A Brief Overview of Priority Site Development Designation in Dedham
Approved by the May 2008 Town Meeting, the Town of Dedham created our first Priority Site Development (PDS) designation by majority vote under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 43 D. The first designated parcel was the Town owned Keystone Lot. The warrant article proposal was supported by the Dedham Planning Board by formal vote of the Members, the Finance Committee and is part of the sustainable development strategy of the Economic Development Department.
The Town then submited an application to the Interagency Permitting Board for final approval and at the same time the Economic Development Department successfully applied for related grant funding. We won a $60,000 grant that was applied towards the purchase of a permitting software system for the Town as part of overall efforts to streamline the permitting process.
In 2010, the Town designated a second site, 180 Rustcraft Road, as a PDS with the permission of the property owner at the time. This is a privately owned commercial site with a total acreage of 53.1 acres located in the RDO Zoning District.
Priority Site Development (PDS) Strategy
Under Priority Site Development, the community is able to proactively select individual sites for particular types of development, rather than reacting to development proposals.
Instead of giving a tax break or financial incentive to a potential developer, a priority development site designation provides a guarantee of a local decision within 180 days on that site only. The answer can be yes or no; there is no altering of local Board or Departmental authority and review.