The Harvard Devens Jurisdiction Committee (HDJC) agrees with a recent press release from state Sen. Eldridge and state Reps. Harrington and Sena on the need to expand housing opportunities at Devens and the need for MassDevelopment to provide funding for independent studies on the future of Devens. The committee supports rezoning for Vicksburg Square.
As part of the charge to the HDJC to develop a plan for the resumption of political jurisdiction of the Harvard portion of Devens, the committee has taken the position that the surest way to accomplish the conversion of Vicksburg Square to housing is to first determine the mix of housing types to be distributed within the planned 300 units to be developed. That distribution should include both rental and homeownership units, each with affordable housing components, that meets the housing needs of the area towns and Devens.
Additionally, the HDJC believes that a decision needs to be made on permanent government at Devens that addresses the future municipal responsibility for providing services, especially education, to Vicksburg Square, which is now divided between two towns. MassDevelopment and the Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC) could advance the decision-making process by providing funding to the ongoing effort of the Devens Jurisdiction Framework Committee. Determining future governance in the near term does not affect the responsibility or authority of MassDevelopment and the DEC to complete the implementation of the Devens Reuse Plan.
Victor Normand, chair
Harvard Devens Jurisdiction Committee