At the previous (25Nov2019) work session, the Planning Board began to come to terms with how difficult it is to design senior housing. (Link to the video…)
They spent the session setting criteria for a senior housing project: it could only be in the Lyme Common District, only 10 units, each must be less than 1,200 square feet, the total project may have only 12,000 square feet of gross floor area. They then began adding other restrictions regarding age and number of residents, whether units must be handicap-accessible, and construction techniques that would not be permitted.
Having made those decisions about what “senior housing must look like”, the Board hopes to attract a potential developer who will try to build reasonably-priced, marketable units with attractive amenities (common spaces, garages) within those constraints.
Or maybe not. It’s far simpler (and cheaper) for a developer to build in a town that doesn’t have such restrictive design parameters and rules.
Nonetheless, the Planning Board will meet again on Monday, 2 December at 7pm to continue to try to improve the current language to withstand legal scrutiny and meet their notion of what might be attractive senior housing.
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This whole “senior housing” zoning is a farce. The planning board and the select board aren’t interested in development in Lyme. They are especially concerned with the potential for families with school age children to move into any new development. So, they are trying to convince the town that they are really open to senior housing, which won’t bring in school age children, but creating such a top down design limitations that no developer would ever build here. This plays right into the current developer opinion that Lyme is a place to be skipped because the power structure in town doesn’t really want development and will always make it close to impossible to do.
Can’t believe they are wasting their time with this.
Thanks for this comment. Let’s see what happens at the meeting tonight, and if need be, what we need to do at Town Meeting.