October 27, 2008

Part 9: Low to Mod Income Housing

Quick Refresher. The old City Builders site was purchased for $490,000 which was presented to the South Worcester Board of Directors as a grant, which later actually became a loan. It was still approved even as a loan, under the auspices of owner-occupied townhouses.

April 20, 2006 Worcesteria in WoMag talking about Southgate Place:

I can not find it on-line, but I have a copy of Worcesteria for that issue. Scott Zoback mentioned the project and refers to the monies from CEDAC as grant to purchase the old City Builders for $490,000. It also referred to a plan calling for 25 owner-occupied townhouses on the site. In other words, I am not nuts and did not imagine all of this.

January 5, 2007

As an abutter, I receive a notice to discuss the plans at the Neighborhood Center and that SWNIC was looking for the neighborhood support. Why? SWNIC is going for a variance on January 8th, 2008. Plans, however, are just for 11 townhouses and for the first time that I ever heard-- a low rise 21 unit mulit-family dwelling unit is mentioned??

The variances were many:
  • 93 feet of frontage
  • 21 parking spots
  • 5 ft 4 inches of relief of front yard setback
  • 4.01 feet of sideyard setback
  • relief from floor area ratio
  • relief from number of stories (1)

The neighborhood meeting went quite badly with most people being upset with a 21 unit apartment building. Needless to say the meeting ended up with no support for the project.

January 8, 2008

I, as an abutter, showed up at the meeting with many other abutters to oppose the variance. The developer requested a postponement was it was granted. We left that night with the promise that we would meet with the developer again to discuss our concerns.


Jahn said...

As an abutter. I am sure you know that you can stop this variance dead in its tracks.

So what i said earlier was correct......that first they buy the lot and then go for the variances.....this is bass ackwards.......this is prima facia evidence why SWNC should not be in the development business

Bill Randell said...


I even told them that even if they beat me that I will appeal it to Superior Court. I said that not so much to fight them, but to make sure that they would work with us to come up with a common plan.


Anonymous said...

An interesting read...


Harry T
Worcester, MA

Jahn said...

Bill, 99.99% of variances that are granted are illegal. The variances often go unappealed when the abutting parties come a meeting of the minds, as i am sure you know.

True hardhips that warrant a variance are very,very, very rare. Financial hardships are not an issue. The hardship has to directly concern the land/site

Special permits are whole diff. story and are typically much harder to beat in court.

Did anyone catch Councilor Rushton on WTAG this monday schilling for the city unions & city employeees. As a taxpayer of the city, I find his poistion on this health ins. bargaining issue absolutely contrary to the best intersts of the taxpayers and completely aligned with the best interests of the city employees.

And I have to take another whack at him, too. The guy is supposedly a lawyer and he couldnt even defend his position and bobbed and weaved when asked by the host how his position benefits the city taxpayers.

Doe snayone have any doubt that too many councilors down there bow at teh altar of city labor first & foremost