Developer: affordable housing project plans reduced from 174 to 150 apartments

By Matthew Bernat | Jun 27, 2018
Plans unveiled on Wednesday for Woodland Cove, an affordable housing project proposed for East Wareham, call for reducing the number of apartments from 174 to 150.

The developers of a large, controversial affordable housing complex proposed for East Wareham presented a slightly scaled-down version of their plans to the Zoning Board of Appeals on Wednesday.

Representatives from Dakota Partners met again with board members during a public hearing which has spanned close to two months. Original plans called for constructing six, three- and four-story buildings at 3102 Cranberry Highway. Dubbed Woodland Cove, the development originally would have included 174 apartments. The newly presented plans call for building 150 apartments.

“I’m very happy with what we’re seeing,” said member James Eacobacci “I think this is a big improvement.”

The project has come under intense criticism from town officials and residents, saying the project will tax town resources, including sewer, water, police and schools with the additional residents. Because the project is considered an affordable housing project, it enjoys protections under state law Chapter 40B. Under Chapter 40B, zoning regulations are curtailed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of homes or apartments are considered affordable.

Rents for the affordable apartments must not exceed state guidelines based upon a renter’s income. In Wareham, 7.7 percent of residences are affordable. Officials estimate if the project were built it would add roughly 2 percent to the amount of affordable housing in town.

Because Woodland Cove is proposed under 40B, officials have little recourse to deny it a permit. However, board members are allowed to review the plans and make suggestions to mitigate impacts on traffic, sewer and water infrastructure before issuing a permit.

On Wednesday, Attorney Peter Freeman, representing the developer, said he hoped members would approve of the changes. However, he stressed the plans were preliminary, and the company’s original proposal was not officially changed at this point.

“We hope we can work this out,” said Freeman.

In addition to fewer apartments, design changes call for adding three additional parking spaces bringing the total to 263. Landscaping changes and minor changes to the building’s location on the site were proposed in response to traffic concerns. Also, parking for the project was shifted from the center of the apartment building to the lot’s perimeter.

“It’s definitely a much better layout,” said Chair Nazih Elkallassi.

Zoning Board members said they would review the plans more closely in the coming weeks. The hearing was continued to Wednesday, July 25, at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center, located at 48 Marion Road.

Comments (7)
Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Jun 27, 2018 21:51

Obviously a step in the right direction but it's not an Earth shattering change.  Still have same number of buildings.  It doesn't reduce the footprint at all.

 

It's all part of the negotiating.  They asked high in the beginning so after mitigation it will end up at the number they really wanted. Now the ball is in Zoning's court for them to counter it with a lower number...say 95 units.



Posted by: Rosebud | Jun 28, 2018 09:33

To the Zoning Board:  keep negotiating!   You have a long way to go.   You’re going to need at least 3 more police officers (1 for each shift), just for starters.



Posted by: kevinc687 | Jun 28, 2018 12:37

It started at 174, then they tried for 240, now it might be 150 but could go back to 174. Let’s pin them down to one number and hold them to it. 263 parking spaces is no where going to be enough. Let’s say every apartment is held by the wholesome family of mom & dad and 1 or 2 kids, mom & dad each have a car, that’s 300.  If the kids drive or anyone ever has company, where do they park ? Maybe the old Benny’s parking lot & the town supplies a shuttle service per the tax paying citizens of this fair town we used to have here. Make them go back to the drawing board and make it acceptable to ram down our throats before it’s approved.



Posted by: Kress | Jun 28, 2018 13:03

Have you tried to turn left from Cranberry Hwy to Red Brook Road in the afternoon, esp. 5:00 pm?  The left turn lane gets backed up into the ongoing lane.  With 150+ new residents, this will be an accident(s) waiting to happen.

 

Attorney Bowen.  There have to be some constitutional protections that we, as citizens, have that would outweigh the 40B right to build in this area.  Environmental, safety reasons, ability of town to absorb the costs associated with this monstrosity. Ability of town to educate our own children, let alone the influx of new ones.



Posted by: bruce gannon | Jun 28, 2018 19:29

KevinC .. I agree the number of parking spots for 150 units seems to be shy of reality … KRESS .. there is no Constitutional protections against traffic, air pollution, noise or large apartment complexes .. our fore fathers weren't that insightful



Posted by: Steve Holmes | Jun 29, 2018 08:27

So now at 150. That would be 15 for homeless vets, that will act as security. 15 for truly senior affordable. They get 120 at full price, a security force and help with our Wareham senior population. In terms of investment I would guess a cruiser, and some improvement to the local sewer pump station. There also should be some redesign and upgrading that intersection. The roadwork has do be decided quickly as the State is getting ready to do that road



Posted by: Kress | Jul 01, 2018 11:32

Must be something under the Equal Protection clause.



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