Lunenburg drive-in to become housing ...

Lunenburg drive-in to become housing project; work to begin in ...

There are 119 comments on the Sentinel & Enterprise story from Jun 27, 2008, titled Lunenburg drive-in to become housing project; work to begin in .... In it, Sentinel & Enterprise reports that:

Construction on a long-awaited affordable-housing project that will mark the end of the Tri-Town Drive-in Theatre is expected to get underway in the fall, according to the land's owner.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Sentinel & Enterprise.

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Bileman

Amherst, NH

#101 Jul 10, 2008
Former Municipal Official wrote:
And workers credit union was the Buttercup, but those who lamented the passing of the dance halls don't seem to be as internet saavy.
...or we are, but there are too few of us in this new law-and-order, zero-tolerance world that has been built around us.
Groton Mom Lowell Teacher

Brookline, NH

#102 Jul 15, 2008
Yes.
Shannon wrote:
I'm curious as to what they classify as "affordable", or is it a nicer way of saying "low-income"?
Common Sense

Boston, MA

#103 Jul 21, 2008
I know how this works-I've lived in several towns that have done this before, and it always ends the same.
1) These are not "low income" projects--these will be condos that will cost a lot of money. The developers (big boo here to all of them, the money-grubbers) build nice condos that are way above the affordable line.
2) They stick a few units that are near the boiler room, under the stairs, facing the street (idea: not the most prime units and ONLY a FEW) lower the price, call them "affordable" and meet their quota for affordable housing.

The developers make a ton of money, and everyone is happy because a few of the units get designated as affordable and everyone meets the state requirement. If you don't believe me, check out Andover (million dollar condos with a few under the stairs that are designated as "affordable"), Bolton, Acton, etc.

It's sad, because what's being lost is heritage. WHY must we turn everything into condos? Our family uses the drive-in often, so that's not a waste of space, it's a low-cost area to have some family fun. Our kids are learning nothing but intense commercialism, that fun is marketing and pre-packaged, ie: Chuck E. Cheese, malls, box stores. What ever happened to parks that people go to play? Thank goodness Lunenburg has Kid's Kingdom, but I'd like to see more. Drive around and see people's yards--they all have huge swingsets so the kids don't have to go anywhere to play and learn to socialize? Very sad.
LTandV

Petersham, MA

#104 Jul 21, 2008
Common Sense wrote:
I know how this works-I've lived in several towns that have done this before, and it always ends the same.
1) These are not "low income" projects--these will be condos that will cost a lot of money. The developers (big boo here to all of them, the money-grubbers) build nice condos that are way above the affordable line.
2) They stick a few units that are near the boiler room, under the stairs, facing the street (idea: not the most prime units and ONLY a FEW) lower the price, call them "affordable" and meet their quota for affordable housing.
The developers make a ton of money, and everyone is happy because a few of the units get designated as affordable and everyone meets the state requirement. If you don't believe me, check out Andover (million dollar condos with a few under the stairs that are designated as "affordable"), Bolton, Acton, etc.
It's sad, because what's being lost is heritage. WHY must we turn everything into condos? Our family uses the drive-in often, so that's not a waste of space, it's a low-cost area to have some family fun. Our kids are learning nothing but intense commercialism, that fun is marketing and pre-packaged, ie: Chuck E. Cheese, malls, box stores. What ever happened to parks that people go to play? Thank goodness Lunenburg has Kid's Kingdom, but I'd like to see more. Drive around and see people's yards--they all have huge swingsets so the kids don't have to go anywhere to play and learn to socialize? Very sad.
The type of project that you speak of as money-grubbing is called a 40B. The Tri-Town development is a 40R development and ALL the units are apartments and ALL of them will qualify as affordable housing. This is very important because once the town has a certain percentage (I believe it is 10%) of housing that qualifies as affordable, it has the ability to keep out those awful 40Bs.
more perceptive

Scituate, MA

#105 Aug 4, 2008
LTandV wrote:
<quoted text>
The type of project that you speak of as money-grubbing is called a 40B. The Tri-Town development is a 40R development and ALL the units are apartments and ALL of them will qualify as affordable housing. This is very important because once the town has a certain percentage (I believe it is 10%) of housing that qualifies as affordable, it has the ability to keep out those awful 40Bs.
What exactly do you have against 40B's. You seem to be taking this very personally.HMMMM...mustn't have got your way to entitlement.
40B's are not money grubbing, nor are 40R's. It is called development. It's a very normal process of life. That's how you ended up in your home. Now, that your all set, no one else has the right to a home? Correction, a home near you? If you don't want to see development, then you'll need to buy out all of the land available to prevent it. Then you can call the shots. If you can't afford to do that, then you'll have to try to find peace within the boundries of what your real estate deed entitles you to. Good luck!!
Shannon

Fort Huachuca, AZ

#106 Aug 4, 2008
With all the homes currently on the market, why the need for more "cookie cutter" houses?
LTandV

Princeton, MA

#107 Aug 6, 2008
more perceptive wrote:
<quoted text>
What exactly do you have against 40B's. You seem to be taking this very personally.HMMMM...mustn't have got your way to entitlement.
40B's are not money grubbing, nor are 40R's. It is called development. It's a very normal process of life. That's how you ended up in your home. Now, that your all set, no one else has the right to a home? Correction, a home near you? If you don't want to see development, then you'll need to buy out all of the land available to prevent it. Then you can call the shots. If you can't afford to do that, then you'll have to try to find peace within the boundries of what your real estate deed entitles you to. Good luck!!
I was referring to the previous writer's use of the term "money grubbing". 40Bs are very undesirable high-density developments that are usually built on open space. 40B developers are allowed to skirt local zoning laws on density if a very small percentage of their units are set aside as "affordable". This Tri-Town 40R development is going on already developed land. No, there are no 40Bs being planned or built in my neighborhood. All I want to do is preserve the rural character of Lunenburg. You sound very bitter. Perhaps this is personal to YOU.
Former Municipal Official

Southbridge, MA

#108 Aug 6, 2008
QUOTE What exactly do you have against 40B's. QUOTE

40B is a well intentioned but very poorly written law. The goal of affordable housing is laudable. However, the law only requires that 25% of the units be affordable. At 75% fair market value housing, the law is a very slow way to reach the 10% requirement for a municipality. I have not run the numbers, but I have heard anecdotally that in some towns, if "buildout" (i.e. erecting housing on all the buildable lots remaining) were done just with 40B's the town would still not reach its 10%. That's insane!
Couple that with the way the law works, allowing developers (not towns) to decide where these high desity projects should go, allowing them to skirt other zoning laws, and essentially dwarf existing neighborhoods, and its a recipe for dissaster.
40R is a proactive way to let communities designate the appropriate space for high density development, which apparently Lunenburg has taken advantage of.
So yes, development happens. But not all development is created equal. And although on balance no one is perfect, I would rather have my town volunteers doing our planning, than developers. Of course, its not all this black and white, many developers are happy to work with communities, and they are not evil.
Its just they have their own interests too, and for that matter, some developers are complaining about the way the state is calculating their allowed profits under the law. Not all development is created equal, and 40B just does not work!
more perceptive

Scituate, MA

#109 Aug 6, 2008
Former Municipal Official wrote:
QUOTE What exactly do you have against 40B's. QUOTE
40B is a well intentioned but very poorly written law. The goal of affordable housing is laudable. However, the law only requires that 25% of the units be affordable. At 75% fair market value housing, the law is a very slow way to reach the 10% requirement for a municipality. I have not run the numbers, but I have heard anecdotally that in some towns, if "buildout" (i.e. erecting housing on all the
buildable lots remaining) were done just with 40B's the town would still not reach its 10%. That's insane!
Couple that with the way the law works, allowing developers (not towns) to decide where these high desity projects should go, allowing them to skirt other zoning laws, and essentially dwarf existing neighborhoods, and its a recipe for dissaster.
40R is a proactive way to let communities designate the appropriate space for high density development, which apparently Lunenburg has taken advantage of.
So yes, development happens. But not all development is created equal. And although on balance no one is perfect, I would rather have my town volunteers doing our planning, than developers. Of course, its not all this black and white, many developers are happy to work with communities, and they are not evil.
Its just they have their own interests too, and for that matter, some developers are complaining about the way the state is calculating their allowed profits under the law. Not all development is created equal, and 40B just does not work!
Laws are made for a reason, and meant to be abided by. The 40 B law was created to prevent towns from avoiding state laws and skirting around what they are legally required to meet as affordable housing in their community. It's also known as the "anti-snob" law. Keep in mind, maybe all laws are not created equal.....it wouldn't make sense if they were. But chapter 40 R laws were created by the state of Massachusetts for a REASON...just as chapter 40 B laws were. It's not the developer's who created it...it's your state governemnt who is keeping watch on small towns. They are smart to your antics.
Former Municipal Official

Southbridge, MA

#110 Aug 6, 2008
more perceptive wrote:
<quoted text>
But chapter 40 R laws were created by the state of Massachusetts for a REASON...just as chapter 40 B laws were. It's not the developer's who created it...it's your state governemnt who is keeping watch on small towns. They are smart to your antics.
Yes, Chapter 40R, which offers incentives, also encourages affordable housing.(The carrot, if 40B is the stick). It was enacted by the legislature because they recognized that municipalities needed help controling where these required housing units should go. The legislature is is a partner with municipalities in making your government work for you.

Could it be that 40B hasn't been fixed despite many efforts to do so because developers have effectively lobbied against some important reforms? Perhaps I did not make myself clear. The 40B law only requires 25% affordable housing. If its such a good idea, why not 50%, or at least 1/3? Forget about the "anti-snob" feautres for a moment, what I am saying is that besides that, the statute does not meet its own goals.
more perceptive

Scituate, MA

#111 Aug 6, 2008
Former Municipal Official wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, Chapter 40R, which offers incentives, also encourages affordable housing.(The carrot, if 40B is the stick). It was enacted by the legislature because they recognized that municipalities needed help controling where these required housing units should go. The legislature is is a partner with municipalities in making your government work for you.
Could it be that 40B hasn't been fixed despite many efforts to do so because developers have effectively lobbied against some important reforms? Perhaps I did not make myself clear. The 40B law only requires 25% affordable housing. If its such a good idea, why not 50%, or at least 1/3? Forget about the "anti-snob" feautres for a moment, what I am saying is that besides that, the statute does not meet its own goals.
It doesn't have to be all or nothing as far as percentages go. And "forget about anti-snob laws??"
That's the whole point!! Towns would love nothing more than to just use 40R to "get it over with" as far as meeting affordable housing criteria....and lump it all in one location..the location they decide....which is the furthest away from the community!!! i.e. TRI-TOWN. Then they can say "there, now we've met criteria,we've put all of "those" people far, far away from the rest of us, so we can continue to live in our "snob" neighborhoods" The 40 B laws protect people from that, and distribute the affordable housing appropriately. By only putting 25% here, and 25 % there, the affordable housing is no longer "clumped" together in one place, and all people of all socio-economic backgrouinds can co-habitate in the same community. That's what 40B is designed to do, and that's why it's a law. To prevent discrimination.
It has nothing to do with 'effective lobbying", it has to do with what's right. The Housing authority commission is well aware of this,and is also well aware that small towns don't need help "controlling" anything...because it would be unethical as a municipal to dicriminate citizens who qualify as affordable housing candidates. The laws are designed to help the PEOPLE, not the town government or the developers.

Since: Apr 08

Leominster, MA

#112 Aug 11, 2008
How is not building cheap project housing discrimination? As far as I'm concerned, if you want to live in a "snob town", you should get yourself the education and job required to place you there. Besides, last time I checked, there are hundreds of cheap affordable apartments available in Fitchburg, and a lot of them only a half mile away from the new Tri Town Projects, just over the town line!
Jon

Fitchburg, MA

#113 Aug 12, 2008
Angry in Lunenburg wrote:
As far as I'm concerned, if you want to live in a "snob town", you should get yourself the education and job required to place you there. Besides, last time I checked, there are hundreds of cheap affordable apartments available in Fitchburg, and a lot of them only a half mile away from the new Tri Town Projects, just over the town line!
i totally agree. i am by no means a snob or well off. i live on graham st, which isn't snobby like the center of town and the outskirts, but i worked hard to be able to afford to live in lunenburg. my wife and i had an apt in leominster beforehand, and decided that when we were ready to get a house, we did our homework on what needed to be done to afford to live in lunenburg. there shouldn't be "freebies" for anyone. granted there are some issues with the town with wasted money(library) and taxes a little extreme, but in general, i would prefer to stay in town as opposed to any surrounding cities/towns. this affordable b.s. is just going to lower my houses value, and allow the creme-de-le-crap to ruin this side of town.
just me

Hampton Falls, NH

#114 Aug 12, 2008
Jon wrote:
<quoted text>
i totally agree. i am by no means a snob or well off. i live on graham st, which isn't snobby like the center of town and the outskirts,....granted there are some issues with the town with wasted money(library)
The center of Lunenburg snobby? The center of Concord, I can see, but Lunenburg center?

And if you think the Lunenburg library was a waste of money, you haven't been to see the Acton library (which is where I brought my kids until Lunenburg built the new library). Now THERE's a Taj Mahal!
Resident

United States

#115 Aug 12, 2008
just me wrote:
<quoted text>
The center of Lunenburg snobby? The center of Concord, I can see, but Lunenburg center?
And if you think the Lunenburg library was a waste of money, you haven't been to see the Acton library (which is where I brought my kids until Lunenburg built the new library). Now THERE's a Taj Mahal!
Lunenburg Library is very nice. And the playground in the back (I can't think of the little boy it is named after) is a great asset to the town as well.

And since when did Lunenburg become snobby? Did they change the name of Maplewood to Bushwood?
jon

Fitchburg, MA

#116 Aug 12, 2008
i don't have a problem with having a library, but the thing is huge, and there is a lot of non-coste effective wasted space(high ceilings and such). if we are going to use the old ritter for offices, why couldn't it have been cleaned up and re-used for a lot less money. i have no beef with the playground. it is nice, and my son, nephew, and niece enjoy it. and as for snobby, you can hear the difference in people that live towards the center as opposed to those of us who don't. i hear it at the town beach all the time....the little clicks and whatnot. i'm not saying everyone is that way, but it does exist.
just me

Hampton Falls, NH

#117 Aug 12, 2008
I've only been to the town beach once, so I haven't picked up on any of the cliques in town, and I know the library was built "green", and it has the smallest footprint allowed to have made it eligible for the state aid the town received to build it - I just hope that over the years the town continues to put money into books to fill up all that space!
Andy

Fitchburg, MA

#118 Aug 22, 2008
I cant believe they are closing down the Tri Town drive ins! Like most from the area, Ive been going to tri town since before I could walk. Its a shame to see them tear it all down. What I dont understand however, is why are you going to tear down the Tri Town, when you still have to deal with Whalom? Whalom was supposed to be under development for many years now, now its turing into an over grown, useless plot of land. How convenient. People shouldnt complain about kids getting themselves into trouble these days. When you take away all of our fun, we really have nothing else to do.
anonymous

Fitchburg, MA

#119 Oct 8, 2010
This really upsets me. Just because I need low income housing does not make me scum on the bottom of your shoe nor does it make my kids bratty punks. My husband and I are both 24 years old and have a 4 year old and a 1 year old. Obviously we have made some irresponsible decisions in the past and we are both working on providing a future for both of our children. My husband attends Tufts University and I am currently at the Mount full time, and we are doing the best we can. I do not think we take advantage of the state or the system and I do not plan on using the assistance forever; just until we get on our feet. It hurts to hear that people think that way about the poor, it seems like you feel we are infected or something.

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