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Student Housing Zoning By-Law Change Doesn’t Get Support

DARTMOUTH-TOWN-HALL1

A property group is taking another shot at creating off-campus student housing near UMass Dartmouth.

David Sullivan, a representative for Vision Properties, presented a citizens petition to the Dartmouth Select Board on Monday. The petition proposes a zoning by-law change that would allow for a housing community to be built at the Pine Hill gravel site near the campus.

The board voted to not support the proposal as it is, however it can still go before the next town meeting.

Town Counsel Anthony Savastano advised the select board against the by-law change, saying the proposal had numerous deficiencies in its legal language.

The zoning by-law change has been proposed a number of times in the past. Most recently, a similar citizens petition was withdrawn from consideration last September.

Sullivan said they had met with UMass Dartmouth officials last week, who are currently studying the potential housing community located within 2 miles of the campus.

Sullivan spoke on the benefits of a regulated housing community for students who aren’t looking for dorm living.

He said removing the concrete from the site would cost the company about $2.5 million alone, and the total project could be in the area of $50 million.

Sullivan also informed the select board of a slowly progressing underground contamination at the gravel site, which is moving toward a town water supply.

The hazard was not previously reported to the town until Monday’s meeting.

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