Wareham Selectmen demand review after housing project plans change

Nov 17, 2017

Selectmen Chair Peter Teitelbaum is calling on the developers of a large, controversial affordable housing proposal in East Wareham to formally restart the review process after learning the project has increased in size.

Developers from Dakota Partners, a firm based in Waltham, came to Wareham in June to discuss their project, a development near the intersection of the highway and Red Brook Road.

Initial plans called for building a 174-unit development at 3102 Cranberry Highway.

Dubbed Woodland Cove, the 40B affordable housing development would consist of 32 one-bedroom, 122 two-bedroom and 20 three-bedroom apartments. Under Chapter 40B, a state law, zoning regulations are relaxed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of housing stock is considered affordable, meaning cities and towns have less say in their construction.

The new plans call for building a 240-unit project at 3104 Cranberry Highway.

In a letter to Stephen Kaminski of Dakota Partners Inc., Teitelbaum cited state law that requires developers to notify the town of major changes to affordable housing plans.

“I have never been notified by you of the significant material changes to your 40B project,” Teitelbaum wrote. “It is clear that in unilaterally seeking significant material changes to your 40B project to [the Department of Housing and Community Development] without formally notifying me, you have not complied either the notice requirements of 760 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 56.03, or the required application elements of 760 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 56.02.”

Teitelbaum said he learned of the changes in a letter from the Department of Housing and Community Development.

According to state law, developers must provide written notice to the town where a project is to be located, initiating a 30-day review period. After that, developers may seek permission from the state to move forward on a project.

Teitelbaum has called on the developers to resubmit the new proposal for review by Selectmen.

“I anticipate your compliance in this matter,” wrote Teitelbaum.