Hopkinton and Marblehead Join Resistance to Mandatory Housing Expansion


Marblehead and nearby Hopkinton last week joined the list of Massachusetts communities rejecting coercion by the Commonwealth through the MBTA Communities Act, and trying to retain their centuries-old independence. In the case of Hopkinton, it was town meeting vote that only narrowly rejected the measure in a 126-118 count.

Already, according to published reports, the Town Manager is vowing to push through an approval in another town meeting later in the year.

The MBTA Communities Act requires 177 communities in the eastern part of the state, but not those in other parts of the state, to zone for multifamily housing near public transit stations – even, as is the case for Hopkinton, there is no actual service within the town.

The plan that Hopkinton Town Meeting rejected would have rezoned property off Route 85, areas close to the Southborough Commuter Rail station as well as sites in downtown Hopkinton. About 750 units would be created, under the plan.

Other towns that have rejected the state’s plan, risking funding and legal action by the state Attorney General, include Marshfield, Milton, Hanson and Norwell. Hanover, bounced their measure back to the Planning Board, and both Middleborough and Chelmsford came close to rejecting the law.

Franklin was one of the towns to embrace the mandate for even more housing construction at an early date.

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