The Massachusetts Senate today passed the first update to our statewide zoning law in 40 years. Because there have been statements flying in both directions on social media and in email chains, I wanted to provide a forum for discussion and some general information on the bill. In an effort to be as transparent as possible, I will provide some information from both sides of this debate.
The bill is sponsored by the Smart Growth Alliance. Here is their one page fact sheet.
The MMA Opposes the bill.
The Real Estate Coalition, a coalition of pro-development trade groups, opposes the bill as well. I will link if I can find a digital copy of their letter.
Note that the MMA and Real Estate Coalition oppose the bill for opposite reasons: MMA thinks it is too developer friendly, while the Real Estate Coalition thinks it gives municipalities too much power.
The bill now goes to the House where it faces less certain prospects.
Full disclosure: My office is working to pass this bill and in my official capacity I helped author and advocate for the Special Senate Committee on Housing’s Plan to Address the Housing Crisis.