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Housing Policy --- Section 10-1

COMMUNITY PROCESS AND NOTIFICATION OF PROPERTY DISPOSITION

I. PURPOSE
These community participation policies & procedures are designed to 1) ensure that community residents and local leaders are fully informed about the sale of any real estate sold by the Department of Neighborhood Development, 2) create a uniform and timely structure for this process so that developers and residents alike have a clear understanding of how the process works, enabling both to more effectively plan for, and participate in the project development process, and 3) promote equal opportunity and fair housing in the disposition of residential sites.

II. PRINCIPLES
These policies and procedures are based on the following principles:
A Community's Right to Know: Residents have a right to know what is proposed for a site before any decisions are made. They must also be given the opportunity to provide input about any proposed development to the City prior to any final decisions being made. From this principle, the City has an affirmative obligation to ensure that community notification is complete and timely.

Proportionality: The level of community participation must be proportionate to the impacts of the proposed development. Small scale property sales (such as a side yard) demand a different and lesser level of community input than do large sites that demand more extensive processes.

Balancing Uniformity & Flexibility: Policies must be uniformly applied across the city and for all types of properties being sold. The City must also, however, build some flexibility into the procedures to appropriately respond to the very unique issues that will often be involved in each property. Additionally, the Director of DND may respond to unique circumstances or an urgent public priority by approving an alternate notification process provided that such process meets the intent of the policies defined in this document.

DND Responsibilities & Authority: The Department of Neighborhood Development (DND) has the ultimate legal responsibility to ensure that all property disposition is done in conformance with all applicable Federal, State and Local governing laws, including ensuring that the City affirmatively furthers fair housing in the administration of its housing and community development programs. DND also has the public trust responsibility to ensure that all property disposition is conducted with the goal of providing the greatest public benefits to all of the City's residents and that it is done in a timely and cost-effective manner. DND is therefore obligated to retain the final authority to make decisions about all property disposition in order to faithfully execute these legal and public trust responsibilities.

III. PROCEDURES
LEVEL 1: NON-DEVELOPMENT SITES

This category of properties includes small-scale sites where there is no development beyond physical rehab of existing space for existing uses. This applies programmatically to:
1) any residential abutter lots that are determined to be undevelopable for any other purpose,
2) the Residential Development Program and 1-4 Family Housing Program (rehab of vacant 1-4 family buildings for homeownership) and
3) individual sites that meet the test of physical rehab only for existing uses. Exemption: transfers of properties between Departments of the City of Boston are exempted provided that no changes in the use/occupancy of the property will result from the transfer.

6-STEP PROCESS
1. NOTIFICATION: Notification about the proposed property sale, including timelines and procedures for applying for the property and/or receiving additional notifications about the disposition of the property will be sent to: abutters within 100' radius, neighborhood-based groups representing the area in which the property is located, local elected officials, individuals who have formally expressed interest in the property at the Clearinghouse, and community leaders. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

2. COMMUNITY COMMENT PERIOD: A minimum 30-day 1 period after the completion of the Notification Process and before the property is advertised during which time notified individuals and/or organizations can provide input.

3. COMMUNITY INPUT PUBLIC MEETING: If, during the Community Comment Period, there are questions and/or concerns raised, DND will consult and/or meet with those individuals or groups to address those concerns. If, at the end of the Community Comment Period, the City determines that there are remaining unresolved community concerns, a Community Input Public Meeting will be held to address those issues no more than 45 days after the conclusion of the Comment Period.

4. ADVERTISEMENT: Taking into account input received during the Comment Period and Community Input Meeting (if applicable), DND will prepare a Request for Proposals that will be clearly advertised in a daily paper, the Central Register and at least one local community paper. All parties that have expressed an interest in the property either by filing an Expression of Interest through the Clearinghouse or by responding in writing to the notification letter will also be sent a copy of the advertisement. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center and its homebuyer education agencies (residential sites only).

5. BUYER SELECTION: Based solely on the criteria defined in the Request for Proposals, DND will select a buyer for the property.

6. FINAL PUBLIC NOTICE: Prior to a final designation vote by the Public Facilities Commission, a notice of the planned sale will be published in the City Record and will be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

LEVEL 2: MINOR DEVELOPMENT SITES
This category of properties includes small-scale development sites where some limited community impacts are anticipated. This applies to new construction of a single 1-4 family house, non-residential or residentially developable abutter lots, rehabilitation of 1-4 family residential buildings involving any changes in use and/or occupancy, small-scale non-residential rehabilitation. Where DND is required to transfer a property to another department of the City of Boston for disposition or a municipal purpose, the receiving department will be responsible for defining its own community notification processes.

7-STEP PROCESS
1. NOTIFICATION: Notification about the proposed property sale, including timelines and procedures for applying for the property and/or receiving additional notifications about the disposition of the property will be sent to: abutters within 300' radius, neighborhood-based groups representing the area in which the property is located, local elected officials, individuals who have formally expressed interest in the property at the Clearinghouse, and community leaders. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

2. COMMUNITY COMMENT PERIOD: A minimum 30-day2 period after the completion of the Notification Process and before the property is advertised during which time notified individuals and/or organizations can provide input.

3. COMMUNITY INPUT PUBLIC MEETING: If, during the Community Comment Period, there are questions and/or concerns raised, DND will consult and/or meet with those individuals or groups to address those concerns. If, at the end of the Community Comment Period, the City determines that there are remaining unresolved community concerns, a Community Input Public Meeting will be held to address those issues no more than 45 days after the conclusion of the Comment Period.

4. ADVERTISEMENT: Taking into account input received during the Comment Period and Community Input Meeting (if applicable), DND will prepare a Request for Proposals that will be clearly advertised in a daily paper, the Central Register and at least one local community paper. The advertisement will be sent to a citywide list of developers and all parties that have expressed an interest in the property either by filing an Expression of Interest through the Clearinghouse or by responding in writing to the notification letter. The advertisement will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

5. BUYER SELECTION: Based solely on the criteria defined in the Request for Proposals, DND will select a buyer for the property.

6. COMMUNITY REVIEW PUBLIC MEETING: Where the recommended buyer is proposing development on the site beyond physical rehab of existing space for existing uses, and prior to any final action on the site by the Public Facilities Commission, a Community Review Public Meeting will be held where the proposed buyer will present their plan to the community.

7. FINAL PUBLIC NOTICE: Prior to a final designation vote by the Public Facilities Commission, a notice of the planned sale will be published in the City Record and will be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

LEVEL 3: SIGNIFICANT DEVELOPMENT SITES:
This category of properties includes larger scale sites with more significant potential community benefits and impacts. Examples: multifamily new construction (more than a single 1-4 family house), multifamily residential rehab (5 or more units), small scale (1-4 units) residential rehab where there are significant changes in use or occupancy, special needs housing creation, commercial or industrial new construction, rehab of commercial or industrial space that will result in a significant change in use or occupancy. Where DND is required to transfer a property to another department of the City of Boston for disposition or a municipal purpose, the receiving department will be responsible for defining its own community notification processes.

9-STEP PROCESS:
1. NOTIFICATION: Notification about the proposed property sale, including timelines and planned schedule for public meeting(s), timelines and procedures for applying for the property, and procedures for receiving additional notifications about the disposition of the property will be sent to: abutters within 300' radius3 , neighborhood-based groups representing the area in which the property is located, local elected officials, individuals who have formally expressed interest in the property at the Clearinghouse, and community leaders. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

2. COMMUNITY INPUT PUBLIC MEETINGS: Within 90 days of the completion of the notification process, two public meetings will be held to introduce the proposed development concept and solicit input from the community about issues that the City should address in preparing the development guidelines and selection criteria for the property. The second public meeting may be canceled if the majority of participants at the first public meeting determine that a second public meeting is not necessary.

3. REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS: DND will prepare a Request For Proposals (RFP) for the property that will take into account three primary factors: 1) the various development guidelines and selection criteria that were proposed in the public meetings, 2) overall benefit to the City and all its residents, and 3) the legal and regulatory constraints that governs the City's property disposition authority. DND will provide a draft version of the RFP to community representatives upon request.

4. ADVERTISEMENT: The Request for Proposals will be advertised in a citywide daily paper, the Central Register and at least one local community paper. The advertisement will be sent to a citywide list of developers and all parties that have expressed an interest in the property either by filing an Expression of Interest through the Clearinghouse or by responding in writing to the notification letter. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

5. PROPOSAL REVIEW: DND will review those proposals received that conform to the submission requirements defined in the RFP and will rank the proposals based solely on the criteria defined in the RFP.

6. COMMUNITY REVIEW PUBLIC MEETING(S): The highest ranked developer(s) will make a presentation to community residents to explain their proposed development and respond to questions or concerns from the public. Where necessary, DND may require additional public meeting(s) to ensure that community concerns are appropriately addressed.

7. DEVELOPER SELECTION: DND will make a final developer selection decision based on the criteria defined in the RFP taking into account the input received in the Community Review Meeting(s).

8. FINAL PUBLIC NOTICE: Prior to a final designation vote by the Public Facilities Commission, a notice of the planned sale will be published in the City Record. This information will also be available on the City of Boston/DND Website, the Clearinghouse and at the Home Center (residential sites only).

9. DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT: During the development process, DND will ensure that neighborhood organizations are informed regularly about progress and/or issues related to the development.

NOTES:
1 This period may be reduced to no less than 15 days where it can be documented that the local neighborhood association has already reviewed and commented on the proposed property disposition or is able to review and comment on the proposed property disposition in less than 30 days

2 This period may be reduced to no less than 15 days where it can be documented that the local neighborhood association has already reviewed and commented on the proposed property disposition or is able to review and comment on the proposed property disposition in less than 30 days.

3 Where DND determines that potential direct development impacts are significant, a radius of greater than 300' may be chosen.

 10

11/02

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