In a community with 7,500 or more year-round housing units: a comprehensive permit application
for more than 300 housing units or a number of units equal to 2 percent of the community’s total
units, whichever is greater. For example, in a community with 10,000 units, the “large project” cap
is 300 units, but in a community with 20,000 units, the cap is 400 units.
In a community with 5,001 to 7,499 year-round housing units: a comprehensive permit application
to build more than 250 housing units.
In a municipality with 2,500 to 5,000 year-round housing units: a comprehensive permit application
to build more than 200 housing units.
In a town with less than 2,500 year-round housing units: a comprehensive permit application to
build a number of units equal to 6 percent of all housing units in the municipality. For example, in a
community with 2,000 year-round units, a “large project” application would be 120 units.
The community received another application to develop the same site within the previous 12
months (760 CMR 56.03(7)), e.g., the developer sought a special permit or subdivision approval
for a nonresidential project or market-rate housing at the same site.
As noted in the Critical Deadlines chart, within 15 days of opening the public hearing,
the ZBA must notify the applicant (with a copy to DHCD) if the ZBA believes it can deny
the comprehensive permit because the community has met a statutory minimum or
qualifies under another safe harbor provision. The developer has the option to challenge
the ZBA’s assertion that a safe harbor has been met. DHCD will issue a decision
that may be subsequently appealed to the HAC.