HARWICH HOUSING COMMITTEE
Minutes........................February 7, 2011
1) Quorum: The meeting was called to order at 4:00PM in the small conference room in Town Hall by Chair Gerry Loftus. Members present: Gerry Loftus, Barbara Loftus, David Purdy. Absent: John McGillen
2) Guests: There were no guests present.
3) Minutes: The Minutes of the 01/05/11 meeting were unanimously approved.
4) Old Business:
A) “American Dream I”: An agreement between HECH as developer and McShane as builder has been signed and the 1st house (109 Sisson Rd) should be underway by the middle of the month.
B) The Golf Commission re. “Fairways Gardens”: G. Loftus will contact the Golf Commission in an effort to get on their agenda to discuss having some of the Oak Street land now not being used by the Commission transferred for Affordable Housing.
C) “Home Sweet Home”: This project of about 8 acres of Town owned land on Depot St. has not gotten much traction in town as the totality of this land is perceived as being entirely designated for Conservation. Purdy will contact Dean Knight, Chair of the Conservation Committee to see if we cannot continue the conversation about the use of a small portion of this tract for Affordable Housing.
D) Old Rec/W. Harwich School: The Town Administrator has reported that a final environmental impact study will being completed and should be available at the end of this week. G. Loftus will follow up.
E) Long Range Plan: There was some discussion about the “power to enforce” the priorities of the Comprehensive Town Plan now being developed by the Planning Board and what its priorities will mean for Affordable Housing programs when/if the Plan’s and Housing priorities do not match. G. Loftus will write an article for the newpaper re. our concerns ( to be reviewed by B. Loftus and D. Purdy before publication) ..
F) Property on Rte 28: Following up on a suggestion made at the last meeting, Purdy found that the cost of the said property was in excess of $900.000....far too expensive for affordable housing to consider.
G) Property Adjacent to Thankful Chase: It came to the Committee’s attention at the last meeting that the property adjacent to Thankful Chase in No. Harwich (Map 55/Lot G8) is listed as “owner unknown”. As suggested, G. Loftus has begun to follow-up on what the Town intends to do about that land and whether it might be used to develop another apartment complex. Loftus will collect further data from Attorney Michael Ford before the Housing Committee goes to Board of Selectmen requesting cost of legal fees from the Housing Fund in order for the Town to move forward on getting title to the land.
5) New Business:
A) Housing Consultant: The Consultant’s contract expired at the end of 2010. The contract has not yet been renewed. Town Planner Spitz and Town Administrator Merriam seem of a mind that no more than $1000.00 @ month should be allocated for this position. Question is whether previous consultant would work within that income range. G. Loftus will continue to pursue.
B) Abraham Way: Loftus reported that the owner of a piece of property on Abraham Way (Map 60/Lot1) is interested in selling the lot for affordable housing. Loftus got Habitat for Humanity and himself together with the owner to review the potential project. Loftus suggested that, if interested in the land for a Habitat house, Habitat ask the Board of Selectmen for funds from the Housing Fund for it’s (ie) Habitat’s the purchase of the property directly from the owner.
C) Channel 18: Agreed that Housing Comm. should make arrangements with Channel 18 for a program in April before Annual Town Meeting in May.
Loftus announced for the record that as of 01/27/11 there was $192,197.48 in the Harwich Housing Fund.
The Meeting was adjourned at 5:00PM
Next Meeting: Monday March 7 4:00 PM
David A. Purdy,
Secretary, Harwich Housing Committee