By all reasonable measures, the old Army barracks at Devens is a perfect place to build housing. The barracks at Devens’s Vicksburg Square sit near an active rail line, down the street from a growing cluster of jobs. Utilities are already in place. Building at Devens means putting a historic development back into productive use, instead of bulldozing forests to build far-flung subdivisions. It’s exactly what planners envision when they talk about building smart. But this is Massachusetts, so reasonable measures don’t apply.
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