The New Year comes with several updates on 40B development at Hancock Village. The most important news is the lawsuit that Brookline and several neighbors have brought to put the brakes on the project is active and continuing. Brookline and several neighbors filed suit against the ZBA’s decision to grant the developer (Chestnut Hill Realty; CHR) a comprehensive permit to proceed with their 40B plan is continuing. CHR and the 40B sponsoring agency, MassDevelopment, tried to have the lawsuit dismissed but the land court judge denied the motion. MassDevelopment then tried additional legal maneuvers to have the case dismissed, and these were also promptly denied. Next up is discovery.
While this Land Court case is proceeding, our legal attempts to enforce the 1946 agreement that originally permitted development of the property were dismissed The Appeals Court ruled that the 1946 agreement had expired, and the Supreme Judicial Court did not elect to hear the case. Although not surprising, this result is disappointing and in part reflects errors made with the original agreement and original Town Meeting actions to allow development to occur.
However, what is surprising is that we recently learned that CHR has submitted plans for a SECOND 40B PROJECT at Hancock Village to MassDevelopment. This project is even larger than the first, and proposes 226 units, mostly in a large 6-story building off Gerry road. Together with the FIRST project approved for 161 units (333 bedrooms), that makes 387 new units proposed, and brings the number of units in Hancock Village to over 900 unit, in an area that is already straining town resources.
This unrelenting effort by the developer to further expand Hancock Village through misuse of 40B is further evidence that the Town and the neighborhood must do all in its power to resist these plans. Again we ask for your support to continue the legal action in Land Court. Discovery and continued legal challenge is expensive and adequate funding will be critical. We need your financial help!
Share this with your neighbors, and signup for the email list at www.preservebrookline.com (right sidebar, enter email address, click join).