The Wellesley Board of Selectmen has called the proposed 90-unit 40B residential housing unit for Delanson Circle “too intense” for the less-than-1.5-acre plot on which it would stand across from the Tailby parking lot used by commuter rail customers. The town has used such language in arguing against a 40B proposal at 680 Worcester St. as well.
The proposed “Wellesley Crossing” project for Delanson Circle, an offshoot of Linden Street, has actually been downsized from 95 to 90 units, but that’s still too much according to the BoS letter, which you can read in its entirety below. The developers, who revised their project application last month, plan to offer 18 affordable units as part of the 5-story complex, which they say will have a common courtyard and community room. Their pitch is that the project would be attractive to those using public transportation given its proximity to the Wellesley Square train station.
(See also: Wellesley’s Affordable Housing Challenge video)
In its letter to MassHousing, the quasi-public outfit that the developers are making their bid to, the Wellesley BoS cites numerous concerns. These include the project’s size being disproportionate to surrounding structures, pedestrian safety issues, stormwater management issues and parking/traffic worries. The town would also like to see more of the units being affordable.
Wellesley has been scrambling to get a Housing Production Plan in place to help convince the state that it is indeed taking serious steps to get at least 10% of the town’s housing stock to an affordable level. That’s the threshold required for the town to be able to fend off what it deems as hostile 40B projects that allow developers to avoid abiding by the usual zoning rules. The town has been emphasizing in its formal comments about proposed 40B plans its past and current efforts to encourage sensible development of affordable housing in Wellesley.