Below is a message from Wilmington Town Manager Jeff Hull:
WILMINGTON, MA — At the Board of Selectmen’s meeting on May 23rd, proponents of a 20 unit affordable housing development at 79 Nichols Street provided an outline of this planned development. The proponent has taken the first step by submitting an application to the Massachusetts Housing Finance Agency (MHFA) seeking a determination that their project is eligible to be presented to the Wilmington Zoning Board of Appeals (BOA). Notice from MHFA to Selectmen Chair Judy O’Connell was received on May 17, 2022. The fact that MHFA advised the Town that it has an opportunity to submit a comment letter to them about this project prompted a request that the proponents present their project at the Board of Selectmen’s meeting. The Board of Selectmen does not have any statutory authority to approve or deny this project. That responsibility rests solely with the BOA. The purpose for scheduling this presentation was to be transparent and inform the public and the entire Board of Selectmen about this potential project so that comments to MHFA can be prepared.
During the presentation, reference was made to the MHFA correspondence which invited Town Officials to participate in a site visit with representatives from MHFA. The suggestion was also made that residents and the general public could participate in the site visit. The property at 79 Nichols Street is private property and as with any private property is not accessible to the public without the consent of the owner. The attached communication was received in my office today from legal counsel representing the property owner. The letter conveys that in light of concerns about liability, the property owner is only able to permit Town Officials and representatives from MHFA on the May 31, 2022 site visit.
There is keen interest in this proposed project and if the project is deemed eligible by MHFA to be filed with the BOA then the BOA will be required to conduct a public hearing to receive a presentation from the proponent. The public hearing will enable Board of Appeals members to ask questions and offer comments and it will provide an opportunity for residents to offer comments and pose questions. Notice of this hearing must be provided to the Town Clerk at least 48 hours in advance of the meeting (excluding weekends and holidays), will be posted on the Town’s website and will be posted on a bulletin board in the Town Hall lobby. Additionally, there are statutory requirements for the proponent to notify property owners within a specified proximity to the proposed development.
There will be ample opportunity for residents to learn about this proposal and express opinions. Residents may also email email@example.com regarding this development. Residents are asked to respect the desires of the property owner that only Town Officials and MHFA representatives be permitted on the property for the site visit. Thank you.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Wilmington Apple has been told that a protest will take place on an abutting property — with that owner’s permission — during the site visit.)
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