Special Meeting on Somerville Condo Conversion Notification Requirements Aug. 11 

The Somerville Condominium Review Board (CRB) will hold a special meeting on Thursday, August 11, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at the Visiting Nurses Association (259 Lowell St.) to solicit public comment on proposed enforcement of notification requirements under the Somerville Condominium Conversion Ordinance. 

The Somerville Condominium Conversion Ordinance and the CRB that was established under the ordinance are in place to protect tenants in rental properties being converted to condominiums. The ordinance requires owners who intend to convert rental property to condominiums to provide at least one year’s notification before establishing a condominium or taking possession of the rental unit from tenants. The CRB has previously required that the year notice be provided to tenants residing in properties being converted; a recent City Law Department opinion on the notification section of the ordinance stipulated that the same year-long notification requirements should also be provided to the CRB itself.

 

The Board has not previously enforced the requirement that the Board itself be notified one year prior to condominium conversion. The Law Department provided its interpretation of the ordinance in response to complaints from a tenant and tenant advocates who assert that without the Board notice requirement owners are incentivized to evict tenants in order to avoid providing tenant notice. The Law Department’s interpretation along with the OSPCD Housing Division’s policy recommendations to the Board in response to the interpretation can be found here.

 

As the CRB has the independent power and duty to enforce the provisions of the Somerville Condominium Conversion Ordinance, it is up to the Board whether to adopt the Law Department’s interpretation. The special meeting will be an opportunity for members of the public to share their thoughts on the Law Department’s interpretation and recommendations. Members of the public are invited to speak at the meeting. If you would like to submit written comments or if you have any questions about the meeting, please contact Alex Bob via email (abob@somervillema.gov) or by phone (617-625-6600 ext. 2575).

 

Meeting Date & Time: Thursday, August 11,, 6-7:30 p.m.

Location: Visiting Nurses Association third floor community room – 259 Lowell St. Somerville, MA 02144

 

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact the City’s ADA Coordinator, Betsy Allen, at 617-625- 6600 x2323 or BAllen@somervillema.gov.

 

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