Milton board members thinking next steps after AG Campbell files lawsuit against the town

Milton Select Board members argued back and forth for over an hour Tuesday on what to do after the state sued their town for not following the MBTA Communities law.

“I think we have a responsibility to the town to present something,” said Erin Bradley, Vice Chair of the Milton Select Board. “We have to be in compliance, we are breaking the law.”

The town is now breaking state law by not planning for a multi-family housing zone near its MBTA stations.

That’s why Attorney General Andrea Campbell filed a lawsuit Tuesday, suing the town of Milton over this.

“It’s not about making an example, we’re not framing this as a fight,” said Attorney General Campbell. “This is a crisis that we all have to play a role in solving.”

The problem, she says, is a housing crisis. However, the residents of Milton voted against the zoning requirement for multi-family housing in a special election a couple of weeks ago.

“The voters of this town have spoken very loudly, but I intend to honor that vote and fight for that vote, and I don’t view it as we’re breaking the law,” said Richard Wells, a Milton Select Board member.

Some board members say they’re ready for a battle with the state over this and question whether Milton should even be classified as a ‘rapid transit community,’ which would require a multi-family housing district within half a mile of each T-stop. Other board members say it’s time to work on a new zoning plan that’ll comply with this state law.

“We are facing a housing crisis, Milton is aware of this and so many others, and I’ll stress it’s not just a crisis that affects those seeking housing, it’s also a crisis that’s affecting our economy and workforce,” said Campbell.

A couple of board members say they hope the planning board will get to work on this to find some sort of compromise to help the housing situation.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates as more information becomes available.

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