I am currently working on zoning reform as a member of the City of Newton’s Zoning and Planning Committee. Zoning reform is a huge opportunity to provide a more inclusive framework to enable us to meet our goals of providing more affordable and more diverse housing opportunities. It’s also an important tool to promote more sustainable community development patterns. I’m focused on incentivizing more energy-efficient building design, walkable neighborhoods and safer streets for all users including protected bike lanes. There are also opportunities for mimicking nature in our built environment that can help mitigate climate change, reduce the heat island effect and incorporate stormwater improvements to help improve water quality, especially in the Charles River.
We Need More Housing and More Diverse Housing Choices
Over the last 30 years, we have not been building enough housing to meet the needs. The result is sky-high housing costs that burden all but the affluent. I support building density where appropriate and prioritize building smaller and highly energy-efficient units. Mixed-use developments adjacent to city centers near amenities and transit reduces reliance on driving and helps create more walkable and vibrant communities.
I support the Governor’s Housing Choice Bill which is a collaboration between the Commonwealth and our communities that will enable the adoption of certain zoning best practices related to housing development by a simple majority vote, rather than the current two-thirds supermajority.
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