2 thoughts on “Five Story Apartment Building Approved on Main Street in Watertown

  1. Dear Watertown,

    Let’s get our priorities and info straight. It’s the town’s responsibility to go through the application process for local preference regarding inclusionary zoning with DHCD – not the developer’s. Depending on the number of units in the complex, units are set aside for affordable housing i.e., the inclusionary zoning provision. See this info: https://www.watertown-ma.gov/DocumentCenter/View/21179/Section-507-as-Approved-by-Town-Council-on-13-Dec-2016?bidId= .

    The developer has to adhere to whatever community preference percentage is determined by DHCD, which at maximum can be 70% on the first go round of the rental application process. Community preference becomes even more important when you consider the rare opportunity people have to buy an “affordable” condo in town. A pretty critical issue when you consider all the apartments being built and the few condo complexes coming on line.

    The Watertown Housing Partnership (WHP) is the policy body, whose volunteer members are appointed by the Town Manager to oversee the development and preservation of affordable housing in Watertown. Membership is at least five (5) persons. Where have they been on this issue of community preference?

    With support from the Planning staff, the responsibilities of the WHP include assisting in the administration of the Town’s Inclusionary Zoning provisions (Section 5.07 of the Watertown Zoning Ordinance), overseeing HOME funds via the WestMetro HOME Consortium, and administration of the Affordable Housing Development Fund, as well as affordable housing advocacy.

    The WHP regular public meetings are scheduled to be held on the third Tuesday of every month in the Town Administration Building, 149 Main Street, beginning at 6:00 PM. Check the Town’s Website for confirmation and/or updates.

    If you care about affordable housing in Watertown, go to these meetings. And finally, why is someone who lives in Waltham and works in Newton, Chair of the Watertown Housing Partnership? I have not gotten an answer to this question. Disclaimer- I readily admit I like this person, but that’s not the point. Where are the Watertown residents who are willing to step up to the plate as volunteers for this committee? Who is ready to dig in, do their homework, and advocate for these crucial issues? Call your Councilors. Call me. There’s plenty more to discuss. There’s lots at stake in our town. Be part of a solution.

    Best,
    Elodia

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