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Image by David Mark from Pixabay

A proposed housing project on the border of Boston and neighboring Brookline sharply illustrates a reason for the area’s high housing costs. The proposal, on the site of a closed nursing home, would be situated on eight-tenths of an acre subject to zoning rules of two communities.

The plan calls for a four-story building, with 35 apartments on the Boston side, and two single-family homes in Brookline. The surrounding Brookline neighborhood is zoned for single-family homes, and architectural images show three-story houses
with sloping roofs and sizable front yards to buffer the project from Brookline’s nearby residences.

The location is a short walk from public transit, making it ideal for more residential development, which is desperately needed if the Boston region is to build enough housing to counteract a region-wide shortage. Yet, Brookline’s zoning rules restrict the potential for the property to maximize this potential.

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