Vigeant asks to extend multi-family housing moratorium through end of year


By Stuart Foster, Contributing Writer

The Municipality Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program of Massachusetts has awarded Marlborough with a $56,250 grant as part of this year’s $21 million in total allocated throughout the state to promote climate resiliency.
A view of downtown Marlborough from the sky.
(Photo/Tami White)

MARLBOROUGH – Marlborough Mayor Arthur Vigeant recently requested that the City
Council extend a moratorium on new multi-family housing projects through Dec. 31 in a letter submitted to the council.

Vigeant wrote that Marlborough currently has ten approved projects with six potential projects collectively totaling around 2,000 units. Vigeant and the City Council enacted their moratorium earlier this year, in part, as a response to that volume of development. Now, Vigeant has said Marlborough should still wait for further guidance from the state before lifting the moratorium.

“We continue to wait on the definitive regulations of the Governor’s housing bill so we can adapt and potentially capitalize on state grant funding that is relevant to housing and transportation,” wrote Vigeant. “We have been told recently by the Lt. Governor that the information should be available in the coming weeks.”

The City Council referred the mayor’s letter to its Urban Planning subcommittee on Oct. 4. A public hearing is now scheduled to take place on Monday, Nov. 8.

“The mayor just wants to be conservative to make sure we understand it before we start
approving things,” City Council President Michael Ossing said of the housing situation.

Ossing reiterated that the purpose of the moratorium is to allow the state more time to give guidance to Marlborough before the city approves any multi-family housing projects.

Ossing further reiterated Vigeant’s comments that such guidance might be forthcoming.

Councilor David Doucette, however, raised questions about that timeline, saying he had heard similar predictions earlier in this moratorium process.

“We may be here in January, saying the same thing,” Ossing replied.

Vigeant first pitched a 90-day housing moratorium back on April 26.

He spoke again on the matter on May 25.

The moratorium was then back before the City Council once again on July 19. The council voted to enact the moratorium at that point, temporarily banning new multi-family housing projects through Oct. 17.

This came amid some confusion among City Councilors, some of whom thought the mortarium had already been in effect.

This new vote opens the door to extend the moratorium next month.