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WHEREAS, the South Coast region is experiencing significant economic challenges including limited access to the labor, education, and health care markets of the Greater Boston economy.
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has committed to restoring public transit between Boston and the South Coast cities of Fall River, New Bedford, and Taunton and the surrounding 28 communities.
WHEREAS, the South Coast Rail project will improve regional mobility creating the potential for new jobs and economic development across the region.
WHEREAS, this potential can be realized and maximized by promoting and supporting sustainable land use and development across the region.
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts released the South Coast Rail Economic Development and Land Use Corridor Plan (the "Corridor Plan") in 2009 that, through an unprecedented civic engagement process, identifies priority areas for additional growth and for land preservation thereby creating a long term vision for the sustainable development of this region.
WHEREAS, the Corridor Plan's smart growth framework calls for the clustering of jobs and homes around new stations, in downtowns and village centers, and for the permanent protection of the South Coast's environmentally sensitive forests, wetlands, farms, and habitat areas.
WHEREAS, the implementation of the Corridor Plan will require coordinated and sustained efforts on the part of the Commonwealth, the South Coast communities, businesses, property owners and residents over many years.
WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has committed, on its part, that its agencies will act in a manner consistent with the Corridor Plan and provide incentives and support to others to do so as well.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution, Part 2, c.2, § l, Art. l, order as follows:
I direct state agencies to review their policies, actions and investments to support and implement the recommendations of the Corridor Plan. Investments in infrastructure and land preservation, whether directly made by state agencies such as constructing new buildings or office leases or through grants and loans to municipalities, will be consistent with the Corridor Map to the maximum extent feasible. Investments include, but are not limited to, water, wastewater, transportation, housing and economic development funding and land preservation funding.
Furthermore, I direct the Executive Office of Administration and Finance (A& F) to develop a two-year retrospective analysis of all significant investments to ascertain consistency with the Plan. In addition, a web-based tracking system will be developed to track investment decisions and ensure that policy decisions are transparent.
Agencies are further directed to target technical assistance programs working with South Coast municipalities to advance the appropriate development of priority development areas and the permanent protection of lands identified as priority protection areas. Training, workshops, planning and support for developing zoning changes that will advance the Plan are examples of the types of technical assistance that will be provided.
Each Agency affected by this Order shall, within one year following the date of this Order and thereafter on an annual basis, report of the status and effectiveness of its compliance with this Order to the Development Cabinet.
This Executive Order shall continue in effect until amended, superseded or revoked by subsequent Executive Order.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston this 29th day of September in the year two thousand and ten, and of the Independence of the United States of America two hundred and thirty-four.
DEVAL L. PATRICK
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
WILLIAM FRANCIS GALVIN
Secretary of the Commonwealth