On September 22nd, the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) officially accepted the Town of Reading’s request for an additional year to the 1-year break from new 40B applications, and certified that the Town is in compliance with its Housing Production Plan. The request was made shortly after the decision for the Postmark Square 40R was filed with the Town Clerk on September 12, 2017. Combined, the Reading Village 40B project (68 units), the Schoolhouse Commons 40B project (20 units), and the Postmark Square 40R project (10 units), which were all approved in 2017, created over 1% of the 10% affordable units the Town is required to provide, which enabled the Town to request a two year ‘Safe Harbor.’
While this does not impact construction of permitted projects, and does not prevent new 40B applicants from submitting applications to the Town, it does give the Zoning Board of Appeals the right to delay new 40B applications until February 22, 2019, should they choose to do so. February 22, 2019 is one year beyond the original one year safe harbor expiration date of February 22, 2018.