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HomeMy Public PortalAboutRockport’s Transit‐Oriented Village Districts (TOV) Updates (1)Rockport’s Transit‐Oriented Village Districts (TOV)Updates Attachment for item #5 on October 11,2023 RAHTF meeting minutes ●PB is working on setting dates for several Public Listening Sessions for Village Districts –first one to be in early December Focusing on areas that are: ●Within the walkable distance (1/2 mile radius /a 10 minute walk to the train)which already have some density and access to services ●Areas which already have Multi‐Family allowed [by Special Permit now,but as‐of‐right when rezoned].These are the General,Downtown,and Semi‐ResidenƟal Districts ●Areas with ease for development:few owners/good site geometry (shape and topography) ●Infrastructure‐rich areas to reduce development costs ●redevelopment needy areas ●areas with some larger parcels ready for redevelopment/modernization All areas will comply with Rockport’s current zoning requiring 10%of all units to be affordable at the 80%AMI level –but without a Special Permit per MA state requirements [Site Plan Review by Planning Board will still be required] ●A higher percentage of affordable units would require the district to become a Smart Growth District under Chapter 40R –or already be one (verifying).Smart Growth requires 20 du/ac for MF,8 du/ac for single‐family,and 12 du/ac for 2‐3 family units. ●A deeper than 80%AMI target on affordability would require a 3rd party economic analysis approved by the EOHLC. The district being contemplated most strongly is on the attached map and has the following features: ●80%of the district is within the 10 minute walk to the MBTA ●40%is the Semi‐Residential district that allows 4 unit Multi‐Family by Special Permit currently ●All areas would have 15 dwelling units per acre density,and this single district MAY meet full 3A requirements from MA ●The district eliminates parcels along the Route 127 approach into Rockport,preserving older historic homes and the current look and feel of the journey into downtown ●The district includes several larger parcels including Rockport Commons (Sandy Bay Terraces),Rockport Housing Authority, ●Rockport Inn and Suites,and Smith‐owned parcels around the MBTA site which are infrastructure‐rich already in terms of power,water and sewer services. Excerpts from MBTA Section 3A: b.Affordability requirements Section 3A does not include any express requirement or authorization for an MBTA community to require affordable units in a multi-family housing project that is allowed as of right.It is a common practice in many cities and towns to require affordable units in a multi-family project that requires a special permit,or as a condition for building at greater densities than the zoning otherwise would allow.These inclusionary zoning requirements serve the policy goal of increasing affordable housing production.If affordability requirements are excessive,however, they can make it economically infeasible to construct new multi-family housing. For purposes of making compliance determinations with Section 3A,DHCD/EOHLC will consider an affordability requirement to be consistent with as of right zoning as long as the zoning requires not more than 10 percent of the units in a project to be affordable units,and the cap on the income of families or individuals who are eligible to occupy the affordable units is not less than 80 percent of area median income.Notwithstanding the foregoing,DHCD/EOHLC may,in its discretion,approve a greater percentage of affordable units,or deeper affordability for some or all of the affordable units,in either of the following circumstances: (i)The affordability requirements applicable in the multi-family zoning district are reviewed and approved by DHCD/EOHLC as part of a smart growth district under chapter 40R,or under another zoning incentive program administered by DHCDEOHLC;or (ii)The affordability requirements applicable in the multi-family zoning district are supported by an economic feasibility analysis,prepared for the municipality by a qualified and independent third party acceptable to DHCD/EOHLC,and using a methodology and format acceptable to DHCD/EOHLC.The analysis must demonstrate 1.See,e.g.,Y.D.Dugout,Inc.v.Board of Appeals of Canton,357 Mass.25 (1970);Prudential Insurance Co.of America v.Board of Appeals of Westwood,23 Mass.App.Ct.278 (1986); Osberg v.Planning Bd.of Sturbridge,44 Mass.App.Ct.56,59 (1997)(Planning Board “may impose reasonable terms and conditions on the proposed use,but it does not have discretionary power to deny the use”). that a reasonable variety of multi-family housing types can be feasibly developed at the proposed affordability levels,taking into account the densities allowed as of right in the district,the dimensional requirements applicable within the district,and the minimum number of parking spaces required. In no case will DHCD/EOHLC approve alternative affordability requirements that require more than 20 percent of the units in a project to be affordable units,except in a smart growth zoning district under chapter 40R with a 25 percent affordability requirement approved and adopted prior to the issuance of these guidelines,including any such existing district that is expanded or amended to comply with these guidelines.