SECTION 1: In order to mitigate the impact of the increased demand for housing generated by employees of new commercial development wanting to live within Lexington, a commercial linkage fee, hereafter referred to as "the community housing surcharge" or "the surcharge," shall be added by the Town of Lexington to all commercial construction building permits issued by said town for non-municipal structures with a gross floor area more than thirty thousand (30,000) square feet. The surcharge shall apply only to the floor area of new construction or modification to existing structures in excess of thirty thousand (30,000) square feet (“excess gross floor area”). For building permits that authorize modification of existing structures, the building commissioner of the Town of Lexington shall determine the applicable excess gross floor area. If the building permit authorizes both commercial and residential uses, the square footage of the structure dedicated to residential use shall not be included in the calculation of excess gross floor area for purposes of this Act.
SECTION 2: The Select Board of the Town of Lexington shall determine the amount of the community housing surcharge, which shall be applied on a dollars-per-square-foot basis on the certified total excess gross floor area of the structure or structures permitted by an applicable building permit. The Select Board shall prepare a study to determine the initial surcharge rate range and shall set an initial surcharge rate within twelve (12) months of the effective date of this act. The Select Board or its designee shall adjust the rate of the surcharge annually for inflation.
SECTION 3: The Town Manager of the Town of Lexington or their designee shall prepare a study every five (5) years to determine the suitability, effect, and amount of the surcharge, and recommend to the Select Board any possible changes necessary to address changing demand for community housing. The Town Manager or their designee shall also prepare and issue an annual report that identifies surcharge receipts, quantifies the attributes of community housing projects funded by the community housing surcharge, and evaluates the impact of said housing projects.
SECTION 4: The Select Board of the Town of Lexington may adopt additional requirements, exemptions, and regulations to implement or enforce said community housing surcharge, consistent with this act.
SECTION 5. The community housing surcharge required by this act must be paid in three (3) equal installments whose amounts shall be determined at the time of levy, with one payment required per annum. The building commissioner of the Town of Lexington shall not issue a certificate of occupancy Town of Lexington for real property subject to this act before the first installment of the community housing surcharge has been paid. The second and third installments must be paid annually on the anniversary of the first payment, or the next business day if that date falls on a weekend or federal, state, or local holiday. The building commissioner of the Town of Lexington shall levy fines for development that is not in compliance with the provisions of this act, and shall consider each day of noncompliance as a separate offense.
SECTION 6: All surcharges and fines received pursuant to this act shall be deposited into the Town of Lexington Affordable Housing Capital Stabilization Fund or an affordable housing trust established by the Town pursuant to section 55C of chapter 44 of the General Laws or any special act.
SECTION 7: For the purposes of this act, “community housing” shall mean as defined under section 2 of chapter 44B of the General Laws.
SECTION 8: This act shall take effect upon its passage.
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