Comments Sought On Comprehensive Permit For Ball Lane Housing Project


Model of proposed affordable housing project on Ball Lane. Photo: Valley Community Development Corporation


Valley Community Development Corporation has started the application process for a Comprehensive Permit (also known as Chapter 40B) to construct 30 affordable home ownership units on approximately 8.3 acres located at 20-40 Ball Lane. Currently, the application is in the Project Eligibility phase with the submittal of information to MassHousing, the State quasi-public agency that provides funding for affordable housing projects. MassHousing’s review involves an evaluation of the site, the design concept, the financial feasibility of the proposal, and the appropriateness of the proposal in relation to local housing needs and strategies.

MassHousing is asking for comments from the community about this project. The comments may include information about the site, input on the design, and past Town actions regarding affordable housing. Comments can be submitted on the Town’s website here or by contacting Senior Planner Nathaniel Malloy in the Planning Department (phone: 413-259-3322), 4 Boltwood Ave. Amherst, MA 01002.

The public comment period is open until noon (12:00 PM) on Monday, May 1, 2023. The Town Manager will submit a comment letter and will include all individual comments submitted.

MassHousing reviews the Project Eligibility application based on criteria in Massachusetts regulations (Mass 760 CMR 54.04(4)), which are explained below. These criteria are also the same the public can use to make comments:

(a) that the proposed Project appears generally eligible under the requirements of the housing subsidy program, subject to final approval under 760 CMR 56.04(7);

(b) that the site of the proposed Project is generally appropriate for residential development, taking into consideration information provided by the municipality or other parties regarding municipal actions previously taken to meet affordable housing needs, such as inclusionary zoning, multifamily districts adopted under M.G.L. c. 40A, and overlay districts adopted under M.G.L. c. 40R (such finding, with supporting reasoning, to be set forth in reasonable detail);

(c) that the conceptual project design is generally appropriate for the site on which it is located, taking into consideration factors that may include proposed use, conceptual site plan and building massing, topography, environmental resources, and integration into existing development patterns (such finding, with supporting reasoning, to be set forth in reasonable detail);

(d) that the proposed Project appears financially feasible within the housing market in which it will be situated (based on comparable rentals or sales figures);

(e) that an initial pro forma has been reviewed, including a land valuation determination consistent with the Department’s guidelines, and the Project appears financially feasible and consistent with the Department’s guidelines for Cost Examination and Limitations on Profits and Distributions (if applicable) on the basis of estimated development costs;

(f) that the Applicant is a public agency, a non-profit organization, or a Limited Dividend Organization, and it meets the general eligibility standards of the housing program; and

(g) that the Applicant controls the site, based on evidence that the Applicant or a related entity owns the site, or holds an option or contract to acquire such interest in the site, or has such other interest in the site as is deemed by the Subsidizing Agency to be sufficient to control the site.

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