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Statewide Zoning Reform Inching Closer to Reality

May 30, 2013

Many in the planning world are beginning to think that Massachusetts Zoning Reform might be for real this time. The cautious optimism in that last sentence owes itself to the numerous kinks that still need to be worked out.  The bill, “House Bill 1859 – An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities, has a progressive sounding title, as well as some components that would allow Massachusetts communities to more efficiently plan for the future.  For any policy wonks out there you can read the latest version of the bill here.  For all the rest of us there is a handy summary that attempts to spell out the more significant sections.  Particulars aside, the Bill aims to make it easier for Massachusetts communities to leverage private investment, plan for equitable growth and provide incentives for sustainable planning initiatives.

The Stow Planning Board has sent a letter to Representative’s Kate Hogan and Stephen Kulik and Senator’s Jamie Eldridge and Daniel Wolf suggesting amendments to the bill that would make it more palatable to rural/suburban communities such as Stow.  Check it out.

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