Chapter 40B Presentation Takeaways

Judy Barrett of Barrett Planning Group LLC presented detailed information on Chapter 40B (affordable housing) intended as an informational session for the Millbury Board of Selectmen, Millbury Board of Appeals, and the Millbury Planning Board. Judy Barrett’s presentation was the most comprehensive and understandable presentation on Chapter 40B that neighbors have attended to date. The public was not permitted to ask any questions.

The Town Manager indicated in an email message to one of our neighbors that there could be a public informational session in the future where resident could ask specific questions.

Our neighborhood needs to continue to focus on the following “local concerns” during public hearing, after a Project Eligibility Letter is authorized by the Millbury Board of Selectmen and the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD):

  • Health
  • Safety
  • Environmental
  • Design
  • Open Space
  • Planning
  • Other Local Concerns (related to physical development of the site)

On Monday, January 24, 2022 and Monday, February 14, 2022, the Millbury Planning Board voted to deny the multifamily special permit and site plan review for the proposed Rice Pond Village project, proposed to have 46-dwelling units, on the 15.4822± acres of land owned by the Rice Pond Realty Trust, John Antaya, Kathleen (McLaughlin) Mardirosian, and the McLaughlin Family Living Trust; and the applicant Whitney Street Home Builders LLC, while approving the post-construction stormwater management permit for the proposed Rice Pond Village project with a project address of 17 Rice Road in Millbury, Massachusetts mainly due to Steven F. Venincasa and James Venincasa doing business, this time around, as Whitney Street Home Builders LLC refusal to address significant public safety concerns along the length of Rice Road (i.e., the inadequacy of Rice Road with respect to width, non-standard intersections on both ends, the Providence & Worcester Railroad crossing, a single access point opposite Thomas Hill Road, etc.).

Each of the denial justifications will need to be satisfactorily addressed by Steven F. Venincasa and James Venincasa. It is highly unlikely that DHCD would allow the developers to ignore public safety for affordable housing, but we all need to remain engaged and participate in all meetings with the Millbury Board of Selectmen, public hearings with the Millbury Board of Appeals, any public hearings that may be scheduled with the Millbury Planning Board as part of their review and input, and submit written public comments to the DHCD when the public comment period opens.

Our neighborhood and every resident in Millbury should reach out to the Millbury Board of Selectmen via email to strongly encourage them not to entertain engaging with Steven F. Venincasa or James Venincasa prior to February 14, 2023, or sign a Project Eligibility Letter which is necessary for the developer to begin the Chapter 40B process.

NameEmail Address
Katherine M.
Christopher J.
David M.

Steven F. Venincasa is on the Millbury Board of Selectmen‘s agenda for Tuesday, May 24, 2022. James Venincasa has already met and had discussions with the Millbury Planning and Development Department and the Town Manager about a Chapter 40B apartment complex that Steven F. Venicasa threatened our neighborhood and the Millbury Planning Board with if we did not concede to his demands of eliminating the project condition that the Providence & Worcester Railroad crossing be upgraded to current standards at his expense.

Chapter 40B should concern every single resident in Millbury, since other neighborhoods could be targeted next, as seems to be the trend in other communities. Should a Chapter 40B development approved on Rice Road, it would have a broader impact to surrounding neighborhoods and streets with increased daily traffic, including, but not limited to: Providence Street (Route 122A), South Main Street, Woodland Street, Herricks Lane, Sycamore Street, Curve Street, Maple Street, Elm Street, Main Street, Canal Street, Riverlin Street, etc. and streets in Sutton too.


Presentation (pdf)

Rice Pond Village Project Denial