September 17 2015

Special Selectmen Meeting to Discuss "Friendly 40B" Proposals

By: Rich Hosford

The Burlington Board of Selectmen is holding a special meeting to discuss affordable housing at 7 p.m. on Monday, September 21. 

Town Administrator John Petrin said there has been a lot of talk in the past few months about 40B Affordable Housing as developers have floated possible “Friendly 40B” projects to the town.  

Under Massachusetts law, a town must have at least10 percent affordable housing in order to meet the 40B requirement. If a town falls below 10 percent, it loses a lot of the power it has if a developer comes in and wants to build an affordable housing project. Basically, the developer would be able to build almost wherever they wanted and as big as they wanted without be subject to local bylaws. 


Currently Burlington has 10.2 affordable housing. Petrin said that because the town is hovering at the mark, it might be worthwhile to consider a “Friendly 40B” arrangement. 


A “Friendly 40B” development means the developer would work with the town to plan a housing project that both sides agree upon. Additionally, if, say, the company were to build 200 units and make 25 percent of them affordable housing, the town would get to claim all 200 as affordable against the 40B percent requirement. 

The meeting on Monday is meant to be a discussion on the idea in general, Petrin said. No specific project proposal will be on the agenda. 

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