BOSTON – The Baker-Polito Administration today, November 2, announced $1,030,659 in grants for 31 projects to improve municipal land use planning and development through the second round of grants from the Planning Assistance Grant Program.
Through this program, the Massachusetts Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) provides municipalities funding to undertake public processes and hire technical expertise to improve their land use practices, diversify housing choices, mitigate and prepare for climate change impacts, and conserve and develop land consistent with the Massachusetts Sustainable Development Principles.
The Town of Ashland is one of the 31 communities to receive a grant. The community will receive $25,700 to rezone its downtown.
Yesterday, the Town of Ashland received a $3 million grant from the Commonwealth.
“Through smart and sustainable development, we can ensure Massachusetts remains an exceptional place to live and grow a business,” said Governor Charlie Baker. “As an important supplement to our Housing Choice Initiative, these grants help municipalities modify their plans and regulations to build more affordable housing, better protect natural resources, and reduce car travel.”
“The Baker-Polito Administration is committed to working in partnership with communities to provide residents across the Commonwealth good jobs, transit access, housing, and access to open space,” said Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito. “We are proud to provide municipalities the funding and technical expertise to make smart land use decisions that are right for their communities and unique needs and challenges.”
“My hometown of Ashland is in the process of an exciting, transformative downtown revitalization project, and this grant will help the town to implement its vision,” said Senate President Karen E. Spilka (D-Ashland). “As part of a multi-town collaboration, my community of Natick will also benefit as it implements its Net Zero Energy Planning efforts. I am grateful for the partnership of Secretary Beaton and the Baker-Polito administration in recognizing the importance of developing sustainable communities.”
The Metropolitan Area Planning Council received a $150,000 net zero energy planning grant for the communities of Arlington, Melrose, and Natick.
The Planning Assistance Grant Program is part of an effort to encourage municipalities to implement land use regulations that are consistent with the Baker Administration’s land conservation and development objectives, including reduction of land, energy, and natural resource consumption, provision of sufficient and diverse housing, and mitigation of and preparation for climate change.
The program is also part of the technical assistance offered to communities in support of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Housing Choice Initiative.
“I am excited that Ashland is receiving a grant from the Planning Assistance Grant Program to help renovate its downtown,” said State Representative Jack Patrick Lewis (D-Framingham). “Ashland is a vibrant community in growth, and these funds will help to ensure that its downtown continues to thrive.”
“This program encourages communities to reduce their land, natural resource, and energy consumption through smart local development planning,” said EEA Secretary Matthew Beaton. “Helping municipalities improve their land use regulations will allow them to achieve their housing, economic development, climate change resiliency and environmental protection goals.”