Hinesburg Affordable Housing Committee

Meeting Minutes

June 5, 2008

Committee Members Present: Rocky Martin, Carl Bohlen, Bruce Wheeler, Kellie Stoll, Julie Pierson, Dale Wernhoff.

Also Present: Krister Adams, Stuart Pierson, Lori Wilson

The meeting began at approximately 6:00 PM with a site visit to an 11 acre parcel of land to see if it has the potential for affordable housing. The lot is located off of North Road on the south side of Buck hill Road East and is southwest of the Mountain View Mobile Home Park. Both the lot and the park are owned by The Housing Foundation, Inc., a subsidiary of the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA web site: www.vsha.org ). Krister Adams is a Housing Development Specialist for VSHA and walked the site with us. Also joining us was Stuart Pierson. The site currently has one unit on it, a mobile home. The entire lot is wooded, with rolling terrain and some wet low spots that are either stream or spring fed. The site visit was completed at approximately 6:45 PM, at which point the meeting was adjourned.

The meeting was reconvened at the town hall at approximately 7:00 PM.

Discussion of the Current State of Affordable Housing in Hinesburg: Lori Wilson asked why the Creekside development doesn’t have any double wide mobile homes or modular homes. She had examples of modular homes that cost between $65,000 and $89,000. Krister explained to her that the house is just part of the cost. There are permits, site work, water, sewer, electrical, mechanical, and other costs that roll into the total price of a house. Lori asked what lots go for in town. Nobody had a good answer for that since lots vary in size and quality. Lori wanted to know why nobody does build smaller housing. Rocky stated the market affects that. Contractors want to maximize profit.

Discussion of Potential Affordable Housing Site visited earlier tonight: Krister said the lack of proximity to services is a problem. His backers look for that. He said if he went to his bosses they wouldn’t bother for three to four units. If Habitat for Humanity (HFH) is involved then they would go for it. Lori asked if HFH would put in a development. Krister said no since we’re just talking about three to four units. Kellie noted that three to four units were all that current Hinesburg zoning would allow on the site. Krister said his office may work with HFH to provide housing but he can’t commit to that. Lori wondered about using town land for affordable housing. None of it works according to Rocky, whether it’s due to deeding to recreation, poor location, wetlands, or other reasons. Carl asked if there are any options for that land. Krister said it could not be a mobile home park. Bruce wondered about moving some of the existing units from the current park to the 11 acre parcel. The moved units would probably be repaired or upgraded and you would then have bigger lots in the current park. The 56 units would eventually reduce in number as older single units are replaced by double wides. Kellie noted mobile home parks are not viewed favorably so it would be hard to put in a new one, or in this case, expand an old one. Carl asked what a quick engineering assessment on the land would cost. Krister said about $2500 to $3000. Krister said an option would be to team up with HFH to make a septic plan, do a topographic survey including where an access road would go, and check out any hazards or problems. Krister thought this would cost approximately $25,000.

Krister left at 8:10 PM.

Brief discussion of Mechanicsville Road Development: This development, mentioned at our May 1, 2009 meeting, is called Thistle Hill. The cost of the infrastructure for Phase 1 of this 57 unit development is approximately $600,000. This covers the blasting and other site work required to get ready to build.

Brief discussion of Potential Affordable Housing for Sale: Julie mentioned a house for sale at the corner of Route 116 and Lavigne Road. The current tenant said the landlord would like to sell it to the tenant for $125,000. The tenant approached Julie to see if there was a way the tenant could work with HFH to make this happen. Julie is going to look into this.

The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:30 PM.

Next Meeting –

July 10th Talk to David Carse, a local developer, about a project located north of the village that he has in the planning stage right now (postponed from the May 1, 2008 meeting).

Respectfully submitted

Dale Wernhoff