VOTE YES on the Alternate Motion on ADUs at Hingham Town Meeting!
Alternate Article 29 addresses Hingham’s housing goals and trusts homeowners to make good decisions.
Please click the “+” signs to read why the alternate motion is better for our community:
“Manifestly, restricting occupancy of single-family housing based generally on the biological or legal relationships between its inhabitants bears no reasonable relationship to the goals of reducing parking and traffic problems, controlling population density and preventing noise and disturbance…”
– NY Court of Appeals, McMinn v. Town of Oyster Bay, 66 N.Y.2d at 549-550
Since 2018, Hingham has allowed attached accessory dwelling units (ADUs) – or “in-law apartments” – by special permit, limiting their occupancy to homeowners’ family members and caregivers. On April 24th (or possibly April 25th if the meeting goes to two nights), Town Meeting 2023 will consider the special ADU Study Committee’s recommendation to allow detached ADUs (units that are physically separate from the principal residence) as well.
Alternate Article 29 would enact the second key Study Committee recommendation – to allow nonfamily as well as family to occupy ADUs – trusting homeowners to make good decisions about who will share their property. Only the alternate motion supports the Hingham Master Plan goals of encouraging a range of housing types and a more inclusive community.
Hingham, like many Massachusetts communities, has an urgent need to expand and diversify our housing inventory, explicitly identified in the Master Plan and recently adopted Housing Plan. ADUs have historically been recognized as an efficient means to create smaller, more sustainable, less costly housing options, including by the AARP as an alternative for the growing trend of residents looking to age in place. The family restriction limits the value of ADUs as a housing option.
Comparison of Boston-Area Towns
Towns with comparable high property values to Hingham’s almost uniformly permit non-family to occupy ADUs to help address aging-in-place and housing cost concerns (green-shaded towns). Generally, towns that maintain a family restriction (yellow-shaded towns) are not towns Hingham considers benchmark/comparable.
Click on the images to enlarge for easier viewing!
Upcoming Informational Meetings
Questions? Join us at these upcoming informational meetings, open to all:
LIVE: Saturday, April 15 from 10-11:30am: Informational Coffee in the Whiton Room, Hingham Public Library
VIRTUAL: Wednesday, April 19 from 7-8pm: Zoom Information Session
Meeting ID: 849 4792 4935