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1/31/13 Somerville Redevelopment Authority Hearing on Union Square Acquisitions

by in Beat Reporter, Comprehensive Plan, Development and Zoning
Posted on January 20, 2013 at 5:32 pm

Land acquisition in Union Square is required for the Green Line T-Stop and for area redevelopment. Those involved should make sure their interests are met. More…

[Note: This is a syndicated post. Read the original at Somerville Development Forum.]

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2 Responses to “1/31/13 Somerville Redevelopment Authority Hearing on Union Square Acquisitions”

  1. Joeb says:

    Aren’t these the $8million bond issue for real estate currently assessed at around $800,000, and somebody’s very nice profit margin?

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  2. Beat Report: 1/31/13 Somerville Redevelopment Authority Public Hearing on Union Square Acquisitions
    Gage, Busnach. McCarthy not present due to flu. Special counsel, Azar, Glavin, Sleeper for city.

    Bottom Line on Top

    Presentation on Union Square acquisitions. No property owner affected had allowed city access to begin preparations for relocation. During public hearing portion, two spoke, Langley and Fahey. Langley was concerned about whether the taxpayers would have to pay for cleaning up polluted site. He had to. Fahey stated he had been living there for 63 years and they should take that into account. He asked when he would have to leave. Sleeper said 120 days at least, maybe 6-7 months. Would receive 3 payments: land value, house value, and business. Date of next SRA meeting February 19 @5:30 in 3rd floor meeting room.

    Rough Notes

    Reviewed and approved minutes for 12/6/12 meeting

    Public hearing on North Prospect block properties in area D2

    Reading of advertisement verbatim in Somerville Journal 1/10/13.

    [Note: Chair at first wanted to skip the first paragraph. Corrected by Special Counsel. Required verbatim reading of the table of separate properties into the record.]

    Notice posted with Clerk, on web site, and sent to affected owners.

    Glavin: Azar, Sleeper plan. Revitalization plan presented Sept. 2012. Board approved plan Oct. 2012. BOA approved, and state OHCD approved Oct. 2012. Letters sent to all property owners in first phase. Schedule is as required by GLX schedule. GLX due winter 2015-2016. Properties must be acquired by spring 2013. Plan to negotiate with owners for a fair price. SRA can exercise eminent domain.

    Azar: Steps to date and future step. Sleeper to discuss relocation assistance.

    Azar: Property owner contacted by assessor, environmental request, and relocation. Have not gained access to any properties. Access will help us make a fair offer for properties and determine relocation strategy. Have copies of access agreements. Sleeper to speak. Please sign in to speak.

    Sleeper: Relocation consultant working to determine fair market value for property and relocation of business and residential tenants. City is responsible for helping them relocate, allows them ample time to relocate. I cannot complete this plan until I can interview the tenants and see the properties. We need to get into the properties ASAP to complete that. Am here to answer questions about process and requirements.

    Glavin: Staff and myself available now and in coming months.

    Chair: Open public hearing on matter. Give name and address for the record. If a question, I will redirect it to appropriate person. 5 minutes.

    John Langley, Allen St.: Properties are polluted, plan going to state. Has state appropriated funds for this?

    Azar: MOA 2012, city looking to present MBTA with easements. MBTA is required to clean up contamination.

    Langley: My property polluted when I bought it. I remediated it at my expense. Taxpayers will be stuck with bill for cleaning this up.

    Francis Fahey: Plumbing and heating supplies. Been living there 63 years. Mother grew up there. Grandfather came from Genoa Italy, started barrel business behind house. Will be tough to have to pack up and leave after 63 years. Hope you take into consideration the amount of time we’ve been there. Question: when do you actually plan on taking possession of my property? And after you take possession, do I have to leave immediately, or can I pay rent?

    Glavin: We are scheduled to acquire property this spring. Each property owner will be asked to talk to our team about the practical details. Clearly, overall schedule is what guides our activities. Hard to give a specific date for a specific property. Hope owners will set up times for discussion.

    Sleeper: After acquisition, after tenant has 120 days you can stay on property, may be 6-7 months. At that time I’ll be down every day to talk with people. You live there and run business. Will receive 3 payments: land value, house value, and business.

    Fahey: From 120 days to 6 months? Also have a tenant. He will have to relocate too. Can you help him? His house is being taken.

    Sleeper: He would get rental assistance payments. Also gets 120 days. We have to charge you fair market rent. Pay for moving his property.

    Langley: Charge Fahey rent so taxpayers won’t have to pay bill. Why are taxpayers to pay for environmental remediation?

    Glavin: MBTA will remediate the property it is using. If any actions are required beyond their expenditures, that needs to be discussed.

    No more speakers.

    Hope this presentation and hearing has answered your questions. Closing public hearing on this matter. If you have any other questions or comments, send them by mail to Nancy Busnach SRA by Feb. 7. E-mail to Steven Azar at City Hall.

    Other business

    Date for next meeting: February 19 @5:30 in 3rd floor meeting room.
    Adjourned.

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