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12.14.18 Local News: New Zoning Overlay on Track for Swampscott Train Station

A proposed zoning bylaw could help Swampscott encourage the right kind of development for the blocks surrounding the train depot.

Town officials hosted a public forum on Tuesday to break down the intent behind the Smart Growth M.G.L 40R Overlay District Act, according to Angela Ippolito, chair of the Planning Board. The bylaw allows for the development of dense residential and mixed-use projects near transit stations and town centers, according to the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The projects often include more affordable housing.

More coverage the proposal from The Lynn Item.

More information on the proposal available here from the Town of Swampscott


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12.12.18 Housing Watch: Salem to Hold Joint Public Hearing on Proposed Municipal & Religious Adaptive Reuse Overlay District

The City of Salem will hold a joint Public Hearing of the Salem Planning Board and Salem City Council this Thursday, December 13th at 6:30 P.M. at Salem City Hall, 93 Washington Street to consider the proposed zoning ordinance that establishes a Municipal & Religious Adaptive Reuse Overlay District. 

This ordinance provides for historic preservation while helping to meet the growing need for housing in Salem, especially senior and affordable units. As REALTORS®, we know firsthand that the North Shore is in need of increased housing stock. We understand that no community can sustain a desirable quality of life without meeting its residents’ basic need for housing.

Given that there is no permitting pathway or mechanism to allow for the preservation or reuse of these municipal and religious buildings as currently situated in Salem, NSAR supports this ordinance as it would establish sufficient oversight and flexibility to incentivize the reuse of these current and potentially underutilized properties in a beneficial manner to the community.

Salem's Proposed Municipal & Religious Adaptive Reuse Zoning Ordinance

NSAR’s Letter of Support

Joint Public Hearing Notice

NSAR encourages Salem REALTORS® to attend Thursday’s Public Hearing and voice your support. NSAR’s Salem Town Monitor will be in attendance to submit the Association’s statement of support. 

If you plan to attend or have any questions, please contact NSAR's Government Affairs Manager Kristian Hoysradt at or by phone at 978-232-9410.

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12.7.18 National News: National Flood Insurance Program Extended Through December 21st

The U.S. House of Representatives and Senate passed a two-week extension of the National Flood Insurance Program yesterday, avoiding a lapse tonight at midnight. The President is expected to sign the measure.

The program is being extended as part of a temporary appropriations bill called a continuing resolution to avoid a partial shutdown of the federal government. The legislation will move the funding deadline for fiscal 2019 spending bills that are still outstanding to Dec. 21.

By extending flood insurance as part of the continuing resolution, NAR analysts say, the next extension could be part of a long-term funding agreement, potentially running through September of next year.

NAR supports long-term authorization of the federal insurance along with reforms to improve the program. 

More from NAR on NFIP available here.

More coverage from HousingWire available here.


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12.6.18 Housing Watch: Lynn to Hold Public Meetings on West Lynn & Lynn Waterfront Redevelopment

The City of Lynn will hold two important public meetings over the next few days regarding the redevelopment of the Western Avenue corridor and the Lynn Waterfront: 

Public Meeting: Imagine West Lynn Final Community Meeting (Western Ave Corridor)
Thursday, December 6, 2018
Drewicz Elementary School, 34 Hood Street
More info available on the Facebook Event

Lynn Waterfront Master Plan Public Meeting
Next Monday, December 10, 2018
Lynn Museum, 590 Washington Street

Imagine Lynn Flyer

Lynn Waterfront

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12.4.18 State News: Governor Baker Alone with Optimsim Over Airbnb Bill

Lawmakers last week breathed new life into a consumer credit protection bill that was left unfinished when formal legislative business ended in July, but the near-term prospects for a home rental regulation bill that also came up short in July appear less bright.

Lawmakers on Beacon Hill have been struggling for years to develop a system to tax and regulate short-term rentals through websites like Airbnb. The House and Senate each passed competing proposals this session and entered into negotiations on a compromise in April. An agreement was struck during the final days of formal business, and Gov. Charlie Baker returned the bill with an amendment that still has not been taken up.

More from the State House News Service.


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12.4.18 State News: There's A Housing Stalemate on Beacon Hill

From The Boston Globe: Governor Charlie Baker’s Act to Promote Housing Choices looks like a modest proposal. It would allow communities to change some zoning rules with a simple majority vote, instead of requiring — as state law does — two-thirds of a local government’s council or town meeting to agree.

But a year after Baker pitched the idea, it remains in legislative limbo, having fizzled out at the end of the formal session this summer. Now its backers, including Baker, are trying to move it through informal sessions — when a single “no” vote can torpedo a bill — hoping to get the change on the books in time for next spring’s round of town meetings.

Housing Choice

 Baker-Polito Administration Announces New Housing Choice Initiative | Mass. gov

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