Letter: Article 35 will reduce affordable housing

April 13, 2023

As a voter in Concord, it is important to consider the impact of Article 35 on affordable housing in our community. This zoning change is being promoted as pro-affordable housing, but in reality, it reduces the affordable housing requirement from 20% to 10% or less. This means that developers will be incentivized to build luxury housing, rather than much-needed affordable housing.

We need to ensure that our community has enough affordable housing, and this zoning change will only make the problem worse. By reducing the requirement for affordable housing, it will become more difficult to meet the 10% Subsidized Housing Inventory by May 2023, which will open Concord up to unfriendly 40B proposals for private developments that are not of the Town’s choosing.

Furthermore, Article 35 allows developers to pay a small fee instead of building a unit of affordable housing, which is not a fair trade for Concord. If this zoning change is implemented, developers could build around 100+ units in each of the four business districts (Concord Center, Thoreau Depot, West Concord and Nine Acre Corner). That’s around 400 new families moving in, requiring services and schools. This could lead to a burden on schools and town sewer systems, which are already at capacity.

By reducing the affordable housing requirement, Article 35 will encourage large-scale, dense luxury development that will forever change the character of Concord and our historic villages. As a community, we need to prioritize affordable housing and ensure that we are providing for those who need it most.

I urge you to vote “No” on Article 35 and stand up for affordable housing in Concord. Let’s work together to create a community that is welcoming and affordable for everyone.

Carol Savoy

Belknap Street