Letter to the Editor

Another Blow to Mill Creek and Other Residents of Chelsea

Dear Editor:

I attended the Zoning Board (ZBA) meeting Tuesday July 9, in support of 254 Spencer Ave., which is the demolition of a two-family house on a 5,000 square-foot lot, replacing it with eight owner-occupied condo units which is next to the old French Club now known as Arcadia – an affordable housing complex.

Several residents, concerned people, the current homeowner and other City Councilors showed up in support of this new development, only to be disappointed by the outcome.

The residents in the City and in the Mill Creek area are getting tired and fed up with these boards making decisions that affect us who live in the area.

They tend to say that the development doesn’t meet the criteria or variances for these parcels, but why is it different when it comes to affordable housing like the units TND is building. TND was originally turned down by ZBA and then won on appeal and only to be pushed through by the City when it did not meet the same criteria.

The City will tell you the developers are only here to get rich but what about The Neighborhood Developers (TND) who I have approached into building homeownership units at the old Midas site. I was told it was not feasible for us, that they wouldn’t make any money.

Isn’t this the same?

I agree and am in favor of affordable housing, but there has to be a balance for both affordable and owner-occupied units, which we don’t have right now.

The playing field is not the same, it’s completely off balance.

Currently in Chelsea the total number of affordable units on the subsidized housing inventory is 2,434 units, plus 299 TND affordable units. That number does not include the old Midas site, Forbes Park and Central Avenue.

The Council keeps pushing for homeownership in the City and the City Manager tends to agree, but this preference keeps getting shot down, which is a disgrace.

You would think the City would want to help the residents here by lowering the tax base, and adding more owner occupied units in Chelsea.

It’s time the City Council makes the final decision over these boards to ensure everyone gets a fair shake.

Councilor Joe Perlatonda

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