174-unit affordable housing project public hearing set for Feb. 28

By Matthew Bernat | Feb 08, 2018
Photo by: Matthew Bernat A public hearing for a new 40B development on Cranberry Highway will be held on Feb. 28 in the Multi-Service Center at 6:30 p.m.

A proposed 174-unit affordable housing project in East Wareham that sparked controversy will be discussed at a public hearing on Feb. 28 at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center.

The project was announced in June by Waltham-based developer Dakota Partners. Plans call for constructing six, three- and four-story buildings along with a community building, open space area and parking. The project is slated for 3102 Cranberry Highway, near the Red Brook Road intersection.

Dubbed Woodland Cove, the development will include 106 apartments that are designated as affordable. Rents for those apartments must not exceed state guidelines based upon a renter's income.

Under Chapter 40B, a state law, zoning regulations are relaxed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of homes or apartments are considered affordable. In Wareham, 7.7 percent of residences are affordable. Officials estimate that if the project were built it would add roughly 2 percent to the amount of affordable housing in town.

In June, dozens of residents attended a hearing to express concerns about the project, saying it would strain town resources, including police, the fire departments and schools while increasing traffic and crime.

In response, Selectmen sent a letter the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development protesting Woodland Cove.

After that, little was heard from the developers until November when a proposed increase in the project’s size prompted another letter from Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum. He formally called on the developers to restart the review process, saying they failed to notify the board of the change in accordance with state law. The plans called for building a 240-unit at 3104 Cranberry Highway.

In a letter to Stephen Kaminski of Dakota Partners Inc., Teitelbaum cited state law that requires developers to notify the town of major changes to affordable housing plans.

“I have never been notified by you of the significant material changes to your 40B project,” Teitelbaum wrote. “It is clear that in unilaterally seeking significant material changes to your 40B project to [the Department of Housing and Community Development] without formally notifying me, you have not complied either the notice requirements of 760 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 56.03, or the required application elements of 760 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 56.02.”

Teitelbaum said he learned of the changes in a letter from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

According to state law, developers must provide written notice to the town where a project is to be located, initiating a 30-day review period. After that, developers may seek permission from the state to move forward on a project. With the public hearing advertising a 174-unit housing development, the developers are moving forward with their original plans, not the 240-unit development.

Comments (12)
Posted by: thkng60@yahoo.com | Feb 08, 2018 05:46

Jumping from 174 to 240 without notifying the town.? They already sound sketchy.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 08, 2018 08:10

How wonderful, 240 units of low income housing.  That ought to attract a lot of sewerage.  Not to mention an increase in wastewater to our already struggling plant.


I'm against making Cranberry Highway in East Wareham any crappier.  However, should this monstrosity be approved, I'm glad I won't be able to see it or smell it from my house.

Posted by: desertsky | Feb 08, 2018 08:19

Do ya think?? Are these the type of developers this town should be dealing with? Let's hope some of the legislators trying to get the mobile home parks and manufactured home parks under the 40B umbrella can make it happen. We have enough "affordable" housing here..as a person who actually pays taxes I'm tired of supporting more of it. Haven't the rest of you had enough? Kudos to Mr. Tietelbaum for taking that developer to task. I can only imagine what else this developer will slip though illegally if allowed to proceed.

Posted by: cranky pants | Feb 08, 2018 08:42

Where is this threshold of what is considered affordable housing ? My house is valued at just under $320,000 dollars yet that's affordable compared to the million dollar homes in the area...

Get ready to buy another water tower if this slum hole gets in.

Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Feb 08, 2018 08:53

Cranky, I guess it's all relative!  Anyways, here's the problem with value.  In general, a developer may claim to intend sell units for something like $250,000 or rent units for something like $1500/month.  Those amounts are technically affordable, yet high enough to screen out the undesirables that nobody wants.  However, if they can't sell or rent them for those prices, they cannot have vacant units.  So they reduce prices and turn to subsidized things like Section 8.  And there you have it, another Woods of Wareham/Brandy Hill will be born!  Watch the giant wood-framed apartment building over near the Marriot that is being built right now.  They claim those will be $1800 a month high-end apartments.  That sounds good. That ought to keep the place nice.  What happens when they can't get people to pay that much?  Yep, another Woods of Wareham/Brandy Hill will be born!

Posted by: Rosebud | Feb 08, 2018 09:47

First, I hope all who do not want this project attend the meeting!

To the Selectmen, please make sure Sen. Pacheco and Rep . Giffords are both in attendance so that residents can personally give them the message about our already-existing low-income housing in Wareham and our displeasure with this new problem.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Feb 08, 2018 12:57

Now that the 40B bills proposed by Susan Williams Gifford have died in the Housing Committee again, we are hosed. Wareham must take the initiative to make this as environmentally and economically viable as possible! This should be at the forefront of the selectman's race conversation. It encompasses schools, public transport, water, sewerage, conservation and more.


Posted by: kevinc687 | Feb 08, 2018 18:02

106 units of the 170 units will be affordable, but it doesn't say how many more of the 240 units will be affordable. how come none of these 40B mini towns going up all over town are never built or owned by somebody that lives and spends there money in this town ? it seem like it's always someone coming in and raping our land, making a lot of money and never to be heard from around here again

Posted by: cranberry bog | Feb 09, 2018 07:21

Two full time working taxpayers who live down the road will be moving if this goes through.

Posted by: Spherebreaker | Feb 09, 2018 07:36

This is the State democrats warehousing democrats for voting purposes. They need more votes in the cape area so they will promote the infestation and infection. Keeping people in poverty is how they can control them.

Posted by: desertsky | Feb 09, 2018 09:42

I find it rather coincidental that this hearing is scheduled on the same night and within half an hour of the school commitee budget debacle meeting.

Great way to limit public involvement...

Posted by: wtbarber | Feb 09, 2018 23:14

Conveniently located near the methadone clinic and rosewood hotel.  These developers are no dummies.

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