Woburn St 40B

Citizen group actively involved in affecting growth and development in town.

Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby bferrari on Sun May 01, 2011 5:09 pm

Oh sure. Listen to the Representative's reasons for wanting to double the number of signatures. The real reason is because they almost lost 40B. They couldn't believe how many voters were actually against 40B and their big money maker.

She wants to take your vote our of your mouth as well as many other people. They want to be the only way that new laws come onto the books. They don't want you to have a direct say in ANYTHING. You are absolutely correct though, that some business guy will still be able to on the ballot with lots of money, which is something you need when you become a politician anyway.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby bferrari on Sun May 01, 2011 5:29 pm

Here she is:

http://www.malegislature.gov/People/Profile/d_p1


Send her a note and tell her how you feel that she is trying to take your voice away from government, whether you agree with 40B or not.... I did.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Mon May 02, 2011 12:05 pm

Done!
And I received an email from John Belskis this morning.
He told me that they intend to place the 40B repeal initiative on the ballot again this August.

Here is a link to their website:

http://www.affordablehousingnow.org/

Please support this effort folks!
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby bferrari on Tue May 03, 2011 10:22 am

Astle wrote:Bob,

What are your thoughts about re-zoning the land off of East Street that was originally proposed as Dear Heaven Estates?


Hi Astle, sorry for my delayed response... I am in agreement with the rezone of this property you mention. As you may know, this very website exists because of the former project known as "Deerhaven Estates". I am an abutter and think the rezone will allow a better use of the land. I will vote in favor of it.

Thanks for asking.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby Astle on Wed May 04, 2011 2:40 pm

Thanks Bob and I also agree.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Fri May 27, 2011 2:38 pm

Just got this email from John Belskis from Affordable Housing Now http://www.affordablehousingnow.org/:

Last year there was an amendment made to the Senate version of the 2011 budget providing for the Inspector General and Attorney General to perform 40B audits. It got rejected in the Budget, House / Senate negotiation process.

Once again it was submitted as an amendment # 66 to this year's 2012 budget and adopted by a 37 to 1 vote. (Can't wait to see who opposed it!)

http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/187/ ... OC/Text#66

Get to your Representatives and make sure the House supports it this time.


Here's the amendment:

Audit of 40B Projects

Messrs. Hedlund, Ross, Tarr and Knapik moved that the bill be amended by inserting after section xx the following new section:

SECTION X. The inspector general in consultation with the attorney general may enter into a contract with a third party for the purposes of auditing all affordable housing projects’ cost certifications submitted after January 1, 2004 that were built through the comprehensive permit process as outlined in sections 20 to 23, inclusive, of chapter 40B of the General Laws and received a determination of project eligibility after July 30, 2002. The third party shall be hired through a competitive bidding process and be a certified public accountant licensed and in good standing with the commonwealth and meet minimum professional qualifications as determined by the inspector general.

All audits performed through this section shall be conducted in accordance with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants auditing standards; provided, however, in the event of any conflict between the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants standards and housing policy guidance or regulation issued by the department of housing and community development or any subsidizing agency on or after November 30, 2006 such policy guidance or regulation shall control. The audits performed under this section may include, but not be limited to, a review of the submitted cost certification, agreements between the developer and the municipality,, purchase and sales agreements, any and all documentation relating to the real estate appraisal of the relevant property or properties in accordance with the applicable rules that were in place at the time that the cost certification occurred, all reported expenses and revenues, and all public documentation relating to the purchase, sale or lease of all constructed units.

At the request of the third party, the inspector general may summons the production of all records, reports, audits, reviews, papers, books, documents, recommendations, correspondence and any other data and material relevant to any matter under audit or investigation, in accordance with section 9 of chapter 12A of the General Laws.

The findings of every audit, including any evidence of illegal or fraudulent activities, or cases where the actual realized profit of an individual project exceeds 20 per cent, shall be presented immediately upon completion to the inspector general, the attorney general and the department of housing and community development for review. The inspector general may take whatever further action deemed necessary, in accordance with section 10 of said chapter 12A.

It shall be the responsibility of the attorney general to recover all monies owed to the host communities. The third party hired to conduct the initial audit may receive a pre-determined percentage of all recovered monies, not to exceed 5 per cent, with the balance being returned to the host community.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby bferrari on Fri May 27, 2011 4:47 pm

It is due to the overwhelming hatred of 40B that this was passed in the Senate this time. Hopefully this will carry over and the Reps too will pass it. All it is asking for is some oversight. But you see, the builders, the bankers, and those connected politicos don't want anyone having oversight of their cash cows. So how is Senator bra-stuffer Wilkerson doing these days?

Thanks for the heads up.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Tue May 31, 2011 11:13 am

More from John Belskis:

• Sen. Robert Hedlund won near unanimous support for his amendment authorizing the inspector general to hire outside consultants to audit Chapter 40B affordable housing projects.
Hedlund cited a 2007 report from Inspector General Gregory Sullivan detailing $8 million in excess profits collected by developers on 11 projects that should have been returned to cities and towns. Under his plan, the audits would be paid for with 5 percent of the excess profits recovered, with the remainder being returned to host communities. The amendment passed, 37-1, with Sen. Marc Pacheco (D-Taunton) opposed. Pacheco said Housing Secretary Greg Bialecki was already taking steps to enforce the laws around excess profits from 40B developments.

Though Hedlund called Bialecki probably his “favorite secretary” in the Patrick administration, he said the taxpayers have been waiting since 2007 for stronger enforcement. Hedlund also said the inspector general’s office has the auditing experience and legal knowledge to recoup money for cities and towns.


The above information was reported by Masslive.com. The amazing thing is that the Senate Post Audit Committee held hearings about excess profits when Senator Pacheco was Chairman of the committee. Her also testified before a DHCD regulation hearing expressing concerns about the lack of regulation impact on the 40B profit allowances. So here he is voting against what is one of the most desirable oversight of developer profits.

Is it a reflection of when he was on the Board of one of the quasi agencies?

Almost 900,000 voters last November said 40B needs to be fixed and here's a step in the right direction, that a prominent Senator feels otherwise
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby bferrari on Tue May 31, 2011 1:12 pm

40 years too late, but thank goodness. I bet this passed because of all the money that the towns are crying out for, and these senators see this as a way to get re-elected. Whatever it takes, this is a step in the right direction though.

More examples of how slow the wheels turn in government when something is wrong, takes years to fix if it ever gets fixed, but finally a step in the right direction.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby Harry on Tue May 31, 2011 5:34 pm

Follow the DiMasi trial.....and remember this.......



There is no such thing as an original sin.
Experience hath shown, that even under the best forms of government those entrusted with power have, in time, and by slow operations, perverted it into tyranny.
Thomas Jefferson
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Thu Jun 02, 2011 1:12 pm

And even more from John Belskis:

The Conference Committee that will reconcile the differences between the Senate and House Budgets has been named. These are the folks we have to contact and seek their support of the 40B audit amendment which was placed and passed in the Senate. Besides these Legislators, you should be talking to your District's Senator and Representative seeking their support to the inclusion of this amendment in the 2012 Budget.

Senators
Stephen Brewer Many Western Mass Towns (District office Tatman House, 20 Common Street, Barre, MA, 01005)

Steven Baddour Haverhill, Newburyport, Amesbury, Merrimac, Methuen, North Andover, Salisbury

Michael Knapik Many Western Mass Towns (District office 57 North Elm St., Westfield , MA, 01085)

Representatives
Brian Dempsey Haverhill
Stephen Kulik Many Western Mass Towns (District Office 1 Sugarloaf Street, South Deerfield, MA, 01373)

Vinny DeMacedo Plymouth
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Sat Jul 23, 2011 10:22 am

Just an update I thought I'd share:

Abutters received a letter from the developer, Carl Crupi offering an opportunity to answer any questions we have about his proposal.

In his letter he wrote:

'I realize there are some concerns and apparent misconceptions regarding the design and scope of the intended buildings for which we are currently pursuing permits and approvals. In order to assure you that I wish to work in harmony with the abutting property owners, please feel free to contact me either by phone or by email and I will be happy to answer any questions you may have.'

I sent Mr. Crupi the following email on July 17:

Dear Mr. Crupi,

Regarding your letter to the abutters to your Woburn Street proposal to the Town of Tewksbury;
Thank you for the opportunity for us abutters to communicate with you, the gesture is much appreciated. I going to come right out and be blunt about where I stand, and please excuse me for taking an adversarial stance to your project, but I can see no benefits to us, the abutters of your proposal and I intend to fight its completion every step of the way.

In your letter, you use the phrase ‘apparent misconceptions regarding the design and scope of the intended buildings’

Well sir, excuse me, but what I saw at that meeting left me with no misconceptions. Simply stated, this will ruin our neighborhood. Two four story buildings in such a small plot is a bad idea in this area. This is not a densely populated area like Boston or Cambridge. And in spite of Woburn St. being mixed residential and industrial, these buildings will be an aberration. The Town of Tewksbury doesn’t have many buildings of this size in the entire town, and you want to put two of them on a postage stamp.

Bad idea.

The other ‘apparent misconceptions’ must be referring to the perception that your esteemed attorney raised at the meeting in April about affordable housing. I have no misconceptions either way. I can assure you, if you were building two luxury apartment buildings of this size, I would be as strongly opposed to that as I am to this.

This 40B law is abhorrent and the notion that we abutters are prejudiced toward affordable housing is both presumptuous and incorrect on you and your attorney’s part.

That said; I would like to address a few issues I had from the meeting at the Tewksbury Housing Authority in April before I list my questions and concerns about your proposal:

·The tenor of the meeting set by your counsel, Richard O’Neill Jr., was unprofessional, presumptive, and combative. His assumption in his opening statement to the abutters and the planning board that we residents were opposed to affordable housing was grossly unfair. We live in Lowell of which 14% is designated affordable housing. Our neighborhood is zoned Traditional Single Family, we were doing our due diligence to investigate this proposal.

·His anecdotal reference to his upbringing was also pointless and in my opinion, a cheap trick. I’m not sure what point he was trying to get across other than people can become successful from humble beginnings.Welcome to America Attorney O’Neill, we’re all not born with silver spoons.Your housing proposal in Tewksbury will not spawn any of these rags to riches tales however, not at the rates the median salary in Tewskbury allows. FYI, I grew up in Dorchester, so Attorney O’Neill can please spare me the coming up from the streets stories.

·Attorney O’Neill’s saber rattling about going hostile 40B if the town does not approve was superfluous and over the top and created needless tension right off the bat

· Attorney O’Neill also snapped at me accusing me of ‘not wanting to work with you and being inflexible’. When presented with a ‘you’ll go along with this or else’ tack, he created instant animosity between you and us abutters. As I said to Attorney O’Neill, I’ll have to look at this every day, how would you feel if someone shoehorned two 4 story buildings in your neighborhood?

·I realize, at this time (and I’ll address this later) that you have this despicable law on your side and your attorney taking his stance as he did, created nothing but resentment for this project.

In summary, I thought (as did others) that your legal counsel did you, as the developer, a great disservice by taking such a combative stance. Trying act like a tough guy in such a setting was ludicrous. He blatantly disrespected the board and the process by admonishing everyone that this will happen regardless what the ‘little people’ in that room think or do. Attorney O’Neill should be ashamed of himself and his despicable performance at that meeting.

Please feel free to pass my comments on to him. I’d like him to know that he did not intimidate anyone by his cornball antics. He did succeed however, in making an ass of himself which it seems to me, he’s well practiced.

Here are my questions:

1) The City of Lowell will not allow a variance to the 16,000 square feet of land in Lowell. How does this affect the project? With roughly 10% of the available land unusable, is this project as presented still viable?

2) How do you expect to rent at rates comparable to Ames Pond which is in every way superior in location and amenities to your proposal?

3) What would you with this land do if this proposal does not get approved by the Town of Tewksbury or the State?

We all know that without this despicable law, you would not have a prayer of approval from the town. This is an ill-conceived project and as I said would ruin this neighborhood. Please do not try and convince me that there’s any benefit to me as an abutter. My property values will suffer with these two massive ugly buildings a stone’s throw away. The only one who will benefit in this neighborhood is Pete’s Variety.

In closing, please don’t insult my intelligence by admonishing me and my neighbors that we are prejudiced against affordable housing. This will not benefit needy people. With rents that you can get by the median salary in Tewksbury, you won’t be getting $8.00 an hour people living there. And further, for what you propose to charge for market rents, what makes you think you’ll fill these buildings? Again, using Ames Pond as a comparison, why would someone choose your place over Ames Pond?

I would think that there can’t be that much need for more housing in Tewksbury that 64 units of housing need to be built. Like I said, even in good times and without this law, the town would shoot you down in a heartbeat.

With any luck, the voters in Massachusetts will repeal this law and put an end to projects like yours. There’s nothing you (or your cantankerous lawyer) can say or do to convince me that there is any benefit to us abutters. I can only hope this proposal fails miserably.


Well, not to my surprise, Mr. Crupi has yet to reply...
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby swamper on Sat Jul 23, 2011 11:47 am

Well written......and I must say you've described how Mr. O'Neill operates to a "T". Good luck and I hope you get some answers.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby ELLE on Sun Jul 24, 2011 11:52 am

Seems like a well written letter. I might suggest that email isn't the best way to deliver it. Try certified mail and cc: the planning board. Maybe when it's on the record you'll get a response.
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Re: Woburn St 40B

Postby HC5512 on Sun Jul 24, 2011 12:31 pm

Thanks for the suggestions.
My intention wasn't to get a response from the builder, it was to prove that his letter was, as I suspected, an empty gesture.
My next door neighbor wrote him a letter and he didn't get a response either.
I did cc a member of the Board of Selectman and a member of the Planning Board however.
I've been in touch with them throughout the process.
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