Friday, March 19, 2010
Housing Authority shorts, March 11
• Benfield Farms. Chair Alan Lehotsky reported to the Housing Authority (CHA) on March 11 about substantive changes to the Benfield Farms affordable housing plan that had been presented the previous evening during the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) hearing. Architects Meridian Associates have reduced the planned building footprint, but have moved some mechanical systems to provide for more square feet of usable space. In addition, instead of using oil to heat the building, they would extend the gas line 1,000 feet down South Street, with the possibility of abutters hooking into it. The latter change will cost approximately $60,000, but would allow the project to eliminate environmental and logistical concerns about having oil tanks on the property. The continuation of the CHA hearing, including the peer review, is set for March 31.
So far, there are 85 individuals interested in renting the 26 planned units, with 78 of these people being “Carlisle preference,” which means they currently live in town or have relatives who live here.
• Application for determination of use. Meridian Associates has applied to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Drinking Water Project for determination of individual uses of Zone 1 of the Benfield Farms project, which includes the well head. Meridian has requested, on a case-by-case basis, that the DEP determine whether it would be possible to allow nature study, nature photography, bee-keeping, limited animal grazing (five to six sheep) and haying in this zone.
• Housing Coordinator. The Housing Authority voted unanimously to co-sponsor the Selectmen’s application to the Community Preservation Committee for funds to cover the salary of a “Housing Coordinator” and to fund “affordable housing administrative and support activities through the funds available in the Community Housing Fund” for a period of two years, July 1, 2010, to June 30, 2012. The Housing Coordinator would be paid $50,000 per year for a 28-hour-per-week position.
• Housing Production Plan. The Housing Authority will be discussing Carlisle’s Housing Production plan in detail at its next meeting on March 25. Issues include the expansion of Village Court, a study of the development of disabled housing, including possible grants from the Citizens Housing and Planning Association to fund such studies, surveys of housing demands and recommendations for what types of housing and how much should be built over the next five years. ∆
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