Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
Chapter 40 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 4H the following section:-
Section 4I. As used in this section, the following words shall have the following meanings:-
"Balanced growth and development issues", the current and future residential, commercial and industrial development demands of municipalities; identification of needed or desirable longterm housing and economic development objectives and priorities; protection of environmentally sensitive areas; preservation of important land and water resources; growth management land use problems, including regional transportation systems, housing, water quality, open space, recreational land and agricultural land; municipal growth management decisions; the impact of a proposed development on infrastructure, highway safety, traffic congestion, transportation systems and ability to provide municipal services; development which promotes the conservation and efficient use of natural resources, including energy, safe alternative energy resources, water, wetland, flood plains, ground water aquifers and aquifer recharge areas; and any or all of the foregoing which by its nature or location would have a significant impact upon the health, safety or welfare of citizens of more than one municipality or with respect to which more than one municipality would be significantly affected by a proposed development.
"Federal agency", any office, agency division, department, board or commission of the United States government.
"Growth and development policy committee", the committee established pursuant to this section.
"Member municipality", any city or town which establishes or becomes a member of a growth and development policy committee.
"State agency", any executive office, agency, department, board or commission of the commonwealth.
Upon a majority vote of the board of selectmen in a town or the city council and mayor in a city, any two or more municipalities may establish a growth and development policy committee for the purposes and with the powers set forth in this section. Such growth and development policy committee shall be composed of an equal number of representatives from each member municipality, but in no event shall there be less than three members representing each member municipality. Any municipality wishing to become a member of a growth and development policy committee subsequent to the initial formation thereof may do so upon a majority vote of the then existing representatives of the growth and development policy committee. Representatives of each member municipality shall be appointed by majority of the respective member municipality's board of selectmen, in the case of a town, or city council, with approval of the mayor, in the case of a city.
Staff and planning assistance may be provided to the growth and development policy committee by any board, department or agency of a member municipality. Each member municipality may appropriate funds to the growth and development policy committee for any purpose related to committee matters. The growth and development committee may accept contributions, gifts or grants from any private source or public source, including, but not limited to, any local agency, state agency or federal agency.
Each growth and development policy committee shall have the following powers: to engage in all acts and conduct for the purpose of intergovernmental planning of balanced growth and development issues; to provide mutual planning, comment and review of any balanced growth and development issue which has a significant impact upon the health, safety or welfare of citizens of more than one member municipality; to research, develop, sponsor, fund and implement programs and projects designed to address balanced growth and development issues.