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HARVARD — Representatives from organizations that filed applications for Community Preservation Act (CPA) funding this year have made cases for their causes to the Community Preservation Committee (CPC).

Nine applications for CPA funding were submitted by the deadline last month and are now being evaluated by the CPC, which will make recommendations to voters at the annual town meeting in the spring. The lineup includes two applications from the Park and Recreation Commission and the Historical Commission, respectively. Other applications were from the Harvard Housing Authority (HHA), Harvard Housing Partnership (HHP), Historical Society and Friends of the Council on Aging. All but Park and Rec. were represented at the CPC meeting.

A full house in the town hall meeting room had dwindled to a few people by the time the last agenda item came up at the Nov. 29 meeting. In addition to project proponents, approximately 30 residents who left early were there in response to the first item on the agenda, an application for $50,000 in CPA funding for a controversial Housing Partnership proposal, presented by HHP members Lucy Wallace and Chris Ready.

The HHP has a 45-unit condo development on the drawing board. If it clears a substantial number of hurdles, passes muster with town boards and, in the end, meets criteria the HHP has set for itself, it is slated for the town gravel pit — a 13-acre site on Stow Road.

Proponents say the aim of the project is to start building the town’s affordable housing stock to meet the state’s 10 percent mandate while staving off hostile 40B projects that might inundate the town with haphazardly sited development that is out of character for the town. Opponents, however, say this is the wrong project in the wrong place at the wrong time.

The HHA also presented its latest bid for CPA funding to continue a feasibility study for a very different affordable housing project near the town center. Unlike the HHP proposal to build privately owned condos, the HHA seeks to build rental units specifically for seniors.

Robert Lerner, representing the HHA, outlined the latest CPA funding proposal, which seeks $100,000 for engineering and architectural studies, defined as plans and specs.

Asked if he had documentation for that figure, Lerner said the group would likely be able to provide specifics in January and had based the estimate on past estimates and other data available now.

Lerner said the group had obtained $15,000 in CPA funding last year, and had used that money, along with $2,000 left over from a previous appropriation, to hire a consultant to do a feasibility study. Among the information gained from that study, Lerner said the 5-acre minimum some had cited as a roadblock does not, in fact, apply here.

“Lots of small urban senior projects are built on smaller lots (than this one),” he said.

Town counsel Mark Lanza said the project meets state criteria in terms of site size.

The proposal describes two buildings to be constructed on a 1.3-acre site on Mass Avenue, just outside the town center.

“It is a good locale for seniors,” Lerner said.

The vision calls for 12 units, but economic factors could conceivably up the total to 16 if a bit more land could be added to the site, Lerner said. Explaining how the plan aligns with state regulations, he said the project targets the low end of standards for affordable rental housing on rural land, which allow eight to 12 units per acre.

In addition, modular units built off-site in another state would effectively bypass what he called ridiculous regulations that apply to stick built construction.

Visual aspects of the proposed senior housing were of particular concern to CPC member Jonathan Feist, the recently appointed president of the Harvard Historical Commission (HHC). Echoing a comment he made during the HP presentation, Feist wanted to know whether these committees — the HHP and the HHA — with housing projects in the CPA funding pipeline had created conceptual criteria consistent with their mission statements. That is, projects purportedly aimed, in part, at preserving the character of the town, as opposed to so-called hostile 40B’s that are not.

“I don’t see anyone talking about design guidelines,” he said. “Why would these (buildings) be any better than what Joe Developer would come up with?”

Lerner said it was a point well taken and that, earlier in the project, a pro-bono architect had prepared conceptual designs using Shaker-style facades. Drawings and other details of that plan were presented at a Board of Selectmen meeting a couple of years ago. He said that, in the end, voters, not committees, will direct the process.

“They are the ones who make that decision,” he said.

Another HHA member at the meeting, Laurence Finnegan, wanted to be sure people saw this site as proponents did. Pinpointing the locale on Mass Avenue, he said it was downhill from a local dentist’s office and diagonally across from the school. He underscored favorable features in Real Estate terms, citing “location, location, location” and proximity to the school as a factor that would simplify possible sewer hookups to the school’s wastewater treatment package plant. Which, as Lerner pointed out, had already been bought and paid for, mostly with state funds. In addition, the modular motif makes this a “promising and attractive proposal,” Finnegan said.

The Historical Commission did not make a presentation, but CPC member Jonathan Feist, who noted the new makeup and direction of the reconstituted commission he heads, fielded questions on the group’s two CPA applications for funds to rehab two small historic structures, the Shaker herb house in Shaker Village and the antique powder house behind town hall were munitions were reportedly stored during the revolutionary war. Respectively, the two requests are for $13,500, most of which would be used to repair the herb house roof, and $7,000 to put a new roof and make other repairs at the powder house.

(Final article addresses two more CPA applications covered at the CPC meeting: Historical Society and Friends of COA.)