Monthly Archives: May 2016

MMA on Senate budget


Tuesday, May 17, 2016







Earlier today, the Senate Ways and Means Committee reported out a tight $39.5 billion fiscal 2017 state budget plan to increase overall state expenditures by approximately 3.5 percent. The Senate Ways and Means budget is slightly smaller than the budget passed by the House in April and the version filed by the Governor in March, yet it would offer the largest increase in Chapter 70 aid. The full Senate will debate the fiscal 2017 state budget beginning on Tuesday, May 24.

S. 4, the Senate Ways & Means budget, provides strong progress on many important local aid priorities, including the full $42 million increase in Unrestricted General Government Aid that the Governor and House have agreed on. The SW&M Committee would increase funding for several major aid programs, by adding $9.3 million to the Special Education Circuit Breaker, increasing Chapter 70 minimum aid to $55 per student, and by adding funds in the Chapter 70 distribution to help address the low-income student calculation (the House budget has a separate $10 million reserve account for this issue), and to accelerate implementation of the so-called target share provisions in Chapter 70.



In a major victory for cities and towns, S. 4 (the SW&M fiscal 2017 budget plan) would provide $1.021 billion for UGGA, a $42 million increase over current funding – the same increase proposed by Governor Baker and the House of Representatives. The $42 million would increase UGGA funding by 4.3 percent, which matches the growth in state tax collections next year. This would be the largest increase in discretionary municipal aid in nearly a decade. Every city and town would see their UGGA funding increase by 4.3 percent.


The Senate budget committee is proposing a $116 million increase in Chapter 70 education aid above fiscal 2016 levels, providing every city, town and school district with an increase of at least $55 per student. In addition to the minimum aid increase, which matches the House-passed level, the SW&M Committee would add additional funds to aid communities impacted by changes in the calculations used to account for low-income students. (The House included a $10 million reserve account for this issue instead of incorporating the funds into the Chapter 70 distribution). Further, the SW&M budget would accelerate the implementation of the 2007 target share provisions (the Senate proposal is to fund 85% of the target share goal, compared to the House’s 70% funding level). Overall, the SW&M budget would provide $44 million more in direct Chapter 70 distributions than the Governor’s budget, and $20 million more than the House (or $10 million more after recognizing the House’s $10 million reserve for low-income students).


In another victory for cities and towns, Senate leaders have announced that they support full funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker program. Their budget plan would provide $281.1 million, a $9.3 million increase above fiscal 2016, with the intention of fully funding the account. The Governor level funded the circuit-breaker program, and the House provided a $5 million increase. This is a vital program that every city, town and school district relies on to fund state-mandated services.


In a troubling development, S. 4 would cut $16.6 million from Kindergarten Development Grants, leaving only $2 million in this program that funds Kindergarten programs in 164 school districts. The Governor and House level-funded the program at $18.6 million. Restoring these funds will be a major priority during the budget debate, and local officials will want to talk with their Senators about this program right away. Please click here to see if your community is receiving these grants in fiscal 2016. These funds are in jeopardy if the S. 4 appropriation remains in place.


Under state law, cities and towns that host or send students to charter schools are entitled to be reimbursed for a portion of their lost Chapter 70 aid. The state fully funded the reimbursement program in fiscal years 2013 and 2014, but is underfunding reimbursements by approximately $46.5 million this year. The Senate Ways and Means budget would increase funding for charter school reimbursements to $87.5 million, a $7 million boost. This is $2 million more than the House proposed and $15 million less than the amount recommended by Gov. Baker. The program is underfunded in all three budget proposals, and increasing this account will be a top priority during the Senate budget debate.


The Senate budget committee’s proposal would level-fund Regional School Transportation Reimbursements at $59 million ($1 million less than the House budget), level fund PILOT payments at $26.77 million (the same as the House and Governor), level-fund METCO at $20.1 million, and level-fund McKinney-Vento reimbursements at $8.35 million. S. 4 would fund library grant programs at $18.9 million ($70K less than fiscal 2016 and $750K less than the House). The SW&M budget would reduce Shannon Anti-Gang Grants to $5 million (a $2 million reduction below fiscal 2016, and $1 million below the House).

Please Call Your Senators Today to Thank Them for the Strong Municipal Aid and Chapter 70 Investments in the Senate Ways and Means Committee Budget, Including the $42 Million Increase in Unrestricted Local Aid, Providing Chapter 70 Minimum Aid at $55 Per Student, and Full Funding for the Special Education Circuit Breaker

Please Let Your Senators Know if You Are Affected by Underfunding in Charter School Reimbursements and Kindergarten Development Grants

Please Explain How the Senate Ways and Means Budget Impacts Your Community, and Ask Your Senators to Build on this Progress During Budget Debate in the Senate

$200K more in FY17 state aide proposed

State-House-smaller_1 (1)

The Senate budget numbers for FY17 are now out, and they are the same as the House numbers.  We are looking at about a $200K increase over last year.  John Nunnari provided the following proposed state funding for Medfield numbers.

Just in case you hadn’t seen it, the Senate budget came out today.

Here is where Medfield stands in terms of Chapter 70 allocations.



Municipality/Regional District 7061-0008 Chapter 70 Unrestricted General Government Aid Annual Formula Local Aide
FY ’15 Actual Appropriation $5,862,409.00 $1,289,875.00 $0.00
FY ’16 Actual Appropriation $5,925,859.00 $1,336,310.00
Governors FY ’17 Proposal $5,975,759.00 $1,393,771.00 $0.00
Medfield (House FY ’17 Proposed Numbers) $6,063,084.00 $1,393,771.00 $0.00
Medfield (Senate FY 17 Proposed Numbers) $6,063,084.00 $1,393,771.00 $0.00
FY ’17 Conference Committee Report           July +/- $0.00 $0.00 $0.00



John Nunnari, Assoc AIA
Executive Director, AIA MA

Energy Committee on 5/12


MEC Meeting Minutes – May  12th, 2016

Attendance: Fred Bunger, Lee Alinsky, Pete Peterson, Maciej Konieczny, Fred Davis, Marie Nolan,  Andrew Seaman by phone.

  1. To begin the meeting, we linked in to an MCAN webinar on the new state energy bill. Speakers were:

Caitlin Sloane Peale from Conservation Law Foundation concerning State Energy Sourcing

Amber Hewett from the National Wildlife Federation about opportunities for offshore wind generation

Eugenia Gibbons from Mass Energy Alliance talking about opposition to new gas pipelines

Josh Craft from the Environmental League of Massachusetts encouraged contacting our State representatives.

The Energy Committee discussed writing as a group, but decided each member should act individually.

  1. April 7th and April 21st meeting minutes accepted with corrections.
  2. Energy Manager’s Report
    1. WWTP Solar: generating and exporting electricity, fixing issues with one inverter and data acquisition.
    2. DPW Solar: 150KW system, need help to write RFP for design/build project(SDA not available)
    3. Public Safety Building: 61KW system being installed as change order by general contractor. Bids out by end of May.
    4. Andrew announced that he is leaving the Medfield Energy Manager job and will be relocating his family to the Philadelphia area.
  3. Solarize Massachusetts: Select Board approved Solarize project April 19th. Website for Solarize Medfield is live and there are already 6 sign-ups.  RFP to select installers was sent into Solarize Mass for review.  Plan to select installer by end of June and schedule a “meet the installer” by the end of July.
  4. Green Communities 20% Energy Reduction Plan
    1. Baseline year 2015 selected as having a full year of Energy Insight data and being a relatively cold year. Year runs July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.
    2. An energy conservation program will need to be developed for each Town Department/major energy user.
    3. Discussed having each member of the Energy Committee volunteer to work with Andrew and the Department staff to conduct audits and to develop each Town Department’s energy conservation plan.
  5. Andrew will determine if it would be helpful to include Housing Authority’s Tilden Village in the baseline and conservation plans.
  6. Meeting was adjourned at 9:20

Next Meeting:  Thursday June 9th

Montrose sells Cushman house

David Temple, President of the Medfield Historical Society and Co-chair of the  Medfield Historical Commission, reported today that the long dilapidated Jacob Cushman house on North Street is getting fixed up.  This email this afternoon from David –

After a prolonged period of working out the details with the Montrose School, Bob Borrelli just called me to say he is finally signing a purchase and sale agreement this afternoon on the 1852 Cushman house at 67 North Street.  Bob plans to keep the basic structure as seen from the street essentially as is, probably with different colors, and he hopes it will complement his new building across the street.  He plans to rent the first floor as retail space, likely with apartments on the second floor.


Saving the historic Cushman house has been a frustrating six-year campaign of prodding the school, as we watched the house succumbing to demolition by neglect. I am glad that Bob saw the potential in the building and called to ask me about it over a year ago. I was able to arrange the first meetings between Bob and Montrose. Then I got out of the way, except for occasionally nudging Bob or Jack Flaherty at the school to get them back at the bargaining table. Thank you, Bob, for sticking with the project!


Bob still has to get approvals from town boards, but he expects he’ll be able to start construction very soon. He plans to have the exterior work done before the girls come back to school in September, and he hopes to have everything finished by Thanksgiving.
David F. Temple

Mike Sullivan’s proposed calendar


Mike Sullivan shared this draft calendar for the selectmen.  I suggested that Mike include in the  calendar the things we know we need to do every year (e.g. set goals, review the town administrator, and prepare for town meeting), as well as the things on our To Do List. –

Calendar for Board of Selectmen
May 3, 2016 to August 31, 2016

Selectmen’s Meeting Dates: May 3rd, 17th, June 7th, 21st, July 5th, 19th, August 2nd, 16th.

May 3rd  –

Lyme Disease Study Committee, annual update
Transfer Station and Recycling Committee, Food Composing, Mattress Collection and Swap Area operation

May 17th –

Housing Authority, Planning Board, Council on Aging – Tilden Village expansion, Draft Housing Production Plan, Senior Housing Study Committee, 40B Housing.

June 7th –

Board, Commission and Committee Appointments
Committee to Oversee Outreach Program
Cultural Alliance, update on Straw Hat Park
Discussion on Stormwater Management Act Permit requirements

June 21st-

Permanent Planning and Building Committee update on Public Safety Building
Park & Recreation Commission, Programmatic Needs Study discussion

July 5th  –    Fourth of July week. Do you want to meet?

July 19th  –

School Department update on Wheelock Boiler project and track/field replacement
Treasurer/Collector bonding schedule for track/field replacement project
Water and Sewerage Board, update on water tower, iron/manganese treatment facility and other issues

August 2nd-

Meeting with Legislative Delegation, update on budget, legislation, other items of interest

August 16th –

State Hospital Buildings and Grounds Committee, update on maintenance issues State Hospital Reuse Committee, update on Master Plan

BoS To Do list


Richard DeSorgher recently shared a list of things left undone by the selectmen at the time  he left.  I took his thoughtful list, and incorporated my own items, and came up with the below list of things I thought the selectmen should be looking to oversee to completion, which I organized around the town staff who should be doing the things.  My suggestion at our last BoS meeting, when I shared this list with my colleagues, was that these things get included in the Selectmen Annual Calendar, along with those things that the selectmen need to do every year, which I highlighted from past lists i included.  Mike is working on revising his draft of the Selectmen Annual Calendar – which I will post next.

Pending Items for Medfield Town Administration

  1. Town administration
    1. Weekly written reports to residents
    2. Weekly meetings of department heads
    3. Removal of RR tracks across Harding Street and Farm Street
    4. Arrange for the following:
    5. Superintendent of DPW
      1. Create a pavement maintenance plan
      2. Create a public tree inventory and tree planting plan
      3. Install a sidewalk on Metacomet Street
      4. Install a sidewalk on Dale Street from Charlesdale to Grove
      5. Provide cost estimates for sidewalks on East Main Street and Harding Street
      6. Solve Green Street telephone poles by Hinkley Swim Pond in sidewalk
      7. Turn on the bubbler in front of town hall
      8. Plan to use the $9,000 for planting trees in the Downtown and $500 for dressing up/ landscaping the lawn in front of town hall
      9. Install a crosswalk across Main Street at Miller Street
      10. Spring clean up
        1. DPW to organize
        2. Make use of Sheriff Bellotti’s inmates
    6. Medfield Police Department
      1. Get regular written reports
      2. Plans for traffic lights at Rte 27 and (1) South and (2) West
      3. Solution to parking/traffic on Upham Road St.
      4. Implement Curve Street as a No-truck street
      5. Have officers enforce the sign rules
      6. Solution to dog poop problems
    7. Medfield Fire Department
      1. Get regular written reports
    8. Medfield State Hospital – need to provide information to residents
    9. Town wide master plan timing
      1. Complete before any MSH land sales so as to secure state Land Disposition Agreement (LDA) bonus money
    10. Housing Production Plan
      1. Complete
      2. Implement
      3. Create a strategy to deal with 40B and/or affordable housing
    11. Poll and integrate Downtown Study Committee and Economic Development Committee
  2. Board of Selectmen
    1. Interview the auditors

MFC had a big day


Postal Food Drive Saturday Successful

The Postal Food Drive was a great success this year and I am happy to report that, once again, we had an excellent turnout of community volunteers and donations.  Not only did many of our neighbors take the time to place food out for their mail deliverers to collect, but volunteers, many who brought along their families, spent most of the beautiful Saturday afternoon sorting and shelving food for the Medfield Food Cupboard.


Jacqui Doe

MMA on reform of land use laws


The State Senate is now actively considering changes and reforms to the state land  use statutes that have been under consideration for years, and it appears that action may happen soon.  At the moment, the MMA ask the Senate to let us know what they intend to do, before they actually do it.  However, last week, this was the MMA letter to the Senate that itemizes what the MMA suggests is needed.

MMA letter to Senate Ways and Means Committee on comprehensive zoning and land-use bill

Print Email

May 11, 2016

The Honorable Karen Spilka, Chair
Senate Committee on Ways and Means
State House, Boston

Dear Senator Spilka and Distinguished Members of the Committee,

On behalf of the cities and towns of the Commonwealth, the Massachusetts Municipal Association appreciates the opportunity to offer comments on S. 2144, An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities. The MMA’s Municipal and Regional Policy Committee completed a careful and extensive evaluation of the bill as written in its previous form (S. 122), with a focus on the impact that the proposed zoning and land use law changes would have on our cities and towns. We have also had a chance to review the issues raised by the Home Builders & Remodelers of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Association of Realtors, NAIOP and others, and must express our grave concerns with their proposed changes to S. 2144.

Any amendments to existing zoning and land use law in Massachusetts will have profound and long-lasting effects on our communities and residents, and will impact the quality of life in cities and towns for generations to come. For this reason, any and all proposed changes demand very careful consideration.

The MMA’s comments and suggested language changes, presented below by topic, would strengthen and improve the bill by preserving local authority, grandfathering existing local practices, and, in the case of local options, employing an opt-in rather than an opt-out model. The MMA would have very serious reservations regarding S. 2144 if these comments and recommended improvements are not incorporated into the bill.


Vested Rights
Sections 6 through 12
The MMA supports the conceptual changes made in the sections pertaining to vested rights. The language should be clarified to indicate that the date of the first notice of a public hearing on proposed changes to zoning ordinances and bylaws is the time at which a property shall be subject to subsequently enacted zoning amendments. In practical terms, this language is necessary to prevent a flood of applications intended to avoid new zoning requirements and bylaws.

Special Permit Vote and Length
Sections 15 and 16
The MMA requests a language change in Section 15, pertaining to the vote required for issuance of a special permit, to make it a local-option decision (by a supermajority vote) as to whether the required vote is changed from a supermajority to a simple majority. As written, a municipality’s special permit granting authority would require only a simple majority vote to issue a special permit, unless a greater threshold is specified in a local ordinance or bylaw. The MMA does not support a state-mandated change in the threshold without express acceptance of that change at the local level, because many communities do not have specific language regarding the necessary vote in their local ordinances or bylaws, and thus they would have no voice in changing the vote threshold to a simple majority. The MMA requests a change the language in Section 16, regarding the term of special permits, to allow a special permit to be issued for a term of up to three years, not the three-year minimum currently written in the bill. Additionally, any extension of the permit should require notice and a public hearing. If the permit granting authority does not approve an extension within 65 days, the new permit should require a new application, notice, and public hearing.

Site Plan Review
Section 19
The MMA can support this section, regarding site plan review, if modifications are made to avoid onerous evidentiary requirements and eliminate language triggering constructive approval of applications if time thresholds are not met. Constructive approval is a highly controversial process, especially when time periods are not adequate, such as the 95-day provision in S. 2144, as this may be too short for an appropriate and thorough review process. The language in this section should be clarified to indicate that an application will not be approved if submission requirements are not met. Mitigation for adverse impacts directly attributable to projects should extend to nearby properties, and not only those that are adjacent to the developments.

Development Impact Fees
Section 20
The MMA supports the statutory authorization of development impact fees. We ask that the language be clarified to clearly authorize communities to use the impact fees to conduct mitigation impact studies on a project-by-project basis, including the use of consultants as needed and financed by the project applicant under section 53G of chapter 44. The language proposed in the bill appears to allow a project-responsive fee, but the language should be carefully reviewed to ensure that it does so.

Inclusionary Zoning
Section 21
The MMA strongly supports inclusionary zoning. It is critically important that the bill include language expressly allowing inclusionary zoning provisions in local ordinances and by-laws. Inclusionary zoning is a vital and powerful tool that will actually result in the construction of affordable housing. Zoning reform without inclusionary zoning will do nothing to address issues of profitability and availability of affordable housing. We know the for-profit development community does not support inclusionary zoning, but this is the only tangible way that cities and towns can ensure that housing remains or becomes more affordable at the local level. Inclusionary zoning will actually benefit developers because future projects will become more attractive if cities and towns can be assured that affordable units will result.

Section 23
The MMA opposes the proposed language in section 23 regarding variances. Our members are deeply concerned that this section offers too much latitude in granting variances, specifically the language stipulating that “substantial hardship … financial or otherwise” would be an acceptable standard for a variance. This is not the case, as this overly broad, liberal and loose language would invite costly litigation and appeals, an undesirable result, to say the least. The MMA asks that this wording be removed.

Consolidated Permitting
Section 25
The MMA supports language authorizing consolidated permitting, but the section must not be a mandate and should instead be a local option. Further, there should be no “constructive approval” provisions, and we strongly oppose the last sentence in Section 3 of the new Chapter 40X (in lines 684-686), as this would strip many local boards of their lawful review authority in the event of a scheduling conflict or last-minute absence from the consolidated hearing. The threshold for an “eligible project” must be appropriate for all municipalities, and the MMA supports a higher threshold or providing cities and towns with the ability to choose their own thresholds, as we believe the current language would trigger consolidated permitting on a routine basis, which would be impractical given the scheduling demands and conflict that would arise. In addition, consolidated permitting provisions should require that applications be fully complete in advance of the process. Further, the 45-day time period as written is too short to accommodate the difficulties involved in coordinating scheduling among multiple boards, almost all of which are served by volunteers. Thus the timeframe should be changed to 90 days (a timeframe that is shorter than the combined timeframes it would take to apply for each permit serially).

Planning Ahead for Growth
Section 26
As drafted, the Planning Ahead for Growth section is a local option, but we believe that the programmatic objectives would be more broadly advanced by opening up some or all of the planning tools presented as incentives to those municipalities that adopt this section, to all municipalities statewide. Otherwise, municipalities that do not have the capacity to meet the requirements enumerated in this section would fall behind their neighbors in the areas of planning and economic development. The language should include a provision to fund local planning to promote the success of the objectives of this section.

Master Plans
Section 27
This section would restructure local master plans, and should be carefully reviewed to ensure that the newly required master plan components would be realistic for municipalities to complete, otherwise the provisions would impose an undue burden on communities. The language in section 27 should be amended to indicate that any master plan in effect at the passage of this act shall remain in effect and would not be subject to this Act for up to 15 years. Adoption of a master plan, or extension or revision, should be by a two-thirds vote of the legislative body of the municipality. However, municipalities should have the option to change that threshold (via a two-thirds vote) to a range anywhere between a simple majority and a two-thirds majority, with any change taking effect 6 months after the vote is taken.

Approval Not Required (ANR)
Section 31
The language of this section, as written, includes a presumption that requirements for travel lane widths in excess of 22 feet in a residential minor subdivision serve no valid purpose. The MMA opposes this restriction. That language should be removed from the bill, so that municipalities can continue to set travel lane width standards consistent with contextual design and local needs. These needs may vary from municipality to municipality and cannot be met by a width specified in state statute.

Subdivision Roadway Standards
Section 32
This section, pertaining to subdivision roadway standards, includes language establishing a presumption that design and dimensional requirements for total travel lane widths no greater than 24 feet shall be presumed to be not excessive. The MMA requests that this language be removed from the bill because, as previously noted, municipalities must be able to set travel lane width standards based on local needs, and the section 32 language implies that widths greater than 24 feet could be considered excessive.

Parks and Playgrounds
Section 33
The MMA supports the language regarding parks and playgrounds in subdivisions, as written. This section would allow municipalities to require the designation of up to 5 percent of the land in new subdivisions for park or playground use.

Sections 40 through 42
We do not understand the intent or impacts of sections 40, 41 and 42. These sections, which pertain to appeals of an approved subdivision plan, jurisdiction over appeals relating to the development of real property, and the transference of qualified cases to the permit session of the land court, should be clarified, and the impacts on municipalities should be explained before adoption of the language.

Master Planning Incentive/Presumption
Section 43
The MMA strongly opposes language that would remove or alter the current legal presumption that existing zoning ordinances and bylaws are valid and “serve a public purpose.” Section 43 would allow courts to invalidate municipal ordinances or bylaws that are inconsistent with new master plans, even though these master plans could be adopted by a majority vote, and amendments to zoning ordinances and bylaws would require a two-thirds vote. Thus, it will be difficult for many communities to bring their master plan and their ordinances and bylaws into harmony, which would lead to significant confusion and uncertainty regarding the legal status of their local zoning provisions, and invite litigation and delays at the local level. As municipalities already have absolute presumption, section 43 would actually create a disincentive to adopt new, updated master plans. Section 43 should be amended to strike language that would allow courts to invalidate ordinances and bylaws that do not comply with master plans.


In addition to reviewing S. 2144, the MMA has had a chance the closely examine H. 4140, An Act to Expedite Multifamily Housing Construction and Cluster Development. The MMA strongly opposes allowing “by-right” development, as local zoning decisions should be carefully reviewed and made by local legislative bodies and the appropriate legal authorities and boards in municipalities. As many of these provisions would simply grant additional rights to developers without addressing many of the factors that have led to the scarcity of affordable housing in the Commonwealth, the MMA strongly opposes incorporating H. 4140 or any of its provisions into S. 2144. We have detailed some of our concerns below.

“By-Right” Language
The MMA is gravely concerned by the “by-right” language in the bill. Eastern Massachusetts is one of the most densely populated areas in the United States, whose citizens care deeply about sustainable, environmentally friendly communities and land use, and this language is antithetical to many of those goals. Currently, zoning is controlled by the citizens of the municipality, not state-level bureaucrats or other officials. H. 4140 would take these decisions out of the hands of those who know their communities best. Additionally, “by-right” legislation does nothing to address actual affordable housing or the profit motivations that drive developers to build multi-million dollar condominiums and luxury apartments rather than increase the affordable housing stock. The MMA opposes zoning reform legislation that features “by-right” language. The negative impact on neighborhoods would be significant, and there are no provisions that would require or increase the amount of affordable housing in municipalities. Rather, we predict that H. 4140 would actually raise the overall cost of housing, as developers, incentivized by understandable profit motivations, would focus on high-end housing – this is exactly what we have been seeing in Massachusetts over the past several years.

Additional Bureaucracy
The MMA believes local zoning decisions are best made by local officials, not state or federal agencies. H. 4140 would give the Department of Housing and Community Development approval authority over local multi-family zoning districts, and allow the agency to develop and impose further bureaucratic and programmatic requirements on cities and towns. This is highly inadvisable, as state agency control has the potential to politicize zoning policy and impose one-size-fits-all standards on communities, ignoring the diverse nature of localities across the Commonwealth.

Inclusionary Zoning is a Much Better Tool for Affordable Housing
The goal of increasing the supply of affordable housing in the Commonwealth is a laudable one, but we are forced to conclude that very little in H. 4140 would actually lead to affordable housing. The bill gives developers and land owners the ability to develop more land and at greater density, but does nothing to address the profit motives that lead to the development of multi-million dollar condos and luxury apartments over affordable multi-family housing. In our comments above, we strongly advocate for inclusionary zoning authority at the local level, as this would be a much more effective tool to address local housing needs.


Following up on our discussion with Senate staff on May 10, we are also offering further input on the question of accessory apartments.

The MMA opposes a state mandate allowing accessory apartments “as of right,” as this would create significant building code and enforcement issues at the local level. Communities already have the authority to adopt accessory apartment provisions in their local zoning ordinances and bylaws, making these decisions based on local needs and conditions. Because of limited resources at the local level, there are likely thousands of unapproved accessory apartments throughout the state. There is no way that the Commonwealth could have enough information to know whether the legalization of these dwellings would be safe, advisable, or consistent with health, safety and building codes. We are very interested in working with you in the future to explore and advance possible frameworks or incentives that could lead to an increase in the number of legally acceptable accessory apartments. In the meantime, though, accessory apartments should continue to be a local option, not a mandate.


Once again, on behalf of cities and towns across the state, we thank you for your consideration of our comments and recommendations.

S. 2144 is far-reaching and complex, and proposes enormous changes that would have dramatic and widespread impacts on municipalities and local residents and businesses for generations to come. We strongly urge you to adopt the language changes identified above in order to preserve the local control of land use that must remain in place, and ensure that this legislation is balanced enough to protect the nature and quality of neighborhoods and communities throughout the state.

Local officials and the citizens of Massachusetts rightly expect all legislation to honor these important principles. We look forward to continuing to work with you throughout this important process. Thank you very much for devoting your time and energy to these vitally important policy matters. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to have your staff contact me, John Robertson or David Lakeman at (617) 426-7272 at any time.

Again, thank you.


Geoffrey C. Beckwith
MMA Executive Director & CEO

CC: The Honorable Daniel Wolf, State Senator
Mr. David Sullivan, Office of the Senate President

Tonight – “A Good Time for a Good Cause”


 “A Good Time for a Good Cause”

The Medfield Lions Club with support from the Medfield Neighbor Brigade will host an evening spring gala on Saturday, May 14th 7:30pm – 10:30pm at the Zullo Gallery on Main Street.


This 2nd annual event is to raise funds which will be used to help Medfield families going through significant tragedy, medical adversity or hardship.

The Medfield Neighbor Brigade is a network of volunteers that supports Medfield families going through a temporary crisis by supplying meals, rides and performing household chores.


For the past 2 years, the Medfield Lions Club has partnered with the Medfield Neighbor Brigade to support these families with gift card care packages made possible by this fundraiser and the generosity of the Medfield community.


The event will feature Medfield musicians, appetizers, a wine and beer bar, raffles and prizes.  Please join us for this extremely worthwhile event to help Medfield friends and neighbors during their time of need.  We will also be auctioning an autographed Julian Edelman game jersey – a real collector’s item!


The room is filling up but tickets are still available.  You can buy tickets at the door or go here to purchase tickets or make a donation:

There is also a list of those who will be attending.  You are sure to see some names you know!  The weather is supposed to cooperate so come have a glass of wine on the roof deck at Zullo while listening to Jeri Bregonzi’s jazz band.  It is all for a good cause.


Thanks much and see you tonight.


Toby Burell

Transfer Station today

At the Transfer Station today –

  • Swap (volunteers especially needed from 2-4 PM),
  • Recycling food scraps, and
  • Styrofoam recycling.