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New Planning Board Comments on Westborough Woods Would Go to ZBA

Planning board chairman says members would discuss the topic informally.

Any further comments by the Westborough Planning Board on the proposed Westborough Woods housing project, “other than those made on our behalf by the town planner,” will “be in direct form to the zoning board of appeals,” planning board Chairman Lester Hensley said Tuesday night.

Hensley said that “I think the public was a little bit misled by the article in the Patch” on Monday, “Planning Board to Discuss Westborough Woods.”

The story stated that “The Westborough Planning Board on Tuesday night will discuss the Westborough Woods housing project, proposed for Route 9 near Otis Street. The topic is on the agenda under old business/new business without a specific time.”

Hensley said the discussion would be “not a formal hearing,” but rather “an internal discussion among planning board members.”

The planning board’s agenda, found here, reads: “Old Business/New Business: Discussion of Application for 346 Turnpike Road.” The address is the proposed Westborough Woods site.

Amy Buttiglieri April 04, 2013 at 02:01 AM
Question: is this the housing development with the extra non-state-mandated affordable housing? The one that no one (besides the developer) seems to want? The one that will add 100 kids to the school system with the busses that have to stop on Rte 9? The one that no neighbor (e.g. Target) wants to permit access? I suppose that's more than 1 question, but they beg the real question, which is: if this is such an albatross, why does it seem like it's moving forward regardless? I'm curious because I have heard a plethora of negatives and, frankly, zero positives about this. What is the benefit to the town? Someone please tell me why we're building this. Thank you!
SAT April 04, 2013 at 01:26 PM
It's moving forward because Massachusetts has an Affordable Housing mandate called Chapter 40B that allows a developer to bypass local zoning and have the State overrule any local objections as long as a small percentage of the new housing units are deemed "affordable", if a community doesn't already have at least 10% afforable housing It's a policy that's been accused of widespread abuse, enriching developers at the expense of local communities and taxpayers, but the Legislature's allowed the practice to continue. There was a statewide referendum question to repeal Chapter 40B back in 2010, but voters statewide rejected that effort.

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