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Development & Governmental Relations Committee Meeting June 14, 2021

Jun 14 2021

6:30 pm Remote by Zoom

,

City Council

Holyoke Massachusetts

Notice of Committee Meeting

There will be a regular meeting of the committee on

Development & Government Relations (DGR)

Meeting to take place remotely on Zoom Meetings on  Monday 6-14-21 at 6:30 PM

Per order of the Chair: David Bartley

*** Meeting will take place remotely and can be accessed via www.zoom.us

Meeting ID: 849 6300 7892 Meeting Passcode: 059725 or by call in at 1 (646) 558-8656 with same Meeting ID and Passcode.  ***

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/84963007892?pwd=M0dDRm5jM1F6R0lRRENOZ2d2UENBdz09

 

Agenda:

Item 1: Minutes from the last meeting

Item 2: 5-18-21 PUBLIC HEARING Special Permit Application for Animal Establishment for Anthony Boulais at 899 Main Street

Item 3: 4-20-21 PUBLIC HEARING Special Permit Application for Hospital Height Kindred Healthcare at 45 Lower Westfield Rd

Item 4: 6-1-21 SULLIVAN, MCGEE -- That HG&E, DPW, OCD, and ConCom meet with Dev & Gov Relations to explore opportunities to combine resources and implement a program to move utilities underground in the Valley Heights area.

Item 4a: 6-1-21 Emma Kerr letter of support to the petition of the Holyoke Gas & Electric and Verizon to relocate the poles for Valley Heights

Item 5: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 12 Main Street (Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcel 013) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 5,141 square feet in size, zoned General Industry (IG) and has an assessed value of $15,800.

Item 6: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 22 Main Street (Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcel 012) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 2,614 square feet in size, zoned General Industry (IG) and has an assessed value of $2,400.

Item 7: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare the parcel on High Street identified as Assessors Map 012, Block 01, Parcel 009 as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 3,615 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $21,600.

Item 8: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare the parcel on High Street identified as Assessors Map 012, Block 01, Parcel 010 as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 4,443 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $30,900.

Item 9: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 394 High Street (Assessors Map 011, Block 04, Parcel 014) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 4,095 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $21,900.

Item 10: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 400 High Street (Assessors Map 011, Block 04, Parcel 013) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 3,833 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $24,200.

Item 11: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 588 High Street (Assessors Map 010, Block 01, Parcel 020) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 2,222 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $14,800.

Item 12: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 297 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 005) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 6,360 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,500.

Item 13: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 301 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 006) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 6,316 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,500.

Item 14: 6-1-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 303 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 007) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 8,276 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,900.

Item 15: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 297 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 007) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 8,276 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,900
*Address for this order is an error, replaced by item 14

Item 16: Schedule July meeting

 

Administrative Assistant: Jeffery Anderson-Burgos

The listing of matters are those reasonably anticipated by the chair which may be discussed at the meeting. Not all items listed may in fact be discussed and other items may also be brought up for discussion to the extent permitted by law. Also one or two items may require the committee to enter into executive session at this meeting. Agenda subject to change up to two business days (48 hours) prior to posted meeting time.

Development and Governmental Relations Committee

June 14, 2021

 

Members present: Chairman David Bartley, Vice Chairman Michael Sullivan, Howard Greaney, Jr, Peter Tallman

Other councilors present: Terence Murphy, James Leahy, Todd McGee

 

Chairman Bartley called the meeting to order at 6:33 PM

 

Chairman Bartley noted the committee had returned to meeting in person.

 

Chairman Bartley noted he had not yet read the minutes and would leave the item on the table.

Item 1: Minutes from the last meeting

--->      Remained on the table.

 

Councilor Greaney made a motion to remove item 2 from the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 2: 5-18-21 PUBLIC HEARING Special Permit Application for Animal Establishment for Anthony Boulais at 899 Main Street

--->      Approved 4-0 with conditions.

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Bartley read application details, noting it would be to operate a dog daycare with overnight visits as needed. He then asked Mr. Boulais to give a description of the plan, advising that there would then be an opportunity to hear from councilors, department heads, and members of the public.

Jennifer Boulais, 88 Hungerford St, Pittsfield, stated she would be speaking on her brother’s behalf. She then stated the proposal would be to operate a doggy daycare type business. She then stated it would be primarily Monday through Fridays where clients would drop off their pets into a secure, sanitary, supervised space from 7:30 AM - 6:00 PM, with a potential for operating on Saturdays 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM. She noted that there would be a fence around the exterior as well as inside. She stated that dogs would be monitored before entering to determine they are safe. She noted there were plans for improvement to the structure. She stated that if the permit were to be granted, there was a desire to consider overnight visits in the future.

Chairman Bartley asked how many dogs they planned to bring in at a time.

J. Boulais stated their plan was 10-12 dogs at a time at capacity, adding that it would likely be fewer as the business opens and develops.

Chairman Bartley asked if it was limited to dogs.

J. Boulais stated that it was.

Chairman Bartley noted having seen similar businesses in other communities. He then asked if there was a license required for this kind of business. She then noted they had been working with the city for a while on this project, adding that John Dyjach had been helpful. She then stated that the state had a license requirement, with Holyoke adopting similar language. She then stated that the language specifically addressed dogs that had been taken into the custody of the state or municipality, noting that this did not describe the business. She then stated that the language providing some guidance that could be incorporated into the proposal. She stated that the city recommended some guidelines on best practices that had been written by field professionals. She stated that while they were required to seek a special permit, there did not appear to be any regulations or licenses governing their type of business.

Chairman Bartley asked what the address would be for the proposed business.

J. Boulais stated that the business would be located at 914 Main Street.

Chairman Bartley asked what the address had been used for.

J. Boulais stated it had been used for Bridge Motors, adding that the proprietor of that business had passed on.

Chairman Bartley asked if it had been an abandoned commercial space.

J. Boulais clarified that the property was owned by their family and had been rented by the former business owner. She clarified that the property had not been abandoned but had not currently been in use.

Councilor Greaney asked if the dogs would be boarded overnight.

J. Boulais stated that the business plan included a potential of expanding to overnight stays.

Councilor Murphy noted he had been working through the process with Mr. Boulais for over a year, adding that there had been discussions with various departments in the last several weeks. He added that they determined that the special permit process would be the best process in order to have a public hearing to review the proposal. He then noted that Mr. Boulais had worked to reach out to neighbors. He expressed concern with the potential of overnight boarding, adding that it would not be a major issue if it was only a few. He then stated that the property had become an eyesore, adding that the proposal would improve the property and be a good place for people to bring their dogs.

Councilor Tallman asked if there were driveways into the property, noting it was a busy road.

J. Boulais stated that the former business would bring vehicles into the properties regularly. She the stated the plan would be to only have vehicles at the front by going through two gates, adding that the second, smaller enclosed space would be where the dog could be let out.

Councilor Tallman asked if the main outdoor area was the majority of the property with the structure in the back.

J. Boulais stated that it was. She then stated that there was a plan to make improvements to the structure to align with regulatory items as well as guidelines offered by the city. She noted the structure was sound and would remain where it had been.

Councilor Leahy expressed that Mr. Boulais came from a great family. He then stated the business was well needed in the community and he would be supporting the project.

Chairman Bartley offered an opportunity for departments heads or members of the public to address the project.

John Dyjach, Asst Director of Economic Development, commended the applicants for their patience in working with the city for two years on this project. He then noted that the project was unique for the city. He stated that the zoning allowed for kennel use, adding that there would be additional requirements including the Board of health, the Building Department, and others. He noted that the Planning Department had many questions which had been answered well by the applicants. He then stated there would likely be limitations imposed by the Board of Health.

Chairman Bartley asked where the Board of Health was.

J. Dyjach stated they had been notified of the meeting but had not attended.

Chairman Bartley asked if the Board of Health could impose further restrictions if the City Council approved the permit.

J. Dyjach noted that the ordinance stated they would need to conform to the requirements of the animal control officer. He then stated that the Board of Health would need to be satisfied with the requirements.

Chairman Bartley noted that the last step is usually the City Council, adding that their feedback and guidance would have been beneficial. He then asked the Admin Asst if they had been invited.

Admin Asst Anderson-Burgos stated he had not invited them.

Chairman Bartley noted he likely would not have known to invite them, but that their input would have been helpful.

Councilor Murphy stated that the process had been confusing at times. He then noted that the departments concluded that the applicant should go through the special permit process first, followed by the Board of Health imposing any restrictions related to the health of the animals.

Chairman Bartley asked if the Board of Health could override any restrictions the City Council imposed.

Councilor Murphy stated he was not sure. He then stated that they determined the special permit was needed to get the process moving.

Councilor McGee suggested that City Council conditions could not be overridden, adding that the Board of Health could add their own conditions. He then recalled that Mr. Boulais contacted him a year prior to find out the best and most correct way to proceed. He then noted that Mr. Boulais reached out to the neighbors to inform them and to make sure the project would not harm them.

Chairman Bartley noted that the committee had not heard from abutters. He then asked Ms. Boulais if they would accept a condition that the hours of operation be set as Monday-Friday 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM.

J. Boulais asked if the hours would exclude overnights.

Chairman Bartley stated that he was defining the hours as they were proposed in the application.

J. Boulais stated they would accept that.

Chairman Bartley suggested that they could amend the permit when they would be ready to expand to overnights.

J. Boulais noted that in reading the city ordinance, she read that commercial animal establishments have an annual permitting process. She then suggested they could amend it at that time, if appropriate.

Chairman Bartley clarified that a permit can be amended that any time.

Councilor Sullivan asked if not being allowed to lodge animals overnight would hinder the business.

J. Boulais stated that with the work that still needed to be done on the property and knowing that there is an option to amend the permit, being able to start the business would be sufficient.

Councilor Greaney made a motion to close the public hearing. Councilor Tallman seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Bartley made a motion to approve the special permit with two conditions. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.
1. that the hours of operation be set as Monday-Friday 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM, Saturday and Sunday 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
2. that the applicant meet with and comply with any conditions imposed by the Board of Health and the Animal Control Officer.

 

(40:30)

Councilor Tallman made a motion to remove item 3 from the table and open the public hearing. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 3: 4-20-21 PUBLIC HEARING Special Permit Application for Hospital Height Kindred Healthcare at 45 Lower Westfield Rd

--->      Approved 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Bartley recognized Michael Knapik and asked him to introduce the participants advocating for the special permit.

M. Knapik thanked the committee for their previous votes of support for the project. He then introduced Bill Kern. (He then briefly left due to connection issues.)

B. Kern introduced Jason Casteel, Director of Construction with Kindred Healthcare. He noted that Kindred would be taking the lead with the presentation.

J. Casteel, 113 Seaboard Lane, Franklin, Tennessee. He stated that Chris Malicki would be sharing his screen for the presentation, adding that they would be providing a brief overview of the project followed by a presentation of the specifics of the special permit request. He noted it was a joint venture between Baystate and Kindred Healthcare for a behavioral health center. He then noted the team of development, architectural, and engineering partners. He stated that it would have a capacity of 150 beds, with 123,000 square feet of care space, adding that the main purpose was a four story tower. He then stated there would be a one story mental health nursing unit. He stated there would be a gymnasium, as well as a pedestrian building connecting all buildings. He noted that they would work with patients from adolescents up through geriatric patients. He also stated the facility would be licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health. He stated the construction timeline was 24 months from groundbreaking, pending all regulatory approvals. He also noted there would be 100 full time and 50 part time employees. He stated that construction was estimates at $53 million, adding that they would seek out local tradespeople and contractors. He also stated they would be a for-profit entity providing taxes to the city.

Adam Hendrickson from Crunk Engineering, 71 Crossroad Blvd, Brentwood, Tennessee. He described the site plan for the project, noting the four story tower at the center as well as the one story building. He noted the site was 13.18 acres. He noted it was in the RO zone, which would allow a three story building with a 40 foot height maximum. He also stated they proposed a parking area of up to 250 spaces.

C. Malicki from Stengel Hill Architecture, 613 West Main St, Louisville, Kentucky. He stated there would be three main portions of the building, noting the administration and dining area, outside courtyard areas, and patient wings above. He then noted the gymnasium building as well as the mental health building. He described the floor plans featuring the locations of patient beds as well as internal staff sections. He stated that the second and third floors would have 48 beds each, with an additional 24 beds on the proposed fourth floor. He then presented modeled drawings of the proposed site detailing the locations and plans of each building as well as the landscape. He also noted they planned to follow similar aesthetic designs as other Baystate locations.

J. Casteel clarified that in addition to looking at the design of Baystate locations, they looked at many of the surrounded buildings in the area.

Chairman Bartley noted that as the RO zone allows up to 40 feet, he asked what the plan would be for the height of the building.

C. Malicki stated that the hospital would be approximately 65 feet, with two stair towers closer to 70 feet in height.

Councilor Greaney asked if the floors with 48 beds would be double bed units.

J. Casteel stated that the second and third floor would be semi-private and that the fourth floor with 24 beds would be private units.

Councilor Greaney asked if they would be subcontracting with local contractors or bringing in their own crews.

J. Casteel stated that RFPs were out on the project and that a decision had not been made. He added that they would be encouraging local participation when subcontractors are hired, depending on qualifications. He then stated the bid process for contractors would include a focus on subcontracting small businesses as well as minority-owned and women-owned businesses.

Councilor Tallman expressed a concern with the traffic in the area. He then asked if they had a plan to make it safer in the area.

J. Casteel stated they were going through the site plan review process with the Planning Board and that had not been a topic of discussion. He stated that if traffic was a concern, they would be open to revisions to address the concern.

Councilor Tallman asked if there was a recreation area in the back portion of the site.

J. Casteel stated that the activity courtyard would be fenced in.

Councilor Tallman asked where the location of the main entrance would be, as well as where deliveries would go.

J. Casteel noted those locations on the floor plan.

Chairman Bartley noted that the location was an isolated area. He then noted already existing traffic issues at a three-way stop near the site. He then suggested that staff and clients be encouraged to limit the traffic in the area. He offered an opportunity for departments heads or members of the public to address the project.

Aaron Vega, OPED Director, stated that the applicants were in the process of their site plan review, adding that they would have a meeting with the Mayor the following day. He noted that it had been a problem property for a while, adding that it had been a priority for the property to the redeveloped.

Chairman Bartley asked for an update on the site plan review process.

A. Vega stated there was at least one, with a plan for another one the following week on the 22nd.

J. Casteel stated they had two meetings with the Planning Board, and that they expected approval on the 22nd.

Vacon noted that as the Ward 5 city councilor, she appreciated the investment. She also expressed appreciation for comments on addressing traffic issues. She then expressed support for the program and the special permit. She also expressed an expectation that there could be work done to address any concerns of residents in the area.

Chairman Bartley asked if there were updates on the high grass at the location.

Councilor Murphy stated he sent information and had been waiting for a reply.

Vacon noted that she heard from the DPW’s Michael McManus, stating that they would be mowing that week. She also noted that she sought information on when the new owners would be taking possession of the property.

Councilor Murphy stated that a discussion on the topic was planned for the next day.

Councilor Tallman asked for a copy of the PowerPoint presentation.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to close the public hearing. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Councilor Tallman asked for clarification on the requested height, noting that the highest towers would be 70 feet.

J. Casteel stated they would be seeking a 70 feet allowance.

Councilor Greaney made a motion to approve the special permit. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

(1:11:20)

Councilor Tallman made a motion to suspend the necessary rules to remove items 4 and 4A as a package. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 4: 6-1-21 SULLIVAN, MCGEE -- That HG&E, DPW, OCD, and ConCom meet with Dev & Gov Relations to explore opportunities to combine resources and implement a program to move utilities underground in the Valley Heights area.

--->      Complied with, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Bartley noted that while the matter was not a public hearing, it was customary to suspend the rules to allow department heads and the public to speak on some matters.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to suspend the necessary rules to allow any department heads or members of the public to address the committee. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Bartley recalled that there had been a lengthy and ongoing public hearing on the matter taking place with the full City Council.

Councilor Sullivan noted that much progress had been made on a resolution to trim the cost difference between that of installing poles and installing underground lines. He then stated he would defer to HG&E on the status of their plans.

Kate Sullivan stated that electrical writing infrastructure in the back yards of the houses on the street needed to be replaced. She then stated they studied different options: replacing the poles in their current locations, relocating them to the right-of-way, as well as relocating the lines underground. She stated that an analysis of lifetime costs of the three potential solutions showed a shortfall of $100,000. She noted that with agreements from Verizon and Comcast to collaborate on moving underground, the costs had been reduced from a previously much higher figure. She then stated they would remove 9 poles from the back yards, adding that two would be placed on the public right-of-way in front of 42 Valley Heights. She stated that the property owner was in support of working with them on the location of the poles. She requested that the HG&E petitions be removed, adding that the Verizon petition would need to be amended from 7 poles to 2 poles.

Councilor Greaney stated that the decision appeared to be the best situation for the residents of Valley Heights.

Councilor McGee expressed his appreciation to the committee, to HG&E, and to the residents for working together to find a compromise.

Councilor Sullivan commended the HG&E and DPW for coordinating to find ways to reduce the costs, noting that there would be asphalt work done at the same time.  He also noted there was a continued request with other city departments to see if there additional ways to further reduce the costs.

Yoni Glogower, Conservation Director, noted that he visited the location with HG&E, adding that he was unable to find funding sources that would be applicable to the project. He stated that for open space funds through the CPA, any rehabilitation or restoration funds would have to be for projects acquired through CPA funds.

 

 

Item 4A: 6-1-21 Emma Kerr letter of support to the petition of the Holyoke Gas & Electric and Verizon to relocate the poles for Valley Heights

--->      Complied with, 4-0.

 

(1:23:55)

Councilor Greaney made a motion to suspend the necessary rules to remove items 5 through 14 from the table as a package. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 5: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 12 Main Street (Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcel 013) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 5,141 square feet in size, zoned General Industry (IG) and has an assessed value of $15,800.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 6: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 22 Main Street (Assessors Map 033, Block 04, Parcel 012) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 2,614 square feet in size, zoned General Industry (IG) and has an assessed value of $2,400.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 7: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare the parcel on High Street identified as Assessors Map 012, Block 01, Parcel 009 as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 3,615 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $21,600.

--->      Given leave to withdraw, 4-0.

 

Item 8: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare the parcel on High Street identified as Assessors Map 012, Block 01, Parcel 010 as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 4,443 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $30,900.

--->      Given leave to withdraw, 4-0.

 

Item 9: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 394 High Street (Assessors Map 011, Block 04, Parcel 014) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 4,095 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $21,900.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 10: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 400 High Street (Assessors Map 011, Block 04, Parcel 013) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 3,833 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $24,200.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 11: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 588 High Street (Assessors Map 010, Block 01, Parcel 020) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 2,222 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Business (BC) and has an assessed value of $14,800.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 12: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 297 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 005) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 6,360 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,500.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 13: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 301 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 006) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 6,316 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,500.

--->        Approved, 4-0.

 

Item 14: 6-1-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 303 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 007) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 8,276 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,900.

--->      Approved, 4-0.

DISCUSSION:

A. Vega expressed an intent to continue conversations regarding moving properties onto the tax rolls and developing more businesses in the downtown area. He then noted that a couple of the properties may need to be withdrawn. He stated that John Dyjack would walk the committee through each of the properties on the list.

J. Dyjach stated that there ten properties proposed, adding that they would be suggesting giving a leave to withdraw on four of them due to learning new information since the orders were filed. He stated that 12 Main Street and 22 Main Street were adjacent to each other. He then stated that there had been private interest to acquire them and moving them to surplus would allow the city to receive offers. He stated that these two High Street parcels, 012-01-009 & 010, should be given a leave to withdraw. He stated that the corner parking lot across from Fernandez restaurant had received interest from developers. He then stated that there had been a discussion with Mike McManus from the DPW and it was determined that the lots would be leased to the city. He added that the lot was important to other businesses and abutters.

Chairman Bartley asked for clarification that they want to keep them in house instead of declaring them as surplus.

J. Dyjach confirmed that was true. He then stated that 394 High Street and 400 High Street were adjacent to each other. He then stated they were requesting these two also be given a leave to withdraw. He stated that there had been discussion with Mike McManus where they learned that there was a plan to improve the section of High Street including creating off-street parking.

Chairman Bartley asked for a clarification of a nearby landmark.

J. Dyjach stated that the location includes the former Hotel Essex property as well as an adjacent property were there had been a beauty salon. He added that both had been demolished. He then stated that 588 High Street had been recently demolished, adding that it was located across from a fire station. He then added they would try to market the vacant lot to an abutter. He stated that 297, 301, and 303 Elm Street were adjacent parcels. He stated that there had been private interest for the parcels. He added that all parcels they were requesting to be made surplus were a part of the urban renewal plan. He added that the Redevelopment Authority would normally be more involved with bringing in resources but that private interest motivated them to work to get the parcels to market sooner. He then stated that the Elm Street properties were in an MOU with the Housing Authority with the former Lawrence School, adding that they would not seek to block these transfers if there was private interest.

A. Vega reiterated the intent to declare the properties as surplus had not been random but had been due to private interest. He added that they would continue to work with the DPW on development of parking lots. He then stated that the parking lots were municipally run and had monthly renters generating revenue prior to Covid, adding that they would continue to develop plans for their use.

Councilor Tallman asked if there had been a used tire or printing shop at these 12 and 22 Main locations.

J. Dyjach confirmed that was true. He then stated that a nearby parcel had been declared surplus years ago. He then stated that a vacant lot next door to 22 Main was owned by the owner of a building with a used auto tire store. He added that they were not sure about the current plans for the building.

Councilor Tallman asked if the location of a former auto shop was owned by the city.

J. Dyjach stated it was privately owned.

Councilor Murphy expressed support for most of the orders, adding that there had been public safety issues with some of Elm Street properties. He then asked for a clarification of the plan for 394 and 400 High Street, noting that he had heard from people interested in investing in improvements.

A. Vega stated that there were plans for improvements to the High Street area. He added that they understood there would be a project looking at the lot as both a drive and walk pass through to off street parking on Newton Street. He suggested that the would not recommended closing off the space. He then stated there had been abutter interest, reiterating that they were seeking to withdraw following a discussion with Mike McManus.

Chairman Bartley noted that putting 394 and 400 High Street would only mean they would be available for disposition and there would still be an option to use them for a municipal project.

Councilor Murphy stated that the High Street project was waiting on state funding and was not planned to take place until 2022 or 2023. He then suggested putting them out to surplus, noting that proposals could come in that would improve High Street more quickly. He then added that private investment would generate taxes and could be an attraction to the downtown area. He then stated that if the proposals are not good, they would not have to take them up.

J. Dyjach conceded that there had been private interest from abutters. He then emphasized the importance of getting specifics on the plan for the parcels before putting them out to bid.

Chairman Bartley suggested handling the easy ones first.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to give items 7 and 8 a leave to withdraw. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Bartley suggested a vote on items 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to approve items 5, 6, 11, 12, 13, and 14 to declare the properties as surplus and available for disposition. Councilor Sullivan seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Chairman Bartley noted that the remaining items were 9 and 10.

Councilor Tallman asked if it would be possible to keep the items tabled in order to give time to hear more from either interested developers or Mike McManus.

Councilor Murphy suggested that they could be declared surplus to receive proposals, adding that proposals would not have to be accepted. He noted that without declaring them as surplus, any proposals received would be informal.

A. Vega suggested giving deference to the request from Mike McManus. He then conceded that declaring them as surplus did not require the city to accept any proposals.

Councilor Murphy stated that declaring them as surplus would allow for a comparison of proposals along with the plan for use from the DPW.

Councilor Sullivan reiterated that in declaring as surplus, it would allow the city to review the offers for comparison.

Chairman Bartley suggested that the full City Council would take their own vote the following day, adding that Mike McManus could speak with Acting Mayor Councilor Murphy prior to that vote.

Councilor Greaney expressed support for declaring them as surplus, noting that the city been holding onto the properties for a long time.

J. Dyjach stated that declaring them as surplus would be okay, adding that his intent was to assure that the committee understood the plan for the parcels.

Councilor Sullivan made a motion to approve items 9 and 10 and declare the properties as surplus. Councilor Greaney seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Councilor Tallman made a motion to remove item 15 from the table for the purposes of giving it a leave to withdraw. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

Item 15: 5-18-21 BARTLEY -- Ordered, that the Honorable City Council, in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 30B and the Holyoke Code of Ordinances procurement ordinance, declare 297 Elm Street (Assessors Map 004, Block 04, Parcel 007) as surplus property available for disposition.  The property is approximately 8,276 square feet in size, zoned Downtown Residential (DR) and has an assessed value of $32,900
*Address for this order is an error, replaced by item 14

--->      Give a leave to withdraw, 4-0.

 

Item 16: Schedule July meeting

DISCUSSION:

Chairman Bartley stated that the HG&E manager would be available during the last two weeks of July. He then stated there were multiple orders related to matters on broadband access, the gas moratorium, and other connected topics. He then asked if the rest of the committee had a preference.

Councilor Murphy suggested leaving a date open prior to the August 3rd meeting in order for the committee to vote on proposals for the funds from the ARPA. He stated that he may have to call a special meeting.

Chairman Bartley suggested meeting on July 26th at 6:30 PM.

Councilor Tallman made a motion to adjourn. Chairman Bartley seconded the motion. All members voted in favor.

 

Adjourned at 8:30 PM.


Jeffery Anderson-Burgos
Administrative Assistant to the City Council

Holyoke City Hall
536 Dwight St, Room 10
Holyoke, MA 01040
Regular hours 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Meeting days 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
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