LEGISLATION

Massachusetts bills & policies of interest
List of 2019-2020 endorsed bills

Zoning and Planning


Smart Growth Zoning | Housing Production

  • Establish a state equity task force to identify next steps on Lead sponsors: Rep. Vargas (with Rep. Decker) (H 1325), Sen. Chandler (S 780)
  • ​Pilot program to provide transit infrastructure incentives for multifamily housing production Rep. Garballey (H 1788), Sen. Chandler (S 779)
  • Local mediation of land use disputes and reasonable review standard for subdivision appeals Rep. Murray (H 1813), Sen. Chandler (within S 780)
  • Amending building code to allow tiny homes on foundations. Rep. Blais (H 2031), Sen. Hinds (S 1863)
  • We support the following bills led by the American Planning Association/MA and Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors: 1) Training program for zoning/planning board members. Rep. Honan (H 1802); 2) Site plan review. Rep. Honan (H 1289)
​Local Planning
  • Streamline master planning process and increase zoning consistency Rep. Ciccolo (H 180)Recognizing 21st century “form-based” codes Rep. Ciccolo (H 1768), Sen. Crighton (S 81)
  • Increase funding for local planning​
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
  • Accessory apartments within the main structure of a single-family home. Rep. Hay (with Rep. Ciccolo) (H 1277), Sen. Cyr (S 788)​
Community Preservation Act (CPA)​
  • Increase the state match for Community Preservation Act communities by raising the deeds fee​​
Housing Choice Grants
  • Authorize funding for the Housing Choice grant program to reward communities for producing housing and adopting local zoning reforms




Equity and affordable housing


  • We are lead advocate for a local option for municipalities to offer property tax relief to seniors and/or lower income homeowners in exchange for a right of first refusal on the home when it is for sale so that it can be converted to affordable housing. Rep. Peake (H 2587), Sen. Chandler (S 1604)
  • Right to counsel for indigent tenants in eviction proceedings. Rep. Rogers (H 1537), Rep. Tyler (H3456), Sen. DIDomenico (S 913)
  • HOMES Act to seal court records in eviction proceedings. Rep. Moran (H 3566) Sen. Boncore (S 824)
  • Ban discriminatory zoning/permitting decisions. Rep. Barber (H 1344), Sen. Chang Diaz (S 781)
  • We support MACDC and MassINC in their advocacy for the Neighborhood Stabilization bill which includes a “spot blight rehabilitation” program for small scale residential projects and a capacity-building program focused on neighborhood stabilization. Rep. Cabral (H 177), Sen. Crighton (S 1627)




Climate and environment


  • Governor Baker’s proposal to raise the deeds excise tax for climate adaptation (Senate 10) & doubling increase to fund affordable housing; local option real estate transfer taxes for affordable housing; and a GreenWorks bonding program for climate change measures (H 3846)
  • Sustainable Development bill to ensure that state takes into account climate risks in its development decisions. CLF lead advocate. Peake (H 841) and Collins (S 79)
  • Preserve and restore natural lands that keep carbon in the landscape. The Nature Conservancy lead advocate. Peake (H 842) and Tarr (S 2014)
  • Expand Green Communities program to mitigate climate change. MAPC lead advocate. Dykema (H 2841) and Lewis (S 1987)
  • We are the lead advocate for promoting Open Space Residential Design (OSRD or cluster zoning) in residential subdivisions to preserve land conservation. Rep. Blais (H 1761), Sen. Cyr (S 787)
  • We also support the Conservation Law Foundation proposal for a local option program for property tax breaks on parcels used for urban agriculture. Rep. Malia (H 2551) Sen. Kennedy (S 1691)




Transportation


Find the following transportation policies and opportunities at https://www.t4ma.org/fact_sheets

  • The Green Line Extension: Cambridge | Somerville | Medford

  • Autonomous Vehicles: Let's Solve - not Exacerbate - our Equity, Congestion and Climate Challenges

  • Bus Rapid Transit: Cost-Effective, High-Quality, Public Transportation

  • Complete Streets: Making Our Streets Safer for Everyone

  • The Gas Tax in Massachusetts: An Essential Tool for Funding Our Roads

  • Public Health and Transportation: Driving Health Equity with Better Transportation Policy

  • Regional Planning Agencies: Serving Municipalities Throughout Massachusetts

  • Regional Transit Authorities: Connecting Municipalities in Massachusetts

  • Smarter Tolling: It's Our Move, Massachusetts

  • Transportation and Climate Change: Advancing Resilient and Climate-Friendly Policies

  • Transportation Justice: Fostering a Transportation System that Works for Everyone

  • Vision Zero: Eliminating Transportation Injuries and Fatalities on Our Streets





 
Links to articles and case studies about
“Great Neighborhoods” innovations across the country, and the world.
Innovations from elsewhere

Zoning and Planning


Smart Growth Zoning | Housing Production

  • Establish a state equity task force to identify next steps on Lead sponsors: Rep. Vargas (with Rep. Decker) (H 1325), Sen. Chandler (S 780)
  • ​Pilot program to provide transit infrastructure incentives for multifamily housing production Rep. Garballey (H 1788), Sen. Chandler (S 779)
  • Local mediation of land use disputes and reasonable review standard for subdivision appeals Rep. Murray (H 1813), Sen. Chandler (within S 780)
  • Amending building code to allow tiny homes on foundations. Rep. Blais (H 2031), Sen. Hinds (S 1863)
  • We support the following bills led by the American Planning Association/MA and Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors: 1) Training program for zoning/planning board members. Rep. Honan (H 1802); 2) Site plan review. Rep. Honan (H 1289)
​Local Planning
  • Streamline master planning process and increase zoning consistency Rep. Ciccolo (H 180)Recognizing 21st century “form-based” codes Rep. Ciccolo (H 1768), Sen. Crighton (S 81)
  • Increase funding for local planning​
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADU)
  • Accessory apartments within the main structure of a single-family home. Rep. Hay (with Rep. Ciccolo) (H 1277), Sen. Cyr (S 788)​
Community Preservation Act (CPA)​
  • Increase the state match for Community Preservation Act communities by raising the deeds fee​​
Housing Choice Grants
  • Authorize funding for the Housing Choice grant program to reward communities for producing housing and adopting local zoning reforms




Equity and affordable housing


  • We are lead advocate for a local option for municipalities to offer property tax relief to seniors and/or lower income homeowners in exchange for a right of first refusal on the home when it is for sale so that it can be converted to affordable housing. Rep. Peake (H 2587), Sen. Chandler (S 1604)
  • Right to counsel for indigent tenants in eviction proceedings. Rep. Rogers (H 1537), Rep. Tyler (H3456), Sen. DIDomenico (S 913)
  • HOMES Act to seal court records in eviction proceedings. Rep. Moran (H 3566) Sen. Boncore (S 824)
  • Ban discriminatory zoning/permitting decisions. Rep. Barber (H 1344), Sen. Chang Diaz (S 781)
  • We support MACDC and MassINC in their advocacy for the Neighborhood Stabilization bill which includes a “spot blight rehabilitation” program for small scale residential projects and a capacity-building program focused on neighborhood stabilization. Rep. Cabral (H 177), Sen. Crighton (S 1627)




Climate and environment


  • Governor Baker’s proposal to raise the deeds excise tax for climate adaptation (Senate 10) & doubling increase to fund affordable housing; local option real estate transfer taxes for affordable housing; and a GreenWorks bonding program for climate change measures (H 3846)
  • Sustainable Development bill to ensure that state takes into account climate risks in its development decisions. CLF lead advocate. Peake (H 841) and Collins (S 79)
  • Preserve and restore natural lands that keep carbon in the landscape. The Nature Conservancy lead advocate. Peake (H 842) and Tarr (S 2014)
  • Expand Green Communities program to mitigate climate change. MAPC lead advocate. Dykema (H 2841) and Lewis (S 1987)
  • We are the lead advocate for promoting Open Space Residential Design (OSRD or cluster zoning) in residential subdivisions to preserve land conservation. Rep. Blais (H 1761), Sen. Cyr (S 787)
  • We also support the Conservation Law Foundation proposal for a local option program for property tax breaks on parcels used for urban agriculture. Rep. Malia (H 2551) Sen. Kennedy (S 1691)




Transportation


Find the following transportation policies and opportunities at https://www.t4ma.org/fact_sheets

  • The Green Line Extension: Cambridge | Somerville | Medford

  • Autonomous Vehicles: Let's Solve - not Exacerbate - our Equity, Congestion and Climate Challenges

  • Bus Rapid Transit: Cost-Effective, High-Quality, Public Transportation

  • Complete Streets: Making Our Streets Safer for Everyone

  • The Gas Tax in Massachusetts: An Essential Tool for Funding Our Roads

  • Public Health and Transportation: Driving Health Equity with Better Transportation Policy

  • Regional Planning Agencies: Serving Municipalities Throughout Massachusetts

  • Regional Transit Authorities: Connecting Municipalities in Massachusetts

  • Smarter Tolling: It's Our Move, Massachusetts

  • Transportation and Climate Change: Advancing Resilient and Climate-Friendly Policies

  • Transportation Justice: Fostering a Transportation System that Works for Everyone

  • Vision Zero: Eliminating Transportation Injuries and Fatalities on Our Streets





 
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