Section 1. As used in this chapter, the following words shall, unless the context clearly requires otherwise, have the following meanings:
“Agency”, the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency established in section 2 of chapter 23G.
“Amended improvement plan”, a plan describing any change to the improvement plan with respect to the boundaries of a development zone or any material change to the method of assessing costs, description of improvements, the maximum cost of the improvements or method of financing the improvements that is approved through the same procedures as the original improvement plan adopted under this chapter.
“Assessing party”, the municipalities identified in the improvement plan to assess any infrastructure assessments in the development zone.
“Cost”, the cost of: (i) construction, reconstruction, renovation, demolition, maintenance and acquisition of all lands, structures, real or personal property, rights, rights-of- way, utilities, franchises, easements and interests acquired or to be acquired by the public facilities owner; (ii) all labor and materials, machinery and equipment, including machinery and equipment needed to expand or enhance services from the municipality, the commonwealth or any other political subdivision thereof to the development zone; (iii) financing charges and interest prior to and during construction, and for 1 year after completion of the improvements, interest and reserves for principal and interest, including costs of municipal bond insurance and any other type of credit enhancement or financial guaranty and costs of issuance; (iv) extensions, enlargements, additions, and enhancements to improvements; (v) architectural, engineering, financial and legal services; (vi) plans, specifications, studies, surveys and estimates of costs and revenues; (vii) administrative expenses necessary or incident to the construction, acquisition and financing of the improvements; and (viii) other expenses necessary or incident to the construction, acquisition, maintenance and financing of the improvements.
“Development zone”, 1 or more parcels of real estate in the municipality, contiguous or not, described in the improvement plan and to be benefited by the improvements and subject to infrastructure assessments as described in the improvement plan.
“Improvement plan”, a plan set forth in the petition for the establishment of a development zone setting forth the proposed improvements, services and programs, revitalization strategy, replacement and maintenance plan, the cost estimates for the improvements and the replacement and maintenance program, the identity of the public facilities’ owners and the administrator of the plan, the boundaries of the development zone, the analysis of any costs of financing the improvements, the identification of the assessing party, the method and structure of the infrastructure assessments, the allocation of assessments among parcels, the selection of any or all of the assessing powers listed in section 4 that shall be utilized by the assessing party within the development zone, a statement that no funds of the municipality shall be used to pay infrastructure assessments, a description of the infrastructure development project within the development zone, the proposed use of any bonds or notes to finance the project by the agency, including the possible use of any refunding bonds or notes, the participation of the agency, if any, in a district improvement financing program as described in section 7, and if so, a description of any assessing powers to be utilized and the amount of assessments to be levied and assessed on the real estate in the development zone.
“Improvements”, the acquiring, laying, constructing, improving and operating of capital improvements to be owned by a public facilities’ owner including, but not limited to, storm drainage systems, dams, sewage treatment plants, sewers, water and well systems, roads, bridges, sound barriers, culverts, tunnels, streets, sidewalks, lighting, traffic lights, signage and traffic control systems, parking, including garages, public safety and public works buildings, marine facilities, such as piers, wharfs, bulkheads and sea walls, transportation stations and related facilities, fiber and telecommunication systems, facilities to produce and distribute electricity, including alternate energy sources such as co-generation and solar installations, and other infrastructure-related improvements; provided, however, that “improvements” shall not include improvements located in, or serving, gated communities, other than age-restricted developments operated by nonprofit organizations, that prohibit access to the general public and any type of improvement that is specifically prohibited in the United States Internal Revenue Code from using tax-exempt financing.
“Infrastructure assessments”, assessments, betterments, special assessments, charges or fees as described in this chapter and the improvement plan and assessed by the assessing party upon the real estate within the development zone to defray the cost of improvements financed under this chapter.
“Infrastructure development project”, the acquisition, construction, expansion, improvement or equipping of improvements serving any new or existing commercial, retail, industrial, residential or mixed use project.
“Municipal governing body”, in a city, the city council with the approval of the mayor, in a city having a Plan D or Plan E form of charter, the city council with the approval of the city manager, in a town with a town council form of government, the town council, and the board of selectmen in a town with a town meeting form of government.
“Municipality”, a city or town, or multiple cities and towns, if the development zone is located in more than 1 municipality.
“Person”, an individual or corporation, including a body politic and corporate, public department, office, agency, authority or political subdivision of the commonwealth, other corporation, trust, limited liability company, society, association or partnership or a subordinate instrumentality of a political subdivision of the commonwealth.
“Petition”, the document initiating the creation of a development zone as described in subsection (b) of section 2.
“Project”, an infrastructure development project.
“Public facilities’ owner”, a municipality, the commonwealth or any other political subdivision, agency or public authority of the commonwealth identified in the improvement plan as an owner of the improvements described in an improvement plan or an amended improvement plan.