Presentation on theme: "Aspects of the Massachusetts Land Use Statutes in the National Context Monday, September 24, 2007 Massachusetts Task Force on Zoning Reform Prepared by:"— Presentation transcript:
Aspects of the Massachusetts Land Use Statutes in the National Context Monday, September 24, 2007 Massachusetts Task Force on Zoning Reform Prepared by: annalise fonza, PhD Candidate University of Massachusetts-Amherst, Department of Landscape Architecture Glenn Garber, AICP University of Massachusetts –Amherst, UMASS Extension Department of Landscape Architecture & Regional Planning Jeff Lacy, AICP Chief Environmental Planner Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation at the Quabbin Reservoir
Research Approach/Methodology ► Purpose How do selected aspects of the MA enabling legislation compare to other states? ► Phone Questionnaire – interview method Original questionnaire contained 22 questions Revised questionnaire reduced to 16 ► Selective sample for New England ► Simple random for remaining states 47 APA chapter presidents contacted 31 responses 30 states completed interviews (64%) Non-responses were not tabulated in results
Results: Consistency ► Requirements to prepare community master plans have virtually no teeth in them for implementation if there is no requirement that local zoning and other land use controls be consistent with the plan. ► A consistency requirement supports serious planning efforts. In the 1990’s, the American Planning Association (APA) found that 2/3 of states have consistency requirements in statutes ► If both “yes” figures are combined, our figures, thus far, are consistent with APA ► 28 Respondents 9 - yes (32%) 5 - yes, but (18%) 14 - no (50%) ► “Yes, but” refers to those states who address and/or require consistency by statute, but there is no mechanism and/or process to ensure that consistency between master plans and local zoning/subdivision ordinances is achieved.
Results: Zoning Vote Majority ► Some states do not prescribe the vote majority in statute; jurisdictional units/legislative bodies use other rules to determine the vote needed to enact and/or amend zoning. ► No state, other than Massachusetts, requires a super majority vote to enact or amend zoning. ► 27 total respondents 19 – simple (70%) 1 – super (4%) (MA) 7 – Vote % not prescribed (26%)
Results: Subdivision Review Exemptions ► 9 states allow subdivision review exemptions of some kind in statute. ► 24 total respondents 9 – Yes (38%) 15 – No (62%)
Closer Look – Subdivision Review Exemptions (subset of states that allow exemptions) ► Only MA allows unregulated lot creation without limitation along existing road frontage; such exempt lotting and development, when carried out extensively, is done to the great detriment of rural roads and scenic roads in the suburbs and undercuts real planning efforts. ► 9 total respondents 1 – unlimited (11%): 8 – limited (89%)
Results: Development Impact Fees ► Development impact fees are often the only system that impose a degree of rationality, fairness and predictability to all parties-- including the development community--in the often volatile area of development exactions and mitigations. ► www.impactfees.com lists communities in 36 states which impose and collect impact fees, including Medford, MA www.impactfees.com ► Boston could easily be added to the list (linkage fees). ► Communities on Cape Cod are authorized to collect impact fees as well ► 27 total respondents 13 – yes (48%) 7 – partial, other (26%) ► In NJ impact fees are called “off-site contributions”; NY municipalities can use alternative mechanism provided for in additional legislation (i.e., State Environmental Quality Review Act). 7 – No (26%)
Results: Vested Rights - Grandfathering ► Vesting of special grandfathering protections for zoning freezes, uses and related aspects seem to be uniquely generous in Massachusetts; vesting at the submission of the approval not required (ANR) plan or the preliminary subdivision plan. ► Of all states studied, we found that vesting usually begins between the granting of the definitive plan and issuance of the permit. ► 28 total respondents 13 – yes (46%) 3 – yes, partial (11%) 12 – No (43%) the statutes do not address vesting ► Often the answer was that vested rights are addressed in case law; most respondents did not give enough detail to address the entire question.