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As shown on this map created by NMCOG, the following areas are excluded:
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Multi-family housing must be allowed as-of-right. This means that no variance or special permits are required. Site Plan Review is allowable. The regulations shall be without age restrictions and shall be suitable for families with children.
A compliant district must have a minimum gross density of 15 units per acre.
The district must be of “reasonable” size, which the Commonwealth has defined as a minimum of 50 acres in total area. The district does not have to be contiguous, however, and can contain parcels in different areas with a minimum area of 5 acres and at least one contiguous area including half of the required district size.
The district must create capacity for at least 10% of the existing housing stock in Dracut. This means an additional 1,233 residential units. Compliance at the minimum allowable density, 15 units per acre, will require 82.2 acres of land.
NMCOG created a series of maps that identify amenities and services of interest, culminating in single map showing the areas with multiple amenities:
Failure to comply with the law means the Town would become vulnerable to civil enforcement action by the State and potentially risk liability under Federal and State fair housing laws.
The community would also become ineligible or less likely to receive a wide range of state grants. These grants have provided over a million dollars to the Town of Dracut in recent years.