Trust Seeks Proposal For Former Marceline Property

by William F. Galvin

HARWICH – The affordable housing trust has put out a call for developers to submit proposals to build affordable housing on six acres of the former Marceline property along Queen Anne Road and Pleasant Lake Avenue.

The proposal for the property, being called 456 Queen Anne Rd. Housing because the entrance is located on tha

“I’m really excited about doing something here, it’s such a great piece of property,” said Affordable Housing Trust Chair Larry Ballantine.

The trust is looking to enter into a land development agreement to lease the property for 99 years to the chosen developer to construct no more than 90 bedrooms of affordable rental housing. According to the request, the development should be designed for a variety of households — individuals of all ages, families with children, and persons with disabilities — and reflect a mix of affordability levels.

“The trust would like to see a mix of residential building types. The bedroom mix should be based on the site’s capacity, good site planning and landscaping considerations, and the market and financial feasibility of an affordable rental project at this location,” the request reads.

When developing the request, Ballantine said, the trust talked about several options for the property, and agreed to start with the six acres on the south side. It was decided not to address the entire parcel with a one-time proposal, he said, adding that the trust will test public reaction to this project before looking at how to develop the north side. One of the options being looked at is use of some of the land for open space, he said.

The trust developed a conceptual plan for the 90 bedrooms, which included 49 units. Ballentine said the design included two three-story buildings and three townhouses, each containing three units. The developers on the Cape are creative and it will be left up to them to figure out a design, he said.

The architecture should reflect and be compatible with the existing architecture and style of the Harwich community; the goal is for the development to look like it belongs in Harwich, according to the proposal. The trust is encouraging multiple buildings, which can be diverse sizes that blend with the community, and native landscaping in keeping with the town’s character.

The trust is looking for a development that includes units that are affordable to households with incomes ranging from 30 to 100 percent area median income (AMI). All of the units must be affordable to households at or below 100 percent with an average of no more than 80 percent AMI, according to Ballantine.

The proposal calls for a range of household sizes in more than one building as well as the inclusion of “universally accessible” design units. At least 10 percent of the units should contain three or more bedrooms to satisfy the commonwealth’s family housing policy.

The proposal calls for building and site designs that reduce the tenants’ energy, water usage and cost and limit the project’s environmental impact. Buildings should be sited for maximum exposure for solar panels.

The property is located in the residential light and residential rural zoning districts and permitting for the project is expected to be sought through a 40B, comprehensive permit.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend a site tour and briefing on Wednesday, May 15 at 2 p.m. at 456 Queen Anne Rd. Applicants must file submission to the affordable housing trust at town hall before 2 p.m. on Wednesday, June 5.

Ballantine said he hasn’t heard much on developer interest in the project yet, “but we’re holding our breath, and hoping we get some responses.”