In response to the June 2, 2014 Boston Globe editorial, “Sprawl takes a fall?,” NAIOP Massachusetts submitted the following Letter to the Editor:
A recent Boston Globe editorial titled “Sprawl takes a fall?” urges the Legislature to pass zoning legislation with the incorrect assumption that the bill will result in the production of more reasonably priced housing. Unfortunately, the legislation would actually hinder, not encourage, the production of this much needed housing.
The bill makes a number of changes to the zoning law, Chapter 40A, which would apply statewide. However, many of the other changes would apply only in “opt-in” communities. Key parts of the bill would limit predictability and add financial risks for expanding businesses in the Commonwealth. For these reasons, all of the industry trade groups in the state representing builders and developers strongly oppose this legislation.
The lack of workforce housing is a barrier to economic growth, limiting the ability of business leaders to attract the best talent when competing with other states with lower costs of living. Instead of passing this very problematic bill, we urge the Legislature to work with the Administration, municipalities and the business community to create a new program that truly encourages the production of denser and more affordable housing.
David I. Begelfer
NAIOP Massachusetts, The Commercial Real Estate Development Association