Boltwood Place, 12 apartments all market rate
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The petition article would simply add 16 words to the current Inclusionary Zoning bylaw which would make it harder to develop irregular shaped commercial property for housing, especially in high rent districts like town center.
Currently a developer who owns property with a "by right" development capability can simply ask the Planning Board for minor concessions via a Special Permit (relaxed height limits or setback requirements, increased lot coverage, or waiving of traffic study requirments) and still be exempt from the inclusionary zoning requirements placed on developments of 10 units and up.
The problem with closing this "loophole" is the development cost of the project can exceed the profit potential and the devleloper simply walks away.
Kendrick Place, 36 units all market rate
A project with nothing but market rate (or even above market rate) units still helps lessen the demand for housing in an overall sense thereby making it less likely for greedy speculators to buy up and convert old single family units to packed in student units.
And a market rate project would have a higher value assessment, paying the town more in property taxes and Community Preservation Tax Funds.
Had this wording been in effect three years ago it would have impacted Boltwood Place and the current project, Kendrick Place, now under construction.
Carriage Shops proposed redevelopment, 78 apartments all market rate
Or, neither of them would have broken ground. Which is quite possibly what some of the signers of the petition article have in mind. The article will require a two-thirds vote of Town Meeting to pass.
The really interesting question is will this petition article impact the King Kong sized redevelopment of the Carriage Shops right up the street from Kendrick Place?