Wareham affordable housing project to generate $103,000 in sewer fees

May 25, 2018

A large affordable housing project proposed for East Wareham would generate $103,000 in annual fees, sewer officials learned Thursday.

Known as Woodland Cove, the controversial 174-unit project was announced last year by Waltham-based developer Dakota Partners. Plans call for constructing six, three- and four-story buildings along with a community building, open space area and parking. The project is slated for 3102 Cranberry Highway, near the Red Brook Road intersection.

Since then, residents and officials have expressed deep concern with the potential impacts it would have on the town’s infrastructure, schools and public safety.

At previous public hearings, officials debated if a taxed sewer system would be grounds to deny the project a permit. Under the state’s affordable housing law, known as Chapter 40B, zoning regulations are relaxed for developers in towns where less than 10 percent of homes or apartments are considered affordable. In Wareham, 7.7 percent of residences are affordable. The law is designed to incentivize developers to create more affordable housing in the state.

However, 40B affords developers many protections, according to Wareham Water Pollution Control Facility Director Guy Campinha.

“The law is on their side,” Campinha told Sewer Commissioners on Thursday. “The bottom line is we can ask for things to minimize impact to our system.”

Officials do not yet have an estimate on how much the project would cost to accommodate using current infrastructure.

Those may include seeking funds to upgrade pump stations and sewer lines. In the meantime, commissioners directed Campinha to attend a continued Zoning Board of Appeals public hearing where traffic and sewer studies related to the project will be discussed.

The meeting is set for June 13 at 6:30 p.m. in the Multi-Service Center, 48 Marion Road.