AN ACT ESTABLISHING A LINKAGE EXACTION PROGRAM IN THE CITY OF GLOUCESTER.
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. (a) The city of Gloucester may, by ordinance, require the payment of a linkage exaction fee as a condition of approval of a development impact project plan, as defined by the ordinance, for any future development within the scope of this act. The linkage exaction fee shall only be imposed on the construction, enlarging, expansion, substantial rehabilitation, or change of use of non-residential and residential projects that require zoning relief or exceed a threshold which shall be established by the city council. The linkage ordinance shall be used solely for the purposes of defraying the costs of capital improvements provided by the city caused by and necessary to support future development such as, but not limited to the following: capital improvements to school facilities, public facilities, roads, sewers, water supply lines, affordable housing, child care facilities, job training facilities, public safety service and facilities, and parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities.
(b) The linkage exaction ordinance may be enacted if the following criteria are met:
(1) A rational nexus shall be established that shows the relationship between the creation of new residential dwelling units, and office, commercial and industrial structures and their impact on the following services including, but not limited to, school facilities, public facilities, roads, sewers, water supply lines, affordable housing, child care facilities, job training facilities, public safety facilities, and parks, playgrounds and other recreational facilities.
(2) The city shall develop and prepare a study for any project for which a linkage exaction fee is levied that examines the proposed project and projects the cost of capital improvements necessary to accommodate the project. Any exaction fee which may be established pursuant to this act shall be set in accordance with the methodology set forth in the study.
(3) The exaction fee shall be established on the basis of the cost projections in the capital improvement plans and study as described in paragraph (2) of subsection (b) and the expected level of allowed development pursuant to the city's zoning ordinance, as it may be amended.
(4) The city shall have the authority to create distinct and separate revolving trust accounts for each linkage ordinance enacted by the city for the services delineated in paragraph (1) of this subsection for necessary improvements resulting from future development. An exaction shall not be paid to the city's general treasury or used as general revenues subject to section 53 of chapter 44 of the General Laws.
(5) The level of any exaction fee shall be reviewed at least every 3 years and reset as required based upon the recommendation of the office of community development and the mayor of the city.
(6) Any funds not expended or encumbered by the end of the calendar quarter immediately following 6 years from the date the exaction fee was paid shall, upon application of the applicant or his assigns, be returned to such landowner with interest from the fee's deposit in an interest bearing account; provided, however, that the applicant or his assigns submits an application for a refund to the office of community development within 180 days of the expiration of the 6 year period.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon its passage.
Approved August 4, 2010