SHREWSBURY – On Sep. 12, the Select Board voted to sign the letter of support for the Local Initiative Program (LIP) for Emerald Run. The board also signed the development agreement with Pulte Homes, the project’s developer.
LIP is a program through the state Department of Housing and Community Development that encourages the development of affordable housing. As part of other proposed projects in town, officials have said the program would give the town more say into the development and its impact on the surrounding neighborhood and the community as a whole.
Emerald Run is currently proposed for 33-69 Green St., land between Green Street and South Street in the southeastern corner of Shrewsbury. Pulte Homes plans to build six four-story buildings on the 36 acres. The 40B project will have 300 total homeownership-units, 25% of which (75 units) will be affordable.
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The state’s 40B law allows developers to sidestep many local zoning regulations as long as 25% of the units are affordable. Communities with at least 10% existing affordable housing stock are immune from 40B, but Shrewsbury doesn’t meet this requirement.
In the last six months, Pulte Homes worked with Town Manager Kevin Mizikar to adapt the project. Additions include clubhouse space, pickleball courts and extra patios.
Additionally, Pulte Homes will be giving Shrewsbury a strip of land toward the northern edge of the property to develop and construct a connecting road between South Street and Green Street. The connection — which would run parallel to Route 20 —would give residents of southern Shrewsbury easier access to Green Street’s traffic light-protected intersection with Route 20.
That connection was first conceptualized in February by former Select Board Chair Moe DePalo.
Pulte Homes said that — according to traffic studies — the surrounding roadways have the capacity for the cars associated with the development.
“I know that there’s always going to be members of the community that are frustrated when they hear of a housing development community, especially one that’s 300 units. But, at the same time, we also know that we’re also facing a housing crunch and that this is a price point we don’t necessarily have in Shrewsbury. It’s an ownership opportunity,” Select Board Chair Beth Casavant said.