The Town has had some success in bringing affordable, mixed-family housing options to Weston, and Town Meeting has consistently approved funding for different affordable housing projects, as well as approving the establishment of the Weston Affordable Housing Trust. As the demand for mixed housing options and affordable housing increases, Weston is in a position to catch up and meet the state's minimum requirement.
The Board of Selectmen began the process of meeting the demand and encouraging greater diversity in Weston’s housing stock by pursuing a Housing Production Plan, which was approved by the state in 2016. This plan outlines strategies for Weston to increase its affordable housing under its terms and needs rather than being subject to developments that bypass the Town's Zoning By-laws and stated policies and preferences for affordable housing.
One of the strategies outlined in the Housing Production Plan is for Weston to partner with a developer and enter into a "friendly" 40B process. By partnering with a developer, Weston can avoid assuming the full cost of developing on its own. This route has proven successful for Weston in the past with partnership developments at Winter Gardens, Dickson Meadow, 809-811 Boston Post Road, 680 South Avenue, and Highland Meadows.
Weston has also had success pursuing its own development of housing, starting in 1980 with the Brook School Apartments and most recently with the re-purposed municipal buildings on Warren Avenue through Weston's Affordable Housing Trust. And of course, partnering with the non-profits Weston Affordable Housing Foundation Inc. (6 units) and Weston Community Housing (62 units) has provided Weston with more opportunities to increase available options.
To learn more about what the MGL 40B entails and what Weston is doing to meet its requirements, as well as current development proposals in town (both supported and not supported), please follow the links below:
A quick primer about the state's affordable housing law and how it affects WestonLink to page
What is the process when a 40B development comes to town? This page outlines the steps for a town without safe harbor and a town with safe harbor.Link to page
Affordable Housing Needs and Strategy
The study and report on Weston's affordable housing needs, which help outline the housing production goalsLink to page
Affordable Housing Trust
Learn about the Selectmen-appointed Affordable Housing Trust and its role in supporting affordable housing in town.Link to page
Find information on housing developments, supported and unsupported, that are currently proposed in townLink to page
Housing Production Plan
Weston’s state-approved plan is in the care of the Affordable Housing Trust. Read the document online.Link to page
Policies and Preferences
This working paper contains a set of draft policies that are intended to serve as guidance for affordable housing developers and Town boards that have a role in the development review of 40B projects.Link to page
Warren Avenue - municipal buildings repurposed as affordable housing by the Affordable Housing Trust
Weston Affordable Housing Foundation Inc. - a local non-profit that works in partnership with Weston. Past projects include Church Street, Pine Street and Viles Street.
Regional Housing Services Office - Weston is a founding member community of this regional agency that assist eight neighboring towns with the municipal function of affordable housing.
How to Follow Progress
The Housing Production Plan is under the management of the Affordable Housing Trust. The Trust also reviews any new 40B proposals and is currently exploring an affordable homeownership opportunity fund and small rental projects.
Developers will present their proposal for informational purposes to the Affordable Housing Trust, the Planning Board, and the Board of Selectmen after (and sometimes before) they file their site review application with MassHousing. When a developer files a site review application, they are seeking a Project Eligibility Letter or PEL from the state. MassHousing will notify the town of the application and seek comments from Town boards and departments within a 30-day period.
If MassHousing issues the PEL, which it typically does, the developer will then file for a Comprehensive Permit with the town's Zoning Board of Appeals. There is not a set time-frame for the state to issue the PEL.
40B proposals, both supported and not supported by the town, go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a series of public hearings in order to thoroughly review the developer's proposal. The Zoning Board has to review the project from state standards and not through the town's zoning by-laws.
Subscribe to receive notification of when these committees post meetings, agendas and minutes to follow progress.