Thursday, October 21, 2010

Vote NO on ballot Question 2

The state of Massachusetts is faced with a serious attack on an important existing Law that provides housing for our working population. The Affordable Housing Law is working despite the claims of some that complain about the abuses that are inherent in all of human society. Outside larger cities the Affordable Housing Law MA GL 40(b) has created 58,000 homes across the state and is responsible for approximately 80% of new affordable housing over the past decade. The 12,000 homes in the pipeline that have already been locally approved would add $10 billion in economic activity and 50,000 jobs that come with them. Please Vote No on Question 2.

It means that your children may someday be able to “Afford” to live in the small communities in Massachusetts. First, affordable (or workforce housing) means people making between $45,000 and $65,000 would qualify for this housing…..young teachers, firemen, police, public works folks, young people just starting their families, and people who work ordinary jobs. It is important to note that Chapter 40B does not cost the tax payer anything. It is a function of the development process and can give people a chance at home ownership. This is not to be confused with Low Income Housing that is taxpayer subsidized.

Some people have stated that “projects get jammed down local communities throats,” during a 40B project permitting. Understanding how our local planning boards have made certain that the development process is so expensive and time-consuming that finding a way to build affordable housing is pretty much impossible in Massachusetts without some reasonable anti snob laws.

The plans submitted in a Chapter 40B proposal request relief from some extraordinarily stringent local requirements—far beyond state codes—including 2 to 3 acre zoning, doubling Title V (septic system) requirements, doubling all wetlands setbacks and recharge areas.

The general thinking in Massachusetts is “I live here, but I don’t want anyone else to move in and burden my town.” Massachusetts is one of the only states in the union that has a declining population, specifically young people. Check out the articles in the Boston Globe and the CSMonitor to see the concern about decrease in a balanced workforce. Chapter 40B is designed to counter the “snob zoning” we have carefully put in place throughout the Commonwealth, and it is working.

All the candidates for governor agree on this question and our local news paper, the Metrowest News, speaks to some very compelling data. The Massachusetts Chapter 40B By-Law has been held up nationally as a template for a fair and equitable way to provide housing for a wide variety of incomes, including rental property and homes for first time home buyers. PLEASE VOTE NO ON QUESTION 2!!! We need homes for our children and growth for our state.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Hollistion files yet another Appeal

October 7, 2010

Today Holliston cast its last chip in its gamble to stop the Cedar Ridge Estates Project. Council for the Town of Holliston filed its request for Appeal to the MA Appeals Court. This filing came by surprise 30 days ahead of schedule.

Attorneys for the Developer Green View Realty received a notice of Appeal from Holliston’s special council on Friday October 8, 2010

The Land Court will now assemble the record and notify both parties when it is assembled. This does not happen overnight and will take some time. It should be faster in this case as the record was bound by the Attorney General previously and there should not be a lot to get together. Once we get this notice that the record is assembled, the Town will have ten (10) days to docket the appeal in the appeals court and the appeals court will (within a couple of days of the docketing of the appeal) issue an order for the filing of briefs. This is usually forty (40) days for the Appellant (the Town) to file a brief and then thirty (30) days for the Appellee (GVR and the Attorney General) to file response briefs.

While this suit is an attempt to overturn the recent Superior Court ruling that upheld the Comprehensive Permit issued by the MA Housing Appeals Committee, the Town’s case makes the same argument that the Town has proffered twice before and lost because they have never been able to prove any of their propaganda, allegations and innuendo that they have used to justify their complaint.

Not to mention that the Town will have spent, somewhat secretly, nearly $200,000.00 to finance their case. Perhaps in these times the money would have been better spent elsewhere.

So now Green View Realty awaits the November Election that poses the most serious threat to the projects viability by the referendum question #2 that has Green View in a pickle between Comprehensive Permit and Building Permit. Hopefully the Voters see the merits of keeping 40(B) intact and fixing it instead of eliminating it.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Case Finally Adjudicated

September 10 2010

While the Superior Court Judge issued his decision on count I & II of the three count complaint filed by the Holliston Zoning Board of Appeals a third count had yet to be resolved as the count was a nuisance count thrown into the complaint in an obtuse attempt to get the Land Court court to eliminate the authority of the MA Housing Appeals Committee to issue Comprehensive Permits in Massachusetts.

Perhaps Council for the Town was dumb like a fox, likely knowing that the Courts can't be used to make or create Laws however the Case was delayed for nearly two months while GVR was forced to negotiate with the Plaintiff over the stipulation of removal of the nuisance Count III.

The Council for the plaintiff agreed to let the decision of Count I & II stand if GVR would agree to a stipulation of dismissal "without prejudice" so that the self serving plaintiff Attorney would be able to continue to harass proponents of 40(b) affordable housing projects that he was appealing on behalf of other client Municipalities.

Thus the Court was finally able to issue a complete ruling on this case on September 10 2010. Now the stage was set for an appeal on November 10 2010 just in case the Question 2 referendum question on the November Election Ballot failed to over turn 40(b) Affordable Housing in Massachusetts.