A long-discussed Hancock Village development has new plans to bring 271 new homes to the neighborhood--some of them affordable.
Town Administrator Mel Kleckner updated the Board of Selectmen, at last night's meeting, on a new Chapter 40B plan filed by developer Chestnut Hill Realty (CHR). Kleckner said that 145 of the 271 units in the plan are in a single five-story building, the remaining units divided up among 11 three-story buildings.
Chapter 40B allows developers to bypass certain aspects of zoning law if they create some affordable housing units, which count toward the town's 10 percent quota. Brookline currently stands at eight percent, officials say.
"Given the proposals and neighbor objections, this did not come as a suprise to us," Kleckner commented.
Because Chapter 40B filings can be complex, the town intends to pull together a team of experts to advise the town during the process. This may require a $25,000 transfer from the town's reserve fund, Kleckner added.
Said Selectman Ken Goldstein, "I think that’s a key piece for the town right now. We need expert help on how to address this challenge."
The plans will go before a state agency, which will give the town 30 days to respond with concerns about the development. In the past, the town has noted a handful of concerns, including the school population, preserving open space, drainage issues and increases in traffic in the area.
The Zoning Board of Appeals will act as the final permitting authority, and will take input from the town's various boards and commissions into account before approving, denying, or approving the plan with conditions.
Kleckner said the town should have some more information by the next Board of Selectmen's meeting, Sept. 11. He added that he and a number of staff intend to attend a Sept. 28 seminar on Chapter 40B filings.