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Support a House Zoning and Housing Initiative

Zoning/Housing Alert: Ask You Rep to sign the Kulik/peake letter

On May 9, State Representatives Steve Kulik and Sarah Peake outlined a package of important zoning and housing production reforms that House members can coalesce around.  Please call and email your State Rep today and ask him/her to join the Kulik-Peake zoning reform/housing letter!

Click here to go to the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance’s online tool for contacting your State Rep

With less than 3 months before the legislative term ends, now is the time for the House to put a zoning reform/housing bill on the floor for a vote. At the Great Neighborhoods State House event on May 9, Representatives Kulik and Peake identified a package of reforms that can make a difference in building more housing in sensible locations, provide municipalities with tools to plan for the future, and help preserve the environment. These reforms include:

Simple majority approval for zoning improvements and special permits that help to produce and preserve housing
Local option inter-municipal agreements to share costs and revenue from development
A training program for residents who serve on local planning and zoning boards. Funding has been included in a supplemental budget and will be distributed through the Department of Housing and Community Development
Expediting certain kinds of appeals by limiting court review to whether or not the permit decision was made appropriately
A mediation process at a local level to resolve permitting disputes
When a zoning change is considered, requiring the planning board to provide an advisory report on whether the proposed change is consistent with the master plan
Providing notice to the board of health when a development project application is submitted to a municipality
Authorizing “site plan review,” a tool that helps communities improve project design while ensuring prompt approval for developers
Making it easier for developers to “cluster” homes in a subdivision to conserve land and reduce construction costs
Enabling more single family homeowners to create a modest “accessory apartment” within the homes for relatives, caretakers, or rental
Extending the time for municipalities to exercise a right of first refusal to purchase agricultural land or recreational land
Reform of unregulated “Approval Not Required” development if a community is willing to adopt a Minor Subdivision Ordinance or By-Law
Encouraging more multifamily housing in sensible locations
Clarifying that discriminatory actions in zoning and permitting are not allowed under Massachusetts law
Establishing sensible parameters for property owners to vest their property rights, which will encourage municipalities to update their zoning

Here’s the simple message:  Let’s get behind a zoning reform and housing bill now! Join the Kulik-Peake letter!  (And, if your State Rep has already signed, thank you for your leadership!)

 

Click here to go to the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance’s online tool for contacting your State Rep about the letter!

 

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