Friday, May 19, 2006
Affordable units under way at Rocky Point
Responding to a concern that market-rate units are being sold at Rocky Point (formerly Laurel Hollow) before affordable units are built, Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Chair Cindy Nock reports that affordable units are now under construction at the eight-unit development on Lowell Street across from the Transfer Station. "The walls and framing are up. Hopefully it won't be long now."
The development, which will include two affordable units, was originally proposed in 2003 and delayed by developer Michael Kenny due to financial constraints. Nock says, "The units are being built and sold in phases," making it possible to finance each step and finally get it completed. According to Town Assessor John Speidel, at least four of the six market-rate units have been sold for an average price of $750,000, with the other two "very close to selling."
Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie notes that the ZBA has no jurisdiction over the timing of affordable units. She referred the Mosquito to a memo dated April 27, 2006, in which the Department of Housing and Community Development instructs ZBAs to impose conditions related to "planning and land-use concerns" and leave comprehensive permit regulation up to the agencies. "Whoever provides the funding has control over regulation," clarified McKenzie. The comprehensive permit held by the developer allows him to bypass zoning regulations under state law in order to increase the stock of affordable housing. The permit was issued before Carlisle received a moratorium from the 40B law last year by submitting a Housing Plan.
At present, there is no monitoring of the profitability of sold units. Under the law, a developer under a comprehensive permit must return profits over 20% to the town for future affordable housing. Nock reports that a review will be done by the state once the project is complete, at which time any profits over the 20% will be remitted to Carlisle.
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