General Laws of Massachusetts - Chapter 23L Local Infrastructure Development Program - Section 3 Public hearing on petition; recommendations; vote; rights and powers of public facilities’ owner

Section 3. (a) Upon receipt of a petition under section 2, the municipal governing body shall, within 120 days of such receipt, hold a public hearing on the petition. Written notification of the hearing and a summary of the petition and the improvement plan shall be provided by the clerk of the municipality to all owners and tenants of properties in the proposed development zone and to the regional planning agency, not later than 14 days before the hearing, by mailing a notice to the address listed in the municipality’s property tax records or other appropriate listings of owners and residents. Notification of the hearing shall be published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the municipality and in a newspaper of general circulation in all municipalities within one-half mile of the borders of the proposed development zone, the first publication shall be at least 14 days before the hearing. The public notice shall state the proposed boundaries of the development zone, the improvements proposed to be provided in the development zone, the proposed basis for determining any infrastructure assessments with respect to those improvements and any locations for viewing and copying the petition, including the improvement plan.

(b) A public hearing under subsection (a) shall be held to determine if the petition satisfies the criteria of this chapter for a development zone and to obtain public comment regarding the improvement plan and the effect that the development zone may have on the owners of real estate, tenants and other persons within the development zone and on the municipality or adjacent communities. Within 90 days after the conclusion of the public hearing, the municipal governing body shall issue recommendations on the petition; provided, however, that the recommendations shall include, but not be limited to, the following findings:

(1) whether the establishment of the development zone is consistent with any applicable element or portion of a master plan of the municipality, which shall be confirmed in writing by the municipality’s planning board; and

(2) whether the proposed improvements in the development zone will be compatible with the capacity and uses of existing local and regional infrastructure services and facilities.

(c) Within 21 days after receipt of the recommendations required under subsection (b), the municipal governing body shall vote on the petition to establish the development zone and the improvement plan.

(d) Upon the approval of the petition by a majority vote of the municipal governing body under subsection (c), notice of such approval shall be promptly filed with the clerk of the municipality, the agency and the secretary of the commonwealth. Upon such filing, the development zone shall be deemed established and the improvement plan shall be deemed approved.

(e) The public facilities’ owner shall have all rights and powers necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate this chapter that are consistent with the improvement plan as approved by the municipal governing body, including, but not limited to, the authority:

(1) to make and enter into all contracts and agreements necessary or incidental to the exercise of any power granted by this chapter, including agreements with the municipality, the commonwealth, the agency and any other municipality or political entity or utility for the provision of services that are necessary to the acquisition, construction, operation or financing of the improvements within the development zone;

(2) to purchase or acquire by lease, lease-purchase, sale and lease-back, gift or devise, or to obtain or grant options for the acquisition of, any property, real or personal, tangible or intangible, or any interest therein, in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties and to acquire real estate or any interest therein, within the boundaries of the development zone itself, if authorized in the improvement plan, and to acquire real estate or any interest therein outside the boundaries of the development zone, necessary for the acquisition, construction and operation of the improvements or services relating thereto that are located within the development zone or are related to or provided by the public facilities’ owner;

(3) to construct, improve, extend, equip, enlarge, repair, maintain and operate and administer the improvements for the benefit of the development zone within or without the development zone and to acquire existing improvements or construct new improvements, including those located under or over any roads, public ways or parking areas and to enter upon and excavate any private land within the development zone for the purpose of constructing the improvements or repairing the same;

(4) to accept goods or gifts of funds, property or services from any source, public or private;

(5) to sell, lease, mortgage, exchange, transfer or otherwise dispose of or grant options for any such purposes with respect to any of the improvements, real or personal, tangible or intangible, within the development zone or serving the development zone or any interest therein;

(6) to pledge or assign any money, infrastructure assessments or other revenues relating to any improvements within or related to the development zone and any proceeds derived therefrom;

(7) to enter into contracts and agreements with the municipality, the agency, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof, the property owners of the development zone and any public or private party with respect to all matters necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out this chapter including, but not limited to, the acquisition of existing improvements, collection of revenue, data processing and other matters of management, administration and operation and to make other contracts of every name and nature and execute and deliver all instruments necessary or convenient for carrying out any of its purposes;

(8) to exercise the powers and privileges of, and to be subject to the limitations upon, municipalities under sections 38 to 42K, inclusive, of chapter 40 and chapters 80 and 83, insofar as such provisions may be applicable and consistent with this chapter; provided, however, that any requirement in said sections 38 to 42K, inclusive, of said chapter 40 and in said chapters 80 and 83 for a vote by the governing body of a municipality or for a vote by the voters of a municipality, shall be satisfied by a vote or resolution duly adopted by the board of selectmen, city council or town council as the case may be;

(9) to invest any funds in such manner and to the extent permitted under the General Laws for the investment of such funds by the treasurer of a municipality;

(10) to employ such assistants, agents, employees and persons as may be necessary in the public facilities’ owner’s judgment and to fix their compensation according to the terms of the improvement plan;

(11) to procure insurance against any loss or liability that may be sustained or incurred in carrying out this chapter in such amount as the public facilities’ owner shall deem necessary and appropriate with insurers licensed to furnish such insurance in the commonwealth;

(12) to apply for any loans, grants or other types of assistance from the United States government, the commonwealth or any political subdivision thereof that are described in the improvement plan or any amended improvement plan;

(13) to adopt an annual budget and to raise, appropriate and assess funds in amounts necessary to carry out the purposes for which development zone is formed as described in this chapter and the improvement plan;

(14) to sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded; and

(15) to do all things necessary, convenient or desirable for carrying out this chapter.

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Last modified: September 11, 2015