The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, January 27, 2006


FinCom sees affordable housing expand Town Hall workload

At the Finance Committee (FinCom) meeting on January 24, Town Administrator Madonna McKenzie made the case for creating a new full-time position at Town Hall. If approved, the person would provide assistance to McKenzie and also to two boards that have requested assistance: the Housing Authority and the Zoning Board of Appeals.

McKenzie estimates the new full-time position, if approved, may require $50,000 in excess of the FinCom recommended budget for Town Hall.

In an interview, McKenzie pointed to the mountain of work required to implement the town's new Housing Plan, to keep the Benfield project on track, and to prepare an accessory apartment bylaw for the May Town Meeting. "This is more than a volunteer board can be expected to handle," she said. The Housing Plan, approved by the state in the fall, must be implemented in a timely manner in order for Carlisle to obtain deferral of future 40B applications. Under 40B, a developer of affordable housing can obtain exemption from local zoning laws in communities that are less than 10% affordable. Carlisle requires approximately 170 units to reach the 10% goal.

The approved plan identifies specific sites for development to add at least 12 units per year. As the town issues permits for 12 affordable units, it can defer 40B applications for one year, with each additional 12 units earning an additional one-year deferment. Private development, accessory apartments, development of the Benfield property, and future expansion of Carlisle Village Court are all part of the plan.

2006 The Carlisle Mosquito