Plan for South Brookline housing clears hurdle

The Boston Globe | By John Hilliard
November 25, 2016

Brookline town officials and a local developer said they have settled a years-long dispute over a proposed housing development, avoiding a trial that was slated to start Monday in the state Land Court.

If Town Meeting approves needed changes for the project to move ahead, it will mean the end of a standoff that led selectmen and a group of residents to sue the town’s zoning board, along with developer Chestnut Hill Realty and state housing agency MassDevelopment, to block a development at Hancock Village in South Brookline last year.

“We’re trying to build a project that everyone can live with,” said selectmen Chairman Neil Wishinsky.
In a statement, developer Chestnut Hill Realty’s president, Ed Zuker, said the agreement allows his company to build “much needed” market rate and affordable housing at Hancock Village.

“This new plan has benefits for us, our neighbors, and the Town of Brookline,” Zuker said in the statement.

Officials said the latest version of the Hancock Village proposal would consolidate two separate housing projects into a slightly smaller single combined development with 368 units.

Chestnut Hill Realty would also give the town $1 million for “public improvements” and agree to a deed restriction limiting future development of the area, according to Wishinsky.

The developer would reduce the number of bedrooms and scale back the number of buildings at the project. It would also create a 150,000-square-foot buffer zone between the project and neighbors.

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