Transparency is Needed on Development
Date Published: October 4, 2023
Braintree is a special place. It is important that we act intentionally to preserve the fabric of our community while maintaining the stability of our Town’s resources -- this is especially important when it comes to development.
As Mayor, I will always give it to you straight. Honesty and transparency are what Braintree residents deserve and are seriously lacking under the current administration.
In 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature passed the MBTA Communities Act requiring all "MBTA Communities" to develop at least one multi-family housing district within ½ of a mile of public transit stations. Simply put, the state program is putting pressure on communities with public transit to create housing for the regional marketplace.
This law applies to Braintree because of our locations on the Red Line and commuter rail, and whether you support or oppose these zoning changes, they are coming. We do not want the state mandating what gets built in Braintree and without intentional community input and proactive involvement in this zoning process -- that is exactly what is starting to happen.
Mayor Kokoros and his administration have been fumbling through this since it launched. We have recently learned that his office has finalized four proposals to bring Braintree into compliance with the MBTA Communities Act, however they have not been shared publicly. Planning Board public hearings were promised to begin in July and to date there have been none. We are running out of time to have community input prior to an approval deadline at the end of December
Why does the Mayor feel the residents of Braintree should not see his proposals prior to the November election?
This is not how planning and development should be done in Braintree. The projects resulting from the MBTA Communities Act and the conversations around them have the potential to alter the fabric of Braintree with effects felt for decades. We have one chance to get it done right.
This conversation should be taking place out in the open with significant community input. Instead, it's happening behind closed doors at Town Hall with no community process. This is the wrong approach.
Braintree needs a plan and Braintree residents need a voice. Braintree needs bold leadership. Braintree needs a change.
Candidate for Braintree Mayor