Major community meeting in Ayer’s Cliff focuses on proposed housing project and impacts on town infrastructure

Major community meeting in Ayer’s Cliff focuses on proposed housing project and impacts on town infrastructure

By William Crooks

Local Journalism Initiative

In a significant community meeting held Dec. 18 in Ayer’s Cliff, the focus was squarely on a proposed multifamily housing project poised to bring a considerable change to the town’s demographic and infrastructure. The meeting, characterized by a vibrant question-and-answer session, delved into the nuances of the project, touching on aspects ranging from housing density to potential strain on local services. Mayor Simon Roy presided over the meeting, emphasizing that it was only an informational meeting on the proposal and residents’ comments and opinions on the project would be considered at a later meeting Jan. 8. Over 30 people attended; cars filled Ayer’s Cliff’s community hall parking lot and lined the street nearby.

Overview of the meeting

At the heart of the discussion was a proposal to convert a portion of an industrial zone, north of Wulftec International Inc. and west of Tyler Road, into a residential area, potentially accommodating between 200 to 500 new residents in multifamily housing units. The land is currently owned by local Roger Madore. This dramatic increase in population, representing a significant percentage of the town’s current size, raised concerns and prompted a thorough examination.

Key concerns addressed included the impact on local services such as water supply and waste management, the capacity of the fire department to handle higher buildings, and the potential social implications of introducing a large number of new residents. The meeting underscored the need for a collective decision-making process, with the town council highlighting its neutrality and openness to public opinion.

The project, primarily envisioned as rental units with a possibility of condos, brought up questions about the nature of the new community that would form and its integration with the existing town. The council also discussed the importance of maintaining a balance between residential expansion and preserving industrial zones vital for employment opportunities.

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