135 Wells Avenue is a 276,492 square foot site located within the Wells Avenue office park. The site is zoned Limited Manufacturing. The Sponsor is proposing a 334 unit rental development on this lot. The Sponsor will be seeking permitting under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40B. The building is proposed as six stories with an approximate FAR of 1.99. A total of 84 of the 334 units will be affordable (serving households below 80% of the area median income). The proposal would include non-residential flex space, a resident clubhouse, courtyards and bicycle storage. A total of 501 on-site parking spaces are proposed, most of which would be in an underground parking structure.
The links below were submitted as part of the application and provide an overview of the project.
Abbreviated Plans Set 1
Abbreviated Plans Set 2
Abbreviated Plans Set 3
Traffic Impact & Access Study
Mckinney Rental Apartment Market Analysis
Applicant Response, dated July 23, 2014
Applicant Response, dated July 31, 2014
Applicant Response, dated August 1, 2014
Applicant Response and Updated Plans, dated August 19, 2014
Applicant Response and Updated Plans, dated September 2, 2014
Applicant Response and Updated Plans, dated September 3, 2014
Applicant Response and Updated Plans, dated October 3, 2014
Applicant Response, dated October 24, 2014
Continued Public Hearing Memorandum, dated September 5, 2014
Continued Public Hearing Memorandum, dated October 17, 2014
Continued Public Hearing Memorandum, dated October 24, 2014
Continued Public Hearing Memorandum, dated November 10, 2014
Continued Public Hearing Memorandum, dated December 5, 2014
Public Hearing Memo, dated October 24, 2014
Public Hearing Memo dated June 19, 2014
CHAPTER 40B / COMPREHENSIVE PERMIT
Chapter 40B is a state statute that encourages the development of low- and moderate-income housing by providing a streamlined permitting process and relief from local zoning requirements. Also known as the Comprehensive Permit Law, Chapter 40B was enacted in 1969 to help address the shortage of affordable housing in Massachusetts. The law requires that at least 20-25 percent of units in a development have long-term affordability restrictions. Under Chapter 40B, the local Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is the permit granting authority. The ZBA must review and make decisions (approve, approve with conditions, or deny comprehensive permits) in a public hearing setting. The State Housing Appeals Committee hears appeals for projects in communities that have less than 10 percent of their housing affordable to low-and moderate-income households.
A prerequisite to filling with the ZBA for a comprehensive permit is the issuance of a Project Eligibility Letter from a subsidizing agency. The Sponsor has submitted a Project Eligibility Letter application to the Massachusetts Housing Partnership (the Subsidizing Agency). The City's response is available to view here: City of Newton Response to MHP. The Sponsor subsequently issued a response to the City's Letter on November 22nd. On January 7th, 2014 the Subsidizing Agency issued this Project Eligibility Letter. The Sponsor is now able to apply for a Comprehensive Permit. Subsequent decisions related to the Comprehensive Permit application are within the sole purview of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts: Chapter 40B Planning
Chapter 40B Fact Sheet
Newton Zoning Board of Appeals Webpage
Newton Zoning Board of Appeals Comprehensive Permit Application Guidelines
Rules of the Newton Zoning Board of Appeals