|BARNSTABLE – Today, Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy, Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba, Assistant Secretary for Communities and Programs Juan Vega, and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Community Services Division Director Louis Martin were joined by state and local officials in Barnstable to celebrate the Community Planning Grant Program awards, which include $2,386,800 to 40 projects. Among the awards, the Town of Barnstable received a $75,000 grant to develop a Master Plan for town-owned parcels surrounding the Barnstable Adult Community Center to evaluate the potential for infill development of affordable housing targeted to seniors, coupled with enhanced recreational amenities to support successful aging-in-community. The town is also seeking recommendations to amend the current single-family zoning to allow development of new multifamily housing.
“Our administration is proud to award over $2.3 million to help cities and towns undertake a variety of planning projects for green spaces, infrastructure, multi-modal transportation, housing and opportunities to promote private investment,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “These projects are dedicated to increasing housing development across the state, including updating zoning to meet the new MBTA Communities zoning requirements and I look forward to seeing this future progress.
“Congratulations to all of today’s awardees who are pursuing long-term planning for community success with the help of a Community Planning grant,” said Lt. Governor Karyn Polito. “Here in Barnstable, a $75,000 award will help the town make informed decisions around zoning, development, and services to better support older adults who want to age in community.”
“Over the past two years we have transformed the way the Commonwealth delivers economic development funding through the Community One-Stop for Growth model, and we are proud to see 40 communities utilize this resource to take on a diverse array of planning projects,” said Housing and Economic Development Secretary Mike Kennealy. “Across the state, Community Planning grants will help municipalities address underutilized properties, update zoning, and plan for housing to meet community needs.”
“With the creation of the Community One Stop for Growth single application portal, the state is able to be an active partner in local economic development projects and intentional about delivering funding across all regions of Massachusetts,” said Undersecretary of Community Development Ashley Stolba. “The Community Planning Grant Program is one of 12 important programs in the One Stop helping communities like Barnstable tackle locally identified economic development priorities.”
“We are excited to fund more opportunities for communities to access technical assistance and grants to undertake planning projects, which will lead to more housing, more private investment, more greenspace, and more opportunities for cities and towns in every region through the Community Planning Program,” said Housing and Community Development Undersecretary Jennifer Maddox. “We are eager to work with more cities and towns to help plan for new housing and growth by leveraging state resources to build momentum at the local level for new development, amenities, and infrastructure projects.”
The Community Planning Grant Program provides funding for technical assistance for community planning projects. This competitive grant program awards funds based on the community planning or zoning project’s nexus with housing, transportation, infrastructure, economic development, and community development including funding for MBTA Communities seeking compliance with draft guidelines for M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 3A. Since creating the program last year, the Baker-Polito Administration has awarded $3,386,800 to 56 projects.
The program is part of Community One Stop for Growth, a single application portal that provides a streamlined, collaborative review process of 12 state grant programs that fund economic development projects related to community capacity building, planning and zoning, site preparation, building construction, and infrastructure. Altogether, this round of the One Stop is awarding more than $143 million in grant awards to support 337 local economic development projects in 169 communities. The full list of grants can be found here.
Through this round of the One Stop, the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development received 523 applications from 207 communities representing every region of the Commonwealth. Of the 337 applications awarded, 31% are located in a rural or small town; 32% are located in a Gateway City; and 43% are located in a Housing Choice Community. This investment is expected to directly support the creation of 6,950 new housing units across the Commonwealth, including 5,068 new market-rate units and 1,882 new affordable units.
“The Town of Barnstable is appreciative of the Baker-Polito Administration’s support of our commitment to creating intergenerational affordable housing opportunities that take into account the needs of our residents and the unique environment and quality of life found on Cape Cod,” said Barnstable Town Manager Mark Ells.
Community Planning Grant Program Awards:
- Town of Amherst – $75,000
The Town of Amherst will develop streetscape standards for downtown Amherst. This project will complement a separate town project developing design standards and dimensional regulations for privately developed spaces in downtown zoning districts.
- Town of Ashburnham – $75,000
The Town of Ashburnham will create a Downtown Improvement Master Plan to provide ideas for improving street design and amenities, resolving parking problems, and creating safe pedestrian and multi-modal connectivity to improve the experience for residents and visitors to the area.
- Town of Athol – $40,000
The Town of Athol will create a Housing Production Plan to better understand the town’s current and future housing needs and identify strategies to facilitate the development of more housing.
- Town of Barnstable – $75,000
The Town of Barnstable will develop a Master Plan for town-owned parcels surrounding the Barnstable Adult Community Center to evaluate the potential for infill development of affordable housing targeted to seniors, coupled with enhanced recreational amenities to support successful aging-in-community. The town is also seeking recommendations to amend the current single-family zoning to allow development of new multifamily housing.
- Town of Belmont – $75,000
The Town of Belmont will hire a planning consultant to assist the newly formed MBTA Communities Advisory Committee to advise the Select Board on Section 3A of MGL Chapter 40A, the Multifamily Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities and recommend multifamily zoning that can be brought to a Planning Board public hearing and can be approved at future Town Meeting in 2023.
- Town of Boxborough – $46,950
The Town of Boxborough will develop a new conceptual plan for the town center and adjacent business and municipal districts. Planning will consider existing conditions of buildings and infrastructure, environmental resource areas, septic, and public water supplies, invite public input through community forums on expectations and goals, and identify opportunities for housing and commercial development.
- Town of Brewster – $75,000
The Town of Brewster will pursue a Cape Cod Sea Camps Comprehensive Plan addressing two parcels, a 55-acre site on Cape Cod Bay and 66-acre site on Long Pond, to explore future uses for both town-owned properties.
- Town of Dedham – $56,500
The Town of Dedham will develop a District Improvement Financing (DIF) District through a community-engaged planning process that will enable town leaders, staff, volunteers, and private-sector partners to identify and prioritize infrastructure improvements, and provide cost estimates for projects in the DIF District established by Town Meeting in 2019.
- Town of Dracut – $45,000
The Town of Dracut will update its 2009 Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). Once completed, this document will join a current Master Plan and Housing Production Plan as guiding documents for ongoing zoning reform and identify opportunities to apply for additional grant programs.
- Town of Dudley – $75,000
The Town of Dudley will undertake a planning process to re-imagine how the Dudley Gateway District can be improved with placemaking initiatives to enhance resident and visitor experiences and create a more vibrant business and residential center. The district has potential to become a gathering place and business center for the town and community with investment and planning.
- Town of East Bridgewater – $75,000
The Town of East Bridgewater will develop a new Master Plan including a review of town’s natural and cultural resources, transportation (roads and public transit), energy and sustainability, public health, general infrastructure, and land-use and zoning. The effort will provide recommendations and develop an action plan to implement recommendations.
- Town of Egremont – $54,000
The Town of Egremont will delineate and map new zones or overlay districts, draft new or update existing zoning bylaws, and gain public support/acceptance of same, in harmony with the Comprehensive Plan.
- Town of Essex – $75,000
The Town of Essex will initiate a planning process to examine land-use, engage the public, and study zoning to identify actions to improve the development process and advance community goals. This project will help the town pursue new zoning districts, including one that meets the requirements for Section 3A of MGL Chapter 40A, the Multifamily Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities, and make the development process more user-friendly.
- Town of Fairhaven – $75,000
The Town of Fairhaven will continue work towards the completion of a 40R Overlay Bylaw to develop design standards and produce a pattern book to support new development and growth.
- Town of Freetown – $75,000
The Town of Freetown will pursue the development of its first Master Plan incorporating federal, state, and local development goals. The Master Plan will consider the following aspects of community planning: land use, housing, economic development, open space, recreation, natural and cultural resources, services, facilities, and transportation.
- Town of Hampden – $75,000
The Town of Hampden will update its 1984 Master Plan to include public engagement and develop shared, long-term development goals to meet the needs of current and future residents, local businesses, and community partners.
- Town of Hanson – $60,000
The Town of Hanson will update its 2008 Master Plan to integrate recent initiatives including a 2018 Housing Production Plan, 2021 Integrated MVP and HMP Plan, 2020 Open Space and Recreation Plan, and the town’s 2021 Rapid Recovery Plan.
- Town of Harvard – $75,000
The Town of Harvard will undertake the design and permitting of a water system interconnection between the Town of Harvard and Devens. The project will include installation of approximately 1.6 miles of new 12-inch ductile iron water main and appurtenances. The project will also include the design and permitting of a meter building with booster pumps that will be located at the town line.
- Merrimack Valley Planning Commission – $150,000
The Merrimack Valley Planning Commission (MVPC) will work with the communities of Amesbury, Andover, Boxford, Georgetown, Groveland, Haverhill, Lawrence, Merrimac, Methuen, Newbury, North Andover, Rowley, Salisbury, and West Newbury to conduct a comprehensive update of the region’s Housing Production Plans (HPPs). This is the first of three planned phases, and will focus on public engagement to solicit input from residents regarding key housing issues in the Merrimack Valley.
- Town of Hudson – $40,000
The Town of Hudson will update its Downtown Parking Management plan to understand current parking usage and trends, and development recommendations for management strategies. The primary objective of the study will be to inventory existing on-street and off-street parking, evaluate the supply and demand based on current and future land-use trends, and identify opportunities for improving the parking experience for residents and visitors.
- Town of Lee – $50,000
The Town of Lee will update its 2000 Master Plan and Open Space and Recreation Plan to incorporate current and future housing needs of residents, invite public engagement, and plan for future development.
- Town of Lenox – $22,000
The Town of Lenox will support ongoing design and engineering work for sewer expansion in North Lenox to serve a 65-unit mixed-income rental housing project, developable land zoned for mixed-use, commercial or multifamily development, existing businesses, and at least 100 homes which are currently served by dated septic systems. This design and engineering work will consider feasibility, alternatives, partial design, and ID-ready documents.
- City of Leominster – $36,000
The City of Leominster will pursue planning activities to meet requirements for Section 3A of MGL Chapter 40A, the Multifamily Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities.
- Town of Leverett – $75,000
The Town of Leverett will pursue the second of two phases in developing a Comprehensive Plan for Leverett. For the second phase, a steering group and expert consultant will guide community engagement through visioning sessions and focus groups and analyze trends to present options to residents for consideration.
- City of Lowell – $30,000
The City of Lowell will conduct a market study in the Ayers City Urban Renewal Area, including significant planning and design work on the realignment of Tanner Street, addressing relocation of utilities, parcel consolidation, and the potential of zoning changes on the edges of the area boundary to expand the light industrial zone.
- Town of Ludlow – $75,000
The Town of Ludlow will amend the existing East Street Revitalization Overlay District and provide additional design and development standards for pedestrian and multimodal access, amenities, landscaping, parking, lighting, and architectural design.
- City of Lynn – $27,800
The City of Lynn will update its Open Space and Recreation Plan, which expires in 2023, and conduct an ADA Self-Assessment. The plan will help the city balance existing plans that have laid the groundwork for new residential development in the city (Housing Lynn and Lynn Waterfront Master Plan update), and ensure every household has convenient and equitable access to open space and recreational amenities.
- City of Malden – $45,050
The City of Malden will update its Complete Streets Prioritization Plan to inform investments in its multimodal transportation network. The plan will be community-driven and identify the streets, infrastructure, cost estimates, and timeline to implement Complete Street improvements.
- Town of Milton – $50,000
The Town of Milton will create a zoning district that allows multifamily construction by-right in transit-oriented areas through technical assistance to analyze alternatives, conduct community outreach, and draft compliant zoning to meet requirements for Section 3A of MGL Chapter 40A, the Multifamily Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities.
- Town of Norton – $25,000
The Town of Norton will create an overlay district to promote life science companies and medical manufacturing to targeted areas, particularly for industrial and commercial zoned properties near I-495 interchanges with sewer service available. The overlay will include regulatory incentives to attract life science/medical manufacturing companies with appropriate design standards.
- Town of Oxford – $25,000
The Town of Oxford will procure a consultant create a Housing Production Plan. The consultant will coordinate, gather, and analyze a wide range of data into an innovative plan to support existing and future housing needs.
- Town of Pepperell – $68,000
The Town of Pepperell will perform an audit of the existing zoning bylaw and develop amendments to ensure consistency with MGL Ch. 40A. The effort will identify sections of the bylaw that require clarity or change, provide recommendations on appropriate lot size requirements to better balance development goals, including affordable housing, agricultural, and commercial uses.
- Town of Randolph – $55,000
The Town of Randolph will develop zoning ordinances that permit multifamily housing by right to comply with Chapter 358 of the Acts of 2020 and identify potential district boundaries, complete a build-out analysis, and draft/amend associated zoning ordinances to meet requirements for Section 3A of MGL Chapter 40A, the Multifamily Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities.
- Town of Sharon – $42,500
The Town of Sharon will start the planning and logistics process (workshops, community engagement, planning) to do a District Improvement Financing (DIF) Master Plan for downtown Sharon. This study will include a list of projects to be funded by the DIF, scenarios estimating new growth and the use of DIF revenue, an estimate of potential tax revenues available for capture by DIF revenue, and creation of DIF revenue projections.
- Town of Swampscott – $15,000
The Town of Swampscott will review existing plans and resources to create a bicycle network infrastructure plan to promote pedestrian and cyclist safety and identify options for existing and future bicycle infrastructure. Grant funds will be used to retain the services of a consultant, review existing plans, and create maps of existing bicycle infrastructure, connections, and options for future connections.
- Town of Swansea – $75,000
The Town of Swansea will study zoning, policy, and programmatic changes to achieve the best uses and foster economic development of the RT6/118 Corridor. The study will cover sewer and water capacity, create an inventory of project-ready sites for redevelopment, and accelerate private-sector investment in industrial and commercial projects.
- Town of Ware – $70,000
The Town of Ware will conduct an Adaptive Re-Use Feasibility Study for the former Mary Lane Hospital site located at 85 South St. in Ware. This study will help Ware determine whether the existing property can be repurposed to benefit the town with a goal of obtaining three to four proposed development scenarios and identifying strategies to support a development pipeline.
- Town of Wareham – $74,000
The Town of Wareham will create an Onset-Depot-Minot Multi-modal Improvement Plan to define improvements to the intersection at Depot Street, Minot Avenue, Great Neck Road, and Onset Avenue. The goal is to transform the intersection and expand multi-modal access across all identified roads. Funds will enable to town to support multiple modes of travel for residents and visitors in key centers in Wareham and establish a gateway to the Depot District.
- Town of West Springfield – $75,000
The Town of West Springfield will create an Economic Development Strategic Plan. The plan will produce business retention and expansion strategies, forecast development trends and infrastructure needs, identify blighted or underserviced areas otherwise primed for redevelopment, and pursue public-private partnership opportunities.
- Town of Whately – $59,000
The Town of Whately will inventory parcels in the underutilized commercial area surrounding Exit 35 off Interstate 91, prepare an existing conditions report, conduct an assessment of existing market conditions, and review of existing land-use regulations to support economic development.