THE SAUGUS ADVOCATE – Friday, April 12, 2019 Page 3 Town Meeting Members approve two-year moratorium on multifamily housing developments By Mark E. Vogler D evelopers will be banned from building multifamily dwellings of three or more units for two years, as a result of an article approved at Monday’s Special Town Meeting. The Planning Board had misgivings about the proposed moratorium, voting 3-1 to not recommend the article to the 50-member body during a meeting held last Friday on the four zoning articles. But Town Meeting members approved an amendment to clarify language in Article 4 and then approved the measure without any vocal dissent. “This article will protect any developers who have received their building permits and are in phases of completing projects, such as Essex Landing,” Town Meeting Member Michael J. Serino of Precinct 10 said of the amendment he introduced. The amendment inserted the following language in the article: “This moratorium shall not apply to building permits for future phases of any project Hilltop Steakhouse once stood as an example of why Article 4 is needed. “I believe there’s too much residential being built in town right now,” Serino told fellow Town Meeting members. “I took a look at the AvalonBay property, and there’s about 312,000 square feet of residential vs. 24,000 of commercial – about eight percent. It’s all residential. And it’s all these developers want to do – is put resiTHE MAIN EVENT: Town Meeting members took less than an hour to pass seven articles at Monday night’s (April 8) Special Town Meeting. They spent about 25 minutes on the article for a two-year moratorium on multifamily housing development – but that passed resoundingly. (Saugus Advocate Photo by Mark E. Vogler) which has obtained all required permits and approvals except building permits prior to the effective date of this bylaw.” Planning Board Chair Peter A. Rossetti, Jr., who is also a Town Meeting member in Precinct 2, said Planning Board members supported the concept of a moratorium, but had concerns about the wording. Rossetti said he couldn’t speak for fellow Planning Board members as to whether the amendment would address their concerns. The article – one of seven measures on the warrant requested by Town Manager Scott C. Crabtree – would order that no new building permits be issued for the construction of multifamily dwellings consisting of three or more dwelling units in any zoning district in the town for a period of two years. “Too much residential” This explanation is provided by the warrant prepared for the Special Town Meeting: “The reason for this temporary moratorium is that the Town is experiencing an unanticipated increase in the construction of multi-family dwellings and, as a result, the town is conducting an analysis and/or comprehensive study to determine the impact of said construction on police, fire, and emergency public safety, the school district, the water, sewer, and roadway infrastructures, and the safety of the general public.” Serino cited the AvalonBay Communities development on the Route 1 property where the dential up,” he said. “We need to take a step back $3.39 $2.55 GALLON GALLON We accept: MasterCard * Visa * & Discover Price Subject to Change without notice 100 Gal. Min. 24 Hr. Service 781-286-2602 Visit our walk-in center, walk away with a new career. Encore Boston Harbor is hiring. Apply in person at our walk-in center while there’s still time. Medford Career Office | 101 Station Landing, Medford Monday – Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Saturday – Sunday, 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. In accordance with our host and surrounding community agreements, hiring preference is given to properly qualified residents of the cities of (1) Everett, (2) Malden, and (3) Boston, Cambridge, Chelsea, Medford, and Somerville.

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