Marlborough City Council approves temporary moratorium on multi-family housing

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By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

MARLBOROUGH – The Marlborough City Council approved a ninety-day moratorium on multi-family housing developments during a meeting on July 19 with a unanimous 11-0 vote.

Until the moratorium expires on Oct. 17, there will be no multi-family housing items on the City Council’s agenda. As the City Council meets on Oct. 18, this means there would not be any multi-family development items on a City Council agenda until Nov. 8.

“After talking to the Mayor, I concede his point that having a moratorium is probably a smart idea and the sooner we get it going the better we are,” said City Councilor Kathleen Robey. 

Robey said that the City Council had previously advertised the moratorium in a public hearing months ago. She said she had thought that the moratorium would go into effect when it was advertised. There was also confusion at this meeting over whether or not Marlborough had technically already been under the moratorium.

Council President Michael Ossing said that the intention of the moratorium is to wait until the city has guidance from the Solicitor’s Office due to ongoing determinations from the state.

However, Ossing said the determinations of what the state has approved, which the City Council will need to approve or reject proposals for multi-family developments, are changing daily. 

Ossing said that the purpose of the moratorium is to ensure the City Council has the proper guidance from the state when evaluating proposals, although he was not sure that it would be the case by the time the moratorium expires.

“Now will we have anything on October 17?” Ossing said in an answer to a question from Councilor Samantha Perlman. “We’ll be a little smarter, Councilor Perlman, how smart, I don’t know.”