Comments on Hancock Village proposal

Town officials are preparing a response to a proposal for a 192-unit rental housing development in Hancock Village under the state’s affordable-housing laws. Developer Chestnut Hill Realty filed an application with the state this spring to build the project under Chapter 40B, after withdrawing a 271-unit proposal for the site earlier this year. The new proposal includes 39 affordable-housing units. In a letter to MassDevelopment, the developer said the project would greatly expand mixed-income housing opportunities in South Brookline. MassDevelopment, which will decide whether the project is eligible to be developed under Chapter 40B, is accepting comments on the project until Friday. In communities where less than 10 percent of the housing stock meets the state’s criteria for affordable housing, Chapter 40B allows developers to bypass some local zoning laws if at least 25 percent of the units they are creating would be affordable. About 8 percent of Brookline’s housing stock is considered affordable, according to the town. Brookline officials objected to Chestnut Hill Realty’s earlier proposal, saying the complex would be at an inappropriate location and would do away with a green belt around Hancock Village. While the new proposal has fewer housing units, its effect on the community would be similar, according to Kathryn Murphy, a lawyer with Krokidas & Bluestein, a law firm that is representing the town. “Their resubmission has clearly changed very little from their first submission,” Murphy told the Board of Selectmen at a recent meeting about the project. Comments on the project can be sent to Anthony Fracasso, senior vice president, MassDevelopment, 99 High St., 11th floor, Boston, MA 02110.