As a way to inform our readers about the candidates, Patch asked the candidates for State Representative in the 17th Essex District five questions that focused on a vaiety of topics important to the voters of Tewksbury.
Here is Question 3:
Do you support 40B as is it now written, does it need to be modified or does it need to be abolished altogether?
Patricia Commane, Democrat
I support necessary improvements to the law. 40B needs more local control of large projects and more opportunity for neighborhood input. It also needs more checks and accountability to ensure that large developers do not abuse the system. I would support a measure to increase the percentage of affordable units in a development needed for a project to be applicable under 40B.
Paul Adams, Republican
40B is one significant factor in making Massachusetts housing less affordable for everyone. We must repeal this law. It represents a classic example of government interference in the free market. The mandate to have each housing development allocate 25% of units as affordable housing skews supply and demand, increases prices, and makes housing prices more expensive for all of us. It also allows developers to override local zoning laws and distort neighborhood character. I favor repealing the law altogether and instead, would support an Inclusionary Zoning Law which would allow for affordable housing in urban areas or buildings already deemed affordable.