Joined: January 16th, 2007, 5:15 am

October 9th, 2017, 3:12 pm #661

Damon wrote: Thanks Cathy and Jason for helping to clarify the issue. By the way, although anything is better than nothing, 15% or even 25% affordable is not much of a help in reaching the 10% of total units 40B requirement to get us off the list of target communities for inappropriate projects. We really need the Y and other groups to get together and create affordable housing preferably downtown where housing and transportation are available.
By the way defining "affordable" using family incomes 80% of median in the Boston area virtually insures that families taking the affordable apartments will not be Gloucester families making Gloucester median incomes. Our median income is around 60% of the Boston area median.
True, but we need to keep plugging away, ESPECIALLY when there is a project of this magnitude on the horizon. If the city concedes to the developer on a project of this size, we may as well simply kiss the provisions of 5.11 away. I was corrected by someone who knows about these things that it doesn't really matter about the 15% vs 25% that I referenced above, however there is some concern over the methodology of the math, the distribution of the costs/expenses etc. and whether the planning board should have sought third party advice on the economic hardship issue since that's the thing that's driving this whole discussion. My fear is that by not digging a bit deeper and simply accepting the applicant's presentation, the Council might be inclined to punt and not do their own due diligence. This would be a mistake in my view.   By the way, that 80%  is only the upper threshold for affordability -- meaning the very least restrictive on the applicant... and frankly not a terribly high bar for them to achieve, which makes their whining all the more lame. If they/we really wanted to make an impact, we could insist on 60% or 30% -- Even their own representative suggested that 80% wouldn't make that much of difference given the economic band we're in.... if that's the case they should reconsider their protests.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

October 9th, 2017, 4:01 pm #662

jason...at this point who should be urged to request the third party review of the economic hardship issue...the Planning Board or the City Council?  Is it too late to ask the Planning Board to do this? The developer we be back at the next PB meeting from what I understood.   Also...if the developer can prove hardship at the 80% then it would only be more hardship at 60% or 30%, so that outside review of hardship is critical to that idea. 
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Joined: August 20th, 2007, 10:17 pm

October 9th, 2017, 6:22 pm #663

Veterans and East Gloucester Elementary need to be replaced and the city is rushing to dispose of the best site to to build a new school to replace them AND house the administrative office space we currently rent? Am I missing something? This is insanity!
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

October 9th, 2017, 6:58 pm #664

The whole organizational structure of FMUV and the allocation of acquisition and development costs have bugged me all along.  There's that permit, then subdivide, then close thing.  I can't even imagine that the City would not ask for the LLC's Operating Agreement and some financial data to verify those costs and how they are allocated when considering the hardship plea.

The zoning for the MUOD includes this:

"Sec. 5.29.9 Submissions.  Even if the project is comprised of several parcels and uses, the applicant may file a single application for the project."

The RFP called for a PILOT agreement if the respondent is a non-profit.  FMUV is not a non-profit so no PILOT agreement.  Permit, subdivide, close - the Y will not pay property taxes and will not have a PILOT agreement.

After the overlay hearing where so much support for inclusion was voiced, the developer noted that they were hesitant to put out for the costs of design, plans, tests, etc. that it would take to prepare an application for the Special Permit, without some kind of guarantee of the outcome ...
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

October 9th, 2017, 7:19 pm #665

And it's frustrating that people keep saying that the developer is making an in-lieu contribution of $1.5m.
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Joined: June 20th, 2007, 11:54 pm

October 9th, 2017, 7:30 pm #666

Damon wrote:
flounda wrote: We really need the Y and other groups to get together and create affordable housing preferably downtown where housing and transportation are available.
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So were are the people in this downtown Y development supposed to park? It's hard enough to find a space to visit the inconvenient City hall. And I'm sure that transportation could be arranged to service Fuller.
I am extremely reluctant to let parking dominate my position on the affordable housing issue. Downtown is the part of Gloucester with most needs within easy walking distance, good bus service, and a short walk to the train. If one can find employment downtown or commute by bus or train, one can save a lot per year by just getting along without the %^$* car. Anyway I seldom had trouble finding free parking near the Y when I worked out there every day. Along Prospect and the side streets between there and the Y there is usually space. I have a hunch that with time and Uber our cultural dedication to a car for every adult will fade in any case. I think it will be tough for youth hockey :)
I believe the plan for parking at the present Y is a ground floor garage.
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Joined: September 1st, 2012, 8:06 am

October 9th, 2017, 8:34 pm #667

Dun Fudgin wrote:
Damon wrote:
flounda wrote:We really need the Y and other groups to get together and create affordable housing preferably downtown where housing and transportation are available.
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So were are the people in this downtown Y development supposed to park? It's hard enough to find a space to visit the inconvenient City hall. And I'm sure that transportation could be arranged to service Fuller.
I am extremely reluctant to let parking dominate my position on the affordable housing issue. Downtown is the part of Gloucester with most needs within easy walking distance, good bus service, and a short walk to the train. If one can find employment downtown or commute by bus or train, one can save a lot per year by just getting along without the %^$* car. Anyway I seldom had trouble finding free parking near the Y when I worked out there every day. Along Prospect and the side streets between there and the Y there is usually space. I have a hunch that with time and Uber our cultural dedication to a car for every adult will fade in any case. I think it will be tough for youth hockey :)
I believe the plan for parking at the present Y is a ground floor garage.
Damon is correct...the car (as a primary individual ownership vehicle) has peaked.
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Joined: January 16th, 2007, 5:15 am

October 9th, 2017, 10:23 pm #668

Karly wrote: jason...at this point who should be urged to request the third party review of the economic hardship issue...the Planning Board or the City Council?  Is it too late to ask the Planning Board to do this? The developer we be back at the next PB meeting from what I understood.   Also...if the developer can prove hardship at the 80% then it would only be more hardship at 60% or 30%, so that outside review of hardship is critical to that idea. 
I would urge both, but at this stage it sounds like enough of the planning board was willing to punt on this that I would expend my energies on the Council since they're the ones who ultimately have final say on this. Contact all of them and insist that they do this as part of their due diligence. This is as important as their sewage and parking plans. The outcome of this project may well shape future projects for years to come. BTW, even IF they work the numbers to establish some modicum of "hardship" it is STILL at the discretion of the Council to give the waiver or not. I continue to argue for NOT given that I don't think Dolben will walk even if the inclusionary is required, and even IF they do, I'm willing to be that given a permitted site, with the overlay in place, the other partners will be able to rustle up another developer willing to join the project.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

October 10th, 2017, 5:38 pm #669





This chart was also part of the presentation to the Planning Board.  I'm not sure what to make of those figures without knowing which entity is paying for what.  The $126,000 difference in the market/inclusionary gross rents is notable - that's considerably lower than what the developers stated at the overlay hearing where they claimed a difference of $177,000.

I don't know that it even matters how much the required contribution will be, if allowed.  It should matter to the City, of course, but the developers will pay the same $5.6m per the P&S and the City will transfer whatever amount to the housing trust and spin it as a great deal for the City.

The footnote cites the estimated rents:

Market rents:  $1550/mo for a 1 BR and $1895/mo for a 2 BR.

Inclusionary rents:   $1289/mo for a 1 BR and $1485/mo for a 2 BR.

The inclusionary rents are net of utilities (utilities not included?)

Under the definition of Affordable Housing, the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance states:  For tenants the aggregate annual charges shall include rent, utilities (except telephone and other telecommunications), and renter's insurance.

This is a Dolben 40B development in Andover and a 2016 article about it in the Eagle Tribune:

http://www.eagletribune.com/news/with-u ... bd5a2.html

https://www.berryfarmsapartments.com/
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

October 10th, 2017, 6:45 pm #670

That is the handout I wanted to see that they gave to PB and I think had up on the projector but couldn't read it at all.  Will sit in a better spot next time. Thanks for posting it.   So the $1550/$1895 were the market rates not the affordable.  When they mentioned those rates we thought they were the AH units.  They did say that they can't charge utilities for the affordable units.  I'll have to get out my notes now that I can see that sheet.
Last edited by Karly on October 10th, 2017, 7:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

October 10th, 2017, 6:53 pm #671

Weird...now I can't see that chart anymore.  It just says economic_hardship.jpg    I was able to see it 1/2 hour ago.
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Joined: April 1st, 2011, 11:07 pm

October 10th, 2017, 8:28 pm #672

Karly wrote: Weird...now I can't see that chart anymore.  It just says economic_hardship.jpg    I was able to see it 1/2 hour ago.
. I saw the chart earlier and just see economic_hardship.jpg at the moment.. No more chart.
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Joined: August 13th, 2005, 5:30 am

October 10th, 2017, 8:31 pm #673

There is nothing wrong with your television. Do not attempt to adjust the picture. We are now controlling the transmission. We control the horizontal and the vertical ...

I uploaded, it was there.  Then it wasn't.  I uploaded again, then there were two.  I deleted one, then there were none.  Happened to me here last week and there is an ongoing discussion at the support board about it.  Problem is - I report it and by the time someone looks at it, it's ba-ack.  So yes, we are not crazy, lol.

I linked to it from my site this time.  If it disappears again, find it at:  http://capeannweb.com/economic_hardship.jpg
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Joined: February 19th, 2010, 9:12 pm

October 10th, 2017, 9:22 pm #674

Perfect!  Thanks so much.
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Joined: April 15th, 2006, 1:02 am

October 11th, 2017, 8:36 am #675

Cathy (Admin) wrote:



This chart was also part of the presentation to the Planning Board.  I'm not sure what to make of those figures without knowing which entity is paying for what.  The $126,000 difference in the market/inclusionary gross rents is notable - that's considerably lower than what the developers stated at the overlay hearing where they claimed a difference of $177,000.

I don't know that it even matters how much the required contribution will be, if allowed.  It should matter to the City, of course, but the developers will pay the same $5.6m per the P&S and the City will transfer whatever amount to the housing trust and spin it as a great deal for the City.

The footnote cites the estimated rents:

Market rents:  $1550/mo for a 1 BR and $1895/mo for a 2 BR.

Inclusionary rents:   $1289/mo for a 1 BR and $1485/mo for a 2 BR.

The inclusionary rents are net of utilities (utilities not included?)

Under the definition of Affordable Housing, the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance states:  For tenants the aggregate annual charges shall include rent, utilities (except telephone and other telecommunications), and renter's insurance.

This is a Dolben 40B development in Andover and a 2016 article about it in the Eagle Tribune:

http://www.eagletribune.com/news/with-u ... bd5a2.html

https://www.berryfarmsapartments.com/
Looks like it can be done if the developers want to do it and/or the city makes them do it.
You think you know it, but you haven't got a clue!!
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Joined: June 25th, 2007, 6:00 pm

October 11th, 2017, 1:00 pm #676

I am sorry, despite some experience in the area I can not come to any firm conclusions from the chart. I need a serious discussion of every item and what it really means to the developer, the city, and the prospective residents. I am one hundred percent in favor of the council or the planning board calling in experts for a serious analysis of this purported hardship. Off hand by the way the rents look high for anything said to fill a need for affordable family housing locally. I am just infuriated by the developer taking the majority of his required funding for affordable housing out of his payment to the city for the property. I am in favor of an unmissable  billboard up there in the weeds with a big picture and stating "Carolyn Kirk Memorial School" in huge gothic font.
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: May 10th, 2007, 9:48 am

October 11th, 2017, 3:14 pm #677

Damon wrote: I am sorry, despite some experience in the area I can not come to any firm conclusions from the chart. I need a serious discussion of every item and what it really means to the developer, the city, and the prospective residents. I am one hundred percent in favor of the council or the planning board calling in experts for a serious analysis of this purported hardship. Off hand by the way the rents look high for anything said to fill a need for affordable family housing locally. I am just infuriated by the developer taking the majority of his required funding for affordable housing out of his payment to the city for the property. I am in favor of an unmissable  billboard up there in the weeds with a big picture and stating "Carolyn Kirk Memorial School" in huge gothic font.
This is tiresome finger pointing,Damon. Fuller was/is a poorly designed 60s relic that saw little maintenance through multiple administrations, school committees and city councillors. Your hero Sefatia was councillor at large before Kirk was mayor. What input on Fuller's maintenance did she have? Add a name to your billboard if you want to point fingers. SRT is the mayor now and this is her deal. Trump like to point at others for his fuck ups too. 
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Joined: May 10th, 2007, 9:48 am

October 11th, 2017, 3:15 pm #678

Damon wrote: I am sorry, despite some experience in the area I can not come to any firm conclusions from the chart. I need a serious discussion of every item and what it really means to the developer, the city, and the prospective residents. I am one hundred percent in favor of the council or the planning board calling in experts for a serious analysis of this purported hardship. Off hand by the way the rents look high for anything said to fill a need for affordable family housing locally. I am just infuriated by the developer taking the majority of his required funding for affordable housing out of his payment to the city for the property. I am in favor of an unmissable  billboard up there in the weeds with a big picture and stating "Carolyn Kirk Memorial School" in huge gothic font.
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Joined: May 10th, 2007, 9:48 am

October 11th, 2017, 3:18 pm #679

Bottom line. This a move by the developer and the city to keep those people out. Anyone who cant see this is willfully blind or complicit.
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Joined: February 7th, 2008, 5:54 pm

October 11th, 2017, 3:49 pm #680

I wish we could get some more input from Dianna Ploss on the Fuller issue.
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