Proposed affordable housing development increases project size

By Lydia Goerner | Nov 14, 2017
Photo by: Lydia Goerner Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum discusses the proposed affordable housing development during Tuesday's Selectmen meeting.

A firm that planned to build a 174-unit affordable housing development in East Wareham has written a new project eligibility letter, now proposing 240 units.

Developers from Dakota Partners, a firm based in Waltham, came to Wareham in June to discuss their project, a development at 3102 Cranberry Highway near the intersection of the highway and Red Brook Road. At that time, they said the development would have 60 percent of the units rented at affordable rates, meaning the cost of rent must not exceed state guidelines determined based on income.

However, the letter the developers sent to the Department of Housing and Community Development was a different story, Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum said at the Selectmen meeting Tuesday.

Teitelbaum said he’s learned the project engineer is discussing infrastructure for 120 one-bedroom units and another 120 two-bedroom units and the development is planning to increase affordable units to 80 percent.

“I was appalled to see that the state believes that 80 percent of these units will be affordable when they came in here in the summer and told us they were looking for 60 percent affordable,” Teitelbaum said.

Teitelbaum said the Selectmen will invite the developers back at a meeting in the near future to discuss their plans.

“There seems to be a fair amount of bait-and-switch between what we were told...and what was actually presented,” Teitelbaum said. "We're not country bumpkins here."

Read more about the developers’ presentation in June and about the resulting public outcry.

Comments (39)
Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 15, 2017 07:36

Here we go again...



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 15, 2017 07:38

Low income developments are bad.....M'kay



Posted by: desertsky | Nov 15, 2017 07:48

It will be slipped in before ya know it...maybe a Dollar store nearby and a few more liquor stores or smoke shops..yup..Wareham has become a real "gateway" all right...



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 15, 2017 07:57

Let's just put it on the most deadliest section of road we can. You'd think with all the building that's going at Rosebrook something would go over there...

Wait, nevermind.



Posted by: Sharkie | Nov 15, 2017 08:23

Desertsky whats that supposed to mean? I am a strong proponet of Recreational Marijuana. This town could benefit immensely financially from recreational and medical marijuana business revenue. Marijuana is actually a great treatment option for people who are trying to get off opioids and it has been proven beneficial in alcohol addiction/withdrawal as well. Its now being called the Exit Drug, not the Gateway drug anymore.

 

The people behind this affordable housing unit development are scammers. This guy has been sued i dont know how many times and repeatedly changes his company name to fly under the radar when someone sues the business for not doing what he said, or for doing faulty work. I read something a few months back about a building inspector down cape taking money from them to not inspect the work. If i find it again, I'll link it.



Posted by: baron1701@yahoo.com | Nov 15, 2017 09:04

Affordable housing is a scam. Polite wording for forced slums. Every town needs more affordable single family. This is probably going to go through. It seems once these projects start rolling it takes a miracle to stop them.

When this new slum is built will we meet our percentage of low income affordable housing yet?



Posted by: Uptohere | Nov 15, 2017 09:21

They have just shown you thus company can' be trusted. They are going to build a pit hole, take the money and run. Leaving us with the job of clean up. Don' let them build here.



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 15, 2017 09:50

I feel badly for stating this, but I'm so glad that I can't see East Wareham from my house!  What a shameful fall from glory.  Shuttered businesses, seedy motels, trailer parks, and desperation where the happy road to Cape Cod used to be.  So sad.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 15, 2017 10:14

Wareham by the Sea - Just how bad do you have to feel about a comment you are tempted to post, before you decide not to post it?



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 15, 2017 11:19

Andrea, I almost felt bad enough with this one.  That's why I introduced it like that. I don't think twice when I  poke fun at our Warehamy underbelly in my comments.  That's my MO...everybody knows that.  This is a bit different. The Cranberry Highway exodus and everything else bad about that side of town is not funny at all because of the unfortunate predicaments that are being created.  I feel badly for those that have established businesses and must endure the situation.  Never mind those that are stuck living near there.  I wonder why our town government and the state government didn't manage it better.  Where was the foresight.  Why wasn't there any stimulation offered?  Instead everybody just sat back and let it all go down the drain...

 

"One day I was sad because I had no shoes...then I looked and saw a man with no feet".  I think of that saying whenever something minor happens where I live.  I say to myself, "it could be worse...I could be stuck living over there".



Posted by: 181mph | Nov 15, 2017 11:56

if i thought there was a problem/problems, with the town i live in, and i had the time every day to sign into a website and broadcast all the answers to a town's problems, then i reckon maybe all these people with the answers should go right on out and get themselves elected to the different boards in town and solve all these problems,, then of course you have the other element, the one's that don't really have any justifiable answers, but just like to throw crap out there and stir up a lot of garbage,,,



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 15, 2017 11:56

I very much agree with Mr. Teitelbaum's statements and opinions regarding this matter.  He is sharp and he is aware of what they are trying to pull. With all due respect to him, I must take a moment and give a hard time where one is due.  I got a big kick out of the "country bumpkin" comment.

 

Country bumpkins and Wareham should not be be used together because it is an insult to country bumpkins.  Imagine that...it's almost like I am offended by something...wait...wait...I am...WBTS is offended...holy cow.

 

A country bumpkin is defined as An unsophisticated person from the rural area of a particular country. Often they are proud, hardworking, responsible, conservative, God fearing, good ole' people.  Nothing wrong with that!

 

Have country bumpkins allowed non-working, welfare receiving, gangsta wannabe, criminals on the lam, thugs, druggies, and baby mamas into their club?  Need I say more?

 

 

 



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 15, 2017 14:38

Wareham by the Sea - just out of curiosity, in your opinion what percentage of East Wareham residents belong in the "Wareham underbelly" category? And of those that you do not consider underbelly (assuming you don't consider 100% of East Wareham to be underbelly) what categories/labels do you believe to be suitable for them?



Posted by: Archangel | Nov 15, 2017 15:17

Hmmm... Lot's of speculation here. I'd like to see some documentation that shows Teitelbaum  is accurate before engaging in a debate about the merits of this or any other affordable housing development.

 

 



Posted by: desertsky | Nov 15, 2017 16:33

Sharkie..lol...my "gateway"comment was meant more in reference to the "gateway to cape cod" (wareham) which just makes me laugh so I wasn't making a drug reference more of a geographical one!



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 15, 2017 16:53

Lots of lawsuits against this developer fr shoddy workmanship and building code violations on google. We are about to be screwed by this bunch, we know it, they know it and they cant be happier to do it. Taxes are going up, new sewer plant will need to be built, fire districts will need 7 new trucks. For what so a bunch of out of town losers can move in and cause more grief fr Wareham. ENOUGH!!!



Posted by: Hissing Cobra | Nov 15, 2017 17:59

Seventeen trailer parks, 8 low income housing developments, hundreds of 1 or 2 bedroom cottages being rented out year round, 5 skeptical motels along Cranberry Highway, and homeless people living behind Water Wizz. Is this really what this town needs?

 

According to the state of Massachusetts, Wareham DOES NOT meet the percentage of affordable housing units available but in reality, we already exceed it. Instead of fighting these constant barrages from developers, we should be fighting to get our trailer parks on that list of affordable housing so that we will not have to worry about meeting the state's percentage. Does any other community have 17 trailer parks? Newton? Wellesley? Needham? Cambridge? Sudbury? Dover? Duxbury? Lexington? If the answer is a resounding "NO!" this has to be explored 100% as it is essential in keeping Wareham's future bright for the next 100 years. I realize our state reps have been trying this for years and it's fallen on deaf ears. It's time to really strike that bell and make it happen.



Posted by: donknowlton | Nov 15, 2017 18:10

Algonquin heights of Wareham, wonderful.



Posted by: cranky pants | Nov 15, 2017 18:42

I know one thing... John Lennon was right.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 15, 2017 19:10

For those who would like to see a list of Massachusetts cities and towns with Mobile Parks a link has been posted below. (The list was far too long to copy and paste.)

 

https://www.mobilehomeparkstore.com/mobile-home-park-directory/massachusetts



Posted by: Knocked for six | Nov 15, 2017 21:07

THUGS!!!!



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 16, 2017 01:16

Andrea, I’m not sure if your question was in reference to my 11:19 response or if it was general.

 

If in reference to my response I’d have to point out that I stated “This is a bit different”.  I was not poking fun of the residents of East Wareham.  I was speaking specifically of the Cranberry Highway, the majority of which is not residential.

 

If if was in general I’d have to say that the Warehamy underbelly types are scattered throughout town and some come and go.  It would be difficult to determine the percentage that live in East Wareham.  I can borrow from Hissing Cobra’s comment to tell you where they can be found in East Wareham:  trailer parks, housing developments,  cottages being rented out, and motels.  Butlers Cove is certainly an upscale area free of the underbelly.



Posted by: Mike | Nov 16, 2017 06:58

Because of the location to the district drinking water system and the dangerous intersection of Redbook rd the Onset Fire District officials should be able to make a case not to allow this development.( I don't think they ever have done that ) and the zoning board could reject it for being on an unsafe way in existence. (That has been done in Wareham before ), as for the comment of people with knowledge running for office in many cases they can't, the Wareham Board of Selectmen took control of that and you have to be appointed by them.



Posted by: sadie | Nov 16, 2017 07:14

Sphere if you have links to the lawsuit information I think you should email it to the selectmen. They are doing everything they can to try and stop this or at the very least fight the number of units.

I know someone else on one of the other blogs said something similar all that kind of information should be sent to the selectmen. They are trying to fight this I don't know how successful they will be. I'm not sure towns can fight a 40b and win.



Posted by: Steve Holmes | Nov 16, 2017 11:43

If my memory is correct from my time working with the Zoning Board, we were dealing with a 40B out near the Dunkin Donuts in Shangri La. The developer was a shady character, and was known to many in Town. The Board requested a fairly common document know as a site plan. He refused to turn it in. It then went on to the Mass Housing Court (I think that's the name of it)  where of course he had friends on that Board, they basically ruled in his favor, and he proceeded to build his 40B. So before we take your anger out on the Selectpersons or the Zoning Board, remember this is a 40B project, and our local zoning rules are greatly relaxed and often ruled upon by folks outside the Town. I am not opposed to affordable housing. My way of thinking is make 20-30 units available to homeless veterans, and let them manage the security of the property. They will do a fine job and a lot of the typical issues that many associate with 40B projects will be eliminated.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 16, 2017 12:02

Steve - setting aside 20-30 units for veterans who are currently homeless and then having those who can work as security staff do so is an excellent suggestion. Add to that a significant number of units for seniors who are on multi-year waiting lists for affordable senior housing. (Seems logical with half the units one bedroom.)

 

And then lets not forget that many of those who qualify for affordable housing are those who work full time, but need affordable housing because of their income level: retail employees, teacher's aides, newly graduated teachers not having yet risen up the pay scale, nurses aids, recent graduates saddled with overwhelming education loan payments, to mention a few.



Posted by: Peter W. Teitelbaum | Nov 16, 2017 13:50

Good afternoon.  Below is a link to a letter sent yesterday to the Woodland Cove developer:

 

http://www.wareham.ma.us/board-selectmen/news/woodland-cove-40b-proposal



Posted by: Archangel | Nov 16, 2017 17:53

Andrea and Steve, excellent points. Andrea, after looking at the Project Notification Form found here, (http://www.wareham.ma.us/sites/warehamma/files/news/2017-05-30.wc_.board_of_selectman_project_update.pdf), it would appear that there is a very large percentage of work force housing proposed in the original plan and really only 14 of the very low income units. See below:

 

Affordability Matrix

92 units @ 60%

AMI 14 units @ 30% AMI

20 units @ market rate (unrestricted)

38 units @ unrestricted (will 120% AMI for WF housing program)

10 units @ unrestricted (will be 80% AMI for WF housing program)

The 2017 area median income for Wareham is $103,400 and can be found here: (.https://www.huduser.gov/portal/datasets/il/il2017/2017summary.odn)

 

Affordable housing and low income housing are often used interchangeably when they really shouldn't be. Is a family that earns $60,000 or $80,000 a year a low income family? Should they be stereotyped as "low income like"? Are those families the people that bloggers like WBTS or Spherebreaker don't want? I won't comment on the retirees and others that make even less in annual income but still need decent, safe and sanitary housing..

 

That said, I'm not advocating on behalf of this particular project if they are not being completely up front with the town. However, I do think that everyone needs to look more closely at developments such as this one to meet the required affordable housing quota. This is a genuine mixed income development that limits the number of very low income units while still being able to count the majority of the units as affordable housing.

 

I mean no disrespect to the Selectmen or our elected state leadership but I think they are pursuing an impossible task trying to have trailers counted in the affordable housing counts.

 

Selectman Teitelbaum, can you share with us what the new affordability matrix is if it is available to you?

 

 



Posted by: Wareham By The Sea | Nov 17, 2017 10:41

Archangel, Quick answer is No, those are not who I don't want.  Please see my answer that I posted about income.  $60K to $80K isn't bad money but I guess it depends on how many kids they have to determine if it is low income on the charts.  This is not about that. You will see in my other comments a newly introduced word that may better categorize the undesirables that we want to keep away from developments and Wareham in general.  "No-income" types. Those able bodies that do not earn an income are no good for Wareham.  Like bad apples, they come  here knowing that this is the place for a free ride.  No secret.  Look around.

 

I noticed it 30 years ago when I was a kid. It's just how it is around here.  I didn't create the word Warehamy.  I heard it and got a kick out of it because it speaks verses.  I'm just the messenger so I wish people would stop shooting me!



Posted by: Peter W. Teitelbaum | Nov 17, 2017 11:17

Among other missing information, I haven't been made privy to the new affordability matrix either.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 12:55

WBTS - If you consider "upscale" neighborhoods " to be "certainly free" of those you have labeled "Warehamy underbelly," do you then consider neighborhoods which do not meet your definition of "upscale" as "certainly not free of those you describe as "Wareham underbelly?"

 

Regarding "upscale" the synonyms of which, according to bing.com are "posh · ritzy · upper-class · classy · chi-chi", what do you consider to be the minimum property evaluation that would classify one's home as "upscale."



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 17, 2017 13:12

Can any supporters of this 240 unit Low Income "affordable" project indicate how much more tax revenue this project will produce for the Town over say 240 single family homes to be built across town?



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 15:53

Interesting question Sphere, unfortunately not enough financial information has been generated at this time to answer that question. I do remember reading some time ago when the benefit of open space verses new home construction was debated in Wareham that some statistics were brought forward indicating that tax revenues raised from new home construction rarely covered the cost to town services generated by those homes.

 

When the necessary financial figures are available, perhaps you'd like to calculate that for us, with documentation of course.

 

Another interesting question, how much will it cost the town in legal fees to carry out a legal challenge in the court system to an affordable housing law that has been upheld by the courts time and again.  Marion fought close to a ten year battle against their newly constructed affordable housing development. They managed to downsize it somewhat from the originally proposed almost 200 hundred units, but I can't imagine what that legal battle cost the town?

 

And then there's the affordable housing developments at Union Pond and The Village at 815 Main Street. My brother, a contractor on Marco Island, FL. said of both of those upon seeing them, "Those are nice looking condo developments!" He didn't realize they were "affordable housing" developments. Those properties have been very well cared for. When a reputable developer of affordable housing (and there are many) builds a new development, he wants to be able to point to it with pride, so that in the future when he brings a new proposal forward in any town, he can assure those who hear his proposal that the quality of his development is not a detriment to the community.



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 16:26

Comment mistakenly posted under this thread. It has been moved to the thread for which it was intended, "Low Income - What Does it mean n Wareham? Time of posting under that thread is listed as November 17, 2017, 21:34.



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 17, 2017 16:27

I would guess that that revenue would be 30% or less that that of 240 single family homes. I also imagine that the impact n the schools would be the same. Who makes up the difference? You guessed it, the already struggling taxpayer. How many betterments and tie ins will not be paid to the sewer department yet the sewerage will be the same as 240 single family homes. Who makes up the difference, yuo guessed it, the sewer rate payers. How many other lower impact with higher tax revenue projects will not be built because we have no sewer capacity or the town has become such a pit that no one wants to come here. How many more police calls will be needed to control problems with the drug pushers that will be moving in there? Don't say they wont be there because they are in every other project like this in town. This project will push Wareham over the edge on so many fronts. These shysters are here because of cheap land and think they can steam roll this in. It cannot be allowed to be built.



Posted by: Archangel | Nov 17, 2017 18:29

There is so much complaining and very little in the way of solutions to the current and future problems of the town here. Why not try to offer realistic approaches to solving them instead of digging in and dealing with the same issues and arguments every time a 40b comes our way? Everyone agrees that there is a need for affordable housing and have expressed, to some extent, what they think it should look like. More often than not, people are naming two housing developments in town, that seem to have issues with drug related and non-dug related criminal activity, as the reason to fight tooth and nail against all affordable housing.yet no one has even offered a suggestion about how to improve the quality of those developments. I also doubt that anyone has asked any of the residents of those developments that aren't engaging in drug related or criminal activity how they feel about living in them.

 

I apologize in advance if some of you think this post is too long (Cranky) but I would like to offer a suggestion: I apologize in advance to Selectmen Teitelbaum for possibly putting him on the spot here.

 

Based on information I have read, all affordable housing developments require language in their leases that provide for expedited evictions for drug and criminal  related activity. This language doesn't just apply to the leaseholder, it applies to their family members, guests and other persons under their control. The management companies are suppose to be enforcing these leases on behalf of the owners and regulatory agencies. Why not ask the Selectmen to call or invite representatives of these management companies  to a Selectmen's meeting to inquire why they don't seem to be enforcing their leases and advise them that, if something doesn't change, the Selectmen will go to the owners. If the Selectmen find it necessary to go to the owners, and they aren't satisfied with how the owners respond, the Selectmen should involve our state and federal officials to approach the state federal regulatory agencies that the housing programs fall under. Make sure it is televised. That would also send a clear message to all future developers that, if you don't provide quality affordable housing in Wareham, we are going to publicly hold your feet to the fire.

 

 



Posted by: Spherebreaker | Nov 17, 2017 19:01

Angel you say that everyone agrees that there is a need for affordable housing, I'm saying is not a need for new affordable housing. There is a need for high value homes with minimum impact on schools. Why allow sewer capacity to be eaten up by projects that bring further distress to the schools and the taxpayer. Just say no!



Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 21:28

Sphere - I didn't ask for guesses, I said that when the necessary factual information becomes available, perhaps you'd like to calculate the financial impact for us ( Wareham Week readers) and present it, with documentation.

 

I also didn't try to "guess' the answers to the questions you posed in your most recent comment.  I prefer to wait until sufficient information is available to assure an accurate answer to the questions you posed.

 

I'm not saying your concerns about potential financial impact upon the town are not reasonable. I'm just saying its too early in the process for sufficient information to be available to calculate the potential financial impact upon the town. Its also to early to  learn what remediation the developer might agree to as a means of compensating the town for the financial impact or what changes the developer might agree to in order to lessen the impact upon the town. For example, the original proposal for The Village at 815 Main Street was close to 100 units, in the end I think 49  units were constructed. The change in unit number was in part due to residents who made sure their voices were heard through speaking out at meetings and hired legal council.

 

If you want your voice heard, go to the meetings at which the proposal will be discussed and speak up. Posting an anonymous comment on Wareham Week might stir up some agitation among those who read it, or maybe give some readers a laugh or two, depending on how you phrase it. But an anonymous comment from an online blog won't be weighed by those in town government who will make a decision. 'Just say no," doesn't mean a thing when the person who wants the phrase heard, doesn't show up at a meeting to say it.

 

 

 

 



Posted by: OnsetTogether | Nov 22, 2017 13:38

Andrea we PAY people to calculate that. And really, we need to Google for the selectmen? And no, the selectman are not “doing all they can to stop or downsize the project.” There is a myriad of information available regarding 40B.  There are symposia and conferences and workshops. What we need is a long line of people at the mikes every time they appear to say no.  We need the fire departments, water departments, school department to say no, loudly and in writing. And we need to start enforcement of existing laws and regulations to get properties back on the tax rolls and into the hands of year-round residents. The cellar hole that was the Onset Youth Center and is tax exempt? The eyesore of a cellar hole at Main and Cranberry Highway, used to sell campers? No improvement means no tax, so it stays a hole. We have the means, not the will. Some resources at https://www.chapa.org/

Marc Pacheco says he represents more “mobile home owners than anyone and most don’t want to be catagorized as 40b.” If he does so does Gifford. So why is this stopped on Beacon Hill? That’s why. Forget about going after that and work to attract investors and developers of our existing and new single family or maximum 3 Family homes. How? Make Wareham an attractive place to live, work and play. Clean up the blight. Make the schools and town amenities worth paying for. None of this exists in a vacuum.

Call Rebecca Frawley Wachtel, Director, at the Department of Housing and Community Development at 617-573-1318, she’s in charge of the 40B application.



If you wish to comment, please login.