Norwell: Contentious 40B proposal shot down at Annual Town Meeting

Norwell held their annual town meeting at the middle school Monday night.

There was relatively little debate, except for one contentious proposal that was voted down by failing to reach a 2/3 vote.

That proposal, by the community housing trust, would allow the trust to take over the old police station at 40 River Street that will be vacated next February, and turn it into a 40B affordable housing project with 14 rental units.

The town’s veterans are also interested using the site.

Selectman Greg McBride, Selectman Liaison to the Trust, led the charge on the proposal and said the town would have total control over the project, which would be for qualified Norwell residents.

“It’s very much unlike a typical 40B development from the private sector that we’re used to seeing. The Town of Norwell is in complete control of the process, unlike the other 40B developments we unfortunately see, all too often,” McBride explained.

But Veteran’s Representative Bill Malloy said the proposal by the housing trust is premature, as the veterans group is also considering the site for a combination American Legion Hall and Community Center.

“We are looking for a fully functional and financially independent American Legion Post and Community Center that is a source of pride for the community.

I ask you to defeat Article 32 and allow the town sufficient time to make a careful and informed decision on what to do with this property, for the greatest benefit of the town and its residents,” Malloy said.

Town meeting also voted in a $46.8 million fiscal 2015 operating budget, and voted in favor of Marie Molar’s citizen petition article to transfer 3.2 acres of the Osborne Farm land on Main Street from the Board of Selectmen, to the care and custody of the Conservation Commission.

Town meeting got through all the articles on the warrant.

About John Penny

John Penny is a town news reporter at WATD. He primarily covers stories in the towns of Marshfield, Cohasset, Scituate, Norwell, Hingham, Abington and Quincy.