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Dover’s 2017 Waterfront Update

Greetings, below is an update from the Dover city offices !

“Dear Friends of the Waterfront,
In spite of the recent wintry blast of snow and cold, spring really is around the corner and so is progress on the waterfront project. Although CWDAC did not meet in February there was still work going on.
The paddle sports dock design and permitting has been moving forward and we are hoping to see construction this summer. Union Studio presented the final concept plan for the waterfront at our meeting on March 21. The final public waterfront park design is nearing completion and an 80 percent design level plan was also presented at our last meeting.
In our last newsletter we discussed the plan for excavating the bluff on the south side of the site near River Street in order to make more land available for development. This excavation may also provide fill to raise the level of the northern half of the site to minimize flooding and accommodate sea level rise. The City has selected Severino Trucking to conduct this work which is scheduled to begin after local and state permits are obtained.
As part of this activity as well as dock construction, we have to obtain wetlands permits and to undertake an archaeological assessment of the site. Both these are under way and expected to be completed shortly.
Finally, CWDAC has two new members. Dane Drasher and Kyle Pimental have been appointed by the Mayor and Dover Housing Authority, replacing long time members Jack Buckley and Brian Gottlob.
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.

Your Chairman,

Jack Mettee

Waterfront committee reviews final
concept plan for mixed-use development
At our March 21 meeting, Union Studio presented a final concept plan for the mixed-use development.  See image above and also on the city’s website here.  While the concept plan was in its final stage, Jeremy Lake, of Union Studio indicated, “This final concept plan establishes a vision for the waterfront. However, depending on how the city moves forward with the final development this plan may be adjusted to meet market demands or other proposals that may be attractive, but not penciled out in the current plan.”
Like the initial concept this plan calls for a total of 226 residential units, 9,000 square feet of commercial space and a 4,000-square-foot restaurant on the waterfront property.  Of the 226 residential units, 138 would be part of multi-family buildings, 69 would be townhouses and 12 would be single-family residences.  The plan was reconfigured to allow more green space corridors to the waterfront and also allow for 64 covered parking spaces associated with the apartments on the east side of the parcel.  This allowed for more design flexibility to provide more green space.
Vice Chair Lynch indicated, “the Committee was supportive of this plan and felt that it provided a realistic, positive template which reflects the vision that the city has had for this site for a number of years.”
Barry Abramson of Abramson & Associates, who is working with Union Studio, noted that the preliminary plan would cost the city approximately $12.8 million in upgrades to the waterfront.  These upgrades and improvements could be phased to match the pace of development so the cost would not be felt all at once.  The improvements would include funds for the waterfront park development including docking facilities as well as infrastructure costs for roads, water and sewer to get the site ready for development.  The city would pay for these improvements through the Tax Increment Finance District that has been established in the waterfront area.  He also indicated that proposed development mix would provide a positive financial return.

If all goes according to plan, the city could issue a Request for Proposals for waterfront development later this year with the intent to have a developer on board in late 2017 or early 2018Dear Friends of the Waterfront,

In spite of the recent wintry blast of snow and cold, spring really is around the corner and so is progress on the waterfront project. Although CWDAC did not meet in February there was still work going on.

The paddle sports dock design and permitting has been moving forward and we are hoping to see construction this summer. Union Studio presented the final concept plan for the waterfront at our meeting on March 21. The final public waterfront park design is nearing completion and an 80 percent design level plan was also presented at our last meeting.

In our last newsletter we discussed the plan for excavating the bluff on the south side of the site near River Street in order to make more land available for development. This excavation may also provide fill to raise the level of the northern half of the site to minimize flooding and accommodate sea level rise. The City has selected Severino Trucking to conduct this work which is scheduled to begin after local and state permits are obtained.

As part of this activity as well as dock construction, we have to obtain wetlands permits and to undertake an archaeological assessment of the site. Both these are under way and expected to be completed shortly.

Finally, CWDAC has two new members. Dane Drasher and Kyle Pimental have been appointed by the Mayor and Dover Housing Authority, replacing long time members Jack Buckley and Brian Gottlob.

We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting.

Your Chairman,

Jack Mettee

Waterfront committee reviews final
concept plan for mixed-use development

At our March 21 meeting, Union Studio presented a final concept plan for the mixed-use development.  See image above and also on the city’s website here.  While the concept plan was in its final stage, Jeremy Lake, of Union Studio indicated, “This final concept plan establishes a vision for the waterfront. However, depending on how the city moves forward with the final development this plan may be adjusted to meet market demands or other proposals that may be attractive, but not penciled out in the current plan.”

Like the initial concept this plan calls for a total of 226 residential units, 9,000 square feet of commercial space and a 4,000-square-foot restaurant on the waterfront property.  Of the 226 residential units, 138 would be part of multi-family buildings, 69 would be townhouses and 12 would be single-family residences.  The plan was reconfigured to allow more green space corridors to the waterfront and also allow for 64 covered parking spaces associated with the apartments on the east side of the parcel.  This allowed for more design flexibility to provide more green space.

Vice Chair Lynch indicated, “the Committee was supportive of this plan and felt that it provided a realistic, positive template which reflects the vision that the city has had for this site for a number of years.”

Barry Abramson of Abramson & Associates, who is working with Union Studio, noted that the preliminary plan would cost the city approximately $12.8 million in upgrades to the waterfront.  These upgrades and improvements could be phased to match the pace of development so the cost would not be felt all at once.  The improvements would include funds for the waterfront park development including docking facilities as well as infrastructure costs for roads, water and sewer to get the site ready for development.  The city would pay for these improvements through the Tax Increment Finance District that has been established in the waterfront area.  He also indicated that proposed development mix would provide a positive financial return.

If all goes according to plan, the city could issue a Request for Proposals for waterfront development later this year with the intent to have a developer on board in late 2017 or early 2018″

Cheers!

Mixed Use Project: 226 Residential Units Considered For The Dover Waterfront

Below is courtesy of the City of Dover
“At our Dec. 20 meeting, Union Studio presented a preliminary concept plan for a mixed-use development on the 20-plus acre private sector parcel on the waterfront.  See image below.  While the concept plan appeared rather complete, Jeremy Lake, of Union Studio indicated, “This is just a preliminary concept plan, not a final plan.  There still needs to be much discussion before a final concept is completed.”

Dana Lynch, member of CWDAC, indicated that while the plan is a good first start, “We need to be sure that the final plan represents the full vision that the city has had for this site for a number of years.  We will continue to work with Union Studio to be sure the final plan matches this vision.”
The preliminary plan calls for a total of 226 residential units, 15,000 square feet of commercial space and a 4,000-square-foot restaurant on the waterfront property.  Of the 226 residential units, 145 would be part of multi-family buildings, 69 would be townhouses and 12 would be single-family residences.
Lake and committee members have indicated that this plan is a starting point and that any developer selected by the committee to develop the property may play a significant role in determining the final development program.
Barry Abramson, of Abramson & Associates, who is working with Union Studio, noted that the preliminary plan would cost the city approximately $12.8 million in upgrades to the waterfront.  These upgrades and improvements would include funds for the waterfront park development including docking facilities as well as infrastructure costs for roads, water and sewer to get the site ready for development.  The city would pay for these improvements through the Tax Increment Finance District that has been established in the waterfront area.  He also indicated that proposed development mix would provide a positive financial return.
If all goes according to plan, the city could issue a Request for Proposals for waterfront development later this spring with the intent to have a developer on board later in 2017.
A development agreement could be in place in 2018 and work could begin in 2019 after all necessary plans and permits are in place.  Part of the preparation for the site could begin this spring with the excavation of the bluff along River Street.”

Dover’s Waterfront Update

Greetings, time for an update on our historic waterfront development.  The Dover waterfront project is the biggest real estate undertaking in decades for the town of Dover.  Many residents have volunteered long hours to help with this project and continue to contribute.  Below is a letter & update from the Waterfront Advisory Committee.

“Dear Friends of the Waterfront,
As we begin 2017, there is a great deal of activity occurring on the waterfront project.  Much of this effort has been in developing the final design for the waterfront park.  As you know, we have a conceptual plan for the waterfront park that includes trails, water access and a large public plaza area at the bend in the river.  We are also putting together the final plans for a rowing dock.  The Park Design Subcommittee has been helping with this process and the subcommittee conducted an on line survey to determine what types of activities Dover citizens would like to see in the park.  The results of this survey can be found below.
Another major initiative has been the development of a preliminary concept plan for the future private sector portion of the waterfront.  At our December meeting, Union Studio presented CWDAC (Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee) with a mixed-use plan that includes a mix of residential types, commercial space and a restaurant.  The details of this plan can be found in the subsequent article.  The waterfront committee will further discuss this plan at our next meeting.
Finally, CWDAC has put into motion a project to excavate the bluff area along River Street.  Union Studio recommended this action last fall, because it would allow for more developable land as well as increase the green space along the Cochecho River which would tie Henry Law Park to newly the proposed waterfront park.  At its next meeting CWDAC will select a contractor for this work and will ask that the city council enter into a contract with the contractor.  Work could begin this spring.
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Jan. 17 when we will have a discussion with Union Studio about the proposed waterfront concept plan and the Park Design Subcommittee about the status of the park design.

Your Chairman,

 


Cheers!

 

Dover Waterfront Update

Happy Thanksgiving!
Below is an update on the waterfront real estate development project in Dover.
Courtesy of the town Offices
Welcome to the 13th edition of the waterfront newsletter.  Since our last newsletter in September the Cochecho Waterfront Development Advisory Committee (CWDAC), our consultants Union Studio and city staff have been working diligently to move the waterfront planning process forward.
Much of our effort has been in developing the final design for the waterfront park.  A number of issues have to be taken into account.  These include the effect of sea level rise as well environmental constraints such as those posed by sensitive intertidal species that were discovered during the natural resource survey of the intertidal area.  A Park Design Subcommittee has been appointed by CWDAC to work with our consultants to come up with a preferred design.  We are fortunate to have members of CWDAC on this committee who are highly qualified landscape designers.  The subcommittee has met several times including a meeting with key stakeholders to ensure broad input into the final design.  See below for more on this process.
In addition, to the park design process, our consultants have been working diligently on putting together the necessary documents and applications for permitting.  We will need to obtain permits for dock construction, park design and construction, and site grading to prepare the waterfront site for development.  We will also need to have a approved permits for partial removal of the bluff.  We have had several pre-permitting meetings with numerous state and federal agencies to ensure that the eventual permit process goes as efficiently and smoothly as possible.
We look forward to seeing you at our next meeting on Dec. 20 when we will have a discussion with Union Studio and the Park Design Subcommittee about the status of the park design as well as a more detailed overall conceptual site plan for the waterfront.

Your Chairman,

Lead Paint A Big Concern

There continues to be more news in the seacoast area of NH regarding lead paint issues.  Important for real estate investors to stay informed about federal lead paint requirements.  A couple years ago, A colleague of mine had to complete a lead paint abatement of an income property.  Sadly, a tenant had tested positive for lead poison. He was required to abate both apartments (entire building) and this was extremely costly. He was able to obtain some grant money from the state of NH but overall it was very expensive and emotionally draining. More importantly, the lead levels dropped significantly after the abatement.

In this case, fortunately he had the tenants fill out the federally mandated lead paint form and issued the lead paint informational packet prior to leasing. This form and packet is required for sales as well. Non compliance is serious and the landlord or homeowner can be held liable.  The fines for non compliance are very severe.

This federal law is broad and touches on many factors. Just too much to try and cram into a blog. However:

http://www2.epa.gov/lead/lead-laws-and-regulations

is a good site for more information.

* Lead paint disclosures and law applies to homes built prior to 1978.  Also, if your concerned about lead paint in your home you can purchase a lead paint testing kit at many home construction stores.

Dover continues Infrastructure Improvements

Dover continues to develop adding hotels and significant infrastructure improvements.  For example, the former Macintosh College is being converted into a hotel.  This has changed the traffic patterns around the Woodman school and that area.  The town has been concerned with the speed in and around Woodman School.  In an effort to keep Dover residents informed:

Road improvements continue at the Silver Square redevelopment project at 181 Silver St., just east of the Exit 8 overpass. The road work includes a change in traffic patterns, from the current two-way configuration to a roundabout. These traffic pattern changes are permanent.

There are four approaches to the roundabout:

  • Silver Street (headed out of the City)
  • Silver Square (181 Silver St.) access driveway
  • Silver Street (formerly known as the Silver Street Extension)
  • Knox Marsh Road (headed into the City)

Like a traffic circle, all approaches must yield to traffic within the roundabout. All vehicles will enter the roundabout in a single lane, except for Knox Marsh Road, which is two lanes. However, the second lane of Knox Marsh is not a bypass lane and both lanes must yield.

New curbing and final road work, including permanent directional signs, continues this week.
In the video below, Assistant City Manager Christopher Parker explains how roundabouts work and the timeline for completion of the new roundabout on Silver Street.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnEEegtBSgE&feature=youtu.be
-Cheers

Property Owners Beware of Drought Stressed Trees

Courtesy of the City of Dover
“Living in the second most forested state in the country means New Hampshire residents have a unique appreciation for the value of trees to the landscape. But it also means we understand the devastating impact trees can have on the electric system, with trees accounting for more than 60 percent of all power outages.

In addition to outages, trees can cause substantial damage to property if they fail. That’s why Eversource is reminding property owners to conduct routine tree maintenance and to consult with a certified arborist for professional advice.

“Many portions of our service area have been experiencing a drought, which further stresses trees that may have also been impacted by insect and pest infestations over the past several years,” said Bob Allen, Manager of Vegetation Management for Eversource in New Hampshire. “As a result, there is the potential for more tree and limb failures as we approach the winter storm season.”

Just as Eversource conducts routine trimming throughout the Granite State for the safe and reliable delivery of power, property owners can help protect their home and the electric system by routinely trimming the trees on their property that stand near the power lines, but are located outside the company’s trim zone.

The company recommends customers check outside their home for any trees or shrubs that appear weak or need to be trimmed, and contact a contractor qualified to trim vegetation if the trees are near power lines. Before any work is performed, be sure to verify that the contractor is licensed and insured, and complies with all applicable laws, codes, ordinances and/or permits.

“Failing trees or limbs may become dangerous with storm-force winds or the weight of snow and ice buildup, so it’s important to address them before the next severe weather comes our way,” Allen said. “Our tree trimming programs combined with routine tree maintenance conducted by property owners help to keep the lights on during storms, and keep our lineworkers and the public safe from hazardous trees.”

The following are important safety tips for property owners preparing to conduct tree maintenance:
  • Before starting any work, locate the power lines going to your meter and any that may run along the road.
  • Never attempt to trim any vegetation growing on or near overhead power lines.
  • Deadwood is a naturally occurring hazard on some species of trees. Conduct a thorough visual inspection of what is above you before starting seasonal chores like raking leaves, and storing lawn furniture.
  • Hire an arborist to evaluate your property and offer professional advice and suggestions for maintaining your trees, similar to any other professional tradesperson.
  • Check your local listings to locate a contractor qualified and licensed to trim vegetation around power lines.
When Eversource responds to restore service during storms and adverse weather, the company performs tree work to clear the power lines so that service may be restored. Property owners should be sure to plan for the cleanup and removal of any fallen limbs or trees.

For more information about Eversource’s scheduled maintenance trimming and tree trimming program, visit Eversource.com”
Cheers!

Real Estate Transfer Tax Changes

There has been some confusion with the real estate transfer tax system in NH.  In the past, many RETT’s would  pay a tax when transferring a piece of property from a RETT, that may have held several properties, into a single entity without consideration.   Often times they would have to pay the state transfer tax for this maneuver.   The state of NH decided to clean up this gray area with the following :

“House bill 1656: NHAR attached an amendment to this bill in the Senate Ways and Means Committee to exempt entity-to-entity transfers when the ownership does not change and there is no consideration exchanged for the transfer of real estate.  NH supreme Court cases over the past several years dealing with the applicability of the RETT on certain transfers of real estate to a single-purpose entity for refinancing purposes provided seemingly contradictory guidance. ”

The bill clarifies those issues and makes it clear that no consideration exists for tax purposes if the sole reason for the transfer is to obtain financing.  The bill also clarifies the RETT for transfers to revocable trusts as LLC’s for overall estate planning purposes.  The bill has been signed by the Governor and is in effect.

-Cheers

Solar Power & Net Metering

The growth of solar power energy around the seacoast has been significant.  Solar power companies have procured big gains with mainstreaming solar energy for home owners.  The state has recognized the impact of the solar industry on New Hampshire home owners and addressed it with the following law.

“HB 116/Chapter Law 31: This new law has increased the state cap on net metering from 50 MW to 100 MW.  The solar industry had been stymied in the state when utilities hit the 50 MW cap.  The new law also requires the Pacific Utilities Commission to examine the current rate structure and set a new tariff for solar net metering.”

In short, the new law will allow home owners to sell back more power to the utility company.  Good deal for solar power home owners!

 

Cheers

 

 

New Changes To The Real Estate Laws

The real estate industry passed some laws this year that effect home owners, buyers & sellers, and real estate professionals.  Over the course of the next couple weeks I will touch on some significant changes to our laws.

Septic System Evaluators licensing:

This law below is important.  There have been a number of transactions on the seacoast of NH that go sideways because of issues relating to septic systems.  In many instances, multiple septic companies can look at the same system and their reports can vary significantly as to the condition of the system, tank, and leach field.

“With the passage of Senate Bill 210 starting in 2017 anyone doing work as a septic evaluator will now need to be licensed with the state of New Hampshire and will be subject to a new Board of Septic System Evaluators.  Anyone who currently holds a Granite State septic system certified evaluator designation or other recognized designation determined to be acceptable by the board is eligible to be licensed without having to take coursework or completing the exam.  ”

In short, raising the standard for evaluators is a positive move.  The law could go further.  For sellers, if your system is determined to be failing by a septic company it’s ok to get a second opinion.  Furthermore, if your informed that your system failed they should provide you a detailed report with photos etc.  Give Dave a call if you have questions.

 

Cheers