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Pass zoning reform this week!

Zoning reform will help create homes and curb sprawl. The Great Neighborhoods campaign has incredible momentum, but time runs out on July 31st for this legislative session.

Will you contact your state legislators right now and ask them to finalize and pass a zoning reform package immediately?

We're asking for a bill that will:
  • Create more housing choices for Massachusetts families
  • Encourage cities and towns to update their zoning more often
  • Establish more predictable permitting
  • Reduce time and money spent on legal battles
  • Improve local and regional coordination around development

Learn more about the campaign at www.great-neighborhoods.org. Thank you!

Specific request: Add the following provisions to the Governor's Housing Choice bill

  1. A state training program for local planning and zoning boards. Boards are staffed by volunteers who have to make important decisions that affect the community's growth and development. They would benefit from professional support and resources to help them understand their role and make better decisions.
  2. Alternative dispute resolution. A professional mediator could be employed to resolve conflicts among local officials, residents and developers to avoid expensive and time-consuming lawsuits.
  3. "Site plan review." Statewide rules will create a consistent, streamlined permitting process across the state while enabling the community to secure improvements to project design.
  4. Reduce frivolous appeals. Simple improvements to the way legal appeals for real estate projects are handled could reduce the amount of time spent in court and also allow a judge to require posting a bond if she believes that the case is without merit.
  5. Open Space Residential Design (OSRD). Statewide OSRD rules would encourage developers of residential subdivisions to cluster homes on less land and preserve open space.
  6. Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs). This proposal would allow homeowners with at least 5,000 sq ft lots to create an in-law apartment in their single-family home.
Also recommended: incentives or requirements for municipalities to build apartments around public transportation hubs.
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