3.1 Make public infrastructure investments that support regional growth opportunities (four action items)

3.1.1 Plan ahead for growth by identifying priority development areas for job and housing growth through regional planning efforts that include public and private participation, building on the example of the recently completed South Coast regional plan and the currently on-going 495/MetroWest regional plan

Contact: Victoria Maguire

CY2013 Progress:

  • The Merrimack Valley Regional Plan (MVPC) has been completed for 15 communities. The plan will be announced publicly at the MVPC regional planning day on June 20, 2013.
  • The South Coast Rail Corridor 5-year update continues and has already yielded over 80 community meetings to discuss local priorities for growth and preservation. It is expected that this effort will be completed in CY2013.
  • Central Mass Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) has begun a regional planning effort in an area known as the Rural-11. The first public meeting will be held June 26, 2013.
  • The Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development anticipates hiring a Regional Planning Manager in July 2013 to continue regional planning efforts throughout the state.

CY2012 Progress:

  • Partnered with Merrimack Valley Planning Commission  (MVPC) to adopt regional/state Priority Development Area  (PDA)/Priority Protection Area (PPA) mapping in 15 communities.
  • South Coast Rail Corridor communities and RPAs are currently conducting a 5-year update of the PDA/PPA mapping. It is anticipated this effort will deliver revised local and regional maps by June 2013 and potential state changes to mapping by Fall 2013.
  • Central Mass Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) and Metropolitan Area Planning Commission (MAPC) have independently continued regional planning in 44 communities (North Shore, South Shore, Blackstone Valley, and Central).

3.1.2 Target state infrastructure investments to identified priority development areas where prompt and predictable permitting has been established by local communities

Contact: Victoria Maguire

CY2013 Progress:

  • 2013 MassWorks Infrastructure Program grants were awarded on December 12, totaling $79 million to 33 projects.
  • 2013 MassWorks Applications have been made available to communities and are due in September 2013. Priority in the 2013 round will be placed on projects that advance the Governor's 10,000 housing production goal and projects that support economic development in economically distressed areas.
  • South Coast Rail (SCR) Technical Assistance Grant applications are now available and will be utilized to support planning and zoning activities in areas identified as priorities in the SCR Plan. Decisions will be made on the project in summer 2013.

CY2012 Progress:

  • Completed online interactive map with all known priority areas including Chapter 43D Districts, Chapter 43E Districts, Chapter 40R Districts, Growth Districts and Priority Development Areas.
  • Released retrospective Executive Order 525 Report detailing state investments in the South Coast Rail Corridor Region and consistency with the priority development areas.
  • Announced 26 new MassWorks Infrastructure Program Grants totaling more than $38 million. Through the MassWorks Program, the state collaborates with municipalities to support housing development, road safety, downtown revitalization, and economic development projects.
  • Expanded 43D Expedited Permitting Program to include sites zoned for housing in the Jobs Bill signed in August 2012.
  • Announced 15 South Coast Rail Technical Assistance Awards for FY13 – will further station area planning and zoning, economic development, transportation, housing plans, and zoning changes and open space preservation in the South Coast region.

3.1.3 Enlist state agencies such as Mass Development and Mass Housing to provide targeted assistance to accelerating development within identified priority areas

Contact: Victoria Maguire

CY2013 Progress:

  • MPRO staff attended Regional Seminars throughout the state which were organized by MassDevelopment to highlight the regional priority areas and the opportunities for technical assistance in those areas.
  • MassHousing and MassDevelopment are part of the team looking at opportunities for new housing production, and have worked with DHCD to identify housing opportunities within priority areas.

CY2012 Progress:

  • Conducted briefing held for Mass Development staff to highlight regional planning efforts and priority areas associated with those efforts. Requested assistance from staff in all departments to ensure state assistance is targeted to, when possible and appropriate, identified priority areas.
  • Mass Development worked with Natick on two projects.
  • MAPC identified 3 communities for District Local Technical Assistance funding – Bolton Millis and Medway) and is working with the “boroughs” on a park system plan.
  • EEA working closely with Shrewsbury on water issues.

3.1.4 Identify or develop additional innovative public and private financing mechanisms for infrastructure investments in support of growth that would allow faster decision-making and execution and more local control

Contact: Victoria Maguire

CY2013 Progress:

  • Participated in Metropolitan Area Planning Council's forum on Value Capture options for the state to help further infrastructure improvements in the state. EOHED's Infrastructure Financing Handbook was included in the materials distributed at this event.

CY2012 Progress:

  • Adopted Local Infrastructure Development Program.
  • Adopted I-Cubed Program expansion; finalized regulations.
  • Amended bid requirements.
  • Streamlined District Improvement Financing (DIF) requirements.
  • Created Handbook for Infrastructure Financing for communities.