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Developer Plans 375 Units On Suburban Site That Could Benefit From Mass. Rezoning Law

A layout of the proposed development on Elm Street in Amesbury.

A New Hamphshire-based developer proposed hundreds of housing units on a site that could be part of a rezoning effort to comply with the MBTA Communities law. 

Dale Development is planning 375 units of housing on several parcels on Elm Street in Amesbury, Massachusetts, according to a May 31 Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act filing. The developer plans to build on a 25-acre site known as the Golden Triangle between I-95 and I-495.

The development would be on a portion of a larger 85-acre site that also includes 20 acres in the neighboring town of Salisbury. The developer has also proposed up to 10% income-restricted units in the project.

The site would be divided into north and south sections, the Banker & Tradesman reported. The north section would include all of the rental units, and the south neighborhood would include single-family and condo units.

Amesbury is classified as an adjacent community under the MBTA Communities law, meaning that although the town doesn't have its own MBTA stop it borders a community that does — Newburyport. 

The town needs to allow for a minimum of 789 units under the law. As of March, Amesbury officials had identified three districts that could bring about new housing: the Golden Triangle Overlay District, Amesbury Gateway Village Overlay District and Lower Millyard Multifamily Overlay District.

Amesbury has a deadline at the end of this year to submit its rezoning plan. The state's 12 rapid transit communities all had deadlines at the end of last year and submitted plans that would allow for tens of thousands of new units, but developers have questioned whether the new zoning plans will be enough to spark new projects.