Maple Woods, A Wenham Senior Housing Project

entry2Harborlight Community Partners  has  been seeking to create an affordable housing building for fixed income elders in Wenham for some time.  As we move forward, it is our hope this page will serve as a resource for the community to access information on our proposed affordable senior housing project as it develops.

Summary of Maple Woods Affordable Senior Housing Project

Who is HCP?

What are you proposing?

Can we come and see the site?

Why are you proposing this?

What is the location of the proposed building?

Who would be eligible to live in this building?

What  is the size of this proposed  building?

How far is the building from the  road, the lot lines of neighbors and other houses?

Will this project contribute to the local tax base?

Will the project burden public services?

Will there be benefits to the public from the project?

Will this be located in a wetland area?

How will you manage the drainage of water on the site?

How will you manage the wastewater?

How will you manage the lighting?

Will there be traffic problems?

How does the Town of Wenham represent its interests  in this process?

What has the been the public process so far?  – updated 6/4/2015

What is the public process going forward?

Who will be involved in the project?

Has the property been purchased yet?

What are you asking for from the Town of Wenham?

May I see the friendly comprehensive permit that was filed with the Town of Wenham?  – Updated 7/22/2015

Notice of Intent-Conservation Commission

 Who is HCP?
Harborlight Community Partners (HCP)  is a local 501 C 3 not for profit organization. We develop and manage affordable housing in the wider community with a focus on affordable, service enriched, senior housing. We have over 50 years of experience on the North Shore.   We operate several senior housing projects, including Turtle Creek, Turtle Woods, and Harborlight House in Beverly and Rockport High School Apartments and Pigeon Cove in Rockport. We also are the organization that developed Firehouse Place in Hamilton to preserve a home for the Acord Food Pantry. Please feel free to take a look further at www.harborlightcp.org. (Or call 978-922-1305 x 207 and we are happy to provide hard copies for you.)

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What are you proposing?

HCP is proposing to build an affordable, senior housing complex for people over the age of 55 in Wenham. We had originally considered making the age restriction 62 but that would have placed a limit on some State funding we hope to pursue. The change from 62 to 55 is intended to increase the number of eligible residents while maintaining the senior  use. If the State funding shifts and is available we could shift this back to age 62. Services will be available on site to help residents age in place.    

Regional Plan

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 Can we come and see the site?

Yes, we are hosting some tours for anyone who would like to visit. The proposed building footprint has been marked with stakes.   We are happy to host anyone who would like a tour. It is about 500 feet + back from the road but the walk is fairly easy and access is good.   We will be on site to host anyone liking a tour on the dates listed below. Please come to 62 Maple Street and we will meet you there. If you cannot make these days or times please let me know and I am happy to give you a personal tour of the site. adefranza@harborlightcp.org or 978-922-1305 x 207.

Open Tour Dates:        

Friday October 3, 2014 anytime from 4-5:30 PM

Saturday October 11, 2014 anytime from 8:30-9:30 AM

Friday October 17, 2014 anytime from 4-5:30 PM

Saturday October 18th anytime from 8:30-10:00 AM

If you cannot make these days and times please let me know and we will set up a time for you personally.

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Why are you proposing this?

There are two main reasons we are proposing this project:

First, we believe there is a need in our community for affordable housing with on site services for fixed income seniors.

Second, we seek to partner with the Town of Wenham to achieve its goal of getting the Town over the  10% threshold from 40B. This will give the Town much more control of future development.

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What is the location of the proposed building?

We are working with 3.5 acres behind and to the left of 62 Maple Street. This is an area to the left and rear of the Christmas tree farm, hundreds of feet from Maple Street. The Christmas tree farm is not impacted. A map is attached here to give you a sense of the location.

view from east

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 Who would be eligible to live in this building?

This is a 55+ project and is intended for seniors. The project would be governed by the 55+ fair housing laws which would require that at least one member of the household be age 55 or up, and that no one would be under the age of 18. Please see Fair Housing Law M.G.L. C151B for further information.

A portion of the units would be reserved for people below 30% of area median income (1 person $19,800, 2 people $22,600).

 A portion of the units would be reserved for people below 60% of area median income (1 person $39,540, 2 people $45,180)

 The funding sources require HCP to verify income. To qualify income must be below the limits noted above. Assets are not counted against the income limit. Only the income generated from an asset is counted. For example, interest earned from a bank account is counted but not the capital in the account itself.

 There is not currently a local preference  which would give residents or employees of Wenham a priority place on the waiting list. The Town could require one as a part of the permit process. The fair housing regulators at the State and Federal levels often do not like local preferences and often deny them.

It may be possible to request one here as it relates to local capital being invested into the project. This is something we can discuss in the permit process.

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What is the size of this proposed building?

We are planning to build this project in two phases. Both phases are now each being planned to be 30 units.  We are planning for a total of 60 units. There are situations in which this could be done in one phase but it negatively impacts the financing process.

building elevations

The building is below the 35 feet height limit for single family houses in the local regulations. As a point of reference Town Hall is roughly 39 feet tall.

All units would be one bedroom units of 650 feet.  Each unit would have either a patio, a balcony, or a Juliette balcony.

We are planning for 70 parking spaces.

The total square footage of the footprint is about 18,588 feet. As a comparison the Police Department has roughly a 5,000 square foot footprint.

The septic system would accommodate 60 units at 110 gallons per day or 6,600 gallons.

The original version of the project HCP proposed was 66 units with a 21,000 square feet footprint, and 110 parking spaces. The current version is a reduction of 9% in total units and 11.5% in total square footage and 36% in parking spaces.  local context

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How far is the building from the road, the lot lines of neighbors, and other houses?

We turned the building around so that the largest section is the farthest to the rear of the site. This was done after discussions with the abutters to reduce the visibility of the building for the nearest neighbors.

A map is here for your reference.

The closest point of the building is roughly 45 feet from the lot line.

The closest point of the building is roughly 500 feet from Maple Street.

The closest point of the building is over 250 feet from the nearest house.

The closest point of the building is over 1/4 mile from the closest part of Puritan Road.

 distance

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Will this project contribute to the local tax base?

Yes this project has been projected to pay taxes in the $50,000 range. This estimate is based on a valuation of the building using an income approach.

HCP pays taxes on all its buildings. Please see this link for a description of all the taxes we have paid in the last 10 years:   https://harborlightcp.org/about-us/local-real-estate-tax-policy/

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Will the project burden public services?

The project is for elders so we expect no students.

We do expect periodic 911 calls for the elderly residents.

We do expect that some residents would participate in the Council on Aging activities.

The project itself would pay for all plowing, trash removal, recycling, and leaf removal. The Town would not pay for these services.

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Will there be benefits to the public from the project?

The project would make it possible for local seniors who may otherwise struggle to live close to home to remain in the area.

The project will satisfy the Town’s 40 B requirements for many, many decades to come. This would mean the Town would be in control of new development and could avoid new projects it did not wish to have. The creation of this project would affirm local control for a very long time.

The project would host communication equipment for the Wenham Police and Fire Departments. This will improve emergency communication in Town.  

The back up power generator for the project also would mean that these communication devices would stay active in a power outage.

The project would serve as an emergency shelter site for this part of Town. The common areas, including meeting rooms and a kitchen, along with the backup generator would create a local place with power and basic services that could serve the community in an emergency.

The project would provide a solar powered vehicle speed monitor to show drivers the speed at which they are traveling down Maple Street.

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Will there be social services for the residents?

Yes, there will be a plan to have an on site full time property manager and a  part time service coordinator who will help provide programs and support to residents. The property manager deals with tenant issues and quality building management. The service coordinator will help residents access support they may need including transportation, home health care, and food access.

There will also be a partnership with a home health care organization that will provide home health aides on site. This partnership will also involve support from State and Federal elder care organizations (SeniorCare and Element Care). This support would be available to all residents.

Costs would be based on income with lower income residents receiving subsidy from the State or Federal programs.

We also expect to provide periodic van transportation to facilitate trips to the store and other needed locations.

All of these services and staffing models are dependent on the number of units and people needing those services. Wenham Project Amenities

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Will this be located in a wetland area?

The building is outside of the wetland area and outside of the 50 foot   no build  buffer zones. These buffer zones prevent or limit construction close to wetland areas.

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How will you manage the drainage of water on the site?

Our goal is to utilize the topography, create drainage, and ensure that no flooding takes place. With the current engineering evaluation and water level testing we are very confident we can meet this goal.

Water will be drained off the roof and the parking area into an underground drainage area. We had originally proposed an open basin concept but have shifted to underground drainage which while more expensive may alleviate some concerns about the open basin concept.  

 Meridian Engineering will be involved to design the drainage plan.

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 How will you manage the wastewater?

 A Waterloo Biofilter ® system will be installed under the parking lot.

 Chuck Johnson of CG Engineering in Hamilton will be the system designer.

 The system will greatly exceed Title V performance requirements.

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 How will you manage the lighting?

 The plan is to use a lighting design that has two core goals: create safety for the residents and reduce light pollution for neighbors.

 The lights will be as low as possible.

 The direction of the lighting will focus down to the ground and in toward the facility as opposed to being very high and directed out from the building.

 The proposed lighting plan including locations and fixtures can be a part of the permit process.

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 Will there be traffic problems?

 A traffic engineering firm has been engaged to evaluate the site, note any traffic flow issue and make design recommendations. They have also performed a traffic count to ascertain the volume of traffic in this area. There counsel has been incorporated into the design of the driveway.  Click here to review traffic study report.

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How does the Town of Wenham represent its interests in this process?

The Zoning Board of Appeals is the body that would issue a comprehensive permit. That permit is the mechanism by which the Town can enforce elements of the project and hold it accountable over time.

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What has been the public process so far?

    • Abutter first letter  from Harborlight Community Partners (HCP)  to the Maple Street abutters within 200 feet in October 2013.

    • Article in the Hamilton-Wenham Patch, October 17, 2013.

    • On October 30, 2013 we held a meeting for abutters of 62 Maple Street to give people a chance to ask questions, raise concerns, and hear some feedback about the early concept of the building.

    • Application to the Wenham Community Preservation Committee (CPC)  January 2014.

    • Wenham Community Preservation Committee (CPC) meeting to consider the application February 2014.

    • Second letter to the 200 foot Maple Street abutters March 2014.

    • Article in Wicked Local March 2014.

    • Early discussion with the Wenham Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals informing them about the project and the pending comprehensive permit application February 2014.

    • Wider distribution of the second letter to the Maple Street neighbors and not only the abutters. This letter was distributed more broadly based on a request from a neighbor and a community member from a different neighborhood.

    • Second meeting with the Maple Street abutters and general neighbors March 2014.

    • Application for funds to the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust and subsequent meeting with the Trust, March 2014.
    • Meeting with the Wenham Community Preservation Committee (CPC) in late March 2014 requesting a deferral of their recommendation until after the permit process.

    • Meeting with the Wenham Board of Selectmen to discuss the project in late March 2014.

    • HCP presence, via Andrew DeFranza, during the entire Town meeting on 4/5/14.   Large pictures of the site plan and proposed building were there to view. Copies of these plans along with details about the project and HCP organizational material were available.  

    • State Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) site visit July 14, 2014.  

    • Project web page set up for community access  on Harborlight Community Partners website.

    • Letter  to abutters with Wenham Project Summary, September 24, 2014.

    • We expect  there to be  a number of other public meetings with the Wenham Zoning Board of Appeals and Conservation Committee. There will also likely be community meetings and site tours that are not a part of the formal process.

    • Article:  Harborlight Pitches Affordable Housing in Wenham, Salem News, December 1, 2014

    • Maple Woods Community Update  mailed to the surrounding  neighborhood December 5,  2014.
    • Article: Maple Woods in the Works in Wenham, Hamilton-Wenham Chronicle, December 11, 2014
    • Article: Senior Housing at Maple Street Approved – Wicked Local Wenham 6-4-15

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 What is the public process going forward?

 We will submit a comprehensive permit application to the Town of Wenham which can only happen following approval to do so by the State.

The comprehensive permit process in Wenham will involve all relevant Town committees and departments and will be run by the Zoning Board of Appeals.

All abutters will be informed via mail of this permit process and all meetings related to the permit will be public and will be posted. Additionally HCP will provide updates via email or mail for anyone who would like such updates even if they are not formal abutters.   These updates can be available on the HCP website as well.

The Wenham Board of Selectman is also hosting an information forum to discuss and learn about this project. It is currently scheduled for November 5, 2014 at 7 pm and will be held in the all purpose room at the Buker School.

The site will have flags and markers laying out the location and the size of the proposed building. Organized site visits will be available to community members who would like to see in person where the building would sit, its shape and size, and its relationship to the roads and houses in the area. The schedule is listed earlier in this letter.   If you would like to come and see the site please email Andrew DeFranza at adefranza@harborlightcp.orgor call him at 978-922-1305 ext. 207.

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 Who will be involved in the project?

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Has the property been purchased yet?

No. We currently have an option agreement to purchase the property.

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What are you asking for from the Town of Wenham?

We are asking the abutters, neighbors and the Town at large to participate in any discussions about the project and eventually to support this project in concept.

We are asking the Town and its residents to help leverage resources from the State to see the project to fruition.   This leverage would come in the form of public support via the Community Preservation Committee and the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust.

We are asking the Town to provide capital for this project that has been committed to housing use from the Wenham Affordable Housing Trust.

We are asking the Town to vote to provide CPC housing money to this project. We would expect that these would be funds that were only housing related and not in competition with other uses of CPC funds.

May I see the friendly comprehensive permit that was filed with the Town of Wenham?

Yes. Click the links below  to view Harborlight Community Partners’ Special Permit Application documents:

Application
Exhibits
Site Plans
Architectural Plans
DHCD Exhibits
Traffic Impact Assessment MDM
            MDM Response to Peer Review
            MDM Response re Site Lines
Septic System Application to BOH 3-18-15
            Supplemental Septic Application Materials 4-21-15
Landscape Plans
            Lighting and Landscape Plan by UBLA
Response to Narrow Gate Review by Siemasko & Verbridge Architects

Final Comprehensive Permit Decision Wenham ZBA

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Notice of Intent-Conservation Commission

Click here to view Application for Notice of Intent  and Plan Set  submitted to the Wenham Conservation Commission.

Superior Court Appeal 7-20-15 without exhibits  – Added 7-22/2015

Peer Review  Documents: updated 7-1-2015
12-3-14 Civil Engineering Peer Review By Horsley Witten
12-30-14 Traffic Peer Review by Weston and Sampson
1-5-2015 Horsley Witten Group Review
1-14-15 MDM – Maple Woods Traffic Engineer Response Letter    
1-22-15 Horsley Witten Group Review
1-22-15 Maple Woods Landscape Plans
1-28-15 MAI Stormwater Peer Review Response
1-28-15 MDM – Maple Woods Traffic Engineer Response Letter
 2-4-15 Maple Woods Stormwater Management
4-2-2015 Architectural Review by Narrow Gate
4-8-2015 Horsley Witten Group Septic Review 4-8-15
4-13-2015 Architectural Review Summer & Recommendations by Narrow Gate  

Other Letters and Comment Documents:

5-26-15 Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) Letter for Maple Woods Project Ipswich River Watershed Association Comment Letter HCP response to IRWA Letter Town of Wenham Department & Board Comments Public Comments July 2014-Feb 2015 Public Comments Feb 2015-May 2015

 

If you would like to talk about the project please feel free to call Andrew DeFranza at 978-922-1305 x 207 or email him at adefranza@harborlightcp.org. We are happy to meet with you in person, talk via phone, or exchange material over email as you may wish.

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