Affordable townhouses proposed for George Fernandes Way will be slightly taller than originally envisioned and the overall project will have fewer parking spaces.
The zoning board unanimously approved these plan revisions on Tuesday, June 11, after a presentation by an attorney and an architect for the Sandwich Housing Authority project.
Other minor changes included a slight shift in the positioning of the 30 townhouses to allow a more cohesive layout with better sight lines, and a redesign of the community building to make it more distinguishable, said Andrew Singer, attorney for the developer.
The Women’s Institute For Housing and Economic Development—which specializes in the creation of affordable housing throughout New England—is the developer for the complex, which will be called Terrapin Ridge.
Gabrielle Geller, development director for the Women’s Institute, has said financing for Terrapin Ridge will come from a mix of federal, state and local funds. Such projects can take years to put in place, Ms. Geller said, adding that Sandwich funding seems to be falling into place more quickly than many, largely due to the support from local and state officials.
Paula K. Schnepp, executive director of the Sandwich Housing Authority, said Tuesday that state Department of Housing and Community Development officials—who will provide funding for the project—had suggested the changes that were submitted to the zoning board.
Ms. Schnepp also said the housing authority hopes to begin road and entryway work in late summer.
Last fall the state awarded a $1.5 million MassWorks grant for road improvements to make the entryway into Terrapin Ridge and George Fernandes Way safer and more accessible. Terrapin Ridge will occupy six acres behind the George Fernandes Way units.
Officials have said the current entryway from Quaker Meetinghouse Road is difficult to navigate and poses a danger to the tenants and their families. The entryway will be moved off the busy main thoroughfare.
Ms. Geller has said that when Terrapin Ridge is completed—possibly by 2020—the rental units will be a mix of one-, two-, and three-bedroom townhouse-style dwellings that will blend with the adjacent townhouses built 24 years ago along George Fernandes Way.
Plot plans show that the structures will be built around a central common ‘’town green’’ that will provide common outdoor areas; each unit will also have a backyard.
Because this is its first Cape Cod project, the Women’s Institute hired local architectural firm Brown, Lindquist, Fenuccio & Raber, Architects, Inc., which designed the harbormaster’s office at the Sandwich Marina.
Kathryn Giardi, an architect with Brown, Lindquist, told the zoning board members that the new townhouse buildings would be about two feet taller than anticipated to accommodate the heating, air conditioning and ventilation systems.
The zoning board allowed the reduction in parking spaces from 60 to 58, but stipulated that street signs be added to prohibit people from parking on the street.
The board added that stipulation after Assistant Town Engineer Samuel Jensen said the limited streets must be kept clear of cars to allow access for emergency vehicles.
Ms. Schnepp said state funding requests are moving along and that the housing authority hopes to have some news by the end of the summer or early fall.
About $1.4 million in Community Preservation Act funding has already been committed to help subsidize the new housing project.
The project is designed and priced for people earning less than 60 percent of Barnstable County’s median income, with about 10 percent of the units reserved for people earning less than 30 percent of the median income, the bid proposal specifies.