Norwell: Affordable housing project decision nears

The Norwell Zoning Board of Appeals has a proposal for a very large affordable housing project in a residential area that goes well beyond local zoning bylaws. After months of hearings, the ZBA could make a decision this week.

Representatives of the town and the developer met for three hours Tuesday afternoon in a working group to attempt negotiation of the plan’s details.

They agreed on minor issues, like linking a walking trail on the property to a town trail if possible. They continued to disagree on major issues such as density, building height and property setbacks.

The 40B section of Massachusetts law, the affordable housing act, restricts what the board can do. For example, the board could impose the 34-foot height restriction in the town’s zoning bylaws. But, if that made the project “uneconomical”, the developer could appeal the decision to the state’s housing commission.

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About Charles Mathewson

Charles Mathewson worked in print journalism for more than two decades as a reporter and editor, and has won several regional and national awards. He resides in Plymouth where he writes fiction and paints, when not producing award-winning news as a reporter for WATD.