Category Archives: Affordable housing / 40B

Lot 3 & Hinkley


Lot 3 & Hinkley Property

The Board of Selectmen received the following memo from the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee at last night’s (really long – 4+ hours) meeting.  I am an abutter to an abutter of both Hinkley and Lot 3 (in blue above), so I recuse myself from any discussions about either.

After hearing from Chair Nolan and his fellow committee members, the Selectmen agreed last night to allow the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee process, as planned, to proceed to its expected January special town meeting (STM) to consider the rezoning and disposition of the Medfield State Hospital land, instead of doing either an immediate disposition and/or a commercial use disposition.




TO:                 Medfield Board of Selectmen                      

FROM:           Stephen M. Nolan, Chair

Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee


RE:                 Hinkley Property and Lot 3, Ice House Road       

DATE:           July 6, 2017   


At your meeting on June 20, 2017, Mike Marcucci raised the possibility that Lot 3 on Ice House Road (“Lot 3”) and the adjacent Hinkley property (the “Hinkley Property”) be removed from the purview of the Medfield State Hospital Master Planning Committee (the “Committee”) and instead assigned to the newly-created Affordable Housing Trust (the “Trust”).  I raised this subject for discussion at our Committee meeting the following evening.  After further discussion at our meeting on July 5, the Committee voted unanimously to recommend to Board of Selectmen that Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property remain as part of our charge, with the understanding that two members of our Committee would be designated to work with one or more members of the Trust and/or the Affordable Housing Committee on an RFP for disposition of Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property to one or more developers for the following uses: 42 units of senior affordable rental housing (40B compliant) on Lot 3 and approximately 15 small single-family units on the Hinkley Property.  Our thought process is set forth in more detail below.


  1. Intended Use of Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property.

The consensus that has emerged from our public sessions, our meetings with the Council on Aging and the Senior Housing Study Committee and Committee deliberations is that the most desirable use for Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property is senior housing.  The principal reasons for this are twofold: access to The Center and the possibility that a senior housing development could happen on a more expedited basis than the re-development of the MSH core campus because infrastructure is more readily available and the properties are distinct enough from the core campus to be susceptible of proceeding on an independent track without pre-determining other uses at the core campus that are still under discussion.  The Council on Aging has expressed potential willingness to cede a small portion  of the land at the corner of The Center adjacent to Hinkley for purposes of enhancing the development potential of the Hinkley Property.  In addition, our consultant has advised that more intense commercial uses at Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property are likely to negatively impact The Center and overload Ice House Road.

Concern has been expressed by some, including Mike Sullivan and Gus Murby, about using a commercially zoned property for residential purposes, but the overall MSH master plan is likely to include not only a site on the MSH property for a recreational facility (whether Town-owned, private or public-private-partnership is a subject to be addressed by the Town) but also other commercially-designated parcels at the core campus that are more likely to draw interest from commercial users due to their favorable location in midst of a vital redevelopment project.  Given the proximity of the MSH property to McCarthy Park and the fact that there are no restrictive covenants applicable to that land (unlike the covenants that the Town is subject to under the Kingsbury Club lease), the MSH property is a more favorable site for a recreational facility.  And we have heard from the Economic Development Committee that the only serious proposal for a commercial use at Lot 3 that came out of their request for expressions of interest was a recreational facility, the other potential use being senior housing.  If other land at the MSH property is being proposed for such a use as well as other commercial uses, the Committee does not see any disadvantage to changing the zoning of Lot 3 to residential, effectively swapping this commercial land for other more-suitable commercial land at the MSH property.

  1. Advantages to Keeping Properties within MSH Master Plan.

The biggest reason for keeping Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property as part of the charge of the Committee is that by doing so they can be rezoned as part of the overall re-zoning of the MSH property.  Such re-zoning will significantly enhance the value of the properties because a developer will not be required to obtain a Chapter 40B comprehensive permit, which is both time-consuming and expensive, even if it is a “friendly 40B”.  In addition, the Committee believes that moderately-priced single-family homes are in demand by Medfield seniors and such units would not qualify for a comprehensive permit.  So without including the Hinkley Property under the MSH re-zoning, those units would not be feasible at the Hinkley Property.  The Committee is also looking at possible creation of a Chapter 40R district that would encompass Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property, possibly resulting in financial incentive payments to the Town.

An additional consideration is that the MSH master plan is more likely to succeed at Town Meeting if it draws upon the broadest coalition of supporters, including seniors and advocates for maintaining safe harbor status under Chapter 40B.  The Committee believes that if key parts of the redevelopment plan are removed from our scope and made stand-alone proposals, the MSH master plan is less likely to pass due to the loss of constituencies who might otherwise be expected to vigorously support the master plan.  This dissipation of support through segmentation of the plan poses a real risk to our ability to muster two-thirds support at Town Meeting.

Finally, in examining the financial impact of the MSH redevelopment, the location of senior housing at Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property, rather than at the core campus, will produce a net shift of positive economic benefits from the core campus to Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property due to (i) senior housing being a net revenue generator because of the lack of school children and (ii) a relatively higher purchase price for those properties because of lower infrastructure costs.  On the other hand, the possibility of family housing around the core campus and the higher infrastructure costs are likely to make the financials at the core campus more challenging.  For these reasons we prefer to keep Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property within our scope.

  1. Potential Disposition Process and Timing.

Finally, the issue of speed needs to be examined in light of other affordable housing efforts in Town.  We look to the Selectmen, the Affordable Housing Committee and the Affordable Housing Trust for guidance in this area.  We are aware of multiple efforts on the affordable housing front, including Tilden Village (42+ units), the American Legion property (42+ units), Lot 3 (42 units) and the core campus (undetermined number of units, but likely at least 50 units).  The combination of these units would bring the Town over the 10% mark.  Managing the delivery of these units so as to keep within safe harbor will be a complicated task, but given the difficulty of getting projects permitted and funded, it seems to us better to be pro-active and have multiple irons in the fire rather than trying to stretch out efforts in order to avoid overlap.  If one of the proposed projects were to slip for unanticipated reasons and another wasn’t well along in the process, the Town could fall out of safe harbor, and be vulnerable to unfriendly 40Bs.  In addition, the seniors in Town are impatient for progress on the goal of providing alternative housing options in order to avoid losing more of their number to out-of-town options.

Because Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property are Town-owned properties, they require a public disposition process in addition to re-zoning.  We would propose that the Town proceed on a parallel track to prepare a disposition RFP that would allow for selection of a preferred developer/purchaser, subject to re-zoning and Town Meeting approval.  This would allow for a potential disposition shortly after Town Meeting in January.  We have already done significant planning work with respect to Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property, including wetlands mapping and infrastructure analysis, and as a result our Committee is familiar with the constraints and development potential of the two sites.  Because our planning consultant is working with us on possible lay-outs of Lot 3 and the Hinkley Property and because, as stated above, we believe it makes sense to keep the properties under the MSH master plan, we suggest our Committee proceed to work on an RFP for the disposition, either as a single project comprising both the affordable senior rentals (40B) and the moderately-priced single family units or as two separate projects. We would consult with the Affordable Housing Trust and Affordable Housing Committee as we draft the RFP and we would welcome their input.  A recommendation on disposition as one single or two separate projects would be made by the Committee, once it digs into the substance more thoroughly and examines the merits of both approaches.
















Affordable Housing Trust constituted


Affordable Housing Trust Members

At the Board of Selectmen meeting last night the Affordable Housing Trust members were appointed:

  • Mike Marcucci
  • Adam Ameden
  • Timothy Bonfatti
  • Todd Trehubenko
  • Jack Wolfe
  • Ann Thompson

Under the terms of the Affordable Housing Trust adopted at the annual town meeting (ATM) in April, one selectman was to serve, the Affordable Housing Committee appointed one member (Ann Thompson), the Warrant Committee and the Planning Board were to each nominate individuals.  Jack Wolfe, a Warrant Committee member, was taken as the Warrant Committee nominee and the Planning Board is meeting next Monday to make its nomination (the selectmen left the seventh position open to be filled after getting that Planning Board suggestion).

The town was fortunate that a really strong field of candidates with huge experience, much with affordable housing, stepped forward to volunteer, making the selection of the actual committee members a difficult process of selecting from among so many with such great resumes.  I encouraged those who could not be appointed to still attend the Affordable Housing Trust meetings and to seek to contribute.


Dale St. 40B developer meeting 7/18

The developer of the proposed Dale Street 40B has scheduled a public meeting about his plans.  Below is the notice the town received yesterday, too late to be included in the select board meeting materials for our 7/11 meeting.

Date: July 5th, 2017 To: Interested Parties & Neighbors From: Medfield Meadows, LLC and Medfield Meadows 2, LLC Re: Neighborhood Meeting- Redesign of 39/41and49 Dale Street Dear Neighbors, We would like to invite you to attend a neighborhood meeting to discuss the revised development proposals planned for 39/41 Dale Street and 49 Dale Street. Based on the feedback previously received from both the neighborhood and the municipality, and after working closely with Masshousing, we have made profound and significant changes to both plans including a major density reduction. We recognize and appreciate that the previous proposals were not well received. We believe the revised concepts have addressed many of the criticisms previously provided. We are interested in soliciting additional feedback on the revised plans and hope that you can attend the meeting which is scheduled for: July 18 at the American Legion in Medfield at 7pm. Some of the differences between the original proposal and the revised proposals include: REVISED PLANS (dated May 2017) PROJECT Medfield Green Grovedale Homes LOCATION NU.MBER OF UNITS 70 Units 25 Units BLDG. TYPES 50 units in a mid- 25 townhouse units rise building on North Meadow Road and 20 Townhouses that more closely resemble the surrounding neighborhood BUILDING HEIGHT Midrise at 50' +/- Townhouse at 35' ORIGINAL PLANS Dated 12/08/17 NORTH/SOUTH COMBINED INTO 1 PROJECT 182 Units - 98 units in the North Parcel - 84 units in the South Parcel. 3 & 4 story mid-rise buildings Midrise at 50' RECEIVED JUL r 7 Z017 MEDFIELD SELECTMEN Townhouse at 35' PARKING 106 spaces 60 spaces 280 spaces PARKING RATIO 1.5 2.4 1.53 Reconfiguration The apartment Townhouses are 3 & 4 story mid-rise building is near the contextual to the buildings DPW, set back 15 surrounding Total reduction of 87 units feet from North neighborhood. Meadows Road. The building height is reduced near neighboring homes. Park area in the center of the development. Landscape buffers along property lines for neighbors and DPW. The townhouses are along the street to provide a more contextual buffer. We still plan on seeking comprehensive permits under Chapter 40B. However, we have not formally filed anything with any Subsidizing Agencies, like MassHousing, as we hope to have the benefit of your comments prior to filing. We look forward to seeing you on July 18 at the American Legion in Medfield at 7pm. John Kelly20170705-John Kelly-meeting notice_Page_2

We are at 7.2% affordable housing

The Department of Housing and Community Development provided this chart of our current SHI with its notice that we are in a safe harbor, which shows that we have 7.2% affordable housing now per the Department of Housing and Community Development tally.  We have a total of 304 SHI with the two 40B projects that are being built, and we need a  total of 422 to be at the 10% threshold.  However, the new decennial census in 2020 will up our total number of dwelling units above the 4,220 that Department of Housing and Community Development is using below from the 2010 census, and hence that will increase the 10% needed to be in safe harbor too, so we will need more that just another 118 SHI to be in safe harbor after 2020.


Certified in safe harbor


Letter today, dated yesterday, from Department of Housing and Community Development certified that the Town of Medfield is in a safe harbor due to our having both a certified Housing Production Plan and 21 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) eligible units that have been approved.


This Certification of Municipal Compliance is based on the following findings:

  1. Medfield has provided evidence that the required number of units described in its request is eligible to be counted towards certification.
  2. The 21 Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) eligible units in these projects (Country Estates SHI ID# 10062) and (67 North Street SHI ID# (10063) meet the number necessary to satisfy a one year certification threshold.
  3. The housing development is consistent with the production goals outlined in Medfield Housing Production

Affordable Housing Trust $1m. bond passed

The Medfield Press reports that the $1m. bond to provide working monies for the Affordable Housing Trust passed yesterday – the article is linked to here –


Medfield passes affordable housing override

Medfield voters easily passed a tax override in Monday’s special election, with 904 votes for and 180 against.


The Junior-B

The 40B on Dale Street is back, this time with a total of 95 units instead of 200, consisting of:

  • 25 townhouse condos on the cemetery side with access from Dale Street, and
  • 70 units on the other side of Rte 27, comprised of 50 units in an apartment building and the other 20 in townhouses, all with access via Rte 27.

Per Mike Sullivan the cemetery side are condos and the other side are rentals –  although it does not make sense to me that townhouses on one side would be ownership and rental on the other side, so I will follow up on that.  See this link for the full plans 20170405-Medfield Meadows-2-plans  Mike reports that the town department heads opined to the developers when they met last week that the design was “too modern looking.”

20170405-Medfield Meadows-2-pictures-220170405-Medfield Meadows-2-pictures