Pending land use reform legislation could benefit Gateway Cities

Advocates for zoning reform in Massachusetts voiced support for new legislation (H. 1859) at a hearing on Tuesday. The bill, which would create more flexible zoning laws throughout the state, was filed by Senator Daniel Wolf and Representative Stephen Kulik. It has won support from the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance, the Massachusetts Public Health Association, and the City Solicitors and Town Counsel Association.

MassINC has long advocated for land use reform, particularly in the context of transportation spending (see the recent report Reinventing Transit). Modernizing the state’s antiquated zoning statue would better position communities to coordinate land use in order to deliver on the economic development potential of both new and existing transportation infrastructure.

There are also several components to the bill that could benefit Gateway Cities, including reforms to the granting of variances (reducing the cost of redevelopment and urban infill) and reforms to Transfer of Development Rights (allowing transfers between municipalities).

To read the Smart Growth Alliance’s summary of the zoning reform bill, click here.

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