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Lynn and Marblehead get land use grants from the state

Lynn will explore open space and development options along the Saugus River, and Marblehead will develop a housing production plan, with the help of state money.

The $50,000 given to Lynn and $20,619 given to Marblehead are part of the state’s $1,030,659 Planning Assistance Grant Program. The funding, managed by the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA), should be used to improve municipal land use planning and development, according to State Sen. Brendan Crighton (D-Lynn).

“One of the things over the past couple years that we’ve been beginning to focus on is Lynn’s other waterfront,” he said. “We’ve done a lot of work along the Lynnway stretch, there are beautiful recreational spaces on Lynn Shore Drive and Red Rock Park, but the waterfront along Saugus River has largely been ignored by the city.”

Jim Cowdell, executive director for Lynn’s Economic Development & Industrial Corporation, said the city plans to hire a consultant, or a group, to research the best uses for that area, which may lead to opportunities for additional commercial and residential development in conjunction with the bike path there.

After several severe rainstorms in the past year, many residents had serious complaints about flooding in that area, said Crighton. He hopes the use of this grant money will find the best ways to minimize the problem.

Marblehead will use the money to support the development of a 5-year Housing Production Plan, Town Administrator Jason Silva said in a statement.

“The town of Marblehead has taken great strides in the housing arena and has created several tools to advance support for affordable housing, including two smart growth districts, incentive zoning, and HOME Consortium funding,” Silva said in the release.

The housing plan will help the town better use existing resources and identify new strategies to meet housing demand, he said.

“While municipalities make budgets to continue to pay for things like better schools and paving roads, the legislature can make a meaningful difference in community’s long-term goals,” said State Rep. Lori Ehrlich (D-Marblehead). “Climate resilience and housing affordability are two priority concerns at the state house right now so I’m glad the EEA was able to provide this support because it really helps and I’m grateful for their help.”

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