MINUTES OF THE by KQ1JZnU

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									                                MINUTES OF THE
                            BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
                     OF THE WINCHESTER HOUSING AUTHORITY


A special meeting of the Board of Commissioners was convened on March 11, 2008 at
7:40 PM at 13 Westley Street, Winchester, Massachusetts 01890.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss regular housing authority business.

   I.       QUORUM

         A quorum was declared present based on the presence of the following
         Commissioners: Anne Bailey Berman, James Skahan, Jr., and Richard Rohan.

         Other people attending the meeting were: executive director Joseph M. Lally.

         The Board of Commissioners took the following actions:

   II.      REPORTS AND DISCUSSIONS

         The minutes of the regular meeting held on February 12, 2008 were approved by
         a unanimous vote of the Board.

         The minutes of the special meeting held on February 19, 2008 were approved by a
         unanimous vote of the Board.

         The Board discussed a seminar on diversity entitled “Race and Place.” The
         Winchester Multicultural Network, in cooperation with the Library and the
         League of Women Voters, is sponsoring a discussion series on the relationships
         between race, housing choice, and community economic prosperity on four
         Sunday afternoons from 2:30 to 4:45 PM in the Meeting Room of the Winchester
         Public Library. The dates are March 16, March 30, April 6, and April 13.

          Commissioner Berman said she could probably attend the session on March 16,
         and Commissioner Skahan felt he could attend the sessions on March 16, April 6
         and April 13.

         The executive director reported on tenant accounts payable, finance reports,
         vacancies, and unit turnover.

         Commissioner Skahan asked the executive director if the WHA was current with
         the electric bills and the executive director stated that we were current with that
         bill and all other bills submitted by vendors.




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       The Board discussed development plans for the Lockeland, Highland and Alben
       properties. Several Lockeland neighbor suggested that we use the Alben site for a
       group home. Commissioners Rohan suggested that we continue to prepare plans
       for the Lockeland site and hold the Alben site in reserve pending the wetlands
       study on Lockeland. The Alben site may be able to house a duplex home.

       Commissioner Skahan reported on the MassNAHRO legislative meeting at the
       State House. He related that that MassNAHRO suggested that LHA speak and
       conduct outreach with civic groups, schools, and other agencies about our
       programs.

       Commissioner Skahan has drafted a memo to the Board of Selectmen describing
       the meeting with the Lockeland neighbors on March 4, 2008. Commissioner
       Skahan will revise the memo to include Kevin McDonough’s from DMR
       participation that evening. The memo will include a progress report on wetlands
       delineation of the property.



III.      REGULAR MEETING


               MOVED: A motion was made by Commissioner Skahan and seconded
               by Commissioner Rohan to adopt a no smoking policy. The motion was
               carried by a unanimous vote of the Board.

               VOTED: That the Authority advise State Senator Patricia
               Jehlen and State Representative Paul Casey of the desire
               of the Authority to ban smoking of any tobacco products
               in any part of the buildings under the jurisdiction of the
               Winchester Housing Authority, including a ban of
               smoking of all tobacco products in all units and all
               common areas.

               Further, the Authority petitions Senator Jehlen or
               Representative Casey, or both of them, to file a bill
               petitioning the Massachusetts General Court to ban the
               smoking of tobacco products by all local housing
               authorities    throughout   the   Commonwealth       of
               Massachusetts, which ban would apply to both individual
               units and to common areas.

               Further, the Authority requests its executive director to
               obtain the voluntary signatures of as many residents under
               the jurisdiction of the Winchester Housing Authority as
               wish to sign an addendum to this Vote in support of the


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                  ban on smoking of all tobacco products in property under
                  the jurisdiction of the Winchester Housing Authority.

                  MOVED: The WHA should advise the planning Board
                  that the WHA should be working with the Affordable
                  Housing Partnership Board on affordable housing issues.
                  The motion was carried by a unanimous vote of the
                  Board.

                  VOTED: The WHA should advise the planning Board
                  that the WHA should be working with the Affordable
                  Housing Partnership Board on affordable housing issues.

                  MOVED: To send Commissioner Skahan’s memo to the
                  Board of Selectmen the meeting with the Lockeland
                  neighbors.

                  VOTED: The motion was carried by a unanimous vote of
                  the Board.


                                          MEMORANDUM

TO:              WINCHESTER BOARD OF SELECTMEN

FROM:            WINCHESTER HOUSING AUTHORITY
                 JAMES R. SKAHAN, JR., CHAIRMAN, GROUP HOME COMMITTEE

DATE:            March 11, 2008




At the request of the Board of Selectmen, the Winchester Housing Authority held an informational meeting
for neighbors in the area of 34 Lockeland Road, Winchester, relative to a proposal to have a group home
for five mentally retarded persons placed on the premises at 34 Lockeland Road.

Attending from the Winchester Housing Authority were Anne Bailey Berman (Chairperson), Joseph Lally
(Executive Director) and Commissioners James R. Skahan, Jr. and Richard Rohan.

Representing the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation was Kevin McDonough, Assistant Area
Director, Central Middlesex area.

A total of 16 neighbors and other interested persons also attended the meeting. Mr. McDonough began the
meeting by discussing the Massachusetts Department of Mental Retardation and group homes. He
presented some statistics about the numbers of mentally retarded persons in this area receiving services
from the Department, the number of group homes in the 15-municipality area that includes Winchester, and
he discussed the day-by-day operation of a group home.

In Massachusetts, there are approximately 30,000 persons receiving services from the Department. About
1200 persons are in the Department’s 15-municipality area which includes Winchester. Thirty-seven


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persons in Winchester are receiving services from the Department, including 24 adults and 13 children.
There are 80 group homes under the Department in the 15-municipality area, are approximately 4-5
residents in each of the homes.

A concern was raised about whether there would be residential preference as a Winchester resident. Mr.
McDonough explained that while every effort would be made to keep a person in his or her home town, the
primary considerations must be the compatibility of the residents in any one home as well as the needs of
the particular person and what needs that particular home could provide.

The Department has a great need for a group home that is built as a group home because this type of group
home can serve the most needy, physically and mentally, residents.

Concerns presented by the neighbors and others attending included the following:

1.      Another building in the area may already increase a ground-water flooding problem in the area.
        The additional building and additional parking spaces would only serve to cause more ground-
        water flooding.

2.      There could possibly be a violation of zoning ordinances with particular reference to separate
        buildings on one lot.

3.      One neighbor mentioned a possible decrease in property values in the area caused by a group
        home.

4.      A good deal of preference was cited for placing a group home at 10 Alban Street instead of the
        Lockeland Road site.

5.      A group home may possibly bring too much traffic to 34 Lockeland Street, which is already in a
        heavily trafficked area. It is estimated that there will be six motor vehicle trips into the property
        each day and six motor vehicle trips out of the property each day.

6.      There was concern about lack of sidewalks in the area and the busy intersection at Lockeland
        Road and Ridge Street.

7.      There was concern about additional noise in the area from traffic.

The meeting served as a good exchange among the Housing Authority, Department of Mental Retardation
and the neighbors.

Chairman Skahan said that the comments and suggestions raised at the meeting would be considered; there
would be additional wetlands plan drawn sometime before mid-May 2008; and there would be a site plan as
well.

Chairman Skahan said the neighbors would continue to be informed as the situation progressed.



James R. Skahan, Jr.




     IV. NEXT MEETING




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The next regular meeting of the Winchester Housing Authority Board of
Commissioners will be held on Tuesday April 18, 2008 at 37 Palmer Street,
Winchester, Massachusetts at 7:30 pm.

There being no further business, the meeting was duly adjourned at 9:22 pm.

Respectfully submitted,


Joseph M. Lally
Executive Director




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