* Managing Editor, Boston College Environmental Affairs Law Review, 200203. I would like to thank Jonathan Witten and Jo Lown for their help in producing this Comment. 1 John Turner & Jason Rylander, Land Use: The Forgotten Agenda, inThinking Ecologically: The Next Generation of Environmental Policy 61 (Marian R. Chertow & Daniel C. Esty eds., 1997). 2See, e.g., Roger Meiners & Bruce Yandle, Common Law and the Conceit of Modern Environmental Policy, 7 Geo. Mason L. Rev. 923, 924 (1999). 3Id. at 924, 95152. 4See, e.g., William Goldfarb, Changes in the Clean Water Act Since Kepone: Would They Have Made a Difference?, 29 U. Rich. L. Rev. 603, 60512 (1995). 5 Clean Water Act, 33 U.S.C. §§ 12511387 (2000). 6 Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 69016922k (2000). 7 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 96019675 (2000). 8 Meiners & Yandle, supra note 2, at 92425. 9 Turner & Rylander, supra note 1, at 6061. 10See id. 11Id. at 61. 12Id. at 60. 13 Joel S. Russell, Massachusetts Land-Use LawsTime for a Change, Land Use Law & Zoning Dig., Jan. 2002, at 7, 12, available at http://www.planning.org/LULZD/mass-laws.htm (last visited May 12, 2003). The two exceptions are the Cape Cod Commission and the Marthas Vineyard Commission, each of which has been given regional power over its land use planning. Jon Witten, Affordable HousingAt What Price?, Land Use Law & Zoning Dig., Jan. 2002, at 6 n.1, available at http://www.planning.org/LULZD/mass-laws.htm (last visited May 12, 2003). 14SeeRobert H. Freilich, From Sprawl to Smart Growth: Successful Legal, Planning, and Environmental Systems 2 (1999). For a more in-depth discussion of the definition of sprawl, see infra Part I. 15 Turner & Rylander, supra note 1, at 61. 16SeeAm. Planning Assn, Planning for Smart Growth: 2002 State of the States 22 (2002), at http://www.planning.org/growingsmart/pdf/states2002.pdf (last visited May 12, 2003). 17Id. 18Jennifer Steel, Mass. Audubon Socy, Losing Ground: An Analysis of Recent Rates and Patterns of Development and Their Effects on Open Space in Massachusetts 1 (2d ed. 1999). 19See infra Part II. This is notwithstanding recent reports indicating that its oversight of industry compliance may be comparably lax. See David Arnold, Pollution Checking Said to Lag in Mass., Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2003, at B1. 20See Cymie Payne, Local Regulation of Natural Resources: Efficiency, Effectiveness, and Fairness of Wetlands Permitting in Massachusetts, 28 Envtl. L. 519, 52829 (1998). 21Id. 22Id. 23Id. at 529. 24See id. at 52829. 25See discussion infra Part II. 26See Chris Frates, Nature Lovers Flock to Census: Thousands ID Bay States Wildlife, Boston Globe, June 11, 2001, at B1. 27See discussion infra Part II. 28 Payne, supra note 20, at 528. 29 Anthony Flint, First-Ring Suburbs Hurting, Study Finds, Boston Globe, Oct. 21, 2001, at B1. 30See generally Steel, supra note 18 (reporting and analyzing relevant statistics). 31Id. at 1. 32 The Secretary of Environmental Affairs heads the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs in Massachusetts. See Frates, supra note 26, at B1. 33Id. 34 The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, §§ 117 (2000). 35SeeAm. Planning Assn, supra note 16, at 71. At the same time, effectively controlling sprawl in Massachusetts will not be possible without reforming the Massachusetts Low and Middle Income Housing Act, 1969 Mass. Acts 712 (codified as amended at Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40B, §§ 2023 (2000)). Witten, supra note 13, at 8. 36Freilich, supra note 14, at 2. 37See id. 38Id. at 16 (providing the definition of sprawl given by Richard Moe, President of the National Trust for Historic Preservation). 39Steel, supra note 18, at 2. 40SeeFreilich, supra note 14, at 1617. 41Id. at 29. 42See id. 43Id. at 30. 44 Many books and articles have dealt with the question of why society should enact policies that control sprawl, and recent reports illustrate both successes and failures in dealing with the issue. Seegenerally, e.g., Ann Brown et al., Sierra Club, Sprawl: The Dark Side of the American Dream (1998) (analyzing sprawl nationally by focusing on the twenty population centers most characterized by unplanned development), at http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/report98/report.asp (last visited May 12, 2003); Sierra Club, Smart Choices or Sprawling Growth: A 50-State Survey of Development (2000) (reporting development patterns in all fifty states and highlighting positive and negative trends), at http://www.sierraclub.org/sprawl/50statesurvey/SmartChoices.pdf (last visited May 12, 2003); Steel, supra note 18 (analyzing patterns of development in Massachusetts and its effects on biodiversity). This Comment concentrates on the legal effect of current Massachusetts statutes on efforts to control sprawl. 45 First- and second-ring suburbs refer to the first two layers of growth that build up around a city core. SeeFreilich, supra note 14, at 78. 46Id. at 16. 47Seeid. 48See, e.g., James H. Wickersham, Note, The Quiet Revolution Continues: The Emerging New Model for State Growth Management Statutes, 18 Harv. Envtl. L. Rev. 489, 495 (1994) (Low-density suburban development patterns can radically affect the environment.). 49Id. 50See id. 51See id. 52See id. 53See James P. Lester, A New Federalism? Environmental Policy in the States, inEnvironmental Policy in the 1990s, at 63 (Norman J. Vig & Michael E. Kraft eds., 2d ed. 1994) (labeling Massachusetts environmental programs progressive due to the Commonwealths high commitment to environmental protection and strong institutional capabilities for implementation). 54See Payne, supra note 20, at 520, 534. 55Id. at 534. 56Id. 57Id. 58Id. 59Id. 60 Payne, supra note 20, at 524. 61 Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 131, § 40 (2000). 62 Payne, supra note 20, at 524. 63Id. at 527 (citing Mass. Dept of Envtl. Prot.,An Assessment of Non-Compliance with the Wetlands Protection Program: A Final Report for the 104(b)(3) EPA State Wetlands Program Development Grant CD001633-01, at fig.3 (1994)). 64Id. 65Id. 66Id. at 56768. 67 Ned Abelson et al., Massachusetts, inBrownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property 456 (Todd S. Davis & Kevin D. Margolis eds., 1997). 68 Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 96019675 (2000). 69 Massachusetts Oil and Hazardous Material Release Prevention Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 21E, §§ 119 (2000). 70Id. § 3. 71 42 U.S.C. § 9605. 72 Abelson, supra note 67, at 456. 73Id. 74Id. 75Envtl. Law Inst., Research Project No. 941724, An Analysis of State Superfund Programs: 50 State Study, 1998 Update 14748 (1998), available at http://www.eli. org/pdf/50state98.pdf (last visited May 12, 2003). 76Id. at 148. 77Id. at 4. 78Executive Office of Envtl. Affairs Web site, Introduction to the EOEA Visible Species of Massachusetts Database, at http://data.massgis.state.ma.us/Biodiversity (last visited May 12, 2003). 79 Beth Daley, State Plans a Census with Nature in Mind, Boston Globe, May 18, 2001, at A12. 80Id. 81 Beth Daley, Science to Drive Conservation of Mass. Land, Boston Globe, Aug. 10, 2001, at B1. 82Id. 83 Frates, supra note 26, at B1. 84 Daley, supra note 79, at A12. 85 Frates, supra note 26, at B1. 86 Daley, supra note 79, at A12. 87Id. 88See Russell, supra note 13, at 12. For example, any comprehensive reform must include revisions to the Massachusetts Low and Middle Income Housing Act, Mass. Gen. Lawsch. 40B, §§ 2023 (2000). 89 The Zoning Act, 1975 Mass. Acts 808 (codified as amended at Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, §§ 117 (2000)). 90Seeid. § 6. 91Id. 92See Mass. Gen. Laws Ann. ch. 40A, § 1 (West 1994). It is unclear why the Massachusetts legislature has refused to amend the Zoning Act. The American Planning Association reported that efforts to reform the States comprehensive planning laws have been unsuccessful despite an attempt by planning advocates to pass laws requiring communities to develop comprehensive plans and then link those plans to local zoning ordinances. Am. Planning Assn, supra note 16, at 71. 93SeeMass. Const. amend. art. II, § 89; Home Rule Procedures Act, 1966 Mass. Acts 734 (codified as amended at Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 43B, §§ 120 (2000)). 94See Vill. of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365, 387 (1926); Freilich, supra note 14, at 58. 95SeeFreilich, supra note 14, at 58. 96Id. 97 Teresa Rohwedder, Note, Regulation of Zoning Nonconformities in Massachusetts: The Difficult and Infelicitous Language of Section 6, Chapter 40A, Massachusetts Zoning Act, 28 New Eng. L. Rev. 1123, 1128 (1994). 98SeeMass. Const. amend. art. II, § 89; ch. 43B, §§ 120 (2000). 99 Rohwedder, supra note 97, at 1128. 100Id. 101Id. 102 Bd. of Appeals v. Hous. Appeals Comm., 294 N.E.2d 393, 409 (1973). 103 Rohwedder, supra note 97, at 112829. 104See The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 105Seeid. 106 Richard A. Forsten, Land Use Reform and the Law of Unintended Consequences: Are We Headed Where We Want To Go?, 18 Del. Law. 5, 7, 2526 (2000). 107Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6. 108 Forsten, supra note 106, at 7 (noting the paradox that older properties often need to be modified to conform with modern business practices, and retain their utility, yet it is nearly impossible to modify an older property and meet current zoning requirements). 109Id. at 7, 2526 (noting that existing, nonconforming properties are not recycled because it is far easier, and encouraged under the law, for newer businesses to improve undeveloped land rather than improve a pre-existing nonconforming property). 110 Russell, supra note 13, at 3. 111 Todd S. Davis & Kevin D. Margolis, Defining the Brownfields Problem, inBrownfields: A Comprehensive Guide to Redeveloping Contaminated Property 5 (Todd S. Davis & Kevin D. Margolis eds., 1997). 112Id. at 8. 113Id. at 5. 114Id. at 12. 115 Forsten, supra note 106, at 26. 116Id. 117See Vill. of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365, 395 (1926) (upholding zoning as a legitimate exercise of the police power); Forsten, supra note 106, at 7. 118See The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 119Id. 120See Powers v. Bldg. Inspector, 296 N.E.2d 491, 494 (Mass. 1973); Willard v. Bd. of Appeals, 514 N.E.2d 369, 372 (Mass. App. Ct. 1987) (The first paragraph of [chapter 40A, section] 6 . . . contains an obscurity of the type which has come to be recognized as one of the hallmarks of the chapter.); Fitzsimonds v. Bd. of Appeals, 484 N.E.2d 113, 115 (Mass. App. Ct. 1985) (noting that the provisions of section 6 of the Zoning Act are as difficult and infelicitous as other language of the act recently reviewed). Clearly, this sentence needs to be rewritten merely to make grammatical sense. 121Willard, 514 N.E.2d at 372. 122Id. 123SeeMass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6; Rohwedder, supra note 97, at 115051. 124See discussion infra Part III.C. 125Id. 126Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6. 127Id. 128 Mass. Broken Stone Co. v. Town of Weston, 723 N.E.2d 7, 9 (Mass. 2000). 129Id. 130 Russell, supra note 13, at 3. 131See, e.g., id. at 34 (noting that once word of proposed zoning change leaks out, landowners hurry to file development applications; the development resulting from this knee-jerk filing is difficult for a locality to predict). 132Id. at 6. 133See Mass. Broken Stone, 723 N.E.2d at 9 (recognizing the absolute protection of the zoning freeze on the land covered by a subdivision plan). 134See Heritage Park Dev. Corp. v. Town of Southbridge, 674 N.E.2d 233, 236 (Mass. 1997). 135Id. (quoting Mass. Dept of Cmty. Affairs, Report of the Department of Community Affairs Relative to Proposed Changes and Additions to the Zoning Enabling Act, H.R. Doc. No. 5009, at 38 (1972)). 136Id. 137Id. 138Id. 139Id. The zoning-freeze period was extended to eight years in 1982. Act of June 28, 1982, ch. 185, 1982 Mass. Acts (codified at Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000)). 140Heritage Park, 674 N.E.2d at 236. 141Id. at 234. 142Id. 143Id. 144Id. 145Id. Because the definitive plan had been conditionally approved, Southbridge had increased the area and frontage requirements in single- and two-family zoning districts, which included areas encompassed by the subdivision plan. Id. 146Heritage Park, 674 N.E.2d at 234. 147Id. at 235 n.4. 148Id. at 235. 149Id. 150 Heritage wanted to subdivide the property into 143 single- and two-family dwelling lots. Id. at 234. 151Id. 152Heritage Park, 674 N.E.2d at 235. 153Id. 154Id. at 237. 155See, e.g., Arenstam v. Planning Bd., 560 N.E.2d 142, 144 (Mass. App. Ct. 1990). 156Id. at 143. 157Id. 158Id. at 14344. 159Id. at 144. 160Id. at 14445. 161Arenstam, 560 N.E.2d at 145. 162See id. 163 The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 164Id. 165See discussion infra Part V.B. 166Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6. 167Id. 168E.g., Samson v. San-Land Dev. Corp., 458 N.E.2d 1201, 1203 (Mass. App. Ct. 1984). 169 Falcone v. Zoning Bd. of Appeals, 389 N.E.2d 1032, 1033 (Mass. App. Ct. 1979). 170 Miller v. Bd. of Appeals, 396 N.E.2d 180, 18081 (Mass. App. Ct. 1979). 171See Russell, supra note 13, at 3. 172See id. at 34, 6. 173 389 N.E.2d at 1033. 174Id. at 1032. 175Id. at 1033. 176Id. 177Id. at 1034. 178 588 N.E.2d 692, 693 (Mass. App. Ct. 1992). 179Id. 180Id. 181Id. 182Id. 183Id. 184Long, 588 N.E.2d at 693. 185Id. 186Id. at 694. 187Id. 188Id. 189Id. 190Long, 588 N.E.2d at 695. 191See id. at 695 n.7. 192Id. The legislature neglected to take up the courts suggestion to amend the statute. 193 The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 194 Russell, supra note 13, at 3 (noting that states as varied as South Carolina, Washington, Maine, and Utah have enacted land use legislation that allows localities to plan for and manage growth); see discussion infra Part IV. 195 Russell, supra note 13, at 1 (noting that the power of special interest lobbies and the very incomprehensibility of the subject matter to most state legislators have posed monumental barriers to reform in the past). 196 Sturges v. Town of Chilmark, 402 N.E.2d 1346, 1349 (Mass. 1980). 197Id. at 1349 n.6. 198Id. at 1349. 199See discussion infra Part V.A.1. 200Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 1350. 201 Collura v. Town of Arlington, 329 N.E.2d 733, 736 (Mass. 1975). 202Id. at 734. 203Id. at 737; see discussion infra Part V.A.1. 204 Johnson v. Town of Edgartown, 680 N.E.2d 37, 42 (Mass. 1997). 205 Jay Wickersham, Managing Growth Without a Growth Management Statute: The Uses of MEPA, New Eng. Plan. (Am. Planning Assn, Mass. & R.I. chapters), Apr. 2001, at 1, http://www.massapa.org/newsletters/April2001.pdf (last visited May 12, 2003). 206 Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 62 (2000). 207See discussion infra Part V.A.2. 208 Oregon was selected as representative of the many states that have enacted growth management statutes. Although there are differences among these statutes, the emphasis here is on the contrast between states with and states without growth management statutesnot on the exact provisions of any particular statute. 209 Wickersham, supra note 48, at 492. 210Id. at 493. 211Id. 212See id. at 494. Although the historical trend of suburbanization began in the nineteenth century, it accelerated rapidly in the second half of the twentieth century. Id. 213Id. 214Id. at 495. 215 Wickersham, supra note 48, at 496. 216Id. at 489. 217Id. at 489 n.2. 218Id. 219Id. at 507. 220Id. at 512. 221 1973 Or. Laws 80 (codified as amended at Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 197.005.860 (2001)). 222Or. Rev. Stat. § 197.005. 223Id. § 197.010. 224Id. § 197.013. 225 Wickersham, supra note 48, at 52223. This is contrasted with the model used in Vermont, for example. Vermont also passed a growth management statute in the early 1970s in which regional or state level approval was required for major development projects. Id. at 512. Under Vermonts program the proponent of a major development project must obtain a project permit from one of the nine regional Environmental District Commissions (EDCs). Id. at 513. The threshold for coming under the regulatory reach of this statute is quite low; the statute covers all public and private construction involving ten or more acres, and residential construction projects with ten or more units. Id. at 51314. An EDC may decline to grant a permit if it finds that the project will be detrimental to the public health, safety or general welfare. Id. at 514. Statewide planning was meant to accompany the statute but the statewide plan was never adopted. Id. at 522. 226Or. Rev. Stat. §§ 197.030(1), 197.040(1)(c)(A); Wickersham, supra note 48, at 523. 227Or. Rev. Stat. § 197.040(1)(c)(A). 228Id. § 197.040(2). 229Id. § 197.075. 230Id. § 197.090(2)(a). 231 586 P.2d 367, 370 (Or. Ct. App. 1978). 232Id. 233Id. at 371. 234Id. 235See, e.g., Alexanderson v. Bd. of Commrs, 616 P.2d 459, 242 (Or. 1980). 236Id. at 460. A comprehensive plan is acknowledged or approved when the LCDC certifies that it is consistent with statewide planning goals. Or. Rev. Stat. § 197.015 (2001). 237Alexanderson, 616 P.2d at 46162. 238Id. at 463. 239See Wickersham, supra note 48, at n.2. 240 The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 241See discussion supra Part III. 242 A report on sprawl by the Massachusetts Audubon Society advocates passing a growth management plan that is enforceable for every municipality in the Commonwealth. Steel, supra note 18, at 16. 243See Sturges v. Town of Chilmark, 402 N.E.2d 1346, 1349 (Mass. 1980). 244 The issue of whether a temporary moratorium on land development, imposed in order to create a comprehensive land use plan, constitutes a per se taking of property requiring compensation under the Takings Clause was recently decided by the United States Supreme Court. Tahoe-Sierra Pres. Council, Inc. v. Tahoe Regl Planning Agency, 535 U.S. 302, 306 (2002). Rejecting a categorical rule of a per se taking in that situation, Justice Stevens explained, In our view the answer to the abstract question whether a temporary moratorium effects a taking is neither yes, always nor no, never; the answer depends upon the particular circumstances of the case. Id. at 321. The proper application of Tahoe to a localitys attempt to enact a temporary development ban in Massachusetts is unclear, although it would appear that it is possible to structure such a temporary development ban so that it passes constitutional muster. 245 402 N.E.2d at 1349. 246Id. at 1349 n.6. 247Id. 248Id. at 1349. 249Id. at 1350. 250Id. 251Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 135051. 252Id. at 1351. Admittedly, this statement by the court begs the question whether a temporary ban on endorsing subdivision plans would be constitutionally or statutorily permissible. Id. 253 Collura v. Town of Arlington, 329 N.E.2d 733, 736 (Mass. 1975). 254Id. at 734, 737. 255See Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 135051; Collura, 329 N.E.2d at 737. 256Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 1353; Collura, 329 N.E.2d at 73738. 257 402 N.E.2d at 1353. 258Id. at 1354. 259Id. at 1354, 1355 n.16. 260See id. at 1354. 261Id. 262Id. 263Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 1355 n.16. 264Id. Similar considerations were important to the courts decision to uphold a two-year moratorium on apartment buildings in Collura v. Town of Arlington, 329 N.E.2d 733, 738 (Mass. 1975). 265See Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 1352. The court in Johnson v. Town of Edgartown, 680 N.E.2d 37, 39 (Mass. 1997), was similarly concerned about the effect of a zoning bylaw meant to control development on available primary housing stock. The court in that case upheld a three-acre minimum area requirement for residential lots, partly because it did not impact the availability of primary housing stock. See id. at 40, 42. 266Sturges, 402 N.E.2d at 1354; accordJohnson, 680 N.E.2d at 39. The Johnson court stressed the expressed statewide interest in preserving Marthas Vineyard, stating, Those interests justify the making of conservative assumptions about the consequences of land uses, even if standing alone protection of those interests might not support the imposition of three-acre zoning. Johnson, 680 N.E.2d at 42. 267See id. 268See 402 N.E.2d at 1353. 269Id. at 1349. 270See id. at 1350. 271See id. at 1354. 272See Russell, supra note 13, at 6. 273 Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, §§ 6162H (2000). 274 As described by the statute, these actors are agencies, departments, boards, commissions and authorities of the commonwealth. Id. 275Id. § 62. 276Id. 277 The statute does not reach environmental impacts that cause insignificant damage to or impairment of [listed] resources. Id. § 61. 278Id. 279Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 61 (2000); Payne, supra note 20, at 539. 280Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 61; Payne, supra note 20, at 539. 281Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 61. 282 Wickersham, supra note 205, at 8. 283Mass. Regs. Code tit. 301, § 11.12(5)(a) (2001). 284Id. 285Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 61. 286Mass. Regs. Code tit. 301, § 11.03. 287Id. 288Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 61. 289Id. § 62. 290 The Zoning Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6 (2000). 291 Wickersham, supra note 205, at 8 (noting that the 1998 revisions to the MEPA Regulations . . . modified the review thresholds to allow for increased consideration of projects that might contribute to sprawl). 292Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 30, § 62. 293 Wickersham, supra note 205, at 7. 294See id. 295Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 40A, § 6. 296 The Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provides in part, nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. U.S. Const. amend. XIV, § 1. 297See, e.g., Vill. of Euclid v. Ambler Realty Co., 272 U.S. 365, 388 (1926) (If the validity of the legislative classification for zoning purposes be fairly debatable, the legislative judgment must be allowed to control.). 298Id. at 391. 299 Act of June 28, 1982, ch. 185, 1982 Mass. Acts (changing the protection to eight years). 300Euclid, 272 U.S. at 39596. 301Mass. Const. amend. art. II, § 89; Home Rule Procedures Act, Mass. Gen. Laws ch. 43B, §§ 120 (2000). 302 Rohwedder, supra note 97, at 1128. 303See id. 304 Ill. Cent. R.R. Co. v. Illinois, 146 U.S. 387, 435 (1892). 305Id. at 453. 306 Turner & Rylander, supra note 1, at 65.