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Visit the Chapter 40R Massachusetts Government page.
The State website includes a full description, resources, news, and detailed information about the Chapter 40R program. Chapter 40R seeks to substantially increase the supply of housing across the State and decrease its cost, by increasing the amount of land zoned for "dense" housing - for Littleton, this means housing choices other than only single-family housing.
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The proposed 40R Smart Growth District would provide more sustainable housing options for residents of all ages and would provide housing for households with a wider range of socioeconomic backgrounds than Littleton's standard 5-bedroom colonial on a 1-acre lot. This zoning bylaw amendment is based on the foundational planning work of the community: the April 2017 Littleton Master Plan "Cultivating the Future" and the January 2020 Littleton Station Village Vision Plan (PDF), all as brought forward by the work of the Littleton Station Area Committee over the past several months. This zoning bylaw amendment will set the table for the property owner(s) and developers to provide environmentally friendly, resource-efficient, climate resilient, and socially equitable housing.
Yes. The purpose of the Planning Board's public hearing was to gather additional input from residents. If the 40R Smart Growth District bylaw is approved, and the property owner or developer applies to the Planning Board for approval of a specific plan, public input would also be considered at that time. This 40R Zoning Bylaw amendment will be on the June 12 Town Meeting for a vote by all Littleton residents present. Please email Town Planner Maren Toohill with your comments/questions.
Yes. There is evidence of significant demand for new housing units at this site. A search for "housing crisis Massachusetts" highlights current references. Littleton understands that our inventory of homes is not adequate to meet the demand for Littleton residents; the Council on Aging recently re-formed the Housing Subcommittee to address this issue. Further information on housing needs for subsidized housing units and market-rate apartments, condos, townhomes, and starter home-style housing units at the Affordable Housing Trust page.
The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development provides the framework/regulations for the price points for ownership and rental units, the definitions, the process for local preference whereby up to 70% of the units can include a local preference for current Littleton households, households with a family member who works in Littleton, and households with a child in Littleton schools. 25% of the new housing units in a Littleton Station 40R Smart Growth District would be deed-restricted affordable units, and both rental units and ownership units are anticipated at this location.
So apartments, condos, townhouses, starter homes, and possibly cottage dwellings, all ranging from studio and 1-bedroom apartments to 3-bedroom units can be anticipated. Pricing, sales, rentals, and a robust Fair Housing outreach process are required for all deed-restricted affordable housing units; the developer hires a housing specialist/lottery agent for the initial sales, and an onsite rental company manages the affordable rental process. Long-term monitoring of rental and sales/re-sales of affordable units is the responsibility of a monitoring agent, overseen by the Town, and would be outlined in the deed restrictions placed on affordable units. This process, including rental rates, price points, and selection process is set by the State, using HUD guidelines to assure compliance with the Federal Fair Housing Act. The 2020 sales price for an affordable unit in Littleton is approximately $205,000 for 1-bedroom units and $229,400 for 2-bedroom units.
A 2017 report by our regional planning consultant, MAPC, as relayed by School Committee member Mike Fontanella to the Select Board, there is little, if any, correlation between the number of new housing units in a community and the number of school children. Visit the MAPC’s report enrollment page. The Town is continually monitoring student populations, and has been planning for meeting the needs of Littleton students for a very long time. If a new building/addition, staff, or program is needed to educate all of Littleton’s students, Littleton residents have always stepped up to make certain it happens. Littleton can point to results with the initial build-out of the 200-unit "15 Great Road" development: 144 apartment units and 56 single-family home ownership units resulted in 35 new students in the Littleton School District.
The Town has approved the reconstruction of Foster Street from Taylor Street to Balsam Lane utilizing Federal funding; that construction would occur in 2024 and the design includes a multi-use path; visit the Foster Street TIP project page for details. The section of Foster Street from Harwood Avenue to Tahattawan Road would be the next section to be reconstructed, and the design is at the 25% stage; construction of this section is likely for 2025 or 2026. That would be followed by the section of Foster Street from Balsam Lane to Harwood Avenue, including the reconfiguration of the intersection with Harwood Avenue. Development of the proposed 40R Smart Growth District, if approved at Town Meeting, followed by an application and Planning Board approval for a development proposal at this site, could occur over a similar timeframe.
Detailed information on property values of existing homes when new development that includes affordable housing was just published in Banker and Tradesman, and Redfin, see links above.
In a post-pandemic world, it is difficult to predict the "right" number of parking spaces, but Littleton has made accommodations for the following parking options in addition to the 200-plus spaces currently at the station (1) Development at 245 Foster Street could include up to 200 new commuter parking spaces; (2) The last-mile-delivery warehouse at 151 and 153 Taylor Street will include 30 commuter parking spaces; (3) The multi-use path will provide a new link to existing private, underutilized parking lots, allowing owners of those commercial buildings to lease commuter parking.
The prior version of the 40R Zoning Bylaw (PDF) and proposed 40R District Map (PDF).
Updates for Jan. 28, 2021 Meeting: