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Marlborough council OKs housing guidelines

Marlborough council OKs housing guidelines

METRO WEST DAILY NEWS – City councilors have a new set of guidelines and a point-based system they believe will bring quality housing developments.

The council approved new multifamily housing recommendations Monday. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council worked with city officials to draft the guidelines over the past several months.

The guidelines will help the city and developers know what city officials are looking for in terms of housing developments, said City Councilor Joseph Delano.

“We’re being bombarded by projects coming in,” said Delano.

Marlborough was divided into a handful of sections – including commercial corridors, established neighborhoods and industrial parks. In established neighborhoods like French Hill, townhouses, clusters of small homes and converting existing buildings into housing are ideal projects. City officials cited the renovation of the Cozy Café on Lincoln Street as an example.

The east side’s commercial corridors could accommodate townhouses, small and large multi-unit buildings, multi-unit buildings over parking and conversion of existing structures.

The city’s commercial and industrial parks in southwest Marlborough would be ideal for large and small multi-unit buildings, multiple unit structures with a courtyard, multiple unit facilities next to parking, townhouses and small houses.

The point-based system will aid in determining which projects fit into specific neighborhoods, how it benefits the city as a whole and the effect it will have on municipal services.

Criteria also includes whether projects are consistent with the city’s vision, if they have an affordable component and if they incorporate renewable-energy.

“These are not absolutely ironclad,” said Delano.

Councilor Mark Oram hopes the city will continue to update the guidelines.

Urban Affairs Committee members are expected to study how many units should be allowed to be built in the city each year in the near future and implement that into the guidelines.

Councilors last spring signed off on a six-month moratorium on special permits for housing projects to allow officials to devise the guidelines to help deal with Marlborough’s rapid growth.

The guidelines will be posted on the city’s website.

This article by Jeff Malachowski originally appeared here.

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