Feeling the squeeze

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110714 rsShrewsbury – Most people, including town officials, agree on the need for affordable housing. A state mandate, General Law Chapter 40B, known as the Comprehensive Permit Law, requires a community to have at least 10 percent of its stock as “affordable.” But just how that 10 percent is reached is where most people differ.

Shrewsbury residents came out in force at a recent hearing to discuss three proposed 40B projects, two that would be located on Route 20 and one that would be on the corner of Route 9 and Walnut Street.

Opponents voiced concern about the potential for increased traffic, especially on already busy Route 9 and the strain that would be put on the town’s schools if those units are occupied by families with school-age children.

Town officials noted that 40B is a law approved by the state’s voters. But what they are trying to do, they told residents, is to establish so-called “friendly 40Bs,” which would provide guidelines to developers so that there would be the least impact on the town’s already burdened services.