State Panel Can Strike ‘Uneconomic’ Zoning Conditions
The Massachusetts Supreme Court upheld a decision by the Housing Appeals Committee rejecting conditions the Milton zoning board put on an affordable housing project. The court said the HAC is authorized to strike or modify any conditions that would make it uneconomic to proceed with a project.
Why This Is Important…Where (1) a project was declared economically feasible by and received a funding commitment from a subsidizing public agency; (2) the developer sought and received a comprehensive permit subject to conditions; and (3) the conditions imposed make the project significantly more uneconomic; the state agency has the authority to reject the Town’s conditions. This is the second case this year where the Massachusetts Supreme Court has recognized state-imposed limitations on municipal authority to regulate zoning. The other case overturned the rejection of a road for a solar project which was found to unduly restrict the development of a solar project which state law favored.