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BOSTON-Developers of affordable housing projects won a court victory when the state’s highest court ruled that neighbors can’t stop a development based solely on claims that the project would lower property values. The Supreme Judicial Court rejected claims by Andover residents who said their home values would drop if a four-story apartment project containing affordable units was allowed to be built near a neighborhood of single-family homes.

Andover residents filed suit to stop the construction of a four-story apartment complex in which 25% of the units were earmarked as affordable. They claimed the project would force their property values to drop.

The justices said that granting property owners the right to challenge an affordable housing building permit because of a project’s impact on surrounding real estate values “frustrates the intent” of the state’s affordable housing law, also known as 40B. That law allows a developer to override a town’s zoning provisions if at least 10% of a community’s housing stock is not considered affordable and the developer has earmarked a percentage of the new project’s units as “affordable in that community.” Thomas Meagher, with Northeast Apartment Advisors of Acton, tells GlobeSt.com that while the court’s decision reaffirmed the state’s affordable housing law, the ruling is likely to have little effect on the amount of affordable units that get built in the Bay State.

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