Helmis Circle 40B Modifications Continued to 1/21/21

The developers of the Helmis Circle 40B project detailed their proposed modifications to the Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) on Thursday, December 3, 2020. The meeting is available to view on FCTV Video on Demand. Scroll to 2:31 through 3:21.

The 87 page presentation is available on the ZBA Town website. See pages 17 and 24-26 for renderings of the new exteriors, much more “Cape”-like and “more esthetically pleasing” as compared with the originally approved renderings on page 53.

There is a net reduction in impervious areas. One-car garages are now planned for 22 of the 28 homes, including 6 of the 7 low income offerings, and the sheds for these 22 have been removed. The 6 remaining sheds are 3’ from the boundary line. There is a net increase in living space, averaging about 26sq’ per home, mostly due to the addition of a partial second floor to the three “ranch” homes. The modified plans show all homes within their originally approved footprints.

The road will be “private”. The town will arrange for trash pick-up, but the maintenance will be up to the home owners’ association (HOA) which will also need to set terms for fence maintenance, grounds maintenance, road sealing/paving, maintenance of the drainage system, etc. Market Rate is expected to range between $650,000 and $700,000.

(FYI: While it wasn’t discussed at the meeting, the State sets the sale price “rate” for affordable housing. See the [State “details” for price limits](https://www.mass.gov/service-details/chapter-40b-sale-prices-and-rents). Also not discussed was if there will be a differential in HOA fees between affordable home owners and market rate owners.)

Many of the homes include a “bonus” 10’x10’ room which the owner may request to be built at the onset at an additional cost or may be built at a later date. This square footage is included in the numbers keeping to the original approved footprint.

During construction, the road will be built first with the construction entrance to be on Worcester Court and the Alma Road entrance to be foot traffic only. The developers expect to build 9 homes per year, taking about 3 years to complete the project. A surrounding barrier is already in place marking the limit of work and any box turtles found within the site have been relocated to the existing forest outside.

While it wasn’t discussed at the meeting, the State sets the sale price “rate” for affordable housing. See the State “details” for price limits. https://www.mass.gov/service-details/chapter-40b-sale-prices-and-rents

The ZBA members and one neighbor had a number of questions resulting in some of the above information.

Because the presentation contained so many numbers comparing the previously approved plans to the new plans, the ZBA chose to continue the meeting until January 21 in order to have ample time to study the changes.

If you have any further questions or comments, please email the ZBA. You can also attend the January meeting via Zoom by accessing the Agenda when it becomes available 3-5 days before the January meeting.