Wareham Selectmen demand review after housing project plans change

By Matthew Bernat | Nov 16, 2017
Photo by: Matthew Bernat Plans for a new 40B development on Cranberry Highway have changed, prompting a request from Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum for the developers to appear again before the board for a review.

Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum is calling on the developers of a large, controversial affordable housing proposal in East Wareham to formally restart the review process after learning the project has increased in size.

Developers from Dakota Partners, a firm based in Waltham, came to Wareham in June to discuss their project, a development near the intersection of the highway and Red Brook Road.

Initial plans called for building a 174-unit development at 3102 Cranberry Highway.

Dubbed Woodland Cove, the 40B affordable housing development would consist of 32 one-bedroom, 122 two-bedroom and 20 three-bedroom apartments. Under Chapter 40B, a state law, zoning regulations are relaxed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of housing stock is considered affordable, meaning cities and towns have less say in their construction.

The new plans call for building a 240-unit project 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.

Teitelbaum has called on the developers to resubmit the new proposal for review by Selectmen.

“I anticipate your compliance in this matter,” wrote Teitelbaum.

Comments (9)
Posted by: shop247 | Nov 17, 2017 09:27

We already knew they weren't reputable.  Can't we just block the project?

Posted by: Uptohere | Nov 17, 2017 15:06

Before another so called reputable developer tries another fast one our town shouldn't the selectman create a bylaw on where these monstrosities would be better located. I have no issues with affordable senior housing going in. But our school system can't afford to handle another 200 to 300 kids located in a minisclue footprint.

Posted by: Andrea Smith | Nov 17, 2017 16:04

Unfortunately when by definition a town in Massachusetts statistically does not have enough affordable housing units, those wishing to construct affordable housing developments are not subject to the same by laws as the developer of a single family home. For example The Village at 815 Main Street, has approximately 49 units constructed on around 9 acres which were once a single home parcel.

Posted by: kevinc687 | Nov 18, 2017 05:27

The town can't as of yet count mobile homes as affordable housing,which would put us over 10% and these developers would have to leave us alone and look at other towns like Marion. Can we start counting the tents in tent city behind Walmart and the water slide as affordable housing?

Posted by: Fair & Just | Nov 18, 2017 07:23

As a 30 year permanent resident of Wareham, please please do not approve this project. It’s been a suspicious and negative proposal from the get go Let’s keep this gem of a town moving in a positive direction.

Posted by: sadie | Nov 18, 2017 07:27

fair   the town doesn't have a say when it comes to 40b development the state approves 40b's not the town

Posted by: Mike | Nov 19, 2017 07:01

If you can show a negative effect on the drinking water in district because of the closeness or that the roadway that will be used by the development is an unsafe way and that building will make it worse you may have an argument that would impact its outcome

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Nov 19, 2017 08:01

Yarmouth residents hired their own lawyer to fight Dakota, and the project was reduced in size. The DEP is forcing an asbestos cleanup of that site. The Yarmouth residents show up en masse for any meeting involving Dakota. http://www.capecodtimes.com/news/20161017/south-yarmouth-affordable-housing-project-shrinks-in-face-of-opposition

There are many reasons to forstall this project, as well as many requirements that Wareham can impose. Failing schools, the upcoming highway project, sewer capacity, lack of public transportation, conservation concerns, the ongoing Town planning process all come into play. Some citizens already contacted the state. The selectmen sent a letter “expressing concern” but not opposition, it is online http://www.wareham.ma.us/board-selectmen/news/woodland-cove-40b-project-letter.  The letter about the unilateral changes should also be posted. Good for the Chairman for calling Dakota out on this, we need to show up at any meeting concerning this. We have enough blighted, vacant properties that if rehabbed may provide a large amount of statistically “low income” property for first-time home buyers, the elderly and vets without adding more mobile homes or massive projects. Let’s seek development money for that.

Posted by: OnsetTogether | Nov 19, 2017 08:14

Wareham’s currently approved plan is here and expires in 2018. The Town website says there is a vacancy on the Affordable Housing Trust Committee. https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/07/oe/wareham.pdf

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