Back to work on zoning reform

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Breaking news: The fight to repeal 40B via the 2008 ballot is already over. The Secretary of State’s Office reported this morning that it certified 33,849 signatures for the initiative, short of the required 66,593 to get it on the ballot.

According to CHAPA’s 2006 count, 40B is responsible for the creation of approximately 43,000 housing units in 736 developments statewide since its inception in 1969.

In an ideal world, there would be no need for 40B. Better for the housing to be built in accordance with local and regional plans and zoning – if only that zoning allowed for all kinds of housing to be built. But our communities erect paper walls of regulations to keep out apartment buildings, townhouses, nanny flats, you name it, everything but single family homes on large lots.

We need 40B as a mechanism to get something else built. We could use a few more tools as well. At least now advocates for smart growth can focus on meaningful zoning reform, and not on the fight to save 40B. Phew.