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Manual of Build-Out Analysis
Date Added: Wednesday, December 2, 2015
Build-Out Analysis    
Massachusetts
State
The Manual of Build-Out Analysis is a detailed instruction on how to conduct a Build-Out Analysis broken down step-by-step, including a description of the data requirements, materials and techniques necessary to complete both the mapping and quantitative parts of the Analysis. The document is targeted for use by planning boards and commissions, groups concerned with growth management, and professionals in administrative and planning fields. Following the instructions set out in the Manual will result in a color-coded paper map and a numerical a.. Read More
Massachusetts Affordable Housing Appeals Law
Date Added: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Affordable Housing    
Massachusetts
State
The legislature of the Commonwealth, in Chapter 23B of the Massachusetts Code, has created the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development. Within the Department of Housing and Community Development, the legislature created a Housing Appeals Committee. Mass. Gen. Law Ch. § 5A (2004). Under the Commonwealth’s Low and Moderate Income Housing Law, certainties entities who wish to build affordable house may follow a streamlined application process. If the application is denied or conditionally granted, the entity may appeal.. Read More
Massachusetts Agricultural Land Protection Ordinance
Date Added: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Farmland Protection & Preservation    
Massachusetts
State
This statute authorizes a city or town to establish a conservation commission for the promotion, development and protection of the natural resources of the city or town. Paragraph two below authorizes such commission to adopt rules and regulations governing the use of agricultural lands under its control to achieve its purpose. Such regulations shall not be less stringent than those regulations under section forty of chapter one hundred and thirty-one, which sets the statewide minimum standard for the regulation of the environment and natura.. Read More
Massachusetts Brownfields Revitalization Ordinance
Date Added: Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Brownfields    
Massachusetts
State
Brownfield redevelopment in Massachusetts is regulated and overseen by the state under chapter twenty-one E, the “Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act.” Section (b)(3) of this chapter requires the state to provide technical assistance to municipalities, redevelopment authorities, redevelopment agencies, community development corporations, economic development and industrial corporations, and other persons interested in redeveloping brownfields. State brownfields program incentives are available to buyers, and sometim.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Environmental Impact Review Ordinance
Date Added: Wednesday, March 2, 2016
Environmental Impact Review Requirements    
Massachusetts
State
Section sixty-one of chapter thirty requires all agencies to review, evaluate, and determine the impact on the natural environment of all works, projects, or activities conducted by the agencies and use all practicable means and measures to minimize damage to the environment. Section sixty-two defines “agency” to mean “an agency, department, board, commission or authority of the commonwealth, and any authority of any political subdivision which is specifically created as an authority under special or general law.” Any determination made by an.. Read More
Massachusetts Model Solar Bylaw: Allowing Use of Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations
Date Added: Monday, July 11, 2016
Solar Energy, Zoning    
Massachusetts
State
The Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs’ Department of Energy Resources developed a model zoning bylaw that defines large-scale ground-mounted solar photovoltaic installation as solar photovoltaic systems that are structurally mounted on the ground (not roof-mounted) that have a minimum nameplate capacity of 250 kW DC... Read More
Town of Bedford Community Preservation Ordinances
Date Added: Monday, October 17, 2016
Land Acquisition, Open Space Preservation    
Massachusetts
Municipal
Bedford’s Community Preservation Ordinances adopt the Massachusetts General Law Ch 44B, Community Preservation Act. Article 2 levies a 3% property tax surcharge, to be set aside for activities outlined in the Community Preservation Act, including open space preservation; and Article 6 establishes a Community Preservation Committee. The Community Preservation Act is a state law designed to encourage open space preservation by authorizing communities to raise funds through a property tax surcharge, as well as offering potential matching state fu.. Read More
Massachusetts Housing & Urban Renewal Ordinance
Date Added: Thursday, April 13, 2017
Urban Renewal    
Massachusetts
State
Section twenty three of chapter one hundred and twenty-one B, titled “Housing And Urban Renewal,” authorizes a municipality to do “any and all … things necessary or convenient to aid and cooperate in the planning, construction or operation of a housing, clearance, relocation or urban renewal project within its limits.” Such things include the adoption or modification of its zoning rules and regulations, the purchase of any of the bonds or notes of an operating agency and the selling, conveyance or leasing of any of its interests in any propert.. Read More
Town of Barnstable Wetlands Buffer Zone Regulation; Conservation Commission Regulatory Summary
Date Added: Friday, April 14, 2017
Buffer Zones, Coastal Protection, Development Standards, Sea Level Rise Adaptation    
Massachusetts
Municipal
The Town of Barnstable’s Wetlands Buffer Zone Regulation Summary acknowledges that accelerated sea level rise will result in increased coastal erosion processes and impact land erosion, storm drainage, flooding and wetland loss. To address these impacts, the Town of Barnstable requires fifty-foot buffer zones for any land subject to flooding, inundation by groundwater, surface water, tidal action, or coastal storm flowage. In the Conservation Commission’s Regulation Summary, revised in 2006, the Commission established additional performanc.. Read More
Town of Falmouth Wetlands Regulations
Date Added: Thursday, May 4, 2017
Coastal Protection, Sea Level Rise Adaptation, Site Design Standards, Wetlands & Watercourse Protection    
Massachusetts
Municipal
The Town of Falmouth’s Wetland Regulations recognize that “special transitional areas,” portions of coastal floodplains that are immediately landward of salt marshes, coastal dunes, and barrier beaches, require special protection. To that end, these regulations require that relative sea level rise be considered in development proposals, and that buildings and other structures in special transitional areas be designed to incorporate a relative sea level rise of at least one foot per 100 years in “A-zones” (coastal storm flowage zones) and at le.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Environmental Joint Powers Agreement
Date Added: Monday, September 19, 2016
Intermunicipal Agreements    
Massachusetts
State
This statute authorizes public agencies, defined below and including cities and towns, to enter into “joint powers agreements” to advance the constitutional objectives of natural resource and environmental protection. Such agreements must contain information as required under this statute and are subject to the approval of the secretary of environmental affairs... Read More
State of Massachusetts Forest Cutting Practices & Timber Harvesting Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Forest Management, Timber Harvesting, Natural Resource Protection & Conservation    
Massachusetts
State
The regulation of forest cutting practices appears to rest solely with the state of Massachusetts. Regulations and licensing are found under Chapter one hundred and thirty-two of the General Laws of Massachusetts. MASS. GEN. Laws. ch. 132 (2004). The state declares its intention to protect forest lands in section forty of this chapter. Other helpful statutes defining terms and objectives are included below... Read More
State of Massachusetts Municipal Growth & Development Policy Committees Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Development Standards, Intermunicipal Agreements, Local Boards, Local Governance, Smart Growth    
Massachusetts
State
A growth and development policy committee consisting of two or more municipalities may be established under this statute and “engage in all acts and conduct for the purpose of intergovernmental planning of balanced growth and development issues.” Paragraph one broadly defines “balanced growth and development issues.” Subject to the committee’s comment and review are issues which may have a “significant impact upon the health, safety or welfare of the member municipalities’ citizens, including issues pertaining to growth management and land us.. Read More
Proposed Hatfield Zoning Amendment - Water Supply Protection District
Date Added: Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Aquifer Protection, Water Conservation    
Massachusetts
Municipal
This zoning amendment delineates the boundaries of the Water Supply Protection District and specifies what uses are prohibited or restricted inside of the district, such as the prohibition of a certain percentage of impervious surface. The requirements for obtaining special permits, which may only be granted provided that no adverse effect on water quality or quantity occurs, are also described... Read More
State of Massachusetts Conservation Restrictions Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Affordable Housing , Farmland Protection & Preservation, Wetlands & Watercourse Protection, Conservation Districts & Subdivisions    
Massachusetts
State
This statute grants the authority to “any governmental body” to acquire and hold conservation restrictions for purposes including conservation of land or water area. The restriction is subject to approval by the secretary of environmental affairs. In determining whether the restriction is in the public interest, the governmental body shall take into consideration the public interest in conservation and any national, state, regional, and local program as well as any public state, regional, or local comprehensive land use or development plan af.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Constitutional Rights & Objectives – Natural Resource Protection
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Wildlife & Fish Habitat, Natural Resource Protection & Conservation    
Massachusetts
State
This article declares the broad purpose and intent of the State to protect the state’s environment, including protection of wildlife, natural resources relating to air, land water, and recreational land uses. .. Read More
State of Massachusetts Protection of Floodplains, Seacoasts, and Other Wetlands Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Coastal Protection, Floodplain Regulations, Wetlands & Watercourse Protection    
Massachusetts
State
This statute authorizes a municipality’s conservation commission, authorized and formed under section eight(c) of chapter forty, to review applications of projects that may affect natural areas, including areas prone to flooding (floodplains). See paragraph one. The commission is authorized in paragraph seventeen to impose conditions on the submitted application to achieve its purpose of protecting floodplains. Under certain circumstances, such as when the commission fails to hold a public hearing or when it fails to make a final determination.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Affordable Housing Zoning – by Special Use Permit Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Affordable Housing , Zoning    
Massachusetts
State
This statute authorizes the issuance of special permits authorizing increases in the permissible density of populations, provided that the applicant provide housing for persons of “low or moderate income. This statute authorizes zoning ordinances or by-laws to provide for special permits for uses that are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the ordinance or bylaw. Such permits may also impose conditions, safeguards and limitations on time or use. .. Read More
State of Massachusetts Agricultural Incentive Areas Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Incentive Zoning, Agriculture, Farmland Protection & Preservation    
Massachusetts
State
This statute authorizes a city or town to determine and designate agricultural land or land with horticultural use as agricultural incentive areas upon consultation with, and review by local and regional planning and zoning boards. Section two of this statute authorizes a municipality to establish an agricultural incentive area committee for purposes of performing the functions under this chapter, “Agricultural Incentive Areas,” namely the preservation of agricultural or horticultural lands via the designation of agricultural incentive areas a.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Conservation Commissions Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Aquifer Protection, Local Boards, Natural Resource Protection & Conservation    
Massachusetts
State
Chapter 40, § 8C grants conservation commissions implied regulatory authority to protect aquifers. It authorizes a city or town to establish a conservation commission for the promotion and development of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of the city or town. Such commission may adopt rules and regulations governing the use of land and waters under its control to achieve its purpose. Its authorities further include the study of land and water and subsequent creation of plans and maps consistent with the town ma.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Cluster Development by Special Use Permit Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Development Standards, Clustering & Cluster Development, Zoning    
Massachusetts
State
Section nine of chapter 40A authorizes zoning ordinances or by-laws to provide for special permits for uses that are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the ordinance or bylaw, including special permits for cluster developments. Such cluster developments are to be permitted upon review and approval by a planning board pursuant to the subdivision control laws of chapter forty-one, sections 81K to 81GG inclusive. See paragraph six. Paragraph seven defines cluster development, as among other things, residential developments separa.. Read More
State of Massachusetts Conservation Commissions Ordinance
Date Added: Saturday, May 6, 2017
Floodplain Regulations, Local Boards, Natural Resource Protection & Conservation, Wetlands & Watercourse Protection    
Massachusetts
State
This statute grants conservation commissions regulatory authority over the use of flood plains. The statute authorizes a city or town to establish a conservation commission for the promotion and development of the natural resources and for the protection of watershed resources of the city or town. Such commission may adopt rules and regulations governing the use of land and waters under its control to achieve its purpose. Its authorities include the study of land and water and subsequent creation of plans and maps consistent with the town ma.. Read More
City of Gloucester Interim Planning Overlay District
Date Added: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Intermunicipal Agreements, Overlay District, Sewage Management, Smart Growth    
Massachusetts
Municipal
This ordinance is primarily concerned with the potential for overburdening of city sewer lines upon the completion of an intermunicipal agreement between The City of Gloucester and the Town of Essex. In order to prevent such an occurrence, they have created overlay zones to ensure orderly growth, provide the city time to study the effects, preserve community attributes, and to implement recommendations of the comprehensive plan... Read More
Town of Amherst Development Methods Ordinance
Date Added: Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Clustering & Cluster Development, Open Space Preservation, Planned Unit Development, Smart Growth    
Massachusetts
Municipal
This ordinance provides for a variety of Smart Growth activities within the town including cluster development, planned unit development, and open space community development according to general standards... Read More