CITIZENS' INITIATIVE FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING
There's a better way to meet this community's needs.
THE SLV 40B PROPOSAL
A private real estate developer is proposing to buy 28 acres of forest and marsh on School Street just north of Route 128, and build a four-story modern apartment complex on the top of the highest point, called Shingle Place Hill. This building would rise more than 150’ above the level of School Street and would dominate the view from 128, School Street, Southern Avenue and the neighboring 1600-acre Wilderness Conservation Area.
This large development is proposed under Chapter 40B, which penalizes towns with fewer than 10% affordable housing units by allowing developers to ignore local zoning and environmental laws and regulations. Manchester currently has 113 units qualifying as “affordable” and needs another 120-130 to reach the 10% minimum.
The developer proposes 136 units in four interconnected buildings, with 40 units of barely-affordable housing. Through a loophole in the calculation under 40B, all 136 units can be counted toward the Town’s minimum -- “solving” our vulnerability to future 40B developments without creating a single new truly affordable housing unit.
This development could:
Impinge on environmentally-sensitive hillsides and wetlands, threatening both open space, habitat and clean water essential for our drinking,
Isolate the 136 units far from downtown, in violation of sound planning guidelines to integrate new housing with the Town’s fabric,
Worsen traffic with a 10% increase in population and cars,
Increase Town expenses by at least 10% with a heavy burden on the School District, Fire and Police Departments – and as a result …
Drive up taxes for all existing Town residents, especially since it will increase Town revenues by less than 1%