October 2016 Government Affairs Update
MASSDEP "INTERPRETATION" BRINGS CONFUSION TO WATERFRONT, COULD HINDER DEVELOPMENT
MassDEP recently issued a “Proposed Interpretation” in the Environmental Monitor that states that developers cannot build out onto wharves, piers, and pilings that sit below water at high tide. NAIOP views this interpretation as a regulatory change, which could impact the development rights of countless property owners along the waterfront. While there is a comment period open until October 22, NAIOP has requested a 90 day extension of the comment period to provide additional time to ensure affected property owners are aware of this change and to better understand its impact. NAIOP will continue to pursue this issue. For an excellent summary of some of the concerns shared by NAIOP, check out the Law & Environment blog post by Kathleen Brill of Foley Hoag.
DRAFT POLICY + GUIDELINES FOR TRANSIT ORIENTED DEVELOPMENT ISSUED BY MASSDOT/MBTA
NAIOP will be providing written comments on the Draft Policy & Guidelines for Transit Oriented Development recently issued by MassDOT/MBTA. Interested in contributing to this effort? Please take a look at the document and get your comments to Tamara Small no later than Thursday, October 6 – any format is fine.
GOVERNOR BAKER SIGNS CLIMATE CHANGE EXECUTIVE ORDER
On Friday, September 16, Governor Charlie Baker signed Executive Order 569, Establishing an Integrated Climate Change Strategy for the Commonwealth. The Order directs the Executive Offices of Energy and Environmental Affairs and Public Safety and Security to lead the development and implementation of a statewide comprehensive climate adaptation plan. Additionally, each Executive Office within the Baker-Polito Administration will be required to designate a Climate Change Coordinator who will work to complete a vulnerability assessment for each office, and assist with implementation and coordination of adaptation and mitigation efforts across state government. The Order also directs the Administration to coordinate assistance to cities and towns as they prepare for the impacts of climate change.
NAIOP was pleased to see that language that had been included in the Senate’s Climate Change bill, which would have required all future permits/certificates/approvals, etc. to comply with a statewide plan, was not included in the Order. NAIOP looks forward to working with the Administration as it implements this Order.
MASS CLEAN ENERGY CENTER SEEKING FEEDBACK FROM REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY ON BARRIERS TO SOLAR
The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center is seeking feedback from the real estate industry on barriers to solar adoption in Massachusetts. NAIOP members are encouraged to take 10 minutes to complete the survey. It focuses on solar access in four market sectors: a) 1-4 unit new residential construction at the time of solar install; b) 1-4 unit existing residential property for rental c) Manufacturing or industrial facilities d) Small and medium commercial rooftops and parking canopies. Survey responses are due by October 14.
NAIOP SUBMITS COMMENTS ON AIR POLLUTION CONTROL REGULATIONS
NAIOP recently submitted written comments on MassDEP’s Air Pollution Control regulations. NAIOP’s comments focused on proposals regarding public notice and adjudicatory hearings on air plan approvals. NAIOP also expressed support for concerns raised by Epsilon on provisions related to emergency stationary fossil-fueled reciprocating internal combustion engines.
NAIOP GOVERNMENT AFFAIRS ADVOCACY: LEARN MORE, GET INVOLVED!
Interested in NAIOP’s government affairs agenda? Check out the Member-Only Top Issues section of the NAIOP web site for issue briefs, comment letters, and additional resources. Would you like to get involved in NAIOP’s advocacy efforts? We value your input! Contact Tamara Small, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs, at (781) 453-6900 ext. 5. All members are welcome.