I am writing to express my concern for the 52-unit complex that is being proposed for 119 Morse St. This is a relatively small lot abutting wetlands that under normal zoning laws would never be allowed to be developed to this extent.
Foxboro has already reached its 40B requirements. I am concerned that there is a dangerous precedent about to be set that a developer can simply evade these laws by including a few affordable units.
There is no question that housing costs are exorbitant, and it is nearly impossible for families or individuals of modest means to purchase a house in Foxboro. This is truly a shame and is an issue in this entire region.
However, it is not right that the existing homeowners in this Morse Street neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods will surely have their traffic increased drastically for the sake of this project. Those of us who live in this neighborhood know that drivers habitually avoid the congestion of Route 106 and the traffic lights in Mansfield and cut through Spring and County to get to Routes 95 and 495. These roads are a very popular cut through to the Mansfield train station as well. Having the unique perspective of currently living and raising my kids next door to the house where I grew up, I can attest to an exponential increase in traffic through the years.
My kids don’t believe me when I tell them we used to play square ball and roller skate down the middle of County Street in broad daylight, simply yelling “car” occasionally to warn our friends. Of course, those days aren’t coming back, and we all accept that.
The narrow, windy, sidewalk- less roads of Morse and Spring Streets cannot safely handle the increased traffic and I really fear for bike riders and pedestrians on these streets. Point Royal and Oak Street could easily be affected as well, as this is the quickest path for commuting north on Route 95 from this proposed project. It is only realistic to recognize that these 52 new units can potentially increase the amount of traffic in several neighborhoods and that many residents stand to be affected.
It is hard to fathom that this developer really wants to put as many units as currently exist on the whole length of Morse Street into an area where one single family used to live. Think about it. This is not a precedent that any current Foxboro homeowner should want set. Look around you and imagine someone in your neighborhood with an extra acre or two finding a well-connected developer to sell to. Then the developer will declare that it will be a 40B project and normal zoning laws do not apply.
These laws exist for a reason. Those of us opposing this project are not unaware of or insensitive to the lack of affordable housing in this town. This space will be developed one way or another, and the seller will certainly make a very nice profit in his investment, as he should. We are only asking that the project be toned down by the town boards who can modify this project. Laws protecting wetlands should be respected and not simply ignored since this is a proposed 40B project. Fifty-two residential units into this one small space is just too much.
Anne Marie Anderson, Foxboro