The Planning Board’s public hearing on Oriole Landing, a proposal for 60 units of mixed-income housing on Mary’s Way, is scheduled for Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m.—just 18 days before residents will be asked to vote on the matter at Town Meeting.
The proposal calls for 60 one- and two-bedroom units on six acres of land adjacent to The Commons. Fifteen of the 60 units would be deed-restricted as affordable according to state guidelines. At the March 24 Town Meeting, voters will be asked to approve a bylaw amendment to establish a North Lincoln Planning Development Overlay District as well as a Preliminary Development and Land Use Plan for the project (click here to view the draft warrant article). Five projects have been approved under this process in Lincoln: Battle Road Farms and the Lincoln North office building (1986), Minuteman Inn (approved in 1989 but never completed), and Minuteman Commons and The Groves/Lincoln Deaconess, now The Commons (2006).
The Planning Board has created a detailed FAQ document about the project, and the Housing Commission also has a website with an overview and background on affordable housing in Lincoln. Plans and other documents relating to the March 6 public hearing are available here. A list of upcoming public forums and official meetings can be found here.
If approved next month by a two-thirds vote, Civico Development must return within two years to the Planning Board for site plan special permit approval through another public hearing process. Civico must also go before the Historical Commission if they plan to demolish an existing structure on the property that may be deemed historically or architecturally significant. The company is working with the commission to develop a plan that will “honor a historic house located on the property,” according to the FAQ document.
Other information from the document:
- The development would have the second-highest density of housing units per acre in town (10.5), lower than The Commons (11.95) and greater than Minuteman Commons or Lincoln Woods (8.72 and 6.28 units per acre, respectively).
- Nine to 16 school-age children spread over various grades would be expected to live in Oriole Landing. Since there will be only one- and two-bedroom units, Civico believes the number will be on the lower side.
- A traffic study indicates that there will be no significant delays at any of the nearby intersections due to added traffic from the development. It is also “not anticipated to have a significant impact” on the Deerhaven Road/Garland Road community. The town is having the traffic study reviewed by a third-party consultant.
- Estimated rents will run from $1,564–$1,759 per month for the designated affordable units, or $2,200–$2,900 for the market-rate units.
- The state is expected to allow up to 70 percent of the affordable units (10 of the 15) to be rented to households qualified as “local preference”—tenants who are already Lincoln residents, employees of the town or of Lincoln businesses, or families with children enrolled in the Lincoln Public Schools.
- The Lincoln Housing Coalition projects that the town will need to add 10 units of affordable housing per decade just to keep pace with development trends and maintain Lincoln’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) at a minimum of 10 percent. If the SHI falls below this state-mandated threshold in the 2020 census, developers can bypass local zoning restrictions to build so-called 40B projects. Lincoln needs approximately 10 units of affordable housing to meet requirements for 2020.
- Future expansion is unlikely because the developer is keeping the bedroom count under 90 bedrooms in order to use a septic system. Bedroom counts over 90 require construction of a package treatment plant costing approximately $1 million.