Bylaw change to allow more multi-family housing reconsidered

By Douglas McCulloch | Jun 21, 2017

Changes to the zoning bylaws intended to encourage more multi-family housing are again under consideration by the Planning Board.

An update proposed by the Select Board that would have allowed multi-family housing in the town's general business districts — including areas around Route 6/Faunce Corner Road, an area west of Slocum Road, and a small section of Dartmouth Street — was stopped in its tracks earlier this year, after officials and residents alike realized it was too broad and would have permitted multi-family developments in neighborhoods of single-family homes.

A new proposal narrows the target area to a section of Route 6 between Cross Road and the Westport town line, said Town Planner John Hansen.

“It does already have multi-family developments – Dartmouth Woods, with frontage on Route 6 – and Lincoln Park,” Hansen said. “It fits in with the neighborhood there.”

Hansen said the board is looking into how the proposal could potentially impact the town, including the school system, sewer and water services. It will also review impacts to traffic.

The board also discussed the idea of increasing senior and affordable housing, which is in short supply in Dartmouth, said Hansen. He added that the bylaw could attract new developers and clean up blighted properties along State Road.

Construction of multi-family housing units would require a special permit from the Planning Board.

Hansen said the goal is to have a proposal ready for Town Meeting members to vote upon in the fall. However, there is a lot of work to do before that, including impact studies, public hearings, and legal consultation, said Hansen.

The Planning Board's next meeting is on June 26 at 7 p.m. in room 315 at Town Hall.

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