Guidelines For Comprehensive Permit Projects

The Massachusetts Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has guidelines for MGL Chapter 40B Comprehensive Permit Projects, also known as affordable housing. There are two important sections that were pulled from the document that relate to the requirements that must be met, which includes, but are not limited to: local bylaws, zoning, and subdivision control laws.

Minimum Design and Construction Standards

Housing developed through the program must comply not only with the State Sanitary and Building Codes, but also with other state building and environmental regulations and (to the degree not exempted by a comprehensive permit) with all applicable local codes, ordinances, and bylaws.

Code Compliance

Housing developed through the program must comply with the State Building Code, the State Sanitary Code, with other state building and environmental regulations, and (to the degree not exempted by a comprehensive permit) with all applicable local codes, ordinances and bylaws.

It is highly doubtful that safety (i.e., pedestrian, vehicular, or railroad) would be something that any responsible governmental agency or board would waive. Therefore, if the developer, Steven F. Venincasa, wants to push for a Chapter 40B development with more than 150 units, then the Rice Road right-of-way would be required to increase from 40-feet to to 60-feet in width and require land takings up to 20-feet from existing land owners along Rice Road, the pavement width would need to be a minimum of 32-feet in width, have two 3-foot grass strips between the road and sidewalk on each side of the road, and have two 5-foot sidewalks on each side of the road. It would be impossible to get a 32-foot road (pavement width) from the Providence & Worcester Railroad crossing east to Providence Street (Route 122A) without major reconstruction of the intersection of Rice Road and Providence Street (Route 122A) which would require additional land takings and considerable expense.

Chapter 40B on the McLaughlin Family Living Trust property does not appear to be the slam dunk that developer, Steven F. Venincasa, is portraying and is something that neighborhood would continue to advocate for responsible development in full compliance with the Millbury Zoning Bylaws and Subdivision Control Laws.