Voters in November will have a choice about whether to repeal Chapter 40B, the state’s affordable housing statute enacted in 1969 that gives zoning breaks to developers who include affordable units in the housing developments they build. Southborough has two 40B projects in the works — one on Oak Hill Road and one on Oregon Road — and both developers recently said the town’s Zoning Board of Appeals is dragging its feet to see what happens in November.
Natick developer Robert Heavey first proposed his Woodland Meadows 40B project off Oak Hill Road in 2007. Since then it has been significantly scaled back from 4-story, 43-unit complex to a more modest 16 townhouses. Earlier this summer the ZBA asked him to scale it back even further.
“This thing has dragged on for 30 months,” Heavey told the Metrowest Daily News last month. “It’s cost me an astronomical amount of money already, and the ZBA knows that if Chapter 40B is repealed this November then I’m dead.”
William DePietri, president of Southborough-based Capital Properties, who is looking to build a 15-unit complex off Oregon Road called Stonebrook Village, has a similar complaint. The Metrowest Daily News reports that DePietri sent a letter to Selectmen accusing ZBA chairman Sam Stivers of blocking progress on the project.
“As the Stonebrook Village project has worked its way through the approval process, it has become clear that Mr. Stivers opposes the project and is now trying to stall the process, hoping that the voters will repeal the Chapter 40B law in November,” DePietri wrote. “If Mr. Stivers stalls this project to suit his own agenda, and I cannot obtain a building permit by Jan. 1, I will be forced to take legal action to recoup my considerable engineering and permitting expenses.”
DePietri went so far as to ask Stivers to recuse himself on proceedings related to the project. Stivers has refused to do so.
The ZBA meets twice this week. On Tuesday they’ll consider Stonebrook Village (7:00 pm at Cordaville Hall), and on Wednesday they’ll talk Woodland Meadows (7:00 pm at the Town House Hearing Room).