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Cohasset gains state funding for zoning study

Cohasset has recently pushed a zoning study to the forefront of the town’s priorities list.

On Dec. 13, residents will be asked to grant the town freedom to use $75,000 from Free Cash towards procuring consulting services for a zoning study in the Village and surrounding area. 

Weeks ahead of Special Town Meeting, though, Cohasset received news that the state would be bolstering their efforts in procuring funding.

The Massachusetts State Senate recently passed a bill that directs federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to assist the Commonwealth’s ongoing recovery.

As part of the spending package, Senator Patrick O’Connor filed for and secured an amendment to award $50,000 to the Town of Cohasset to support their work pursuing a zoning study within the Cohasset Village for economic growth and housing creation.

“Updating the Cohasset Zoning Code to better reflect the goals of the community is a top priority for the Town,” said Town Manager Chris Senior. “The funding secured by Senator O’Connor lends critical support to that effort, and will help Cohasset address business, housing and environmental challenges into the next decade.”

“The town has been focused on following through on crafting a development plan that will foster the short- and long-term health of local businesses,” said Senator O’Connor. “The Master Plan Implementation Committee has highlighted the link between the Harbor and the Village as critical to its success and this funding will go a long way in helping Cohasset determine what pathway makes the most sense to achieve their overall vision. I’m proud to have secured this funding to support their vision.”

When Cohasset drafted its 2020 Municipal Harbor Plan, it included the creation of a new the Harbor Village Business Overlay District (HVBOD).

As the town continues to look to breathe life in the Village district, as well as connect the Harbor to the Village via the Elm Street Corridor, new zoning bylaws could help to aid development.

The Harbor Committee, chaired by Tim Davis, will take a large role in determining the best direction in that area for the town.

The Harbor Committee is responsible for making recommendations to the Select Board and the Town Manager concerning the operation and condition of the Harbor. The Committee works to implement the goals and recommendations identified in the 2020 Cohasset Municipal Harbor Plan.

At the forefront of work in the Harbor/Village area will be the Committee’s lone established working group, known as the Cohasset Harbor Infrastructure Planning (CHIP) Working Group.

With both the House and Senate having passed their own versions of ARPA spending plans, the two bills must now be reconciled before heading to the Governor’s desk. Senator O’Connor is one of the six legislators responsible for finding compromise between the two versions.

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