ARTICLE 6 ENDORSEMENTS

Hear what Winchester town leaders have to say about the Waterfield proposal

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"THE WATERFIELD PROJECT WILL ADD A DIVERSE MIX OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING UNITS THAT CAN SERVE AS A STARTING OFF POINT FOR SINGLES AND SMALL FAMILIES AS WELL AS DOWNSIZING OPTIONS FOR SENIORS IN OUR COMMUNITY. 

I URGE MY FELLOW WINCHESTER RESIDENTS TO SUPPORT THIS PROJECT."

Jason Lewis, State Senator, 5th Middlesex District

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"AFFORDABLE HOUSING, ESPECIALLY NEAR PUBLIC TRANSIT, IS A CENTRAL PRIORITY FOR INDIVIDUALS, FAMILIES, AND OUR COMMUNITIES.  CONGRATULATIONS TO WINCHESTER RESIDENTS AND LEADERS FOR YEARS OF WORK LEADING TO THE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE STATION, REVISIONING OF TOWN CENTER, AND THIS KEY PROJECT.  I HOPE VOTERS WILL SUPPORT THE BALLOT QUESTION ON TUESDAY."

Pat Jehlen, state senator, 2nd Middlesex

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"WINCHESTER CAN DO BETTER THAN ITS CURRENT 3.7% LEVEL OF AFFORDABLE HOUSING. THE WATERFIELD PROJECT APPROVED BY TOWN MEETING WOULD BRING AFFORDABLE RENTAL CHOICES, NEW RETAIL SPACE, PARKING, AND A WELCOMING PLAZA TO A GATEWAY LOCATION NEAR THE MBTA STATION IN WINCHESTER TOWN CENTER.


LET’S MAKE LIVING IN WINCHESTER MORE POSSIBLE FOR ESSENTIAL WORKERS, EDUCATORS, AND OTHER PEOPLE WHO WORK HERE. LET’S INSIST THE DEVELOPER INVEST IN A WELL DESIGNED, WELL CONSTRUCTED, SUSTAINABLE PROJECT THAT WILL STAND THE TEST OF TIME. LET’S MOVE FORWARD WITH THE WATERFIELD PROJECT’S DIVERSE HOUSING TO SUPPORT A DIVERSE COMMUNITY."

Susan Verdicchio, Chair, Winchester Select Board

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"THE TERMS OF THE PROPOSED LAND DISPOSITION AGREEMENT AND THE GROUND LEASE ARE APPROPRIATE AND BENEFIT THE TOWN IN TWO IMPORTANT WAYS.

FIRST, THERE ARE FINANCIAL BENEFITS. IN ADDITION TO AN UPFRONT PAYMENT, THE TOWN WILL SHARE IN A PERCENTAGE OF ANNUAL PROFITS OF THE DEVELOPMENT AND ALSO A PERCENTAGE OF PROFITS AT ALL REFINANCINGS OR TRANSFERS OF THE PROPERTY FOR THE 99-YEAR TERM. 


THE SECOND BENEFIT IS THAT THE TOWN HAS CONTROLS OVER THE BUILDING FOR THE LONG-TERM."

Marty Jones, Former CEO, MassDevelopment; member, Housing Partnership Board

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"WHEN WE STARTED WORKING ON THE HOUSING PRODUCTION PLAN FOUR YEARS AGO, THE OVERWHELMING INPUT FROM WINCHESTER RESIDENTS WAS THAT WE WANTED A PLAN WITH SMALLER DEVELOPMENTS ACROSS DIFFERENT PARTS OF TOWN, RATHER THAN ONLY ONE OR TWO VERY LARGE HOSTILE 40B DEVELOPMENTS. THE WATERFIELD DEVELOPMENT, AT 60 UNITS IN THE TOWN CENTER, IS EXACTLY THAT. 


THIS IS A PROJECT THAT WILL ADD MUCH-NEEDED AFFORDABLE HOUSING FOR MULTIPLE GROUPS OF PEOPLE: SENIORS WHO WANT TO DOWNSIZE, YOUNG FAMILIES STARTING OUT, AND OUR TOWN EMPLOYEES WHO WANT TO LIVE WITHIN THE COMMUNITY THEY SERVE. IT HAS BEEN YEARS IN THE MAKING.


THE PROJECT WAS THOROUGHLY VETTED VIA AN RFP PROCESS THAT RESULTED IN MULTIPLE BIDS. AFTER MANY MONTHS OF PUBLIC MEETINGS, NEGOTIATIONS, AND DELIBERATION, THE BID THAT WAS MOST FAVORABLE TO THE TOWN WAS APPROVED BY THE SELECT BOARD, THE PLANNING BOARD, THE HOUSING PARTNERSHIP BOARD, THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, AND TOWN MEETING."


I URGE MY FELLOW WINCHESTER RESIDENTS TO VOTE YES ON JUNE 22ND.

Mariano Goluboff, Member, Winchester Select Board; Former Chair, Select Board and Finance Committee

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"WINCHESTER SHOULD VOTE YES ON JUNE 22 TO ADVANCE THE WATERFIELD PROJECT.  THE PROJECT WILL PROVIDE MUCH NEEDED APARTMENTS, INCLUDING AFFORDABLE UNITS THAT MEET STATE REQUIREMENTS, RETAIL SPACE TO HELP REVITALIZE THE TOWN CENTER, PUBLIC PARKING AND NEW PROPERTY TAX REVENUE.    


LUXURY CONDOS, THE ALTERNATIVE PROPOSED BY OPPONENTS, WOULD MEAN NO PUBLIC PARKING, LIKELY THE SAME NUMBER OF NEW STUDENTS, AND ONLY MARGINALLY MORE REVENUE AT BEST. THERE IS NO POT OF GOLD UNDER THE WATERFIELD LOT, ONLY A MASSIVE MWRA REGIONAL SEWER LINE THAT LIMITS DEVELOPMENT TO HALF THE SITE AND DRIVES UP DEVELOPMENT COSTS.  TO ARGUE OTHERWISE IS TO IGNORE 15 YEARS OF DISCUSSIONS WITH DEVELOPERS AND FINANCING AGENCIES.  AND GIVEN WINCHESTER’S PASSION FOR DEBATING PROJECTS, VOTING “NO” MEANS IT COULD TAKE FIVE OR TEN MORE YEARS TO CONVINCE DEVELOPERS TO RISK BIDDING ON ANY TYPE OF DEVELOPMENT ON THE SITE. 


THE WATERFIELD LEASE AND DEVELOPMENT TERMS ARE STANDARD AND WELL VETTED.  THE PROJECT HAS BEEN REVIEWED BY ALL THE TOWN BOARDS AND APPROVED TWICE BY TOWN MEETING.  IT’S A GOOD DEAL FOR WINCHESTER.  VOTE YES."

Lance Grenzeback, Former Chair, Select Board; Former Chair, Planning Board

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“THE HOUSING PARTNERSHIP BOARD BY UNANIMOUS VOTE SUPPORTS APPROVAL OF ARTICLE SIX, AUTHORIZING THE SELECT BOARD TO SIGN A LAND DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT, LEASING THE WATERFIELD PARCEL FOR RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL DEVELOPMENT."

John Suhrbier, Chair, Winchester Housing Partnership

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"THE PLANNING BOARD VOTED UNANIMOUSLY AND WHOLE-HEARTEDLY TO ENDORSE THIS ARTICLE. THIS PROJECT BRINGS DESPERATELY NEEDED MIXED INCOME HOUSING AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT TO OUR TOWN CENTER."

Diab Jerius, Chair, Winchester Planning Board, at the 2021 Spring Town Meeting

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THE WATERFIELD PROJECT IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO CREATE THE HOUSING WINCHESTER NEEDS. 


NANCY AND I ARE RESIDENTS OF THE TOWN CENTER.  WE KNOW HOW WONDERFUL IT IS TO LIVE WHERE YOU DO NOT NEED TO USE A CAR AND WE KNOW HOW LIMITED AND UNAFFORDABLE CURRENT TOWN CENTER HOUSING IS. 


AT THIS TIME OF RUNAWAY HOUSING PRICES THAT ARE BEYOND THE REACH OF INCREASING NUMBERS OF WINCHESTER RESIDENTS, THE WATERFIELD PROJECT WILL PROVIDE BADLY NEEDED TAX GENERATING MIXED INCOME RENTAL UNITS THAT WILL STRENGTHEN THE RETAIL BUSINESSES AND VITALITY OF THE TOWN CENTER.  IN DOING THIS WE STRENGTHEN WINCHESTER.  


AFTER YEARS OF PLANNING THE WATERFIELD PROJECT MAKES REAL THE VISION OF THE TOWN CENTER AS A VIBRANT RETAIL CENTER WITH PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION ORIENTED, ENERGY EFFICIENT HOUSING OPTIONS FOR PEOPLE OF ALL AGES AND INCOMES.  IT PROVIDES PUBLIC PARKING AND OUTDOOR GATHERING SPACE. IT OFFERS A DESIGN AND SCALE THAT COMPLEMENTS THE HISTORIC COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE WE VALUE SO MUCH. 


THE PROPOSED PROJECT HAS BEEN STUDIED FOR YEARS, COMPETITIVELY BID AND ENDORSED BY THE FINANCE COMMITTEE, SELECT BOARD, THE PLANNING BOARD, THE HOUSING PARTNERSHIP BOARD AND TOWN MEETING.  AS OUR TAX BASE OF INCREASINGLY EXPENSIVE HOMES CONTINUES TO GROW, THE WATERFIELD PROJECT WILL MAKE CONTINUING TO LIVE IN WINCHESTER POSSIBLE FOR MANY.


IT IS EASY TO STOP PROGRESS, IT IS HARDER TO CREATE IT.  WE SHOULD NOT LET THIS OPPORTUNITY SLIP AWAY.


PLEASE VOTE YES ON QUESTION 1.

Tom & Nancy Howley, Winchester Center Residents

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WINCHESTER COUNCIL ON AGING SUPPORTS VOTING “YES” ON QUESTION ONE

THE MISSION OF THE COUNCIL ON AGING IS TO PROMOTE HEALTHY AGING, INDEPENDENCE, ENGAGEMENT AND THE WELL-BEING OF WINCHESTER’S OLDER ADULTS AND THE COMMUNITY THAT SUPPORTS THEM.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING OPTIONS AND TRANSPORTATION ARE AMONG THE MOST IMPORTANT CONCERNS OF MANY OF WINCHESTER’S OLDER RESIDENTS.


THE WATERFIELD PROJECT WILL PROVIDE 40 MIXED INCOME RENTAL UNITS ADJACENT TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION AND WITHIN WALKING DISTANCE TO THE RETAIL BUSINESSES OF THE TOWN CENTER. THIS IS IDEAL HOUSING FOR MANY OLDER ADULTS ON FIXED INCOMES AND IT WILL ALLOW THEM TO LIVE WITH PEOPLE OF ALL AGES IN THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITY.


IN FULFILLING ITS MISSION THE COA IS A MEMBER OF THE WINCHESTER HOUSING PARTNERSHIP BOARD AND JOINED WITH OTHER BOARD MEMBERS IN UNANIMOUS SUPPORT OF A “YES” VOTE IN THE JUNE 22ND SPECIAL ELECTION.

Winchester Council on Aging

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THE PLANNING BOARD SUPPORTS A YES VOTE ON THE TOWN OF WINCHESTER’S JUNE 22, 2021 BALLOT QUESTION #1.


THE CIVICO PROPOSAL FOR THE WATERFIELD SITE IS IMAGINATIVE, BOLD, BENEFICIAL, AND PRIORITIZES COMMUNITY CARE AT THE PHYSICAL AND METAPHORICAL HEART OF THE TOWN OF WINCHESTER. IT WILL TRANSFORM THE CURRENT SURFACE PARKING LOT INTO QUALITY, TRANSIT-ORIENTED HOUSING FOR 60 HOUSEHOLDS IN A MANNER COMPLEMENTARY TO THE ARCHITECTURAL AND COMMUNITY CHARACTER OF OUR TOWN CENTER. 


THE DEVELOPMENT WILL PROVIDE MUCH-NEEDED CENTRALLY-LOCATED RENTAL UNITS AND BRING HIGH-QUALITY, MARKET-RATE, AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING TO MEMBERS OF OUR COMMUNITY. THE ENERGY-EFFICIENT BUILDING WILL ALSO CREATE VALUABLE RETAIL SPACES AND PUBLIC AMENITIES SUCH AS PARKING AND A BEAUTIFUL PUBLIC PLAZA TO CONNECT TO OUR CURRENT DOWNTOWN STREETSCAPE.


THIS DEVELOPMENT PLAN IS POSSIBLE, NECESSARY, AND WELL-CONSIDERED.  IT IS THE RESULT OF DETAILED AND TRANSPARENT PROCESSES INITIATED OVER A DECADE AGO WHEN THE PLANNING BOARD, RESIDENTS, EXPERTS, AND ELECTED AND APPOINTED OFFICIALS AND COMMITTEES BEGAN THE WORK OF RETHINKING TOWN CENTER. ESSENTIAL MANDATES FROM THOSE CONVERSATIONS WERE TO CREATE MIXED-INCOME HOUSING CLOSE TO PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, TO INCREASE ECONOMIC VIBRANCY, TO ACTIVATE OPEN SPACES, AND TO BUILD WITH ENVIRONMENTAL AND CONTEXTUAL CONSIDERATIONS. THESE PROCESSES CULMINATED IN A VOTE AT THE SPRING 2018 TOWN MEETING, WHERE MEMBERS CHOSE BY A SUPER-MAJORITY TO AUTHORIZE THE USE OF THE WATERFIELD LOT EXCLUSIVELY FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AS THE HIGHEST AND BEST USE OF THIS PARCEL OF TOWN LAND. THE TRANSPARENT AND COLLABORATIVE RFQ AND RFP PROCESS RESULTED IN CIVICO’S WINNING PROPOSAL.


THE CIVICO DEVELOPMENT FOR THE WATERFIELD SITE IS THE RESULT OF THE VISION THAT THE PLANNING BOARD HEARD BY COLLABORATION FROM RESIDENTS OVER THE YEARS. IT IS AN EXCITING AND THOUGHTFUL PROJECT THAT HONORS AND CENTERS COMMUNITY CARE AND PROSPERITY. 

Winchester Planning Board