A meeting last week between Pilgrim Pines developer Brian E. Hebb and members of the Bourne Affordable Housing Trust did not result in anything that will speed up completion of the troubled development in Buzzards Bay.
Kerry A. Horman of the affordable housing trust said that it was clear from the meeting that Mr. Hebb prefers to pursue his case against the Bourne Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Horman said it became apparent that Mr. Hebb “did not see a lot of hope in an arrangement that would make sense for everyone.”
“He was putting a lot of his efforts into the case with the ZBA, that they didn’t follow procedures with relation to the contract,” Mr. Horman said.
The standoff between Mr. Hebb and the zoning board stems from the developer’s request to have the number of affordable housing units in Pilgrim Pines reduced from 11 to two. Mr. Hebb told the board that without the reduction he cannot afford to finish the roads and sidewalks in the development.
Mr. Hebb’s attorney, J. Ford O’Connor, has stipulated that he petitioned the board of appeals for the reduction on May 21, but the board did not respond within the required 20 days of the filing. Mr. O’Connor told the board that because it did not respond by the deadline, Mr. Hebb’s request is “constructively granted” under Massachusetts General Law.
The zoning board’s attorney, Jonathan D. Witten, responded that an appeal claiming the board did not act in a timely fashion was not filed with the Housing Appeals Committee within the requisite 20 days of when the board’s reply was due. Mr. Witten said that because Mr. Hebb did not file an appeal in time, “the application for modification of the Pilgrim Pines comprehensive permit remains under advisement by the board of appeals.”
The matter has been continued until the next meeting of the zoning board on September 3.
Mr. Horman said that he and Mr. Hebb have exchanged phone calls and e-mails relative to the Pilgrim Pines situation over the last year or so, but last week’s meeting was the first time that the trust has met on it formally.
Mr. Horman characterized the Pilgrim Pines situation as having become “a very complicated issue” and “not something we want to move ahead with without valid numbers.” He said that members of the housing trust had a lot of questions for Mr. Hebb, such as how much road work needs to be done and the cost estimates to build the remaining houses. He said the housing trust has not had a chance to verify any of the numbers Mr. Hebb has provided them.
“It never got to the point of being detailed enough for us to be in a position to make any type of offer or recommendation,” he said.