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FRANKLIN, MA-After working to develop an industrial zone in the Grove Street area to increase its tax base, the town might have to make room there for two residential projects that are being proposed under the state’s affordable-housing law.

The first project has been proposed for a six-acre site near the Grove Street and Beaver Road intersection. Evergreen Residential Corp., working with Boston Funding Corp., wants to build a 140-unit project in the industrial-zoned site. It would be developed under Chapter 40B, which would allow the developer to bypass local zoning laws if at least 25% of the project is affordable and the town does not have 10% affordable housing. According to Ross Altobelli, Franklin’s assistant planner, the town has a little more than 5% affordable housing.

“We’re not happy,” Altobelli tells GlobeSt.com. “We recently rezoned the area industrial to try to concentrate businesses in land that is good for them. But 40Bs can go in anywhere.” The site abuts Route 495 and Evergreen has met with the town and indicated that it plans to file for a comprehensive permit.

Meanwhile, Lorusso Corp. has a purchase and sale agreement for a 35-acre parcel directly across from Evergreen’s site. The sale is contingent on the company’s plan to get approval for a 250-unit project for the property. That project will also be filed under Chapter 40B.

Altobelli says that if the two projects do get built the town will be close to reaching its 10% affordable-housing requirement.

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