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Shrewsbury mulls major affordable housing decision

Posted by Ralph Ranalli September 4, 2007 05:14 PM

SHREWSBURY

The Board of Selectmen plans to decide next Monday whether to approve the affordable housing project proposed by Virginia-based AvalonBay Communities Inc., according to Town Manager Daniel Morgado.

AvalonBay was vying against Fairfield Residential to build housing in a competition the town set up to meet its affordable housing obligations. But Fairfield pulled out late last month just as selectmen were preparing to choose. In a letter to the town, Fairfield said it was concerned about meeting the town's tight deadlines but still wants to proceed with a project.

The town has been seeking to get a project by October because that is when its protection against having such projects forced upon it expires. Until then, it is still protected by the state because it was seen as making sufficient progress toward the state goal of 10 percent affordable housing in every community.

The town was hoping to pick its own project so that it would have some control over the outcome and so it could continue its state protection. Morgado said the selectmen are considering four options: do nothing, accept Avalon's 414-unit proposal, accept Avalon's 504-unit proposal, or work out a new arrangement with Avalon.

-- Lisa Kocian

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