DANVERS — The Zoning Board of Appeals has shown support for a proposed affordable housing development at the New England Homes for the Deaf, but its members are hesitant to approve the project’s four-story height.
The 140 new housing units would be reserved for those over age 55 and who are deaf, near deaf, deaf and blind, or low-income, at the back of the organization’s campus on Water Street, and would go in a new four-story building the Homes for the Deaf looks to build and manage in partnership with Wynn Developers, according to plans filed with the town.
Of these units, 16 would be studios, 84 would be one-bedrooms and 40 would be two-bedrooms, and they all would be designed to accommodate residents who are deaf or blind. The units would also count toward the town’s affordable housing inventory, since 25% of the units will be considered affordable in perpetuity, according to the developers.
Developers need a variance in addition to a special permit because the project would exceed the two story zoning. It also needs a variance because the building will have more than eight units and because developers are requesting to add parking spaces within its side and rear setback.