In 2006, Chapter 43D of the Massachusetts General Law, also known as “expedited permitting,” was signed into law. This program offers communities a tool for targeted economic development at “priority development sites.” The goals of Chapter 43D are to provide a transparent and efficient process for municipal permitting, to guarantee permitting decisions on priority development sites within 180 days, and to provide increased marketing and visibility of target development sites. Priority development sites must be:
- Zoned for commercial or industrial development;
- Eligible for the development or redevelopment of a building of at least 50,000 square feet gross floor area (includes existing structures and contiguous buildings);
- Approved by the local governing authority; and
- Approved by the state’s Interagency Permitting Board.
The benefits of participating in the Chapter 43D program include:
- Priority consideration for MassWorks funding, brownfields remediation assistance, and other financing;
- Online marketing and promotion of the site; and
- Collection of special fees for priority development site permit applications.
NMCOG has assisted the Town of Pepperell with designating the former Pepperell Paper Mill site as a 43D Priority Development Site.
NMCOG staff also assisted the Town of Billerica in obtaining a 43D designation for a property located on the Middlesex Turnpike that is now home to EMD Serono. NMCOG staff assisted the Towns of Billerica, Dracut, Tewksbury and Tyngsborough in evaluating their permitting processes and provided each community with a Streamlined Permitting Guide. For more information on this program, visit the Massachusetts Permit Regulatory Office website at www.mass.gov/mpro or contact Jay Donovan, NMCOG Assistant Director, at 978-454-8021, extension 116.