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CANTON, MA-In a preemptive move that would bring the town’s affordable housing stock over the 10% mark, a proposal is under consideration to develop an affordable-housing complex and recreation fields on a 124-acre parcel of town-owned land located off Route 138.

Roger Nicholas, Canton town planner, tells GlobeSt.com that the proposal is an effort to try to be “proactive.” He points out that the town has had several Chapter 40B proposals that it didn’t want to see developed because they were not in “advantageous” locations. A chapter 40B project, which has at least 25% affordable housing, can bypass local zoning laws if a town does not have 10% affordable housing.

Nicholas’s plan involves 150 to 160 affordable-housing units–which would mean Canton would have more than 10% affordable housing–as well as a recreation complex that would include three soccer fields, three ball fields, three basketball courts and eight tennis courts. “This way [the affordable housing] is done in the right location and in the right way,” notes Nicholas. The property, of which 60 acres is over the town line in Stoughton, is currently vacant.

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