For purposes of Chapter 40B, “safe harbor” refers to conditions under which a ZBA’s decision to deny a comprehensive permit will qualify as consistent with local needs and not be overturned by the HAC, provided the conditions were met prior to the date that the comprehensive permit was filed with the ZBA. The safe harbors include:
- The number of low or moderate income housing units in the city or town is more than 10 percent of the total number of housing units reported in the most recent federal (decennial) census;
- Low or moderate-income housing exists on sites comprising 1.5 percent or more of the community’s total land area zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use;2
- The comprehensive permit before the ZBA would lead to construction of low or moderate income housing on sites comprising more than 0.3 of 1 percent of the community’s total land area zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use, or 10 acres, whichever is larger, in one calendar year.