Undoing Sprawl

<p>This editorial form <em>The Boston Globe</em> looks at efforts to reverse sprawl in an aging mill town.</p>
February 7, 2008, 2pm PST | Nate Berg
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"Hudson is one of many aging mill towns in Massachusetts where most housing growth has occurred away from the town center, leaving many downtown buildings underutilized. Not only does this require additional roads and sewer and water lines, it means that residents are dependent on their cars for virtually all errands. Plus, the lawns of such homes increase demand on the town's water supply. Last year, Hudson voters took a step to reverse decades of such development patterns and approved a zoning bylaw that would encourage new residential development where it makes the most sense: right in the center of town."

"The law makes it easier for the mill owners to turn the buildings into mixed-use centers of both residential units and commercial enterprises. Depending on how the owners develop the sites, they could create as many as 351 new housing units, and the zoning change stipulates that 15 percent of them be affordable. Admirably, the town is pushing for more affordable housing even though it already meets the 10 percent threshold required by state law."

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Published on Saturday, February 2, 2008 in The Boston Globe
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