Unplanned, sprawling development is causing the loss of open space and wildlife habitat, abandonment and deterioration of our older cities, and more traffic, air pollution, and greenhouse gas emissions.

ELM is a founding member and plays a leading role in the Massachusetts Smart Growth Alliance (MSGA). We seek to promote healthy and diverse communities, protect critical environmental resources and working landscapes, advocate for housing and transportation choices, and support equitable community development and urban reinvestment.

Priorities for ELM and the Alliance include:

  • Reforming our outdated zoning laws which often don’t allow us to build the New England type villages for which we are known.
  • Partnering with communities that want to promote mixed use development, a range of housing choices, and natural resource protection.
  • Promoting regional and local planning.
  • Revitalizing our small cities that already have infrastructure, housing and more compact development

Current Legislative Priorities

An Act Promoting the Planning and Development of Sustainable Communities

The goal of the legislation is to encourage balanced development and land preservation that will meet the needs of the Commonwealth’s communities now and for the next generation. These changes would give our cities and towns the tools they need to make their vision for the future a reality; provide more certainty to property owners and developers; and realize better land use outcomes – jobs and homes in the right places, less spending on excess infrastructure, and important natural resources protected.