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Issue:  Land Use
Land Use in Massachusetts and elsewhere

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Act now to eliminate private-benefit eminent domain
Massachusetts is one of a handful of states that has taken no action to restrain eminent domain after the Supreme Court’s 2005 Kelo decision finding eminent domain for private use constitutional. It seems self-evident that forcibly taking property from one owner and giving it to another for financial gain is unfair — even un-American. Yet our legislature seems reluctant to take up the Court’s suggestion that states may enact their own restrictions.

Small Is Beautiful: Help promote small-plot farming in MA
The State Legislature’s Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources, and Agriculture will soon make a decision on H715, the Small Plot Farming bill. Background information about the bill appears below. A hearing was held last June. Both the Mass Farm Bureau and the Mass Department of Agricultural Resources support the bill.

Governor’s tilt toward real estate industry unnerves a forme
Governor’s tilt toward real estate industry unnerves a former supporter.

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Repeal of Chapter 40B May Be on 2008 Ballot
Citizens Group Proposes Repeal of Chapter 40B A citizens groups called Repeal 40B has filed a ballot petition to repeal the state’s much-abused Chapter 40B comprehensive permitting law.

Patrick Moves to Curtail Citizen Rights to Appeal DEP Decisions
Patrick Moves to Curtail Citizen Rights to Appeal DEP Decisions

Legislature rolls back tidelands protection
Legislature rolls back tidelands protection

Learning from California:
Learning from California: The Mello-Roos Act and Chapter 40T

Citizens for Limited Taxation Opposes Chapter 40T
Citizens for Limited Taxation Opposes Chapter 40T

Legislative Hearing Raises Questions on Surplus Land Legislation
Legislative Hearing Raises Questions on Surplus Land Legislation

North Point Development in Disarray, Developers Turn on Each Other
North Point Development in Disarray, Developers Turn on Each Other

Toxics Bill Still Awaiting Action
Toxics Bill Still Awaiting Action

Partners’ row may threaten project
Partners’ row may threaten project NorthPoint creators suing each other over payments, contracts

Legal battle could mean NorthPoint’s headed south
Legal battle could mean NorthPoint’s headed south

Tidelands Bill Meets Opposition from Community Advocates and Legislators
Tidelands Bill Meets Opposition from Community Advocates and Legislators

Deval czar feted at NorthPoint law firm
[Editor’s Note: Gregory Bialecki, the state’s expedited permitting chief, contends that he has distanced himself from involvement in the Patrick Administration attempt to weaken the Public Waterfront Act on behalf of NorthPoint developers. But after saying this, he attended a reception in his honor at his former law firm which is the legal counsel for NorthPoint. The separation between Bialecki the public servant and Bialecki the developer lobbyist appears to be paper thin. Boston Herald report on the event is reprinted below.]

Local Legislators Tell Patrick: Don’t Weaken Waterfront Protections
Legislators from Cambridge and Somerville tell Governor Deval Patrick that they will not go along with Administration’s bill to weaken the Public Waterfront Act.

Chapter 91, The Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act
Chapter 91, The Massachusetts Public Waterfront Act

House No. 847 – Changing the definition of “public purpose”
House No. 847 – Changing the definition of “public purpose”

Patrick bill would help project that had employed 2 aides
Patrick bill would help project that had employed 2 aides

Patrick Rebuffs Citizens, Tilts toward Developers
Patrick Rebuffs Citizens, Tilts toward Developers

H3757 – AN ACT REGARDING THE LICENSING REQUIREMENTS FOR LANDLOCKED FILLED TIDELA
[Note: This is the text of the legislation filed by the Patrick Administration to eliminate certain permitting requirements for projects affecting tidelands.

Deval says coast is clear: After court ruling, gov moves to aid projects
Deval says coast is clear: After court ruling, gov moves to aid projects

Patrick bill paves way for vast E. Cambridge project
Patrick bill paves way for vast E. Cambridge project

Analysis of North Point Tidelands Decision
Analysis of North Point Tidelands Decision By The Supreme Judicial Court

Developers Ducked Needed Permit, says Court – State’s New Permitting Chief was A
Developers Ducked Needed Permit, says Court – State’s New Permitting Chief was Attorney for Developers

ON THE WATERFRONT
[The following editorial concerns a 2006 attempt by real estate lobbyists to weaken the Public Waterfront Act by eliminating the right of citizen appeal. The measure was part of the expedited permitting legislation. It was removed after a number of public interests groups protested. Note that the Globe concluded that arguments put forth by David Belgelfer, chief executive of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, were misleading. Belgelfer’s organization has filed 8 bills in the 2007 Legislative session. – Ed.]

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note: all items are listed in chronological order
 

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