Arthur Noonan, the town planner, tells that whileJPI has not filed a formal proposal yet it has indicated to thetown its intention to file a Chapter 40B application, which allowsa developer to bypass local zoning laws if the proposed developmenthas at least a 25% affordable housing component in a town that doesnot have at least 10% affordable housing. Noonan says that Dedhamcurrently has 3.9% affordable housing.

The town has already approved a 40B application about two yearsago for a 95-unit assisted living complex, which is currently underconstruction. It is also in the process of considering two otherChapter 40B proposals, one of which is a 61-unit senior housingdevelopment. "The intention of Chapter 40B is to promoteconstruction of affordable housing," points out Noonan. "If foryears there hasn't been affordable housing in a town and suddenly a40B is submitted, people say, we established this zoning. How canthey not abide by it?" But Noonan adds that many local residentsfeel that the JPI proposal is too large and is being located in anarea the town was hoping would be developed as an office andresearch and development area.

Noonan says that despite the Chapter 40B aspect of thisproposal--which allows a developer to appeal a rejection by a localzoning board to the state--it's not clear that the project willultimately end up as it is currently being proposed. "We considereach proposal on its individual merit," notes Noonan. "There arethose issues that have to be dealt with.

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