Overview: Although Massachusetts was viewed in the early
1990s as a state on the verge of "Growing Smart,"1
the momentum seemed to wane. In 1996, Governor Cellucci issued an executive
order, Planning for Growth, establishing a framework within which state
agencies could cooperativley plan for growth and protect natural resources.2
Although the level of enthusiasm from the early 1990s was not sustained,
a March 1999 symposium planned by the Massachusetts Environmetnal League
and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy continued the leadership and education
on this issue.
The above material is excerpted with permission
from "Smart Growth at Century's End: The State of the States" by Patricia
E. Salkin, published in The Urban Lawyer, Sumr 1999 v 31 n 3, p.
601. For a complete copy of the article, please contact The Urban
Lawyer. (link: http://www.abanet.org/statelocal/urbanlawyer/home.html).
Community Preservation Act (2000) The CPA would allow communities to raise their
property taxes by up to 3 percent to create preservation funds. The
bill would also provide a new state fund financed by higher fees on deed
transactions. The Community Preservation Act is based upon a successful
"Land Bank" bill for Cape Cod, under which 15 Cape communities have voted
to raise their property taxes to fund preservation.
Brownfields Act (1998) On August 5, 1998 Governor Cellucci signed into
law the "Brownfields Act", establishing new incentives to encourage parties
to clean up and redevelop contaminated property in Massachusetts. This
Act will provide liability relief and financial incentives to attract new
resources for these properties, while ensuring that the Commonwealth's
environmental standards are met. Major features of the Act are summarized.
For more information, please go to http://www.state.ma.us/dep/bwsc/brownfld.htm
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (1977
G.L. c.30, ss.61-62). The statute requires that all agencies of the
Commonwealth determine the impact on the natural environment of all works,
projects, or activities conducted by them and use all practicable means
and measures to avoid or minimize the environmental harm that has been
identified. It also provides the procedure--the Environmental Impact Report--by
which that obligation will be satisfied and authorizes the Secretary of
Environmental Affairs to oversee the review process. MEPA applies to projects
directly undertaken by state agencies and to private projects for which
state permits are sought or in which state funding or land transfer is
involved. MEPA does not apply to projects needing just local approvals.
Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office
100 Cambridge Street, Room 2000
Boston, MA 02202
Phone (617) 626-1020
Actions: Sustainable Design & Green Building In an effort to promote sustainable design in
Massachusetts, the Operational Services Division (OSD) and the Division
of Capital Asset Management (DCAM) worked jointly during the Spring of
1998 with a team of graduate students from the Tufts University Urban and
Environmental Policy Program to write a two volume report on
sustainable design issues.
Community Development Plan for Housing (Exec.
Order 418) The Governor announced the creation of a new
Community Development Plan program on January 21, 2000 through Executive
Order 418. The Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Executive
Office of Transportation and Construction, and Department of
Housing and Community Development will, together,
develop and implement a two-year program to provide technical assistance
and resources for the purposes of creating community development plans
that, among other things, will determine:
Where new housing opportunities can be created
Where economic development should be targeted
How existing transportation infrastructure will be
Where and how open space will be preserved
If your community is interested and would like assistance
in designing a planning process to meet the program's objectives, please
contact Ann Whittaker firstname.lastname@example.org or (617) 727-7001.
Regional: Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission A planning partnership serving the interests
of local government in central and southern Worcester County. www.cmrpc.ma.gov
Reports: Development Framework: 2020 Growth Strategy
for Central Massachusetts As the final step in the Development Framework
CMRPC has adopted the 2020 Growth Strategy for
Massachusetts. An Executive Summary of the findings
the region's land use development, projections
of future growth, along
with a list of statewide and regional initiatives
to be undertaken by
CMRPC in support of local planning efforts is
available for viewing.
Media: "A plan to remake the heart of town," Boston
Globe. April 29, 2001.
"Pedestrians, cars vie for Hub right of way,"
Boston Herald. April 22, 2001.
"A whittled-down 'Urban Ring' emerges, along with
obstacles," Boston Globe.
June 18, 2001.
"Major fight expected on housing legislation,"
Globe. July 1, 2001.
"State weighs steps to stem rampant sprawl," Boston
Globe. July 8, 2001.
"Recycling the 'throwaway' strip mall," Boston
Globe. July 15, 2001.
Organizations: American Farmland Trust Northeast Field Program
110 Spring Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
Conservation Law Foundation CLF works to solve the environmental problems
that threaten the people, natural resources and communities of New England.
CLF's advocates use law, economics and science to design and implement
strategies that conserve natural resources, protect public health, and
promote vital communities in our region. Founded in 1966, CLF is a non-profit,
member-supported organization. Increasingly, CLF has been active
on issues such as land-use and sprawl.
Bicycle Coalition The purpose of MassBike is to promote the bicycle
as a safe, healthful, enjoyable, efficient, and environmentally sound means
of transportation, to seek to establish an atmosphere which enhances those
desirable qualities of bicycle transportation, and to serve and protect
the interests of the bicycling public. The primary means of achieving these
goals is the education of bicyclists and motorists as to safe riding skills,
good driving habits with regard to bicyclists, and the rules of the road.
League of Massachusetts The Environmental League is a member-based, nonprofit
organization, that advocates for environmental policy and its subsequent
implementation. ELM's work spans issues from brownfields and open
space protection to land use planning and smart growth, with a significant
success in passing the Open Space Bond Act of 1996, which will provide
millions of dollars to preserve green space throughout the state.
Their site is a good source for current legislation and links to key state
EOEA's staff contacts are listed here http://www.state.ma.us/envir/cpa/cp_contact.htm
Lastly, the Boston Globe now makes you get an account and charges you
for access to its archives so the some of the Media articles that you cite
now take you to the general Boston.com website rather than the specific
1 See, Salkin,
"Statewide Comprehensive Planning: The Next Wave," in Statewide Comprehensive
Planning (American Bar Association 1993).
2 See, MA Executive
Order 385 (1996).