Planning board member George Berg said the housing production plan would give the town control over meeting the state’s affordable housing requirements.

A proposed town housing production plan that supports housing for low-to-middle income wage earners got the blessing of the planning board Jan. 9.

Planning board member George Berg said the housing production plan would give the town control over meeting the state’s affordable housing requirements.

"There is a need for affordable housing and Weymouth is a town that is supportive of that," he said before board members unanimously approved the plan. "I do think we should control where that (affordable housing) takes place. There is a lot going on in the town with regard to improving our infrastructure and this is another way for us to maintain control over our destiny."

The housing production plan has to be approved by town council and Mayor Robert Hedlund before it can take effect.

Councilors were scheduled to review the proposed plan during a meeting Monday.

The housing production plan proposed by the planning department was developed with the assistance of Jennifer Goldson, a professional planner and Eric Haloversen of RKG Associates.

The plan also recommends having a mix of housing types throughout the town that includes low to middle income wage earners and seniors

Goldson previously said the town should encourage construction of housing that meet the needs of Weymouth’s growing senior population.

The town’s senior population age 65 and older is expected to increase 46 percent between 2010 and 2015, according to the housing production plan.

Berg said it is important for Weymouth to have control with meeting the affordable housing requirements because these stipulations are in the process of being modified by state officials.

"It is clear Weymouth does not comply with the requirements based on the number of state units," he said.

Approximately 8.1 percent of Weymouth’s housing stock is considered subsidized, but the town needs an additional 437 subsidized units to meet the state requirement that stipulates 10 percent of a community’s dwellings must be considered affordable for people with low incomes by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Weymouth is close to meeting the 10 percent state benchmark because the town has 1. 5 acres set aside to accommodate affordable housing, according to principal planner Robert Luongo

"This production plan will give solid guidelines for developers so that we don’t get these retaining box houses popping up in Weymouth," he said.

Luongo said the housing production does not recommend any aesthetics for a future affordable housing structure, but the board of zoning appeals is responsible for reviewing the design of proposed projects

"Hopefully we will see better designs going forward whether the project is a commercial, residential or industrial design," he said.

The proposed housing production plan also recommends Weymouth should encourage a diverse range of housing types to accommodate business growth, and make improvements to the town’s parks, schools and infrastructure to attract people to live in the community.

Planning board chairwoman Sandra Williams said the housing production plan is a forward approach toward meeting the state’s affordable housing laws.

"The plan is good because it keeps control within the town versus being dictated to by the state," she said. "The plan shows we are being forward with our thinking and having it so that it works with our zoning. With this plan, we are saying we need to be sure Weymouth people are being taken care of. This plan addresses the economic needs of all citizens."

Board member Kenneth Padula said it is important to approve the housing production plan promptly.

"Time is of the essence and I will be supporting this," he said.

In other business, the board unanimously voted to appoint Padula to serve as its representative to the community preservation committee which is responsible for vetting proposals that involve historic preservation, recreation and affordable housing.

The board also agreed to schedule meetings Feb. 6, Feb 20 and March 13 at 7 p.m.

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