The comprehensive permit enables the developer to bypass localzoning laws as long as the development has a 25% affordable-housingcomponent and the town has not yet reached its 10%affordable-housing requirement. While a number of projects withaffordable-housing components have been developed in last fewyears--including an assisted living facility, the New England Homefor the Deaf and scattered site units for the Danvers HousingAuthority--the town is still under 10%, according to its buildinginspector, Peter Bryson. "We don't have much choice" aboutapproving these projects, Bryson tells, "until we reach10%." Even with Northland's project, the town still won't hit 10%affordable housing.

Northland is forming a limited liability corporation with thecurrent owners of the 13-acre site on which the complex will bebuilt that will be called Northland Swing-A-Way LLC. Bryson notesthat the project was approved subject to the compilation of aformal decision, which includes a list of conditions for thedevelopment.

But that will not be all. Another 40B project is making its waythrough the system here proposed by Avalon Bay Communities. Thedeveloper wants a comprehensive permit to build 78 units in Danversthat will be part of a huge 400-unit complex that straddles theborder with Peabody.

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