Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw

Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw                                                                                            –Background and Next Stepsimages

With contributions by                                                                    Roland Gibson and Chris Simone 

The possibility of adopting an “Inclusionary Zoning Bylaw” in Littleton was discussed on March 5th by a Working Group of the Planning Board and Jenny Raitt, Chief Housing Planner of the Metropolitan Area Planning Counsel (MAPC).

The purpose of this bylaw is to facilitate the development of affordable housing for low and moderate-income households.  It could help us maintain, for now and into the future, the 10% 40B threshold for preventing hostile 40B developments such as the OMNI development on Great Road.

Here are some notes from that meeting.

Current Affordable Housing Status

The Town of Littleton currently meets the 10% threshold for affordable housing units and is not subject to a hostile 40B development process.  This means that a developer cannot evoke the process (e.g. expedited zoning waivers) under the Chapter 40B statute to bypass various Town and State regulations in building housing. However, any developer may come forth with a proposal that includes affordable units.  Such proposals, sometimes referred to as “friendly 40B’s”, are subject to established Town and State bylaws and regulations.

Under what conditions, and when, might Littleton fall under the 10% threshold? Continue reading

Posted in Voter Participation | 1 Comment

Selectman Alex McCurdy to Retire After Distinguished Career of Public Service

alex mccurdy

 …a letter from Selectman Alex McCurdy

After 20 years serving as a public official for this town, I have decided that it is time to slip into retirement from the high profile public service that I began here in 1993.  For several months I have been weighing a number of factors about running for a 4th term as selectman, but the moment I discovered someone had adorned my house with graffiti last week, the balance was tipped and deciding was over.

I have served in the public sector since 1974 with stints as fire chiefs in Harvard and Littleton and as a Littleton selectman.  My roots are in the fire service where I have had the privilege to serve with caring, dedicated and motivated heroes. After arriving here in 1993, I was soon hooked by the many involved and caring people who live here. I will miss serving them the most.   My election to Selectman in 2006 was never in my plans but the circumstances back then led to it. There have been many ups and downs throughout my public service, but I have no regrets. Town Counsel Tom Harrington once said to me that in the world of hardball town politics, Littleton is a varsity team.  I couldn’t agree more.  But in the end it comes back to the good citizens of Littleton; you made it worthwhile. The trust you placed in me drove me to serve all these years.

I will not rule out a return to politics in Littleton someday, but right now my job working with firefighters across New England and leaving room for my grandkids demand my time and full attention.

My sincere hope is that we as a town can come together to meet the challenges ahead and craft a future that meets the needs of all citizens, young and old.

It has been a true privilege and honor to serve you, the townspeople of Littleton.

Alex McCurdy

Posted in Voter Participation

Needs Assessment for Littleton’s Seniors – Public Meeting this Saturday 1/31 @ 10:30 AM

What:  Public Input and Conversation about the Needs Assessment for Littleton Seniors  When: Saturday, January 31  at 10:30 AM       (this is the make-up date)                          Where: Littleton Town Hall – 37 Shattuck Street, Room 103

Littleton Elder and Human Services/Council on Aging will be conducting a comprehensive Needs Assessment for seniors of Littleton in 2015 and have contracted with the Gerontology Institute of UMass to direct its development and execution. The Assessment will be used to support planning into 2020-2025 as we prepare for the increasing number of seniors who are projected to live in our town.

A meeting with presentations and an opportunity to ask questions, and participate in the conversation, will be held Saturday January 31,  10:30 – 11:30,  in Room 103 (Selectman’s Meeting Room) in the Littleton TownHouse, 37 Shattuck Street. Continue reading

Posted in Events & Dates, Littleton's Senior Citizens

(Meeting Cancelled) Needs Assessment for Littleton Seniors

imagesWe are truly very sad to learn about the passing of Mary Kaye.  Services for Mary will be held this Friday and Saturday.  The Needs Assessment meeting originally planned for Saturday January 10th will be rescheduled for a later date.

 

Posted in Events & Dates, Littleton's Senior Citizens

Special Meeting Invitation: Needs Assessment for Littleton Seniors

What:  Public Input and Conversation about the Needs Assessment for Littleton Seniors  When: Saturday, January 10  at 10:30 – 11:30                                                       Where: Littleton Town Hall – 37 Shattuck Street, Room 103

Littleton Elder and Human Services/Council on Aging will be conducting a comprehensive Needs Assessment for seniors of Littleton in 2015 and have contracted with the Gerontology Institute of UMass to direct its development and execution. The Assessment will be used to support planning into 2020-2025 as we prepare for the increasing number of seniors who are projected to live in our town.

A meeting with presentations and an opportunity to ask questions, and participate in the conversation, will be held Saturday January 10,  10:30 – 11:30,  in Room 103 (Selectman’s Meeting Room) in the Littleton TownHouse, 37 Shattuck Street. Continue reading

Posted in Events & Dates, Littleton's Senior Citizens

For our Seniors and all of us

Considerations at November 12 Town Meeting

We can find moments in governance on which to build on the common good of common sense.

We have such opportunities this November 12th at Town Meeting. Voters will take up three Articles concerning our senior citizens and citizens on fixed incomes.

  • Property Tax Deferral for Seniors;
  • Increase certain Personal Exemptions;
  • Fund a Needs Assessment for Seniors.

Many of our seniors are struggling to stay in their homes.  The overall cost of living is overwhelming savings and limited income.  Yes, even in Littleton, we have seniors making unfortunate choices between food, heat, and healthcare.  I have witnessed this first hand and have found it to be as sad as sobering.  We all envision retiring in the homes for which we labor for years – in which we raise our children.  But, the tax bill must be paid and our seniors are a strong, proud bunch.  We are Littletonians. So, the tax bill, now averaging $6,455 and often higher, is paid first.

Our seniors leave Littleton at that juncture in life lacking sufficient alternative housing.  Thinking selfishly for a moment, the rest of us lose the grace of their company, participation, strength, humor and wisdom. We lose some of the fabric which has forged and held our Littleton together.  Also selfishly, we can measure the toll on all tax payers when a home occupied by a single senior or couple turns over to a new family with school age children.  Quality public education is expensive – and certainly surpasses any “revenue” derived from property tax on those properties, which therefore raises taxes on the majority of taxpayers. Continue reading

Posted in Littleton's Senior Citizens, Voter Participation

Natural Gas Pipeline — Board of Selectmen to Hear Input on 7/14 @ 830p

by Vera SpohrPipeline

Have you heard about the 36 inch pipeline, proposed to be built through neighboring towns and open space or alongside our highways? Imagine what digging and sinking and covering a 36 inch pipeline would be like. Imagine that this pipeline is filled with gas and look up how many explosions and other fatal accidents are attributed to similar pipelines. I did just that. The conservative, pro-industry, Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) under the U.S. Dep’t of Transportation reports 300 “significant incidents” in 2013, including around 50 injuries and fatalities and property damage around $250 million. Wikipedia reports that a recent Wall Street Journal review states that there were1400 spills and accidents in the US between 2010 and 2013 and that 4 of every 5 of those accidents were discovered by local residents, not by the company owning the pipeline.

Kinder Morgan/Tennessee gas pipeline is checking out this area for just such a project.

see www.Grotonspace.com/pipeline 

Not only is a 36 inch pipeline destructive and dangerous immediately, but in the long run the time, money and effort going into this pipeline take away from time, money and effort which could be spent on environmentally friendly and sustainable energy projects. Consider also that the gas comes from fracking which contaminates both soil and water,  irreplaceable resources. Climate change with all its dangers is upon us and still we look to fossil fuel for help. When will we ever learn?

On Monday the Board of Selectmen is scheduled to hear input on the pipeline at 8:30 pm. Town Offices, Room 103.

Posted in Voter Participation | 2 Comments