The Chamber’s Government Affairs Council held its regular monthly meeting on March 8 , with members attending in person and via Zoom. At their meeting, the Council continued their conversations about expanding the inventory and availability of affordable housing as a key to future economic prosperity for our region. This was the topic for the annual Economic Outlook Breakfast held on March 1 with Cynthia Nina-Soto as keynote speaker. In other business the Council reviewed the agenda for the March 25 Spring Greater Cape Ann Caucus. The March meeting also included Chamber and community updates and a summary report presented by Olivia on recent community meetings that she had attended.
Harborlight Community Partners Executive Director Andrew DeFranza was the special guest for the Council’s March meeting. Mr. DeFranza spoke about his organization’s comments on the state’s draft compliance guidelines for multi-family zoning districts in MBTA communities. Enacted as part of the economic development bill in January 2021, new Section 3A of M.G.L. c. 40A (the Zoning Act) requires that every MBTA community shall have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right. As defined in these guidelines Essex, Gloucester, Ipswich, Manchester-by-the-Sea and Rockport are all “MBTA communities”. For further information about this law and compliance guidelines please click here.
The Government Affairs Council leads the Chamber’s focus on economic development and public policy, one of our key platforms. This Council meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 7:30 to 9 AM, and participation is open to any Chamber member with an interest in being engaged with our state and local government and helping foster a vibrant Cape Ann economy. Currently, those who are part of our monthly meetings include representatives from greater Cape Ann’s industrial, tourism, government, real estate, legal, non-profit and services sectors. To learn more or join in these meetings, please contact Ken, Olivia, Peter or me. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 12.
Chair, Government Affairs Council
Scott Energy Company