December 8 2015

Two Special Meetings Scheduled for Wednesday

By: Rich Hosford

There are two special meetings planned for Wednesday. 

 

The first is a Special Board of Selectmen/Ad Hoc 40B Committee meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the main hearing room at Town Hall. The agenda of the meeting has three items, a committee review of Chapter 40B and a look at two proposed “Friendly 40B” project. One is from National Development and the other is from Burlington Centre. 

In October the board agreed to hear proposals for 40B projects from developers to help the town keep it’s affordable housing percentage over 10 percent. 

 

Under Massachusetts law, a town must have at least10 percent affordable housing in order to meet the 40B requirement. If a town falls below 10 percent, it loses a lot of the power it has if a developer comes in and wants to build an affordable housing project. The biggest concern raised at the meeting is that the town could lose a lot of the control it has as to where an affordable housing project might be built. 

 

Currently Burlington has 10.4 percent affordable housing though there is a fear the number will drop when the amount is re-evaluated during the 2020 Census. 

 

With “Friendly 40B” project the town works with developers before it drops below 10 percent to work out an agreement both sides are happy with. 

 

The other special meeting is a Planning Board meeting at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand View Farm second floor conference room. 

 

The agenda for this meeting only has one item, to discuss and plan its presentation before the Board of Appeals commencing on December 15, 2015 concerning the building permit issued on September 23, 2015 for the Residence Inn by Marriott at 3 New England Executive Park Drive; and authorize the Chair to appoint individuals who will prepare the presentation to the Board of Appeals. 

 

The board is looking to appeal a building permit for the project because of concerns the plan for the hotel will encourage people to stay long-term or live at the hotel. The major factor in the discussion is the presence of cook-top stoves and a full-sized fridge. 

 

Though those behind the project offered to come to a memorandum of agreement with the board to put in writing that guests can’t stay for longer than a specified time, the board voted on an agreement that included the elimination of the cook-top stoves, something the developers said was a non-starter. 

 
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