Fuller Watch

Joined: August 20th, 2007, 10:17 pm

July 18th, 2017, 5:39 pm #601

Hardship attributed to unforeseen site conditions will be difficult to sell to the community given one of the entities in the FMUV recently developed Gloucester Crossing on the adjacent parcel.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

September 8th, 2017, 2:21 pm #602

City Council Meeting Packet for September 12 meeting:

http://gloucester-ma.gov/ArchiveCenter/ ... /Item/7857


· APPLICATIONS/PETITIONS
1.SCP2017-012: School House Road #2, #3 and #4, Map 262, Lots 14 & 37, and Gloucester Crossing Road #7, Map 37, Lots 4 & 5, for a Special Permit under the Mixed Use Overlay District pursuant to GZO Sec. 5.29 (including Major Project GZO Section 5.7) and Secs. 5.29.10 and 5.11.8 (Refer P&D)


The application is about 175 pages, starts on page 101 of the CC packet.

"FMUV proposal requests that a cash contribution of $1,500,000 (est.) be made to the Gloucester Affordable Housing Trust (“GAHT”) from the purchase proceeds of $5,600,000."

$1.5m - not enough (at least $1.7m as per the developer's own calculation stated during the CC public hearing for the Overlay.

"contribution be made from purchase proceeds" - just, no.  $5.1m purchase price plus $1.7m payment-in-lieu.


cc_permit_app-1.jpg

cc_permit_app-2.jpg
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

September 8th, 2017, 2:38 pm #603

Thanks Cathy.  Looks like today's date on the agenda.  Next to the application it says "refer to P &D."  I just called one of the councilors to see if anything is happening related to this in Tuesday's Council meeting.  Will report back.
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Joined: June 25th, 2007, 6:00 pm

September 8th, 2017, 2:43 pm #604

The use of the Boston area median family income figure (now apparently over 98 thousand) to determine what rent is "affordable" is in my opinion a fatal flaw particularly here where the median is more like 60 K. That means that any affordable housing the developer built on site would not be "affordable" for Gloucester families that need it. We have run into this problem again and again, but unless a way around it is found, getting them to build "affordable" units on site is delusional.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

September 8th, 2017, 2:50 pm #605

Meeting agendas for a Tuesday CC meeting are posted on Friday afternoons - Open Meeting Law requires agendas to be posted 48 business hours in advance of the meeting.

I doubt there will be any discussion of the project on Tuesday.  The application gets submitted to CC and they refer it to P&D.  I think that P&D will refer it to the Planning Board for review, Planning Board makes a recommendation to P&D who in turn make a recommendation to the full council and then a vote.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

September 8th, 2017, 2:58 pm #606

I doubt it either but I'm making sure!  Thanks again for posting the info. I've been waiting for it.

Agree on the affordability problem, Damon.  I think another party might enter with a proposal to build more affordable units offsite.  It would be its own deal I'm sure but might use the AH trust money and build actually affordable units.  Depending on who it is and the proposal it could be better (though with its own risks) than building them at Fuller.  Either way, the payment in lieu of, if it is accepted, seems like it needs to be higher.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

September 8th, 2017, 4:34 pm #607

Worth a reminder:

"(2) Cash Contribution: With authorization by the City Council or Planning Board as described above, developers may make a cash payment in lieu of affordable units to the Gloucester Affordable Housing Trust Fund as outlined below:

For rental units, the financial contribution for each affordable unit shall be equal to the difference between the average market rental price for the market-rate units in the subject development and the rent affordable to an income-eligible household as defined by this ordinance and HUD, calculated over a term of ten (10) years."

https://library.municode.com/ma/glouces ... 5.11INHORE

From the Overlay Hearing:

http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01896&video=310738

Developer (crying about the hardship):

"We've taken the annual rent, the average annual rent, from 30 units - 1/3 one bedroom, 2/3 two bedrooms, and that total rent from those units would be $651,000. annually.  At current affordable levels, the rent would be $475,000.  The difference is approximately $177,000."

So by the developer's own calculations, the in-lieu contribution, if allowed, should be about $1,770,000. ($177,000. per year x ten years, as called for in the ordinance.)
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

September 8th, 2017, 5:06 pm #608

I think that in lieu of number is about what David Houlden came up with too. (If hardship is proven.)

I spoke with Paul Lundberg.  He said Tuesday the Council will refer the application to P & D.  There will be a September 20 meeting (not one where the public can speak) where the developer will present to the P & D members.  From there it might go to Planning Board and Council.  So nothing really going on at the meeting on Tuesday.    
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Joined: April 1st, 2011, 11:07 pm

September 8th, 2017, 9:51 pm #609

I too posted a number - a conservative estimate (favoring the developer) of $2.6M for giveback hardship for not allowing 30 Chapter40B affordable units.  The number could be proven to be double that.

As an estimator of large-scale projects (worth over $50B) at times I prepared a sensitive analysis on a spreadsheet.  For the Fuller Project - an example would be to have a consensus for a negotiated weight each estimated vslue.

$1.5M.  $1'7M.  $2.5M. $2.6M

If a consensus was 25% for each the weighted value becomes $2.1M

My "high" number was much more... Negotiations are tough but tools like the sensitivity analysis help it along.

Using various rates of HUD. Beverly, Ipswich, Gloucester - I would not use Boston.
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Joined: January 16th, 2007, 5:15 am

September 9th, 2017, 5:34 am #610

Cathy (Admin) wrote: Worth a reminder:

"(2) Cash Contribution: With authorization by the City Council or Planning Board as described above, developers may make a cash payment in lieu of affordable units to the Gloucester Affordable Housing Trust Fund as outlined below:

For rental units, the financial contribution for each affordable unit shall be equal to the difference between the average market rental price for the market-rate units in the subject development and the rent affordable to an income-eligible household as defined by this ordinance and HUD, calculated over a term of ten (10) years."

https://library.municode.com/ma/glouces ... 5.11INHORE

From the Overlay Hearing:

http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T01896&video=310738

Developer (crying about the hardship):

"We've taken the annual rent, the average annual rent, from 30 units - 1/3 one bedroom, 2/3 two bedrooms, and that total rent from those units would be $651,000. annually.  At current affordable levels, the rent would be $475,000.  The difference is approximately $177,000."

So by the developer's own calculations, the in-lieu contribution, if allowed, should be about $1,770,000. ($177,000. per year x ten years, as called for in the ordinance.)
A couple of important considerations for the Council: 1) The ordinance says "With authorization by the City Council or Planning Board" -- (my understanding is that the final permit granting authority is the deciding body, so with this application it would be the CC). While the administration might support that authorization, it is not in the position of granting it. 2) $1M of that proposed in-lieu payment is being taken out of the purchase price. The applicants were prepared to pay $5.1M for the property. They knew of their obligations regarding 5.11. It is effectively a $1M subsidy to the developers. They are only paying $500k towards the affordable housing component.  3) The original proposal was 170 units, the current plan is 200. 4)They have already received significant concessions via the granting of the overlay district which releases them from a number of zoning restrictions.  The Council should reject the hardship plaint and require the inclusion of the 30 affordable units on-site. 
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Joined: June 20th, 2007, 11:54 pm

September 9th, 2017, 9:18 am #611

I posted this before, this whole issue may be a moot point since the Fuller property falls within the unacceptable noise requirements of the wind turbines. http://www.hmmh.com/gloucester-review-w ... dy-ma.html

HMMH concluded that noise levels comply with existing regulatory standards with the exception of within a portion of the Fuller Elementary School and at the proposed hotel site. Curtailment during high noise generating periods or a noise easement might be necessary to achieve compliance. Shadow flicker impacts approach significant levels customarily employed in regulatory review at one residential location and throughout the industrial park. The applicant has already agreed to a curtailment program to limit shadow flicker impacts which will become a condition of the issuance of a special permit.
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Joined: January 9th, 2008, 8:26 pm

September 9th, 2017, 1:05 pm #612

I predict that most of those apartments will go to section 8 like over at pond view estates.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

September 9th, 2017, 8:58 pm #613

After the overlay hearing, where so many people spoke in favor of the project in general but against allowing the payment-in-lieu, the developer indicated that they would want to re-negotiate before putting out for the expense of designs and plans that would be necessary to go forth through the permit process.

It appears that they have spent a boatload of money on tests, designs and plans in preparing the permit documents and, according to the permit document, have even retained a firm that is an "expert in the field of affordable housing to address the standard by which economic hardship should be judged and to provide an analysis of the project using that standard."

I'm going to take a walk on the wild side and take a guess that windmills and affordable housing be damned, the developers' expectation is that they already have a deal.

tyu:  Pond View was developed as a mixed income development - market rate, affordable and low-income.  So, no - not "most" of the units there are Section 8.

The housing units at Fuller, as described by the developers, will be "luxury" units.  Even if the 30 out of 200 units are affordable, the affordable rent will be out of reach for Section 8.
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Joined: June 20th, 2007, 11:54 pm

September 9th, 2017, 10:22 pm #614

Cathy (Admin) wrote:I'm going to take a walk on the wild side and take a guess that windmills and affordable housing be damned, the developers' expectation is that they already have a deal.
I'd expect those who can afford high rents will think twice on that location due to the wind turbines. It would be a tough sell. And if occupied the city can probably expect complaints, deed stipulations or not.
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Joined: April 1st, 2011, 11:07 pm

September 9th, 2017, 11:36 pm #615

tyu12 have you ever been on Section 8?

It's for people with very low incomes.

I think a McDonald's wage with overtime would not qualify for Section 8 for a single person - income oo high. With kids yes probably.Section 8.
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Joined: January 9th, 2008, 8:26 pm

September 10th, 2017, 8:06 am #616

Leland33 wrote: tyu12 have you ever been on Section 8?

It's for people with very low incomes.

I think a McDonald's wage with overtime would not qualify for Section 8 for a single person - income oo high.  With kids yes probably.Section 8.
My point was not about how much section people make (I have no idea) and probably should not have mentioned section 8. I just think that they will not be able to rent out all of these units and they will drop the price then drop it again and then will take what ever they can get.
  I believe that the pond view units were to be sold but could not be sold so they ended up renting them out. The taxpayers took a huge hit on that as well when the city gave them about a 600,000 dollar gift by not charging for all the sewer connections.
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Joined: June 25th, 2007, 6:00 pm

September 10th, 2017, 10:29 am #617

tyu12 wrote:
Leland33 wrote: tyu12 have you ever been on Section 8?

It's for people with very low incomes.

I think a McDonald's wage with overtime would not qualify for Section 8 for a single person - income oo high.  With kids yes probably.Section 8.
My point was not about how much section people make (I have no idea) and probably should not have mentioned section 8. I just think that they will not be able to rent out all of these units and they will drop the price then drop it again and then will take what ever they can get.
  I believe that the pond view units were to be sold but could not be sold so they ended up renting them out. The taxpayers took a huge hit on that as well when the city gave them about a 600,000 dollar gift by not charging for all the sewer connections.
I worked with others from Gloucester affordable housing groups converting the former LePages property into Pond View. Various components of low and moderate income units were  part of the project from the very beginning. By the way Section 8 is not low rent necessarily for the landlord. The idea is that the tenant is subsidized for the part of the rent that is beyond the means of the resident. When I was a Section 8 landlord I did not mind getting really low income tenants because in that case I would get a check for the full amount every month from the GHA and would not have to ask the tenant for anything. My tenants were always Gloucester families with limited incomes and unlimited kids. Single mothers working end up paying a big hunk of their incomes for child care. Not everyone has grandmothers in the neighborhood.
Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought?...   ..........
 George Orwell , 1984
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Joined: April 15th, 2006, 1:02 am

September 10th, 2017, 3:58 pm #618

if 'affordable' at Fuller is high, then people won't have to worry about 'those people' buying them.

make the developer have them on site.

and if they don't like the windmills, they will make them come down as that's the way things go now.  someone moves into an area with something that has been there a while and decides they don't like it and pressures the city to do something about it
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

September 11th, 2017, 9:20 pm #619

A revised agenda for tomorrow's CC was posted today.  The "action" notation for the Fuller Special Permit Application now reads "Refer P&D and Planning Bd." (from just "Refer P&D").  Dotting their i's and crossing their t's I guess ...
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Joined: April 15th, 2006, 1:02 am

September 13th, 2017, 9:15 am #620

I love how they brag about all the jobs that will be created by the retail part of the plan.    of course Park did the same thing and he has more buildings empty than full and never finished building the other retail parts of his original plan.   vacant lots and empty buildings don't bring in jobs.     and I also question the 9000 Y members.  I don't see that number from just Gloucester & Rockport.   and wouldn't you think that the Y would want some type of outdoor activity.  the project is tearing up a softball field (dedicated to Charlie Thomas) and basketball courts.  shouldn't they be replaced somehow?

And these proposed residential buildings will be 5 stories tall (with the roof lines and cupolas). this will look like that project at the 128/Rt 1 intersection.

This developer is already in pretty deep with all the site plans and studies being done so far. I can't see them abandoning the whole project now just because the city doesn't allow them to send the affordable part someplace else.
Last edited by NightStalker on September 13th, 2017, 9:39 am, edited 2 times in total.
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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