UPDATED Jan. 4: Christian Klein, chairman of the town Zoning Board of Appeals, wrote the following explanation about the process involved in the Mugar project, named Thorndike Place, approved in November. His comments were originally posted to the Arlington email list on Jan. 1 and are republished with his permission. Some of the terms referred to below, including "safe harbor," are outlined here >> The update includes an important addition at the end.
The comprehensive permit application for Thorndike Place was filed in 2016. The rules for how the project is reviewed are supposed to be locked in at that time.
The local zoning bylaw and wetlands bylaw in effect at that time are the basis for the waiver requests by the applicant. The state of Arlington's affordable housing at that time is also used as the reference for the determination of safe harbor.
The town is well short of meeting the 10 percent of all housing units threshold for meeting the state's affordable-housing goals.
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