Dartmouth Select Board endorses proposed affordable housing project

Reprinted from SouthCoast Today

DARTMOUTH — The Select Board Monday night unanimously endorsed a proposed second Dartmouth Woods as a Chapter 40B housing development.

The board agreed to the Local Initiative Program or LIP which will allow the board more input and local control over the project versus likely not having a role in the process, said Attorney Paul Haverty of Blatman, Bobrowski & Haverty LLC, which has expertise on Chapter 40B affordable housing.

The board revisited the topic Monday after a Nov. 13 meeting where members decided not to vote on an endorsement to get more information on the Chapter 40B processes.

The next step for twin brothers Jon and Jay Bovarnick, owners of Dartmouth Woods on State Road (Route 6), is to go to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development to finish the LIP process and get a Project Eligibility Letter, according to Haverty. The process could take about two months to complete before applying for a comprehensive permit with the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals.

The proposed plan is for 280 units to be located not far from the current Dartmouth Woods site with 25 percent of units to be affordable and 10 percent to be three-bedroom. Also in the proposed plan is access to Reed Road to be gated off for emergencies only.

In addition, projections suggest that the development could bring the town up to 10 percent in affordable housing.

At the meeting, Attorney Robert Feingold said his clients were committed to two items if the board went with the LIP. He said the Bovarnicks will offer 70 percent of units to local preference which is the legal limit. In addition, he said the brothers are committed to pay $500 for each unit that is approved, totaling $140,000 to go toward whatever the town wants to use it for. Feingold said that with other possible funding sources, it could make up the cost to fix Reed Road.

Board member Stanley Mickelson called the Bovarnicks “great businessmen,” adding “they run a wonderful operation”

He said the LIP is “the only way the town should go right now.”

Vice chairwoman Kelli Martin-Taglianetti said she’s met with the brothers and got a tour of an apartment unit. “I was extremely impressed. They run a tight ship over there,” she said, noting she stood in full support.

Member John Haran added “I’m just grateful this project doesn’t empty in Reed Road.”