Monthly Archives: December 2014

Office hours are on 1/9, not 1/2

I will hold my monthly office hours at The Center next week on January 9,  instead of this Friday on January 2, from 9:00 to 10:00 AM.

Residents are welcome to stop by to talk in person about any town matters.  Residents can also have coffee and a pastry.

I can be reached at 508-359-9190 or via my blog about Medfield matters  https://medfield02052.wordpress.com/, where any schedule changes will be posted.

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New town email protocol

The town switched over this month to a new email system, based on Gmail I am told.  And as a result, all town side email addresses have been standardized using the protocol of “[first initial][last name]@medfield.net.”

Per the school website, the schools appear to be using “[first initial][last name]@email.medfield.net” as their protocol.

Helpful for us going forward to have email addresses standardized, but for now my emails are getting bounced back to me and I am having to update lots of emails in my computer database.

I just emailed to Mike, Kris, and Evelyn asking them to add to the agenda of the next meeting of the selectmen the issue of whether the town devotes 1.5% of usable land in town to affordable housing, so as to exempt the town from G. L. c. 40B, as Newton has just done. Two of those three emails bounced.

This was the recent article in the Globe on Newton doing so –


 

Newton reaches Chapter 40B threshold
By Ellen IshkanianGlobe Correspondent December 28, 2014

Calculations made by various city departments over the past several weeks have determined that Newton has met an affordable-housing threshold, and no longer falls under the parameters of the state’s Chapter 40B affordable-housing law, according to the city’s attorney.

 

The determination was made through sophisticated satellite technology, legal analysis, cross-referencing, and double-checking of figures, said City Solicitor Donnalyn B. Lynch Kahn.

 

According to figures provided by the Planning Department, 1.88 percent of the city’s land is used for affordable housing, passing the 1.5 percent threshold stipulated in the 40B law.

 

Kahn said the city is among the first to use the land area stipulation to override the 40B law, but meeting the threshold does not mean the city can automatically reject new housing proposals. Rather, she said, “The need for affordable housing no longer automatically trumps local concerns.”

 

The Zoning Board of Appeals on Dec. 18 used the city’s new status for the first time, putting developers of a proposed 150-unit apartment complex off Rowe Street on notice that the city has met the affordable-housing threshold.

 

“It no longer becomes our mandate to put in affordable units and still make sure the developer makes a profit,” said the board’s chairwoman, Brooke K. Lipsitt. “40B will be a less attractive opportunity for developers. . . . But personally, I hope we can continue to develop affordable housing in the city.”

 

Developers have the right to appeal the Zoning Board of Appeals’s use of the threshold and challenge the city’s figures, Kahn said, but she is confident the city has used conservative calculations that put it well over the 1.5 percent mark.

 

The city has calculated the land area coverage as well as the percentage of affordable housing units in the city for every 40B development that has been proposed, according to Kahn, who said this is the first time the city’s figures have showed that the land area threshold has definitively been met.

 

Ellen Ishkanian can be reached at eishkanian@ gmail.com.

 

 

 

Establishing Medfield traditions

Medfield has a new blog! I suggest you keep an eye out for it, as I personally expect great and interesting things.

What Matters Medfield?

There’s a lot to love about Medfield, and the slower post-Christmas pace provides many opportunities for exploring open space, wandering around town, and just finding time to connect with friends and neighbors.

But all of this has been a new phenomenon for me. For years, my husband and I would pack up the kids and we’d drive down to the Jersey Shore to celebrate the holidays with my parents and siblings in our childhood home. It was a tradition that seemed like it would last forever, but then my Dad passed away in the summer of 2012, and my Mom died a year later. My childhood home was put on the market this fall, and on our recent trip to NJ, I couldn’t bring myself to visit the empty house.

How does one create new traditions? I’m still trying to find my way, but living in a tight-knit community like…

View original post 142 more words

Master plan

Currently the town is doing master planning for the redevelopment of the former MSH site, and also needs to also do a town wide master plan.  I was recently asking Sarah Raposa, the Town Planner, whether there is an opportunity at present to combine both needed planning processes into one.  She suggested that where we have already put out an RFP to select a planner for the MSH site, that it would now be better to complete the planning for the MSH site as a separate process from the town wide master plan.  Teresa James who has an employment history with a planning firm, counseled that much of what is developed for the MSH site will actually be useable in the town wide master plan.

As part of our discussion, I admitted my general lack on knowledge about the whole planning process, and so she sent me a link to the Town of Marshfield’s website on its master planning,which contains a nice summary of master planning.  This is the description from that site:


What is a Master Plan?

A Master Plan:

  • Tells a community what it looks like today and what direction it has decided it wants to go for the future; it includes assessments of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and desires.
  • Is a policy guide and provides a framework for future land use decision-making and the physical development of the municipality. While the emphasis is on buildings and infrastructure, it does not ignore the important social, natural resource and economic values of the community. The master plan is a method of translating the community’s values into specific actions.
  • Covers a time frame of about 10-20 years; it is assumed that shorter-term reviews will keep it current with the changing needs of the community.
  • Is closely integrated with other municipal planning documents and initiatives, for example in Marshfield the recently completed Open Space and Recreation Plan.

The Master Plan is NOT a zoning bylaw, a subdivision regulation, a budget, a capital improvement program or other regulatory document. It is meant to provide the framework for the development of these plan implementation tools.

What is involved in preparing a Master Plan?

  • The Planning Board will be overseeing the master planning process
  • Public outreach and meetings
  • Data collection and analysis that will ultimately be rolled into the Master Plan document
  • Preparation of the chapters of the plan (sometimes called plan elements)
  • New implementation plan.

Information and data are gathered from the other prior planning studies, while current views and opinions are being collected through community events where residents are invited to provide inputs. Other sources include data provided from state census data, and mapping data provided by one of the consulting teams.

What are the major sections of the Master Plan document?

  • Community Vision and Goals and Policies Statement
  • History
  • Land Use
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources
  • Transportation
  • Capital Facilities
  • Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (prepared by students from the University of Massachusetts Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning)
  • Implementation Plan

Town calendar

David Stephenson pointed me to Needham’s really nice looking town calendar –


Thought you’d both be interested in this: Needham publishes a wide range of iCalendars to which you can subscribe!

— David

 

W. David Stephenson | Principal | Stephenson Strategies/Stephenson Voice-Overs

BoS budget reviews

NOVEMBER 4, 2014
TOWN HOUSE, 459 MAIN STREET
MEDFIELD,  MASSACHUSETTS  02052-2009

TO:              ALL TOWN DEPARTMENTS

FROM:        EVELYN CLARKE

SUBJECT:   SELECTMEN’S SCHEDULE FOR FY 2016 BUDGET REVIEW

PLEASE LET ME KNOW IF YOU NEED TO MAKE A CHANGE IN YOUR SCHEDULED MEETING DATE OR TIME

TUESDAY DECEMBER 2, 2014 7:00 P.M.  TOWN CLERK
7:10 P.M.  COUNCIL ON AGING
7:20 P.M.  TOWN ACCOUNTANT
7:30 P.M.  PLANNING I APPEALS
7:40 P.M. HISTORICAL COMMISSION
7:50 P.M.  BOARD OF HEALTH

TUESDAY DECEMBER 16, 2014
7:00 P.M.  CONSERVATION
7:10 P.M.   ASSESSORS
7:20 P.M.   VETERANS’ AGENT
7:30 P.M.   INSPECTIONS
7:40 P.M.   PARK & RECREATION
7:50 P.M:   LIBRARY

TUESDAY JANUARY 6, 2014
7:00 P.M.  POLICE DEPARTMENT
7:15 P.M.   FIRE DEPARTMENT
7:30 P.M.   PERSONNEL

TUESDAY JANUARY 20, 2001
7:00 P.M.  TREASURER/COLLECTOR
7:15 P.M.   TOWN COUNSEL
7:30 P.M.   PUBLIC WORKS

W&S 2014 Gantt

Last post contained the the 2013 budget time line from the W&S Board’s budget planning document created last year.  Here is the current year’s version.

20141218_W_S_Cap_Plan_Gantt