We need your help asking legislators to support zoning reform in 2018 that creates homes and curbs sprawl. The Great Neighborhoods campaign has incredible momentum, but time is running out to make sure that the Legislature backs a comprehensive and balanced bill.
- Did you know that over the last seven years, Massachusetts gained 246,000 residents and 353,000 new jobs but permitted just 81,000 units of new housing?
- Or that only 10 cities and towns have built two-thirds of state's apartments over the last seven years?
- The average single-family lot in Massachusetts is larger than a professional football field. Almost 40% of climate-damaging pollution comes from cars and trucks on the road because our sprawl forces people to drive further and more often.
Gov. Baker has proposed a modest zoning bill, but we can't stop there. We need to encourage House and Senate leaders to continue working on a comprehensive and balanced solution (House Bill 2420 and Senate Bill 81). Now is the moment to improve our outdated development laws for the first time since 1975 and finally address our housing crisis while protecting our endangered open space.
Our Great Neighborhood bills would:
- Ask all communities to contribute their fair share to solving the housing crisis;
- Create statewide rules for the accessory apartments that are so needed by our seniors and disabled population;
- Promote mediation and reduce frivolous court appeals;
- Make it easier to use tools like special permits, site plan review, variances, and inclusionary zoning;
- Encourage compact development to preserve forests and farmlands; and
- Help communities master plan and get training for their board members.
By planning where we grow, we can make our neighborhoods more affordable, our downtowns more prosperous, and our communities more healthy and climate-friendly.
Will you contact your legislators right now and ask them to take action on the Great Neighborhoods bills? House Bill 2420 is sponsored by Reps. Steve Kulik and Sarah Peake, while Senate Bill 81 is sponsored by Acting Senate President Harriette Chandler.
Learn more about the campaign at www.great-neighborhoods.org.