The Wellesley Board of Selectmen and Planning Board on Tuesday discussed creating a housing production plan that would give the town more control over the future of affordable housing development here.
Citing a lack of tools to address the possible negative impacts of 40B projects foisted upon the town, Planning Board Chair Deb Carpenter said: “The purpose of the housing production plan is to enable us to look at housing needs comprehensively and give us tools to develop projects that have affordable market rate diversity of housing that will put us in a position of not being vulnerable to the kind of developments that we’re seeing now that people are unhappy with.”
As is, the town is increasingly being targeted by developers seeking to build homes under relatively loose 40B zoning rules in light of Wellesley falling significantly below the state standard of 10% of its housing stock being deemed affordable. One developer even recently floated the idea of using Needham to authorize a project on Oakland Street along the Wellesley/Needham border, in light of Needham being at the 10% threshold already and Wellesley needing the additional affordable housing stock (not happening for now).
A housing production plan, according to assistant executive director for the BoS office Meghan Jop, would entail a housing needs assessment to reach the 10% affordable housing threshold, setting goals for where to construct affordable housing, figuring out how many units a year would [Read more…]