DEC logoCHAPTER 498
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

In the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-three
AN ACT CREATING THE DEVENS ENTERPRISE COMMISSION

SECTION 10. Reuse Planning, Zoning and Regulations

The Bank and the Towns shall prepare a reuse plan and associated by- laws for Devens as provided for in this section, hereinafter referred to as the reuse plan and by-laws. The purpose of the reuse plan and by-laws will be to establish objectives, policies, requirements and standards to guide public and private decision- making and investment and to ensure the maintenance of quality of life and the protection of natural resources. To ensure that the interests of the Towns, the Devens Region and the Commonwealth are reflected in the Reuse Plan, participation of citizens and other interested parties in the planning process shall be encouraged. In formulating the Reuse Plan and Bylaws, the Bank and the Towns shall analyze factors relevant to the reuse of Devens, including the built environment, the natural environment, infrastructure and market conditions; identify the significant problems and opportunities concerning the reuse of Devens; establish objectives for the reuse of Devens and policies for achieving the objectives; and generate and assess alternative reuse options. The Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall establish and convey, through text, maps, illustrations or other media of communication, a comprehensive framework for the reuse of Devens. A principal concern of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall be the allocation of land uses in Devens, including, but not limited to:

(i) the allocation of land that is expected to be developed primarily by private parties into zones or districts for industrial, commercial, residential and other basic uses, for the height, area and land coverage of development within such zones or districts and the types or range of uses that will be permitted or prohibited within such zones or districts;

(ii) the allocation of land to be devoted to park and recreational uses and to conservation into appropriate zones or districts, and description of the types of regulatory measures to be applied to the use, preservation and protection of such land;

(iii) the allocation of land for public facilities such as schools, libraries, hospitals, police and fire stations, churches and playgrounds; and

(iv) the allocation of land for transportation and circulation, including existing and proposed roads, rail and mass transit, parking, bicycling and pedestrian circulation.

The Reuse Plan shall also contain a utilities component, which shall describe the distribution of water, sewer, gas, electrical, telephone, cable television, refuse collection and disposal and other similar services, whether public or private, and an implementation component, which shall address methods for achieving realization of the Reuse Plan, including regulatory programs, tax and other economic incentives and inducements, and direct capital investment. To provide a mechanism for amending and modifying the reuse plan and by-laws after final approval, as set forth herein, the reuse plan and by-laws shall contain criteria for determining which amendments or modifications constitute substantial revisions to the approved reuse plan and by-laws. Prior to submission of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws to the Towns for adoption, as set forth below, the Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall be approved by the board of directors of the Bank and the commissioner of the division of capital planning and operations. Before granting their approval, the Bank must find that the implementation of the Reuse Plan will provide for the development and redevelopment of Devens so as to eliminate blight, economic dislocation and unemployment, and to carry out the purposes of this act.

Before granting their approvals and adoption, the Bank and the Towns must hold two or more public hearings, as they determine appropriate, in the Devens Region to receive public comment on the proposed Reuse Plan and Bylaws. Notice of said public hearings shall be provided in a newspaper or newspapers of general circulation in the Devens Region at least fourteen days prior to the dates established for said hearings. The final public hearing on the proposed Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall be held not later than one year after the passage of this act within thirty days of the last public hearing on the proposed reuse plan and by-laws held by the bank and the towns, the bank shall submit copies of the reuse plan and by-laws to the governor, the secretary, the clerk of the house arid the clerk of the senate, the legislative representatives from the house and senate of the Devens region.

The Bank and Towns shall, within thirty days of the last public hearing held by the Bank and the Towns, submit the proposed Reuse Plan and Bylaws to the board of selectmen of each of the Towns. within ninety days of receipt of the proposed Reuse Plan and Bylaws, the board of selectmen of each of the Towns shall convene a town meeting to be held at the same date and time in each of the Towns for the purpose of adopting or rejecting, by majority vote of each town meeting, the Reuse Plan and Bylaws. Each Town shall vote to adopt or disapprove the Reuse Plan and Bylaws as submitted. No amendments to the Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall be made by the Towns. Each Town shall, within thirty days of an adoption or rejection of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws at a town meeting, provide the Bank and the commission with a written notification stating whether town meeting adopted or rejected the Reuse Plan and Bylaws. until such time as all three of the Towns have adopted the Reuse Plan and Bylaws, said Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall have no force and effect. Adoption of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws by at least three of the Towns shall constitute final acceptance of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws for the purposes of this act. Furthermore, such final acceptance shall be considered to be an approval by the boards of selectmen of the Towns of a redevelopment plan, as provided in section six of chapter two hundred and twelve of the acts of nineteen hundred and seventy-five, as amended, and the one-year override provision in such section six shall have no force and effect.

Subsequent to final acceptance of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws, a substantial revision to the Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall not be effective until the Bank and the Towns, following public hearings, have approved said revision, and all three of the Towns have accepted said revision, pursuant to the procedures described in the preceding paragraph relating to the approval of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws. Revisions to the reuse plan and by-laws not considered substantial pursuant to the provisions contained in the reuse plan and by-laws shall be effective upon approval thereof by the commission. Notwithstanding any other provision of this act, the Bank and the Towns may submit the proposed Reuse Plan, prior to and after final approval thereof, to the Department of the Army or any successor federal agency, and to the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, as deemed necessary by the Bank in relation to the preparation of Environmental Impact Statements and other documentation under the National Environmental Policy Act, 42 U.S.C.A. subsection 4321 et seq., as amended, and Environmental Impact Reports and other documentation under the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, chapter thirty of the General Laws subsection 61 et seq., as amended.

The preexisting Town zoning and Town Interim Planning Overlay Districts shall apply under applicable law until the Reuse Plan and Bylaws as specified in this act are approved by the Bank and Towns.

Prior to the final acceptance of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws, " (i) the Bank and the Towns shall not be prohibited from taking actions and entering into agreements necessary for the continued operation, maintenance, support, administration and "redevelopment of Devens; (ii) the Bank may enter into licenses, agreements or leases with the Department of the Army or other appropriate agency of the federal government or other party, related to the reuse of Fort Devens; and (iii} the Towns, or anyone or more of them, may enter into licenses or leases with the Department of the Army or other appropriate agency of the federal government or other party, related to the reuse of Fort Devens in conformance with the Reuse Plan for direct public purposes of the Town or Towns as provided for in section fifteen (3) of this act.

Regulations for the effective implementation and enforcement of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws shall be developed, and adopted by the Commission, pursuant to section eleven of this act.

Should final acceptance of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws by the Towns not occur by December 31, 1994, the Bank may, at its option, abandon its activities related to the operation, maintenance and redevelopment of Devens, in which event the provisions of this act shall be given no further force and effect. Such decision by the Bank to abandon its activities shall be evidenced by a certified copy of a vote of the board of directors of the Bank declaring such abandonment, which certificate shalI be filed with the Secretary, the House and Senate Committees on ways and Means and recorded with the Middlesex county Registry of Deeds and the Worcester County Registry of Deeds. The Bank may extend the aforementioned date for exercising its option to abandon activities at Devens related to the final acceptance of the Reuse Plan and Bylaws: by the Towns, on a year-to-year basis, for a period of three additional years, which extension shall, upon each occurrence, be evidenced by a certificate filed and recorded as provided above. Upon the Bank's exercising its option to abandon activities at Devens, the Bank may commence termination of its legal and other contractual obligations related to the operation, maintenance and redevelopment of Devens, and any interests in real or personal property acquired by the Bank in relation to the planned redevelopment of Devens may be liquidated or disposed of over a reasonable period of time as determined by the Bank. Within sixty days after the Bank files the certificate of abandonment, funding authorized by section twenty-nine of this act for the operation, maintenance and redevelopment of Devens shall no longer be available for expenditure for such operation, maintenance and redevelopment, except as may be necessary to accomplish the aforementioned liquidation and disposal in a safe and orderly fashion.


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