TOWNSEND -- Turnpike Village, a 48-unit apartment complex proposed for Turnpike Road, is one step closer to becoming a reality.

Townsend's Zoning Board of Appeals gave its approval to the project at its May 4 meeting.

The two proposed buildings are scheduled to be built in two phases, Gary Lorden said. Lorden is the owner of Turnpike Village LLC, the developer of the project.

Twenty-five percent of the units will be "affordable units" he said. Six of the apartments will be one-bedroom units, the rest will be two-bedroom units.

"This type of building may be beneficial to the school system because this type of housing is perfect for a school teacher," Lorden said.

The building is a "40B" project. The program was begun in the 1960s to assure housing for local government employees, Zoning Board administrative assistant Karen Chapman said.

Ten percent of each municipality's housing stock is supposed to be 40B housing according to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development, she said. Currently, Townsend has 126 units, well under the 10-percent mark.

Until the 2010 census figures are in, Chapman will not know what percentage of Townsend's housing is 40B. Only 50 or 60 of the commonwealth's municipalities have reached the 10-percent mark, she said.

Although only a quarter of the units will be affordable housing, Lorden said the entire complex will count toward Townsend's quota.

The permit is a modification of a project proposed three years ago for two-bedroom detached homes at the same site, Lorden said. The plans were changed when the economy soured.

Low-cost funding through MassHousing or the New England Fund should be available because the project includes affordable housing, he said.

Another benefit to the developer are the exclusions from some of the town's subdivision rules. The driveway will be built to a different code than is required for a private subdivision.

"I realize the maintenance will be your nickel. That's your risk and not ours," Cadogan said.

Water has been brought out to the property, Lorden said. No date has been set to begin construction.