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Selectmen vote to amend water, sewer policy

Westborough – The Board of Selectmen voted Sept. 14 to clarify town policy on waiving water and sewer connection fees for the development of aff ordable housing units in town.

Two members of the Westborough Housing Partnership Committee, Chair Steve Liedell and former Selectman Kris Allen, came before the board to make the request.

In July, the two approached the Board of Selectmen about waiving connection fees for three of the 12 units at Park Place Townhomes, a 55-plus community. The three units qualify as affordable housing and developer Westwood Associates is currently required to pay $15,000 per unit to connect to town sewer. Liedell and Allen cited previous board waivers as precedent in making their request in July. The request was denied.

Among the reasons given for denying the July request was the fact that the development was not granted a waiver when its plans were approved in 2005. No waiver was necessary in 2005 because there was a moratorium on connecting to the town water and sewer lines at the time.

The new request was to clarify existing policy only and did not involve the Park Place development.

Allen stressed that she felt the new request was reasonable.

“We are not talking about a huge number of units,” Allen said.

Selectman George Thompson said he is in favor of supporting affordable housing.

“It makes sense for policy to follow practice,” he said.

Selectman Lydia Goldblatt did not agree. She noted that the town was in a diff erent fi- nancial situation when waivers were granted in the past.

“How do I justify this?” she asked.

The vote was 3-2 in favor of clarifying the ordinance to allow water and sewer connection fees to be waived for affordable housing units. Thompson, Selectmen Leigh Emery and Tim Dodd voted in favor of the policy change. Goldblatt and Selectman Rod Jane voted against the amendment.

The Sept. 14 vote opens the door for Westwood Associates to reapply for waiver consideration.

Short URL: http://www.communityadvocate.com/?p=7957

Posted by on Sep 24 2010. Filed under Uncategorized. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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