MA Foundation for Growth - Why All Housing Isn't Equal

On the Massachusetts Foundation for Growth's "Growing Debate" blog, consultant Bonnie Heudorfer argues that, of the Commonwealth's seven economic regions, it is most logical to encourage new housing development in the Greater Boston region.   She offers several reasons, including concentration of jobs as well as availability of transportation options and infrastructure: 

Development at the outer fringe of the metropolitan area, in towns without public water and sewer, consumes more land per dwelling than development in locations with existing infrastructure. . . Large lot zoning goes hand in hand with dependence on septic (although a number of communities with large lot zoning do not rely on septic).  While large lot zoning can mitigate some of the challenges of on-site sewage disposal, it creates other problems. . .

In conclusion, Heudorfer points out that the Metropolitan Area Planning Council's MetroFuture Plan calls for a more sustainable development pattern, which she calls "a promising beginning." 

In an earlier post, consultant Ann Silverman writes about opportunities for development in built-up communities and describes resources to help examine opportunities for growth.