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Brookline MA Once Again Trying to Ban Fossil Fuels, This Time it Could Work

9 June 2021



From a previous action:

The Town of Brookline released the Warrant Articles this afternoon for the May 19th Annual Town Meeting. Included in this Town Meeting will be the modified Warrant Article 21, which as you remember was the proposed general by-law to prohibit fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and significant renovation. Below is a brief summary of warrant article 26. The full the full article can be found on pages 28-34 of the Brookline Annual Town Meeting Warrant.

The amended article aims to limit the installation of new fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and significant renovations through the Towns existing special permitting process. Essentially Under this Article, a special permit for a project that includes new construction or significant renovations may be issued only if the proposal does not include new fossil fuel infrastructure or if the permit is made subject to conditions that will ensure the property will be converted to electric infrastructure in the future. These conditions may include expiration of the permit in 2030 or after five years—whichever comes later—or alternatively upon transfer of the property outside the family. Upon the expiration of such a permit, the owner would be required to bring the property into zoning compliance by removing and replacing the fossil fuel infrastructure or the construction or use that triggered the special permit condition in the first place. This Article requires that property owners subject to an expiring special permit receive notice from the Town well in advance of the expiration date.

How it works:

Special permits are used to seek zoning relief. Those who seek special permits for major construction projects (new construction and gut renovation) will have two options: 1. To choose a regular special permit and to build Fossil Fuel Free) FFF (defined here as it was in WA21, with essentially the same exemptions and waivers) 2. To choose an expiring special permit and to build non-FFF (defined here as it was in WA21, with essentially the same exemptions and waivers)

Photo By RICK SOBEY Boston Herald PUBLISHED: November 21, 2019

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