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January 11, 2005
Regular Session 7:40 PM
Ms. Tully, Mr. Edmundson, Mr. MacIver
Ms. Tully read a draft of a letter to Sec. Herzfelder regarding the Hull Wind Turbine Project. It was noted that this letter does not mean that the Board of Selectmen is opposing the windmill; it simply requests a MEPA review since this is new technology. Hull had been cited several times for ignoring the proper method for landfill which is the proposed site of the windmill.
Housing Partnership RFP
Ms. Vigil introduced the committee members and read a draft article for this year’s warrant. Mr. MacIver explained that a $39,000 grant helped finance studies and answer questions about the proposed housing. This contract with Gale Associates provided for the location infrastructure drops in the area, some geotechnical review, etc. There has also been a consultant to look at the financial viability of the various schemes that may be proposed by the development community. Initially the group planned to choose a developer prior to town meeting but time and the need for a thorough job changed that plan. The Board and members of the Advisory Committee questioned the degree of specificity required in the RFP.
The parcel contains a total of 17 acres, eight of which are buildable. The developer will be asked to recommend the mix of single family/duplex, etc. The height of the buildings will be an issue. Mr. Edmundson suggested that specific recommendations regarding number of units per building and height of buildings would increase the possibility of passage at town meeting. A financial consultant reviewing the proposed project said it would not be feasible to do the project with 20 units, even with a zero cost of land. The Committee hopes to offer affordable housing for people with some link to the town of Hingham. The Board asked if the LIP would have language that would favor town employees, etc. Ms. Tully said she would like to see the town be able to house all generations with more accessory apartments downtown for young couples, etc. It was noted that the requirement that the project be “architecturally compatible in size and appearance” is a real leap of faith. Mr. MacIver remarked that in recent history a parcel of property was transferred for educational use and then subsequently sold to a developer. Because of that, there is a preference for leasehold in transactions involving town property.
Ms. Vigil raised concerns about traffic flow, curb cuts and the impact on town services. – schools, police, fire. The proposed affordable units would represent only about 5% of the projected growth in the town. Ms. Tully commented that you cannot look at a per unit or per dwelling dollar amount as to whether it will carry its full tax burden. Mr. Edmundson said the goal is to have this type of housing and there is no way to get there without building it. He also noted that in the short term it may attract young families but it may not. This article amounts to making a concerted effort to achieve housing diversity and decency in the town. This is not to be looked at as trying to reach a 10% affordable housing number. Ms. Tully said there are very few freestanding units of affordable housing in town. Ms. Vigil noted that if the town were to accept the roadways it would make the development more affordable since the fees for plowing, street maintenance, etc. would not be there.
Chief Carlson advised that he would be able to do some additional work of traffic issues with the additional salary monies. Mr. Cristello noted that the proposed budget includes the two deputy chiefs. Mr. Edmundson said he would like a memo from Chief as to how much more traffic enforcement can be expected. On average, the board should be told that this would have a significant impact on traffic enforcement.
Voted - to recommend favorable action on the Police Department budget as follows:
Payroll - $3,323,734
Expenses - $240,283
Voted - to renew the Used Car Dealer’s Class II License of Leon N. Arbeene, Jr. Bay State Car Locators, 187 Downer Avenue to expire January 1, 2006, with the restriction that cars and parts would never be sold at this location.
Selectmen/Town Administrator’s Reports
Mr. MacIver noted that all had attended the Mass Municipal Annual Conference.
Meeting adjourned 9:15 PM.
Betty Foley, Clerk