(This is the last in a series of posts about last week’s open meeting on zoning review. A group of residents and committee members who assembled at the Town House were asked five questions related to zoning. I’ll cover one question each day this week. Up today is multi-family housing.)
Of all the questions posed at last week’s zoning review meeting, this one had the potential to be the most controversial.
Multi-family housing, which Southborough defines as a residential building having two or more units, carries with it a certain stigma. The perception is multi-family housing units are less expensive so they’re purchased by people who require more town services than the average resident, and that makes them a drain on town revenue.
But if that was a concern for the residents at last week’s zoning review meeting, no one mentioned it. Instead, residents focused on how multi-family developments would fit within the town.
“We’d have to take a look at each potential area and see if it’s appropriate,” said one resident.
“I don’t know how well this would apply in existing single-family areas. You don’t want all your neighbors splitting their houses in two,” said another.
One resident thought multi-family housing could be a good fit for mixed-use areas like the business villages (downtown, Fayville, and Cordaville). “We need to create housing in the business villages,” he said. “In order to bring retail and commercial development to the villages, we need to enable people to live there.”