Dear Billy T and Somerville Speakup Line,
The geniuses don’t think of anything but their own perspective. The BOA continue to be shocked at push-back on anything such as the transfer tax. Although they ‘serve’ the people of Somerville, they truly serve only select fractions – ie the affordable housing people and the special interest groups.
The Board is wholly out of touch with regular folks and do not represent us. The Board thinks home ownership and low income housing are the be all end all. The heck with the average income renters who also need apartments that don’t cost a fortune. The NR zoning serves no one.
The justification for this is that Somerville is too dense, or that it will change the characters. Funny how everyone wants to live here when its such an awful place, isn’t it? The ‘ADU’ option is one less unit of housing that can be sold for an owner occupant. And the city has too much power over what a private property owner can do.
Now an owner can build on a 3rd unit in an RB zone, if they have lot size. After, it’s up to the city and their intent is to make it an ADU which the city has far more control over allowing. It’s hippocritical to want to create home ownership, but then eliminate a unit that could be sold as an individual unit, a condo. Condos are popular and really the only choice for younger professionals and couples who want to buy a home in Somerville. Singles are few and far between and very expensive.
Multis are out of reach and usually require a lot of money to update. ADUs are the special interest of the city, and are not the answer, There’s really no benefit or incentive for a homeowner to add an ADU when the homeowner would be much more inclined to add on a unit that could be offered for sale.
The City in its misguided approach will only effectively eliminate hundreds, even 1000+, units that could be added onto existing housing now, creating a more affordable unit either for rental or for sale. They can’t see the forest for the trees.