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7.17.19 Manchester-By-The-Sea to Update 1978 Zoning Bylaw

 

After over 40 years of slight changes and reorganization, Manchester-By-The-Sea has begun to take steps for a Zoning Recodification and Update.  This comes on the heels of the new Manchester Master Plan, which calls for more diversification of housing opportunities as well as opening up commercial areas for the possibility of residential housing.

This endeavor is scheduled to overlap multiple Planning Board meetings as topics being tackled range from cleanliness/readability issues to major procedural changes.  Once a rough draft is completed, the plans will head to a Community Workshop before finally arriving at a formal Planning Board Hearing where an approval of two-thirds will be needed for it to pass. 

Attention Manchester-By-The-Sea Realtors, the next meeting will be held today July, 17th at 5pm in the Town Hall Room 5.  This will be to discuss the general recodification and get an update from Mark Bobrowski, who is the consultant hired to assist in this process.

Read more on the town's website here.

 

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7.2.19 North Shore Transit-Oriented Development Discussions

 Multifamily projects built around North Shore commuter rail stations could help alleviate Greater Boston's affordable housing crunch, housing advocates told Congressman Seth Moulton on Monday.

Moulton, a Salem Democrat and advocate for public transportation and rail travel, met Monday with Harborlight Community Partners Executive Director Andrew DeFranza, Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance Executive Director Andre Leroux, and Tracy Corley, transit-oriented development fellow at MassINC, a nonpartisan public policy think tank, to talk about transit-oriented development.

"One of the key tie-ins to the work that we have been doing in this office is the connection between housing and transportation," Moulton said, "part of the solution to the housing crisis in downtown Boston isn't just building more housing in downtown Boston but improving the rail infrastructure so you can live easily in a place like Salem or Lynn and commute to work in downtown Boston."

 

Full Salem News Coverage here

Greater Boston 2019 Housing Report

 

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6.25.19 Salem Considers Accessory Dwelling Zoning Amendments

The City of Salem has been working to create policies that will facilitate more housing options in Salem.

Mayor Driscoll will be discussing a zoning change that could provide a surge of rental housing across the city during her State of the City address on Monday.

City planners recently drafted a new set of proposed rules governing "accessory dwelling units", otherwise known as in-law apartments, in all residentially zoned parts of the city. These rules would remove many restrictions on the apartments, essentially allowing them to be rented out like any other apartment.

The rules were submitted to the City Council on June 13, and they'll be discussed by Mayor Kim Driscoll during her speech Monday at the Workbar, 120 Washington St., at 7 p.m. Driscoll is also planning to address transportation issues, education and ways to combat the ongoing impacts caused by climate change.

In-law apartments are already allowed in single-family zones around Salem, but they come with some stiff restrictions. First, they can only be lived in by a family member of the property owner or a caregiver and they must be removed when the "tenant" leaves or the home is sold. They're also currently prohibited in all other residential zones.

Under the newly proposed rules, in-law apartments could be created without zoning board approval (by right, in other words) in any residential zone, if they met certain parameters. That includes a maximum of 800 square feet in size, doesn't cause a net loss of trees on the property and provides adequate parking on-site.

The Salem City Council Joint Public Hearing with the Planning Board relative to amending two Zoning Ordinances regarding Accessory Living Areas will be held on July 8, 2019

Salem News Coverage of the Salem's State of the City Address

 

Information on Public Hearing

 

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6.20.19 House Committee Passes Flood Bill

On June 12, 2019, by a unanimous vote of 59 to 0, the House Financial Services Committee approved HR 3167: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Reauthorization Act, sending the bill to the U.S. House of Representatives for consideration.

The NFIP Reauthorization Act would extend the program for five years and include significant reforms to strengthen flood mapping, enhance mitigation investments and remove several barriers to private flood insurance options. It easily cleared the first hurdle of the legislative process because it was the product of extensive, bipartisan negotiations between Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-CA) and Ranking Member Patrick McHenry (R-NC).

NAR supported committee passage because the bill represents a long-term solution to NFIP and a breakthrough of the two-year deadlock that has resulted in 12 short-term extensions and two brief lapses so far. The bill is not only a sensible, bipartisan pathway forward, but also includes numerous NAR-championed provisions and is consistent with long-standing NAR policy principles.

Next, the House of Representatives must vote on the measure but the timing is not yet clear. NAR will urge the House to take up the NFIP Reauthorization Act at the first available opportunity and move the bill to the United States Senate. Currently, NFIP’s flood-insurance-writing authority is next set to expire on September 30, 2019.

NAR’s Letter of Support

H.R. 3167, The National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act

Section-by-Section Committee Summary

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6.20.19 North Shore Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development Regional Forum

A North Shore Massachusetts Transformative Transit-Oriented Development Regional Forum, at the Lynn Museum and hosted by the Massachusetts Institute for a New Commonwealth (MassINC) took place on June 19th.  The forum was held to explore how Lynn, Peabody, Salem, and other cities are using TOD to transform their cities and surrounding communities

In the MassINC report, “The Promise and Potential of Transformative Transit-Oriented Development in Gateway Cities,” the executive summary reads that gateway cities can accommodate thousands of new housing units and thousands of new jobs on the vacant and underutilized land surrounding their commuter rail stations. The walkable, mixed-use urban land offers an ideal setting for a transit-oriented development.

Lynn Daily Item coverage here.

 

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6.14.19 Attention Beverly Brokers - Your Opportunity for Input on City’s New Master Plan

PlanBeverly, a one-year initiative that will engage the community in creating a framework to guide the responsible growth and preservation of the city, has released a survey giving residents an opportunity to provide input into the master plan process.

The master plan will situate Beverly in the context of the region and help Beverly residents articulate a shared vision for the coming decades. The survey replicates some of the discussion questions from the PlanBeverly Public Workshop on May 14, 2019 and dives deeper into some of the issues discussed at that meeting. The survey will remain open until July 20, 2019, and is a great opportunity for brokers working in Beverly make their voices heard in the master plan process.

Take the PlanBeverly survey here.

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