I would like to voice my strong opposition to the Housing Production Plan, which is being proposed for the Town of Foxboro. This plan was prepared by a Boston organization, which was created by the 40B legislation and receives a significant amount of funding from the building industry.
Over 300 residents responded to a survey in the summer of 2020 establishing the priorities of the residents. The Metropolitan Area Planning Council has issued a report that seemed to ignore the residents’ priorities.
MAPC has created Housing Production Plans for at least six other communities since 2005. After reading these plans it is clear to see that the plans for Foxboro follows the previous MAPC builder friendly approach to increasing housing density.
The proposed Smart Growth Overlay would allow density to increase a minimum of fourfold over existing zoning. The state requires that this zoning be a “by right” development. By Right means the town has no say over the development.
Last week’s writer stated that the town would get a say in the architecture, but the legislation says that is true only if it is not unduly burdensome. Picture the density of the 40B project opposite Stop and Shop being replicated around town and on an even larger scale. Rather than preserving homes the trend could become tearing down smaller homes on larger lots to access the approved density.
The Accessory Dwelling Unit provision would allow new homes to be added to lots with existing homes, doubling the density of the area.
MAPC showed pictures of seaside cottages with crushed shell walks when I attended one of their information sessions. The question to be answered is what does a cottage look like in Foxboro? Is it a small manufactured unit that will be clumped on a small parcel?
One thing that is clear about the Housing Production Plan is the commitment of money the plan will cost the town. More infrastructure will be needed at every turn. New taxes from the growth will not cover the expenses.
Another outside group, the Citizen’s Housing and Planning Association, has been brought into town to promote this plan, going so far as to offer to write letters of support for residents to sign.
The residents of the town have not properly vetted this plan. It is being rushed through the process in hopes of attaining the support of the selectmen and the planning board. If that approval is given it will be used as a weapon to keep telling residents that this is the plan the Town supports.
Foxboro zoning is not broken and it does not need fixing. The town has already met the onerous conditions of 40B and should not rush to adopt the same density standards.
Please take time to review the results of the survey that so many people answered and demand accountability. Relying only on casual conversations to inform a vote on such an impactful document is not called for at this time.
Mark Powers, Foxboto