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Our Home, Our Future: Now is the time for progress

Series on Housing

Voices from the Salisbury Community about the housing needed for a healthy, economically vibrant future

We all love the beauty of our town and hope to preserve its cultural and natural character. For many years the average age of our full-time residents has been increasing as young people leave for better jobs and more affordable housing elsewhere. For decades household size has been shrinking across the country increasing the demand for housing geared towards single adults and smaller families. We need to adapt to these changes if our town is to have a successful, thriving future. 

Recognizing this need, AKRF, Inc., a planning, environmental, and engineering consulting firm, was retained by the Town of Salisbury to draft the zoning text and map changes in downtown
Lakeville and Salisbury which were adopted by the Planning and Zoning Commission (P&Z) in 2019. Ashley Ley, AICP, a Senior Technical Director at AKRF who worked on the Town’s zoning, says that “In adopting the new zoning, the P&Z took a hard look at density, community character, and design guidelines. The resulting regulations balance the community’s need for additional apartments with the desire to preserve the historic character of the Villages of Lakeville and Salisbury. Increasing residential density within walkable downtown areas is important to the vibrancy and long-term viability of a community, and is widely recognized by planning organizations as good practice. New residences within walking distance to village centers can bring new customers and potential employees to local businesses, and minimizes sprawl”. 

Housing opportunity — a variety of housing choices for people with a variety of incomes and backgrounds — is a fundamental part of a thriving economy and a healthy community. With this in mind, the Holley Block and Pope properties were seen as ideal locations for the densest multifamily housing in the effort to meet our desperately needed housing goals. The number of apartments in the revised Holley Place proposal (12) from the non-profit Salisbury Housing Committee is considerably smaller than the number allowed by our zoning regulations (18) and deserves our full support.

 

Mary Close Oppenheimer is a local artist who has been part of the Lakeville/Salisbury community for 30 years.

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