Hadley planners consider designating denser housing districts

Staff Writer
Published: 4/6/2023 3:32:38 PM

HADLEY — In the wake of the recent rejection by the Zoning Board of Appeals for a Route 9 hotel’s conversion into affordable apartments, municipal planners are exploring the possibility of adjusting zoning to allow denser housing in certain areas of town.

At Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting, members discussed whether it would be appropriate to pursue an overlay district under the state’s Chapter 40R smart growth zoning and housing production act. This would allow developers, by right, to propose affordable housing projects that meet certain design guidelines favored by the town.

Planning Board Clerk William Dwyer said such a 40R district might generate housing options on already developed land, noting that with brick-and-mortar retailers struggling, this could provide a redevelopment option.

“Adaptive reuse of existing structures, or existing sites, is going to be the wave of the future, I believe,” Dwyer said.

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