Housing Advisory: Housing Appeals Committee Decides Important Policy Question, Telling Municipal Boards of Appeals Not to Invade the Province of State Subsidizing Agencies

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For some time, the Massachusetts Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) has been noting in its decisions that it had an important policy question under consideration concerning the breadth of the authority of local boards over comprehensive permit applications under G.L. c. 40B ("Chapter 40B"). Now, after obtaining input from two state subsidizing agencies as to that policy question, the HAC has issued a decision that clarifies the types of permit conditions that may be locally imposed. Specifically, the decision, entitled Attitash Views, LLC v. Amesbury Zoning Bd. of Appeals, No. 06-17 (Housing Appeals Comm. Oct. 15, 2007), states that "programmatic" aspects of a comprehensive permit project belong solely within the purview of state-level Chapter 40B subsidizing agencies, and that local boards should not tread upon these areas when conducting their review or attaching permit conditions. Instead, the board of appeals' review, and the permit conditions it seeks to impose, should be confined to health, safety, or planning concerns.

To continue reading, please see this Mintz Levin Housing Advisory.

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