Spring Bars Road Community Housing

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Acquisition of 11.9 Acres for Community Housing & Recreation

Location: Spring Bars Road, East Falmouth
Applicant: Community Preservation Committee
Grant: $1,250,000
Year/Article: November 2010, A25

The 2010 April Town Meeting, by a two-thirds vote, authorized the Board of Selectmen to purchase approximately 21.13 undeveloped acres on Spring Bars Road  west of the northern part of Little Pond and further authorized the Board of Selectmen to appropriate $3 million for the purchase. Using CP funds , the Town paid $3 million for the property, including a $1 million Conservation Restriction, and received a $500,000 reimbursement from a state LAND grant, for a net cost of $2,500,000.

Town Meeting authorized the purchase for the purposes of community housing, open space and/or recreation and subdivided the parcel into 11.39 acres for community housing and recreation and 9.59 acres for open space conservation. It further stipulated that the property be bound by permanent deed restrictions meeting the requirements of the Community Preservation Act (MGL 184) by limiting the use of the land to the purposes for which it was acquired.

Subsequently, a survey was taken of the two parcels and wastewater studies and environmental assessments were made. Using this information the Community Preservation Committee drafted a Request for Proposals for a thirty-unit community housing development on the property. At the request of the Board of Selectmen, the Cape Cod Commission performed a feasibility study for thirty units of community housing on the site. The Commission issued its report, “Spring Bars Road Assessment,” in October 2013.

In June 2013, the Conservation Commission hired a consulting firm to develop a master plan for open space and passive recreation in the 9.6 acres abutting Little Pond, designated as the Little Pond Conservation Area. In December 2015 the Conservation Commission contracted for implementation of the Plan, including trails, picnic shelters, boardwalks, observation platforms and signage. Because of budget constraints, the construction of a launch for fishing and non-motorized boats and kayaks has been deferred. The work is scheduled for completion in 2016.

In November 2015, the Board of Selectmen issued a Request for Proposals for housing development on the 11.39 acre site. Assembling financing, completing evaluations and studies as necessary, gaining the necessary permits and any special conditions, completing the construction and opening the project to potential qualified buyers can take two or more years. Additionally, the property is being used as a staging area for the installation of new sewer lines in the Little Pond watershed, which will be completed by May 2017. As a result, the Town is estimating completion of Spring Bars Road community housing not before 2018 or 2019.

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