Medfield Adopts Housing Production Plan11/5/2016
On October 17, 2016, a joint meeting of the Town of Medfield, MA Board of Selectmen and Planning Board adopted the town’s Housing Production Plan (HPP). Medfield contracted with Community Opportunities Group to prepare the HPP in response to a series of highly contentious Chapter 40B affordable housing development projects. The plan, an update of a 2013 draft HPP previously prepared by COG, will enable the Town to be more proactive in planning for affordable housing in appropriate locations that meet the needs of Medfield residents.
The 2016 effort entailed updating and highlighting key market trends that demonstrate the town’s housing needs, and collaborating with a working group composed of representatives from various boards and stakeholder groups to identify and refine the list of potential sites and strategies. The final draft plan was adopted with strong endorsement by stakeholder participants, and was then submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for approval. It is anticipated that the plan will be approved within 90 days and will be effective from the date of its submission.
Components of the housing production plan included a comprehensive assessment of housing needs, market trends, and existing conditions. Recommendations focused around identifying housing opportunity sites and zoning changes, and capacity-building strategies to facilitate mixed income development for a former state hospital property and other areas of town with development potential, as well as small-scale initiatives to create affordable housing within the context of existing neighborhoods.
With a HPP that has been approved by DHCD, the town can gain temporary safe harbor from undesired Chapter 40B development if it creates new affordable housing sufficient to meet annual targets until the town achieves the goal of 10 percent affordability. The town is moving forward with efforts to implement several of the strategies identified in the plan so that it can secure control over Chapter 40B through Housing Certification (Temporary Safe Harbor).
For more information on the Medfield HPP or to learn how Community Opportunities Group may help with your local housing plans, please call (617) 542-3300.