Town Meeting & The Patton Homestead

Article 2-12 on the Warrant for Saturday's Annual Town Meeting seeks our permission for disposition of a portion of the Patton Homestead Property.

My personal opinion is that selling 4+/- acres (of 27 acres) to the identified developer (C. P. Berry) to build 6 over-55 duplex homes is the right choice.  Such a sale and development will bring in immediate cash (from the sale) and future property tax revenue from homes that are unlikely to have school age children whose cost could otherwise outweigh the revenue.

Lest there be a hue and cry about a need for housing for homeowners with children, please know that Hamilton residents who choose to live in an over-55 development and sell their now “over-sized” homes will most likely be selling those homes to families with children.  Win-Win.

At Town Meeting there will surely be debate on the subject, particularly from the Planning Board which appears to be divided on the subject.  And that's fine.  Carl and Alan Berry are experienced, successful and knowledgeable developers and know the risks and costs involved in the sometimes lengthy approval process.  Knowing that, they have chosen to step up, bid on the property and seek our permission to proceed.  If the article passes at the Town Meeting, the developer will file for approvals, beginning at the Planning Board level, where a Special Permit will be required.  Such permitting gives the Planning Board enhanced power to seek concessions it feels are necessary in order to elevate the project for the town and for future homeowners.

I say let it run it's natural course and let us hope something positive (revenue-wise) comes from the exercise.  We already own the land and it is producing zero revenue. Actually, it's costing taxpayers money and we have before us an opportunity to reverse that trend.
Scott Maddern April 04, 2014 at 08:28 AM
Nice, succinct summary Jay. Thanks for paying close attention to this and I agree with your recommendation.
Margo Killoran April 04, 2014 at 08:58 AM
Thanks Jay for writing this. There so much "dis" information circling around, just like the vote on the Pirie property. Same old people; same old crap! The town has several studies that show houses with 2 or more children are revenue negative (because it cost more to educate the children than the revenue the house produces). That's one reason the BOS keeps recommending 55+ housing. In addition, we DO NEED affordable housing for seniors (affordable and low-income are not the same people!). And this baloney that they need to be near town is hypocrisy. Most of the people who voted again the Pirie project were over 55 and they managed to cart their asses "to town" for the meeting. And as far as housing for families? Does no one else see the number of houses for sale when they're driving around? Please peeps; go get the fact and don't believe the spin. Even Joanne Patton, who donated the land, agrees with this plan.
Jay Burnham April 04, 2014 at 09:28 AM
Thanks, Margo. Just look at the revenue generated from the over-55 housing at The Boulders and The Maples in our sister town of Wenham. Hamilton needs this and now has an opportunity to fulfill that need.


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