The Rockland Board of Selectmen approved a letter of support for a senior 40B housing project at the former Holy Family School.
Connolly and Partners from Braintree are proposing to renovate the interior of the building to include 27 units at the site – 17 would be affordable, 10 would be extremely low-income.
The Board voted, 4-0 to submit a letter in support of the project. Vice-Chair Kara Nyman voted in favor, saying the project was a “friendly 40B.”
“The developers are willing to work with the town, meet our needs, and hear our voices,” said Nyman. “I think it’s a different kind of project than a regular 40B. Personally, I think it’s a win-win for the town of Rockland, it’s a win-win for Holy Family and our senior population.”
Selectman Rich Penney abstained from the vote, saying the project is much-needed, and is a tremendous use for the site.
“While my personal feelings are one way, just how I am, I have a hard time giving an official vote. Only in the sense that we know we have other 40B projects,” said Penney. “I think if we do this, we open up potentially Pandora’s Box – that’s just my own personal opinion, that’s it.”
Father Jim Hickey of the Holy Family Church says it was sad to have to sell the school, but he sees the project as a benefit.
“It’s a marvelous use for a population that’s very needed,” Hickey told the board. “Done by a group of people who are, I think, professional but more than that. I think committed to taking care of this nation and its people in ways that are practical and real. So I salute them and I thank you.”
The developers said Rockland seniors would have first priority to apply for housing if the project moves forward.