The calendar of meetings was updated on Thursday, Nov. 2. An earllier version incorrectly listed meetings of the Walsh Property Community Planning Committee, which has completed its work.
Most meetings in Truro are remote. Go to truro-ma.gov and click on the meeting you want to watch. The agenda includes instructions on how to join.
Thursday, Nov. 2
- OPEB Trust Meeting, 10.a.m. Truro Town Hall
Friday, Nov. 3
- Board of Registrars, 4 p.m., Truro Community Center
Monday, Nov. 6
- Conservation Commission, 5 p.m.
- ZBA, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Nov. 7
- Board of Assessors, 3 p.m.
- Board of Health, 4:30 p.m.
Wednesday, Nov. 8
- Council on Aging, 9 a.m.
Truro Housing, 5 Years Out
The select board unanimously voted to approve the town’s Housing Needs Assessment and Production Plan at its Oct. 24 meeting. The 118-page document was prepared by consultant Jenn Goldson and the five members of the housing authority.
The plan is meant to serve as a roadmap to reaching housing goals laid out by the state’s Chapter 40B comprehensive permit law, which encourages towns to have subsidized housing inventory of at least 10 percent of their total units.
Once certified by the state Dept. of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), a housing production plan is looked on favorably by funding sources, according to housing authority chair Kevin Grunwald.
The plan’s housing production goal is to create 110 total new units in the next five years, with a long-term forecast of 260 new units by 2036. It lays out five main strategies, including developing the Walsh property for housing and amending and instituting policy and zoning changes to encourage affordable housing development.
Among its suggestions for zoning changes, the plan lists adopting legislation to allow property tax abatement for owners who rent out their properties year-round and amending bylaws to allow duplexes to be constructed by right.
The plan also suggests working with the National Park Service to consider the transfer of vacant homes in the Seashore to the Truro Housing Trust and developing the former North Truro Air Force Station for mixed-income affordable year-round housing.
That goal is “a real stretch,” said Grunwald, but “we have a new superintendent now, so who knows what could happen with this property.”
The plan also suggests pursuing the acquisition of vacant properties such as the condemned Truro Motor Inn for conversion into affordable housing.
The planning board voted in favor of the plan with one dissenting vote and one abstention. The dissent came from chair Rich Roberts, who criticized the numerical goals that the plan lays out. The plan “would result in Truro exceeding the state’s 10 percent SHI inventory goal,” Roberts said. “We should be working with a number of 70 to 80 instead of 110.”
According to the plan, 15 percent of Truro’s housing stock are rental units, which puts the town in the category of “rental desert” according to a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.
The median sale price of a single-family home in 2022 was nearly $1.4 million. A buyer would need to earn about $375,000 to afford that; the median household income in Truro in 2022 was $83,992.
The town’s largest affordable housing development, Sally’s Way, has a total of 16 units. More than 200 families are on its waitlist, according to the plan. —Sam Pollak