Proposal Approved; Selectmen Ready Appeal

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Devens approves Grant Road proposal; selectmen will hire legal help to ready an appeal

The Harvard Press, Posed: June 4, 2015

By: John Osborn and Marty Green

With the Devens Enterprise Commission’s unanimous vote last week to approve the 124-unit housing project on Grant Road at Devens, the selectmen agreed Tuesday that the time had come to prepare an appeal of that decision in case a pending deal with the developer to add additional low-income units falls through.

The decision of the selectmen was set in motion by the DEC’s decision on May 28 to permit Devens Village Green LLC to begin construction this summer. Although the Harvard Municipal Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) has reached agreement with the developer to include 10 low-income apartments in its plan for Grant Road in exchange for a $140,000 subsidy from the trust, there is no guarantee the arrangement can or will be implemented. Since those 10 units represent 25 percent of the 40 apartments the collaborative plans to build, under state rules Harvard could gain 40 more units of affordable housing.

In an email, DVG co-developer Daniel Gainsboro said all that was standing in the way of a signed, binding agreement between MAHT and his collaborative was “a clear understanding of the process” the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will require to accept the proposed low-income units as subsidized inventory eligible units.

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