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Find out what's happening in the blog. Below is a list of blog items.

Apr 05

BOS Weekly Updates - April 2, 2021

Posted to Board of Selectmen Weekly Update by Tiffany Marletta

40B Public Meeting:  The next 40B negotiation meeting hosted by the Board of Selectmen is on Tuesday, April 6 at 6:30 p.m. 40B Information

Planning Board Public Forum:  The Planning Board will host a public forum to discuss proposed zoning changes on Wednesday, April 14 at 6:30 PM. LCD Information

Vaccines for Manchester Homebound:  Eligible Manchester residents should call 1-833-983-0485 Monday – Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. to be screened for an in-home appointment. Please see the Town website or contact the Board of Health at 978-526-7385 for more information. Board of Health

Manchester Cemetery Notice:  Department of Public Works requests that lot owners/representatives remove all decorations from graves of all Manchester cemeteries by Monday, April 5 to enable the DPW staff to begin grounds maintenance work.  Any items left behind will be removed and disposed.

Summer Jobs:  The Manchester Parks and Recreation Department is accepting applications for the following seasonal positions:  Assistant Summer Playground Director, Summer Playground Counselors, Tennis Director and Tennis Instructors. Please visit the Town website to learn how to apply. Summer Jobs

2021 Beach Stickers:  2021 Beach Stickers are now on sale online or via mail.  Please see the Parking Clerk page on the Town website for complete details and instructions.  2021 Stickers must be placed on the front windshield in the upper left corner. Beach Stickers

Town Hall is Closed to the Public Until Further Notice:  Appointments can be made with individual departments during normal business hours.

Trash, recycling, and compost collection:  Regular schedule.  

Follow Us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter @townofmbts and visit the Town website www.Manchester.ma.us to stay informed.





Apr 12

From the Town Administrator's Desk - April 9, 2021

Posted to From the Town Administrator's Desk by Tiffany Marletta

40B LIP Negotiations End Without Agreement
By Gregory T. Federspiel

The LIP (Local Initiative Project) negotiations between the Board of Selectmen and SLV, the applicant for an apartment complex at Shingle Hill, have ended without an agreement.  At the Board’s public negotiation session on Tuesday, April 6, Mr. Engler of SLV concluded that it was no longer in his best interest to continue the negotiations.

The 40B project will no longer advance as a LIP.  If the developer wishes to pursue the project, he will need to seek a project eligibility letter through the state rather than as a LIP.  This conventional approach requires a separate set of procedures, including a new filing with the state and a public comment period before issuing a project eligibility letter.  Once this letter is issued the applicant applies for a Comprehensive Permit before the Zoning Board of Appeals.   

The negotiations faltered over how much autonomy the ZBA should have.  The developer proposed 157 units.  For Manchester, this is a “large project” under the rules governing 40B projects (over 6% of a town’s year-round housing units.)  Large projects by law are afforded “safe harbor” meaning that the ZBA’s decision is final with no appeal to the state’s Housing Appeals Committee.

This was a critical aspect of the Selectmen’s willingness to negotiate a LIP.  The developer was asked in the first negotiation session if he applied for a high unit count with the expectation of reducing the number.  He stated no, he was committed to the 157 units knowing that this constituted a large project.  The Selectmen started down the path of negotiations with this same understanding.

Six months later a lot has transpired.  As the developer noted, the political landscape of the community has come into much sharper focus, a nod to the considerable work of the Citizen’s Initiative for Manchester’s Affordable Housing.  The developer desired assurance that the ZBA would not exercise the safe harbor option.  But this is not an assurance the Selectmen could legally provide given the autonomy of the ZBA.

The effort by the Selectmen would have meant retaining local control; in the end the developer concluded this was not something he was willing to accept. 


Jun 17

MPC Update - June 2019

Posted to Manchester Master Plan News by Christina St. Pierre

Master Plan Update , June 2019

Manchester’s master planning efforts have spanned four years culminating in Planning Board approval of the Plan as submitted by the Master Plan Committee with minor text and organizational edits.  Since that approval in February, a Planning Board Subcommittee has been working with the Town Planner to finalize the Plan’s text and will next work on formatting the Plan for publication and developing a Master Plan Summary to be widely distributed. 

As the Plan is being finalized, implementation of the Plan’s recommendations have begun with several important initiatives.

  • The Planning Board has secured the services of land use attorney Mark Bobrowski to work with the Planning and Zoning Boards, the Zoning Enforcement Officer and others to re-codify and update the Town’s Zoning Bylaw to guide change in line with the Town’s Vision. For more information see (http://manchester.ma.us/703/Zoning-Recodification)
  • Representatives of various municipal boards and committees are meeting to discuss the potential for Smart Growth Overlay Districts in town as a tool to support a greater diversity of housing options.
  • The Town has applied for technical assistance and/or funding for a Parking Study, a Limited Commercial Strategic Plan and a Downtown Strategic Plan which can be accessed on the Town’s Website: https://www.manchester.ma.us/702/Grant-Applications-Awards
  • The Town is working with a consultant to study and identify opportunities for shared services with the Town of Essex.  The report is expected to be finalized by July.
  • The Town is working with MassHousing Partnership to assess the feasibility of a mix of market rate and affordable housing on the current DPW site. 
  • The Town is evaluating opportunities for a Harbor Master’s Office and Public Restrooms at Reed Park and Masconomo Park.


As part of the implementation process, the Board of Selectmen and Planning Board will be developing a communications strategy for updating residents on initiatives on a regular basis.  The goal is to provide a comprehensive list of the Plan’s Recommendations with a continually updated status.