New town website

It is live today – http://www.town.medfield.net/.   Nice clean look, with easy to use interface.  And you can sign up to get notifications of meetings and agendas.

town website

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The other Medfield

The Medfield in Maryland that appears to be a neighborhood or part of Baltimore, appears to have a nice looking sign (although I think we got more snow) –

Medfield, MD

Teachout leads Chamber

Medfield’s own Chris Teachout of Needham Bank to lead the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber – this from the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber today –

NNC logo

Teachout elected chair of chamber’s board 

 

The Newton-Needham Regional Chamber’s Board of Directors has elected Chris Teachout, vice president for Business Development at Needham Bank, as its new chair, effective Jan. 1.

Teachout

Teachout replaces Rachel Hillman Foy who has completed her two-year term and will remain on the board as immediate past chair.

 

 

“My  election as Chair of the Newton-Needham Regional Chamber is really significant as I am the fourth generation of my family to be raised in Needham,” said Teachout. “My fond memories of what it was like as a child growing up in this town are everlasting.

 

“Just as is the case with Newton, much has changed in my hometown and, in my opinion, for the better. The chamber has played a significant role in this evolution and I look forward, as the new chair, to continue with the progress we’ve made. It’s a very proud moment for me. I know my grandfather, who worked at Needham Bank, would be especially proud. I look forward to serving.”

 

The chamber board reelected Barry Brown, president at Mount Ida College as a vice chair and elected Samantha Sherman, chief development and external relations officer for Beth Israel Deaconess Hospital Needham and John Spino, a founding partner at Dwyer, Ruggieri, Spino and Goncalves to serve as vice chairs. Allison Yee, director of retail incubation at WS Development will serve on the executive committee as clerk and Bruce A. Gold, CPA, principal at ALL CPAs will serve as the chamber’s treasurer.

 

“I’m very grateful to Rachel for her leadership as our board chair for the past two years and am looking forward to working with Chris and our new executive board members as we continue our efforts to take this chamber to the next level,” said Greg Reibman, the chamber’s president.

Meetings yesterday

The Board of Selectmen held a meeting yesterday afternoon with seniors at The Center, for a no holds barred discussion of the options, status, and timing for senior housing.  I learned a lot.  Selectmen were supported by members of the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee, who did the heavy carrying about explaining the status of that committee’s huge amount of work with respect to the redevelopment of the former MSH site.

Then Gus and I attended an evening regional selectmen meeting in Millis, attended by selectmen from six towns (see Medfield Press article below), where we discussed how each town is dealing with 40B, marijuana, and the new Federal stormwater rules.  I learned a lot there too.

20171207-BoS-Senior housing meeting

Region’s selectmen convene

MILLIS – Local officials from several towns led a discussion Thursday on the deficiencies and possible reform of affordable housing rules.

Selectmen from Medway, Ashland, Hopkinton, Holliston, Medfield and Millis – convened in Millis to discuss a number of issues of regional importance, such as stormwater management, retail marijuana regulation and the voting process at town meetings. The towns have met several times over the past year.

Medway Town Administrator Michael Boynton noted that the “40B” affordable housing legislation – which allows developers to circumvent certain local zoning bylaws if their project has an affordable housing component and the town falls below a 10 percent affordable housing threshold – first went into effect in 1969.

“It’s not going anywhere,” he said, noting that a ballot initiative to repeal the rule in 2010 had failed. He added that many towns, when they reach the 10 percent threshold, lose interest in reform.

Boynton said the town had experienced – in the last 18 months – both friendly and unfriendly 40B developments.

Medway Selectman Glenn Trindade said the legislation, as currently written, does not solve the affordable housing problem in the most efficient way. He said apartments are most in demand, but developers want to build houses. With apartments, he noted, the residents’ incomes are reviewed after a period of time to ensure they still quality; the same does not occur with houses or condos.

“What we’ve got with this system is someone hits the lottery (and is awarded an affordable house or condo), and you help one person,” he said.

Fellow Selectman Dennis Crowley said he was concerned about what happened to affordable housing units. He said the town had seen instances in which condo owners had bought their units, refinanced at the market value of the condo, pocketed the difference and left. He also cited incidents in which people owned the units, but moved out and rented them to other people.

“Nobody’s monitoring these units,” he said.

Boynton suggested several reforms to the law. One change would allow towns to prioritize senior housing, while another would tie developments to a municipality’s master plan.

State Rep. Shawn Dooley, R-Norfolk, noted the difficulty of changing the legislation. He said he was pursuing reforms that would allow a slightly higher-priced unit to count as a percentage of an affordable housing unity. He pointed at his hometown of Norfolk as an example of where such housing is needed.

“We’re losing teachers, firefighters and police officers – they can’t afford to live in town,” he said. “We have (affordable housing) at $130,000, and the next house up is $500,000.”

Mike Gleason can be reached at 508-634-7546 or mgleason@wickedlocal.com. For news throughout the day, follow him on Twitter @MGleason_MDN.

Election

I started my re-election campaign this morning by pulling the nomination papers.  More soon –

Nomination papers_Page_1

75 High Street

 

Medfield Children's Center bld

I was informed at the Board of Selectmen meeting last night that the owners of the Medfield Children’s Center may be abandoning their planned use of the 75 High Street site (rendering shown above), for which they have been seeking site plan approval from the planning board.  I was told that the owners have located a preferred location for the Medfield Children’s Center that is on Rte. 27, but at the other side of town.

93-95 North Street 40B update

93-95 North street

Caitlin Dufault asked for an update in a comment to an earlier post, and I thought that there would be more general interest in my response, so I will include it here as well.

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Tuesday evening at the 6:30 PM joint meeting of the Affordable Housing Trust Committee and the Board of Selectmen, there was a presentation by the developers of the 93-95 North Street 40B proposal, Dave and Rob MacCready. Because there is not agreement over the density (among other factors) of that proposal, and also because the Affordable Housing Trust has other proposals that are not as controversial, the Affordable Housing Trust voted to table the MacCready proposal.

Since that proposal is being put forward as a Local Initiative Program (LIP), it needs approval from the Board of Selectmen to proceed, which it does not now have. Where the Town of Medfield is currently in a safe harbor with respect to unfriendly 40B projects, if the developer opted to proceed while the town is in the safe harbor, the Zoning Board of Appeals could just deny the developer’s application for an unfriendly 40B comprehensive permit, so it could not proceed.

It is my expectation that the developers will next be trying to work out a more amicable proposal with the neighbors, which could then return to the Affordable Housing Trust Committee and the Board of Selectmen for their consideration.