Planning Board to review zoning changes for storage units, mobile homes

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North Attleborough Town Hall
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By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

This Thursday, the Planning Board will discuss updates to the zoning bylaws to prohibit the construction of future mobile home developments and self-storage units.

The board will review these changes at its meeting on July 7, 6:30 p.m., at the Department of Public Works building at 49 Whiting St. This would “prohibit self-storage unit facilities and mobile home parks in all residential and commercial zones pursuant to the requirements of MG.L. c.40A, s.5 and Section VIII.J of the Town of North Attleboro Zoning-Bylaws.”

According to Town Planner Gil Hilario, existing self-storage and mobile home developments will not be affected and grandfathered in under the current bylaws.

Hilario said that the town has seen a number of self-storage units built in recent years. The town has three of these units, with one on S. Washington Street, E. Washington Street, and John Dietsch Boulevard, and more in Plainville. Hilario added that several communities have passed similar zoning changes to limit these businesses.

One issue with them is they are cheap to build and maintain,” he said. “They don’t use utilities and sit for quite a awhile.”

Since the 1950s, mobile homes were marketed as a cheaper form of housing designed to be set up and left in a location for a long period of time or installed with a masonry foundation. The town has several such developments. Hilario said the reason for this zoning change is that mobile homes cannot be counted toward a community’s affordable housing, though these units are frequently very cheap.

Those living in the mobile homes, nothing changes,” said Hilario. 

Hilario said this meeting is part of an effort to modernize the town’s zoning bylaws. He said one potential update is to encourage affordable housing in mobile home developments.