HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3726 FILED ON: 1/18/2019
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 1290
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Kevin G. Honan and Joseph A. Boncore
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:
An Act relative to housing production.
Kevin G. Honan
Joseph A. Boncore
First Suffolk and Middlesex
Brian M. Ashe
Russell E. Holmes
Patrick Joseph Kearney
David Allen Robertson
HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 3726 FILED ON: 1/18/2019
HOUSE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 1290
By Representative Honan of Boston and Senator Boncore, a joint petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 1290) of Kevin G. Honan, Joseph A. Boncore and others for legislation to establish a community-scale housing development demonstration program within the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. Housing.
[SIMILAR MATTER FILED IN PREVIOUS SESSION
SEE HOUSE, NO. 673 OF 2017-2018.]
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the One Hundred and Ninety-First General Court
An Act relative to housing production.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1. Said chapter 23A is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 67. There shall be in the executive office of housing and economic development a community-scale housing development demonstration program to issue grants and loans for the development of community scale residential homeownership or rental housing.
(a) For the purposes of this section, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, the following words shall have the following meanings:
“Community-scale development”, a development with fewer than 20 units that was not authorized, awarded, issued or in any other way made use of low-income housing tax credits pursuant to section 6I of chapter 62, section 31H of chapter 63, or section 42 of the Code, and was not built pursuant to chapter 58 of the acts of 2012.
(b) In a community-scale development with more than 3 homeownership or rental residential units, no less than 25 per cent of the total residential units must be affordable to and occupied by households whose annual income is no more than 80 per cent of the area median income, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, and no less than 50 per cent of the total residential units shall be affordable to and occupied by households whose annual income is no more than 110 per cent of the area median income, as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development.
(c) The secretary of housing and economic development shall promulgate regulations to implement and administer this program.
(d) The secretary of housing and economic development shall report annually to the clerks of the house of representatives and the senate, who shall forward the report to the house of representatives and the senate, the chairs of the joint committee on housing, and the chairs of the senate and house committees on ways and means, on the activities and status of the program, including progress made towards creating not less than 1,000 units by the year 2022. The report shall include a list and description of all projects that received grant funds through the program, the grant amount awarded to each project, other sources of public funds that support each project, and the private investment in each project.
SECTION 2. Said chapter 40A is hereby further amended by inserting after section 3 the following sections:-
(a) For the purposes of this section, the following words shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly requires otherwise:
“As of right”, development may proceed under a zoning ordinance or by-law without the need for a special permit, variance, zoning amendment, waiver, or other discretionary zoning approval.
“Department”, the department of housing and community development.
“Eligible locations”, as defined in section 2 of chapter 40R.
“Gross density”, a units-per-acre density measurement that includes in the calculation land occupied by public rights-of-way, recreational, civic, commercial and other non-residential uses.
“Lot”, an area of land with definite boundaries that are used or available for use as the site of a building.
“Multi-family housing”, a building with 3 or more residential dwelling units or 2 or more buildings on the same lot with more than 1 residential dwelling unit in each building.
“Rural town”, a municipality with a population density of less than 500 persons per square mile as determined by the most recent decennial federal census.
(b) Within 3 years of the effective date of this section, zoning ordinances and by-laws shall provide a district or districts in which multi-family housing is a permitted use as of right. For the purposes of this section, districts shall satisfy the following minimum requirements: (i) include multi-family housing without age restrictions which is suitable for families with children; (ii) a minimum gross density of 8 units per acre in rural towns subject to any further limitations imposed by section 40 of chapter 131 and title 5 of the state environmental code established by section 13 of chapter 21A. All other municipalities shall have a minimum gross density of 15 units per acre; provided, however, that multi-family housing districts shall align to the extent possible with existing or planned water, sewer and transportation infrastructure; (iii) be in eligible locations; and (iv) accommodate a reasonable share of the regional need for multi-family housing.
A city or town may satisfy the requirement of this subsection by obtaining a determination from the department, acting directly or through a regional planning agency as its designee, that the multi-family provisions of its zoning ordinance or by-law are consistent with the department’s guidelines established pursuant to subsection (c). If a city or town obtains a determination from the department or regional planning agency under this section, the city or town may use the determination as verification of compliance when applying for discretionary funding by state agency programs that have included a preference or priority for multi-family zoning pursuant to this section.
The department may waive or modify the requirements of this subsection for municipalities if a determination is made that no eligible locations exist within a municipality.
(c) The department shall publish guidelines which shall be used to determine if a city or town has satisfied the requirements established in subsection (b) of this section.
(2) If a zoning ordinance or by-law fails to comply with this section, the superior court or the land court may award appropriate declaratory and injunctive relief in a civil action brought by the attorney general on behalf of the department or by an aggrieved applicant for a local permit.
(a) Zoning ordinances or by-laws shall provide for open space residential developments, as defined in this chapter. Such ordinances or by-laws shall be adopted by cities and towns within two years of the effective date of this section and shall provide that open space residential developments shall be allowed either in a specific district or districts within said district, or in multiple districts through overlay zoning. Such ordinances or by-laws shall provide that open space residential developments shall be permitted upon review and approval by a planning board pursuant to the applicable provisions of Section 81K to 81GG, inclusive, of Chapter 41 and in accordance with its rules and regulations governing subdivision control. Allowance of open space residential development by right in accordance with this section shall not preclude establishment of zoning districts which provide for increases in the permissible density of population or intensity of a particular use within an open space residential development by special permit as provided in section nine of this chapter.
(b) The department shall publish guidelines which shall be used to determine if a city or town has met the requirement established in subsection (a) of this section. Said guidelines shall include the review and approval of a city or town zoning ordinance or by-law and subdivision regulations, if any, including guidelines for determining density, lot layout and standards for the completion of subdivision improvements.
SECTION 3. Said section 5 of said chapter 40A, as so appearing, is hereby further amended by inserting after the word “meeting” in line 82, the following words:- “; provided, however, that if a city or town has failed to meet the minimum requirements of section 3A, a zoning ordinance or by-law that is consistent with these requirements shall be adopted by a vote of a simple majority of all members of the town council or of the city council where there is a commission form of government or a single branch or of each branch where there are 2 branches or by a vote of a simple majority of town meeting”.
SECTION 4. Section 9 of chapter 40A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out, in line 33,, the word “cluster ” and inserting in place thereof the following:– open space residential.
SECTION 5. Section 9 of Chapter 40A is hereby amended by striking out, in line 37, the word “cluster” and inserting in place thereof the word:– open space residential
SECTION 6. Section 9 of chapter 40A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking out the seventh paragraph and inserting in place thereof the following paragraph: –
“Open space residential development” means a residential development in which the buildings and accessory uses are clustered together into one or more groups separated from adjacent property and other groups within the development by intervening open land. An open space residential development shall be permitted only on a plot of land of such minimum size as a zoning ordinance or by-law may specify which is divided into building lots with dimensional control, density and use restrictions for such building lots varying from those otherwise permitted by the ordinance or by-law and open land. Such open land when added to the building lots shall be at least equal in area to the land area required by the ordinance or by-law for the total number of units or buildings contemplated in the development. Such open land may be situated to promote and protect maximum solar access within the development. Such open land shall either be conveyed to the city or town and accepted by it for park or open space use, or be conveyed to a non-profit organization the principal purpose of which is the conservation of open space, or to be conveyed to a corporation or trust owned or to be owned by the owners of lots or residential units within the development. If such corporation or trust is utilized, ownership thereof shall pass with conveyances of the lots or residential units. In any case where such land is not conveyed to the city or town, a restriction enforceable by the city or town shall be recorded providing that such land shall be kept in an open or natural state and not be built for residential use or developed for accessory uses such as parking or roadway
SECTION 7. Said Section 1 of Chapter 40S, as so appearing, is further amended by inserting after line 48 the following:-
“Multi-family zoning district”, a zoning district adopted by a community pursuant to section 3A of Chapter 40A of the General Laws.
SECTION 8. Said Section 1 of Chapter 40S, as so appearing, is further amended by adding after the words “smart growth zoning district” the following words:-
“; any new residential development subject to the payment of local property taxes that:
(a) occurs in a multi-family housing district after the adoption of such zoning by the community;
(b) where no less than 20% of the total residential units are affordable to and occupied by individuals and families whose annual income is no more than 80% of the area median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; and
(c) no less than 50% of the total residential units are affordable to and occupied by individuals and families whose annual income is no more than 110% of area median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development; or any new dense cluster development”
SECTION 9. Section 2 of Chapter 40S, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the first sentence, the following sentence:-
“For each fiscal year commencing with fiscal year 2020, any city or town that has established 1 or more smart growth zoning districts or 1 or more multi-family zoning districts shall receive smart growth school cost reimbursement from the commonwealth.”
SECTION 10. Section 3 of said chapter 40S, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “district”, in line 2, the following words:- or a multifamily zoning district.
SECTION 11. Section 3 of said chapter 40S, as so appearing, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “district”, in line 10, the following words:- a multi-family zoning district.
SECTION 12. Section 3 of chapter 40S, as so appearing, is hereby amended by striking 141 out, in line 26, the words “within a smart growth zoning district”.
SECTION 13. Section 3 of said chapter 40A, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
No zoning ordinance or by-law shall prohibit or require a special permit for the use of land or structures for an accessory dwelling unit located internally within a single-family dwelling or the rental thereof on a lot not less than 5,000 square feet or on a lot of sufficient area to meet the requirements of title 5 of the state environmental code established by section 13 of chapter 21A, if applicable; provided, however, that such land or structures may be subject to reasonable regulations concerning dimensional setbacks, screening and the bulk and height of structures. The zoning ordinance or by-law may require that the principal dwelling or the accessory dwelling unit be continuously owner-occupied and may limit the total number of accessory dwelling units in the municipality to not less than 5 per cent of the total non-seasonal single-family housing units in the municipality. Not more than 1 additional parking space shall be required for an accessory dwelling unit; provided, however, that, if parking is required for the principal dwelling, that parking shall be retained or replaced. As used in this paragraph, “accessory dwelling unit” shall mean a self-contained housing unit, inclusive of sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities, incorporated within the same structure as the principal dwelling that: (i) maintains a separate entrance, either directly from the outside or through an entry hall or corridor shared with the principal dwelling sufficient to meet the requirements of the state building code for safe egress; (ii) shall not be sold separately from the principal dwelling; and (iii) is not larger in floor area than 1/2 the floor area of the principal dwelling or 900 square feet, whichever is smaller. Exterior alterations of the principal dwelling to allow separate primary or emergency access to the accessory dwelling unit shall be allowed without a special permit if such alterations are within applicable dimensional setback requirements. Nothing in this paragraph shall authorize an accessory dwelling unit to violate or avoid compliance with the building, fire, health or sanitary codes, historic or wetlands laws, ordinances or by-laws or title 5 of the state environmental code established by said section 13 of said chapter 21A, if applicable. The department of housing and community development may by regulation exempt a municipality from this paragraph if the department determines that: (1) the municipality has a number of multifamily units greater than required under section 3A by a number of housing units not less than 5 per cent of the total non-seasonal housing units in the municipality; or (2) housing sale prices in the municipality have declined over the previous 3-year period.
SECTION 14. Section 3 of said chapter 40R, as so appearing, is amended by inserting after the figure “40A,” in line 9, the following:- ; provided, however, that a smart growth zoning district ordinance or by-law shall be adopted, amended or repealed by a simple majority vote of all the members of the town council, or of the city council where there is a commission form of government or a single branch, or of each branch where there are 2 branches, or by a simple majority vote of a town meeting.
SECTION 15. Section 4A of chapter 40 of the General Laws, as so appearing, is hereby amended by adding the following 2 paragraphs:-
By a two-thirds vote of its legislative body, and in conformance with its charter, a town may enter into an agreement with a contiguous town or towns to establish an inter-municipal planning board, zoning board of appeals, conservation commission or board of health or, in the case of towns within the same regional planning district, to delegate the functions of such a regional board or boards. Such regional boards shall have the same statutory authority as if they existed within a single city or town. Agreements establishing inter-municipal planning boards or inter-municipal zoning boards of appeal shall be subject to approval by the department of housing and community development. Agreements establishing inter-municipal conservation commissions shall be subject to approval by the department of environmental protection. Agreements establishing inter-municipal boards of health shall be subject to approval by the department of public health.
By a majority vote of their legislative bodies, and with the approval of the mayor, board of selectmen or other chief elected official, any contiguous cities and towns may enter into an agreement to allocate public infrastructure costs, municipal service costs and local tax revenue associated with the development of an identified parcel or parcels or development within the contiguous communities generally, provided that said agreement is approved by the executive office of housing and economic development and by the department of revenue.
SECTION 16. Chapter 6 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following section:-
Section 219. There shall be a housing and economic growth cabinet including, without limitation, the secretaries of housing and economic development, transportation, education, and energy and environmental affairs or their designees, to promote a coordinated approach to data collection, analysis, and policy relating to the orderly growth and development of the commonwealth. This coordinated approach shall include, but is not limited to, analysis and policy relative to population, employment and business growth trends, projected transportation demand and transportation capacity, projected housing demand and housing production, state and local fiscal impacts of development, projected state revenue growth needed to support growth, impacts of local zoning and land use regulation, school capacity and projected enrollment, open space consumption and preservation, and natural resource protection. The growth planning cabinet shall be supported, to the greatest extent practicable, by existing technical experts within the executive offices, quasi-public agencies, and regional planning agencies of the commonwealth.
SECTION 17. The Secretary of Administration and Finance and the Secretary of Housing and Economic Development shall jointly submit a report to the Joint Committee on Housing within one year of enactment which shall detail: (1) the net fiscal impacts of new housing needed to support existing employment levels through 2040; (2) mechanisms to mitigate negative net fiscal impact of new housing on Massachusetts cities and towns, including, but not limited to, development impact fees, one-time incentive payments, recurring mitigation payments, or changes to the current local aid formula; and (3) projections of state revenue growth to support such mitigation.
SECTION 18. The secretary of housing and economic development, secretary of energy and environmental affairs, the secretary of transportation, and the executive director of the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency shall jointly submit a report to the joint committee on housing identifying greyfields sites across the commonwealth, options for redevelopment or reuse that may include housing, public use or facilities, mixed use development, or natural restoration and open space, and identify programs within the appropriate state and quasi-public agencies that can be used to support communities in repurposing underutilized land.
For the purposes of this act, the term greyfields may include, but is not limited to, land with development that is outdated, underutilized, failing, or vacant. This term may also include land that is owned by the commonwealth, its agencies, or its political subdivisions.