PROMOTING A strong Massachusetts economy and a healthy quality of life requires strategic development decisions (“Mass. needs new zoning law to help ease housing woes,” Editorial, June 25). Unfortunately, the Commonwealth’s antiquated planning and zoning laws are not producing the results Massachusetts needs.
Too often, immediate budget challenges make it difficult for communities to step back and consider long-term impacts of individual development decisions. As a result, many communities turn to large-lot zoning to control growth. Collectively, these decisions have had a significant negative impact on housing choice and opportunity across the Commonwealth by driving up housing prices and creating sprawl.
The Legislature is considering legislation to reform planning, zoning, and permitting. In order to grow our economy and meet the housing needs of all of our residents and employers who compete for talent with more affordable states, we need to build housing in a smart and thoughtful way. Zoning reform in combination with our affordable housing and smart growth laws will provide the Commonwealth with more of the tools we need to build a strong Massachusetts future. This bill is an important first step to modernize the way we develop our land and provide an environment for our economy to grow.