Rochester Selectmen oppose bill to spur housing construction

Jul 5, 2018

Selectmen agreed Monday to oppose proposed state legislation that would make it easier to change zoning and other land-use-related bylaws.

Known as the "House Production Bill" because of its intent to spur housing construction, the legislation would require only a majority vote of townspeople to change such bylaws. At present, a two-thirds majority is required.

“It’s not something they’re targeting small communities on, but it will affect us,” said Selectmen Chair Woody Hartley, at the July 2 Selectmen's meeting.

Other board members agreed. Town Administrator Suzanne Szyndlar will write a letter opposing the bill to State Sen. Michael Rodrigues and State Rep. Bill Straus.

Proposed by Gov. Charlie Baker, the House Production Bill is backed by developers, the Massachusetts Municipal Association (representing cities and towns) and what appears to be a majority of legislators.