Reject housing at Oxford
Town meeting will vote tonight (6/30) on the current proposal to develop the former Oxford School into housing for the elderly. We ask that town meeting members consider the following when casting their vote.
First, the project is not an instant solution. It will likely take five years before the first tenant gets to put their key in the door. In the mean time, the town will receive only a tiny amount of money from the developer to hold their interest in the project. If the developer backs out of the deal within a two-year period, the town refunds the money.
The town’s position on this is to hope the project will work out. We say that hope is not a strategy.
Second, building so many new housing units and renting them at lower than the going rate will financially undercut the landlords who have worked hard and invested in their income properties nearby for generations.
Third, the proposed project squeezes an immense number of housing units into a small area. It will be much denser than is our town’s historical practice. The Anthony Haven housing land area has nearly twice the square footage per unit as what is planned for Oxford School. Dana Court and Green Meadows each have 2½ times as much area, and Oxford Terrace has 3½ times as much.
Fourth, at last week’s selectmen’s meeting, residents made constructive suggestions and aired many concerns to the developers. We are dismayed that, as of this past Monday night, town residents have not been able to view the proceedings on TV because the meeting has apparently not been rebroadcast.
We ask that town meeting reject this proposal. As an alternative, we propose that the town take advantage of options brought to light by the Rogers School Study Committee and the recently formed Economic Development Committee in fostering a suitable plan for the Oxford School property.
John Medeiros and concerned citizens of Fairhaven
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