the , the state’s Chapter 40B affordable housing law has been a hot topic in Medfield over the past few of weeks.

on Feb. 1 in Town Hall to express their concerns regarding 40B and ask for help from their elected officials. Garlick deferred to town officials, saying this is a town issue that must be addressed by the town. Garlick did say that she would stand by the town of Medfield, however, and help in whatever capacity she could. Town officials told residents there’s not much that can be done to prevent a 40B from being developed in Medfield once an application has been submitted to the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA).

At Tuesday’s Board of Selectmen meeting, in this situation and will face “an uphill battle” in trying to stop the 40B apartment complex on West Street from being built if the ZBA receives an application from the developer. No application has been submitted yet for the proposal on West Street.

“I’m not happy about it, but it is what it is,” Cerel said of the town's lack of options regarding 40B.

Recognizing the need to formally discuss 40B with residents in town, Board of Selectmen chair Osler Peterson and Town Administrator Michael Sullivan recommended the Board of Selectmen schedule a public information meeting on 40B.

That meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday, Feb. 28. Details of that meeting are still being discussed as town officials hope to use the Lowell Mason Auditorium in for the event. The time of the meeting has yet to be determined.

So Medfield, we want to know …

Today's question: What about 40B in Medfield and the West Street apartment complex proposal are you most concerned about?

kmedfield February 10, 2012 at 11:25 PM
The ground is contaminated and that has not been fully disclosed or addressed. It is affecting our water and until these issues are resolved it is not a safe plan residents or the general public. It is not in the best interest of our town.
GM February 11, 2012 at 02:05 PM
It seems to me to be an inappropriate location for residential housing.
Richard DeSorgher February 11, 2012 at 03:23 PM
My concern lies with the fact that the 40B proposal is on industrial land. It is on one of the last remaining pieces of industrial zoned land in town. Medfield's tax base is almost entirely based on the residential home owner. The town needs to expand our tax base so it is not just on us the homeowner. Small clean industries, like Electric Time, are a win/win for the town. This 40B project takes away the industrial land and potential tax relief and instead will add to our taxes through increase school and town service budgets. 40B is state law but selectmen should be actively reviewing the pro/cons of buying the land with the hope it can be sold at a future date to small clean industry, forming a committee to study the issue and report their finding at town meeting, preparing an article to be ready for town meeting in the event the citizens want to go the route of purchasing the land, and forming a committee to be actively trying to get small clean industry to build on that land. If not we may be penny wise and pound foolish and see our taxes skyrocket after the project is completed.
pjoseph February 11, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Not much will grow in the white crusty looking bald spot in this part of the property, must be something wrong with the soil there - http://g.co/maps/4sd6e
Errin Chapin February 12, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Richard makes an interesting point. How can this proposal even go through if the zoning is that of industrial. What is the point of having zoning laws, if they are not enforced? Is this 40b the trump card to all things that protect a town from a sudden influx of population?
GM February 13, 2012 at 03:46 AM
Sounds like you're starting to get your arms around 40B! There was a referendum last year that considered a proposal to repeal 40B, but the proposal was turned down by a majority of the voters who participated in the vote. So, not only is 40B in place, but a majority of the state's registered voters who chose to participate in the vote last year reaffirmed that they think it's a good idea to have the legislation in place. I think a good first step for the town here would be to develop a clear picture of how we would like to arrive at having 10% of our residential property meet the "affordable" criteria. Having that in place, might provide a useful reference point for discussions/ negotiations with developers who want to build 40B developments. I don't know if it would give us any leverage with the state though, if a project were turned down by the town and then appealed to the state. In the meantime, you're right, 40B is kind of a trump card.
Concerned March 01, 2012 at 12:27 AM
Oh, and make sure it is retroactive for the year 2012.
Concerned March 01, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Why did the original proposal not follow through? Seems like is was a third of the volume. No doubt the new developer will make much more money for himself by increasing the number of apartments. Again, we need to put a tax on developement. How do we get that on the docket for spring?
GM March 01, 2012 at 02:54 AM
I believe that the original proposal proved to not be economically viable for the developer, given the current real estate market. If I understand correctly, the original proposal was for condos that would have been sold as individual units. The new proposal is for apartments that will be managed as rental property. I understand the concerns about the concentration of units with this development, but if you take a drive to Walpole and take a look at the development this same developer undertook there, I think you'll see that they are at least capable of putting up an attractive development. That's not to say that this is what we ideally want or should have in Medfield, but it might make you feel a little better about what we might wind up seeing here.

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