DARTMOUTH - An article that would lead to the development of more multi-family housing in Dartmouth was weighed at length by Town Meeting members Tuesday night.

The proposal would deem the stretch of Route 6 from Cross Road to the Westport town line as a multi-family overlay district, and would permit the development of multi-unit housing with affordable units.

Town Meeting member Buddy Bakersmith saw the article as a way to put young people near key services like public transportation and community programs.

"It's important to support young families," said Bakersmith. "This is the kind of location that you would want to have that kind of an overlay district."

Resident Joel Avila supported the proposal, saying it would bolster economic development in the town while utilizing brownfield sites. Avila remarked that the controversial article had unanimous support from the Town's Finance Committee and Select Board.

"It is truly a rare event," said Avila. "And you might conclude this is the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius or The End of the World As We Know It, you decide."

However, many lingering questions and what Select Board Chairman Frank Gracie called widespread "misinformation" prior to the vote led to the failure of the article, with a vote of 99-116. Passage of the article required a two-thirds vote in its favor.

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