WVN #506: Proposal for housing at Town Center
- Dear Wayland Voter,
From the beginning, the Town Center project was designed to include housing near the Sudbury River. Now a developer has a proposal, and brings a record of success with the nearby Wayland Commons affordable housing. But the new project is smaller than anticipated and lacks affordable units.
Also in this newsletter:
-- Developer suit against town goes to trial.
-- You have until July 1 to let the town know if you don't want your property sprayed with a mosquito pesticide.
-- Hearings scheduled on fluoridation and water rates.
-- NStar is back.
-- Countdown to Wayland's 375 Celebration, less than a week away
TOWN CENTER HOUSING PROPOSED
The Planning Board will open a public hearing on Tuesday, June 18 at 7:35 p.m. on the Site Plan Application submitted by Brendon Properties, LLC for all approvals and permits required for constructing 42 market-rate townhomes in the town center project.
The same Southborough developer successfully took over the nearby Wayland Commons 40B condo project at the Route 27 entrance to Town Center from Foxborough developer Michael Intoccia. Brendon Properties built and quickly sold all the condo units, also making good on a commitment to improve the property's appearance after Intoccia failed to protect land and trees.
Housing advocates may be encouraged by Brendon's proposal. It is unknown, however, how this smaller housing component will affect the town's expectations of revenue. Supporters of the Town Center boasted in 2006 that it "fits our town, funds our future " and made estimates of up to $1 million annually in new tax revenue.
According to the memorandum of agreement between the Town of Wayland and the developer, Twenty Wayland, as presented in the Appendix in the 2006 Town Meeting warrant, there were to be "not more than 100 dwelling units of which 25% shall be affordable." After Twenty Wayland claimed that because of the market collapse of 2008-09 it would lose $500,000 on each of the 25 affordable condos, the numbers were changed. An amendment presented at the 2009 Fall Town Meeting struck 25% and called for 12 affordable rental units and 88 market-rate condos.
In addition to reducing the affordable percentage to 12, the change segregated and differentiated the affordable units from the market-rate ones, contradicting the town's bylaw and policy for affordable housing.
The Wayland Housing Partnership opposed this change.
http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_Selectmen/2009STM.pdf Scroll down to Article 3, Finance Committee comments, pages 10-12.
Wayland, like many communities, is under pressure to meet state standards for housing sold at prices certified as affordable. The Economic Development Committee's plan for a large high-rise rental housing development on Route 20 was intended to help solve that problem, but voters turned it down at the 2013 annual Town Meeting.
In the October 2009 revisions to the Development Agreement, the delivery of the developer's promised $3 Million Town Center "gift" was postponed and tied to a complicated formula related to the occupancy of a percentage of the non-residential Phase II as well as to the sale of the 88 market-rate housing units. With the revised agreement, all 12 affordable rental units were clustered and have been built over the retail buildings now opening at the Town Center.
However, unlike the 40B affordable projects in town, including the adjacent Wayland Commons, where there is no problem finding owners for affordable units, the rental process for the one-bedroom units above stores has been going slowly. In addition, the developers have not seemed enthusiastic about taking tenants with Section 8 rental vouchers. Allowing voucher rentals -- programs subsidized by state and federal funds -- had been one of the selling points of the proposed change in 2009.
Brendon Properties' current plans are available for public review in the Planning Department office during regular office hours (Town Building open until 7 p.m. on Monday evenings). The documents do not appear to have been posted yet on the Planning Department website.
-- WVN Staff
WASTEWATER TRIAL BEGINS JUNE 10
On Friday June 7 in courtroom 510 in Middlesex Superior Court, Woburn, proceedings began in the matter of Twenty Wayland, LLC vs. Town of Wayland and Wayland Wastewater Management District Commission, Docket No. 2011MICV-04095-F.
A jury was empanelled on Friday, and the trial is expected to get under way on Monday, June 10 at 9 a.m. with Town Counsel Mark Lanza representing the Town and the WWMDC. The Town Center developer filed suit in November 2011 over disputed wastewater issues. A number of witnesses are expected to testify.
-- WVN Staff
JULY 1 MOSQUITO SPRAY "OPT OUT" DEADLINE
Residents have until July 1 to be excluded from nighttime spraying on their property of pesticides aimed at adult mosquitos. Truck crews would use adulticides such as sumithrin (Anvil) if the risk of mosquito-borne illness becomes high enough.
The East Middlesex Mosquito Control Project will instruct crews not to spray properties whose owners submit the following "opt out" form to the Wayland Town Clerk's office no later than July 1.
The town clerk's office is open daily until 4:30 p.m. and on Mondays until 7 p.m. The form also can be mailed to the Town Clerk, 41 Cochituate Road, Wayland, MA 01778 or submitted electronically: ltoombs@...
Questions on pesticide applications by the East Middlesex/Suffolk County Mosquito Control Project or the process to exclude properties from spraying can be answered by calling 781-899-5730.
The Wayland Health Department has posted information including precautions parents should take when using insecticides (outdoors) on their children, especially those containing DEET. http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_Health/mosquito
Residents can help reduce mosquito populations by eliminating pools of free standing water where mosquitoes tend to breed, e.g. clogged gutters, tires, birdbaths, buckets.
The handout provided at the Board of Health's May 20 meeting describing the chemical sumithrin is at:
In addition, here's the New York Dept. of Health information sheet: http://www.health.ny.gov/publications/2738/
Standard exclusions from spraying will continue to be observed. The areas abutting the wildlife refuge along the Sudbury River, the Zone I of the town's eight drinking water wells, and all school properties (which adhere to a strict Integrated Pest Management Plan per the state's Childrens and Families Protection Act) will not be sprayed.
-- Linda Segal
The Board of Health will hold a public hearing on July 8 on fluoridating Wayland's drinking water.
Wayland began to add fluoride to the water in Fiscal 2000 after a 1998 ballot question showed that a majority of Wayland's registered voters favored it. Considerable study and public debate led to that voted decision. More than a decade later, with more information available about fluoridation, some Board members question whether it is wise or necessary to add fluoride, hence the decision to invite the public for discussion.
-- Linda Segal
WATER ACCOUNTING QUESTIONS CONTINUE
After years of opposition from selectmen and the Finance Committee to petitioners' articles in 2005, 2007 and 2009 seeking to create a water enterprise fund for financial management purposes, at the 2012 Annual Town Meeting those officials finally recommended this step be taken. An enterprise fund operates as a fiscally autonomous organization, supporting itself with customer fees.
Voters approved establishing the water enterprise fund under Article 7, page 43 in this warrant:
There have been enough billing cycles, in the view of Board of Public Works members, that by now there should be greater clarity and predictability in the fund's accounting to make it easier to set water rates and plan annual budgets and long term capital improvements.
This past year, the $56 administrative fee was reduced to $6 to spend down an unexpected surplus.
At around eleven minutes into the televised May 28 Board of Public Works meeting, member Bob Goldsmith shared a draft report he prepared after trying to evaluate the water enterprise's numbers.
He expressed his continuing frustration, despite his professional experience analyzing data and budgets, that he still cannot understand some of the accounting. He said he had been cautioned by the Finance Committee about a possible structural deficit in water budgeting that needs to be addressed.
Goldsmith asked DPW Director Don Ouellette several times at the meeting to be able to meet with him and Finance Director Brian Keveny to resolve his concerns. Ouellette resisted, criticizing Goldsmith for not having provided him with the draft report before the meeting and opposing such a three-way meeting, at least until after Ouellette could study the matter with Keveny first.
June 10 Hearing
After much discussion, the Board decided to hold a water rate hearing on Monday, June 10, to invite the Finance Director for a public discussion that same evening, and to prepare to hire consultant Mark Abrahams to help the Board, as he did in 2011.
Monday's meeting agenda shows those items as well as an update on the DPW project and input to the Planning Board about the proposed CVS project at the former Finnerty's property.
WayCAM's program schedule shows the meeting will be televised live at 7 p.m. Selectmen are not scheduled to meet again until June 24.
-- Linda Segal
VACANCIES IN TOWN GOVERNMENT
After appointing Kent George, Cliff Lewis and Jay Sherry to join FinCom representative Dave Gutschenritter and Personnel Board representative Maryanne Peabody on the new Other Post Employment Benefits fund advisory committee, the selectmen decided on June 5 to make a concerted effort to make the annual reappointment process be as open and inclusive as possible.
The next day's press release alerted residents to the opportunities to serve in town government:
The deadline to apply is June 19. The updated vacancies list will be published in the next hard copy edition of the Wayland Town Crier. The list is also available at: http://www.wayland.ma.us/Pages/WaylandMA_WebDocs/boardvacancies
-- WVN Staff
NSTAR RETURNS TO WAYLAND
Readers may remember that a year ago NStar caused an uproar in Wayland as it devastated private properties in the Oak Hill/Meadowview neighborhood by stripping almost all vegetation in its transmission line corridor right of way number 8-1. Photos and related documents are posted at the independent website of the former wellhead protection committee:
This year, NStar has returned with plans to remove vegetation from its other transmission line corridor, number 8-2, which runs roughly east/west in Wayland from Russell's Garden Center to the Plain Road neighborhood. NStar says it has begun to communicate with owners of affected properties. Some specimen shade trees slated to be removed are in Wayland's Historic District near the Depot. Larger trees have been marked with an X, and some will be subject to a tree hearing held jointly by the Board of Public Works and Planning Board. The date of that hearing has not been announced yet.
Part of the utility's 2013 yearly operational plan also calls for the use of the chemical herbicide Roundup to control regrowth. Requests made by various Wayland officials and residents to state officials and NStar during a recent public comment period have resulted in no written responses or commitment to use alternative mechanical means, where feasible, and to exclude drinking water capture zones.
NStar has not yet accepted the Board of Health's invitation for the utility to voluntarily appear before Wayland residents at a hearing, before beginning work, to educate the public about its herbicide plan and to demonstrate that it will comply with all statutes and regulations in the application of chemical herbicides.
Wayland's Tree Warden is the Board of Public Works: bopw@...
Additional contact information in case any property owner has questions or concerns:
NStar's senior arborist: William Hayes (william.hayes@...)
-- WVN Staff
WAYLAND'S 375 ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
Special promotional videos on WayCAM explain events planned for June 15-16:
Barn dance: http://waycamtv.pegcentral.com/player.php?video=49fc57dc777ce01c98ef0a9a05e7aff7
For all other 375 events, including how to purchase June 15 Circus tickets in advance:
Golden Tones Concert June 16. For 25th silver anniversary program description and ticket information:
MEETINGS CALENDAR - Unless otherwise noted, all town government meetings are held in Wayland Town Building. Agendas are usually posted in the calendar on the town website home page. Click on the meeting date to access links to posted agendas.
Monday June 10:
Board of Public Works, 7 p.m. WayCAM to broadcast LIVE
Board of Assessors, 7:15 p.m.
Historical Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Housing Partnership, 7:45 p.m.
Tuesday, June 11:
Planning Board, 7 p.m. CVS public hearing (former Finnerty's property)
Zoning Board of Appeals, 8:20 p.m.
Wednesday, June 12:
Wastewater Management District Commission, 7:30 p.m.
Energy Initiatives Advisory Committee, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, June 13:
Cultural Council, 7 p.m.
Conservation Commission, 7:30 p.m.
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Wayland Voters Network
Michael Short, Editor