WINCHESTER - Following a joint meeting with the Select Board, the Planning Board welcomed a new member to its ranks in the form of resident Kurt Spring. He takes over the vacant seat, for a term to expire next March.

Spring told the joint assembly, which also included Town Planner Brian Szkeley, he moved to Winchester in 2013. He has a BA in Economics and an undergraduate degree in Urban Studies. He mentioned his interest in Urban Planning and Development.

Spring said he wants to find ways to help the community, adding an interest in the town’s growth.

Planning Board Chair Diab Jerius asked Spring about his professional work including the scale of commercial development he’s accustomed to. The newest Planning Board member replied that he works for a private equity firm that focuses on middle market housing. He said they invest in multi-family, mostly in the southeast and Texas.

He noted his work mainly involves existing assets and not new developments. He said he didn’t have any hands-on experience getting a project developed.

When asked by Planning Board member Sally Dale about his studies, he said he went to school outside Philadelphia. He did his thesis on Native American gaming and casino development and how it altered tribes.

Szkeley asked Spring to comment on two upcoming affordable housing developments on Converse Place and Main Street; however, Spring said he didn’t know too much about those projects. He noted his strength could be in providing a perspective as a resident on how the town could best shape its physical space and the economic impacts and their effect on the tax base.

“I still have some learning and studying to do,” he acknowledged.

(With the Planning Board meeting last night, he better be a quick study.)

When asked by the town planner about any possible conflicts of interest, he could only mention a local partner he works with in the Boston area, Beacon Communities, and his tie to Habitat for Humanity (he serves on their board). If any project came forward through either organization, then he would have to recuse himself.

Members of the Select Board supported Spring’s nomination with chair Susan Verdicchio saying, “I’m liking what I’m hearing” and Michael Bettencourt feeling his background is “exactly what we need and very critical right now.”

When Bettencourt moved his nomination, both the Planning Board and Select Board unanimously approved it.

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