Gloucester Plans & Municipal Contacts
Policies & Plans:
State Mandated Zoning Information, on going
Links to the the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) MBTA Community Zoning Act final guidelines, slide presentation and a webinar prepared and presented by representatives of the state. Also includes links to Mayor Verga's memorandum to City Council regarding the final guidelines issued by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development and the completed Action Plan for MBTA Communities form that was submitted to the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development on January 24, 2023.
MBTA Community Zoning Information, on going
This is the City's web page for MBTA Communiity Zoning Law general information, compliance requirements for Gloucester, and some early steps the City has taken. It also includes links to presentations, meetings and a printable fact sheet.
Harbor Plan, on going
The Gloucester Municipal Harbor Plan is a strategic document to support the existing economic base of the harbor front and expand economic development opportunities, including both marine water-dependent and supporting uses of harbor properties. Development opportunities will be informed by clear resilience strategies to minimize risks to operations and assets, and maximize access to public and private investments.
On May 9, 2022, Gloucester Mayor Greg Verga established the Covid Local Recovery Funds Listening Group (LG). The Listening Group’s charge was to “solicit public input on potential uses of local funds resulting from the passage of the 2021 American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).”
Open Space and Recreation Plan, 2022-2029
In 2020 the City of Gloucester began planning for an update to the City's previous 2011-2017 Open Space and Recreation Plan (OSRP). Gloucester's Open Space and Recreation Plan is a tool through which a community plans for the future of its conservation and recreation resources. It allows a municipality to plan for the protection and management of “green infrastructure” of water supply, land, working farms and forests, viable wildlife habitats, parks, recreation areas, trails, and greenways with the same importance as is placed on planning for schools, roads, water, and wastewater infrastructure. OSRPs are informed by a thorough public participation process and reflect the needs of its community members. The City's Open Space & Recreation Committee oversees the development of a the City's OSRP, with the assistance of staff from the Community Development Department and consulting support from the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC).
Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP), 2021
In September of 2021, the City of Gloucester was awarded $69,890 through the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Action Grant program to fund the creation of a Climate Action and Resilience Plan (CARP), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) and the City's Clean Energy Commission (CEC). The plan will help the City to identify the highest priority challenges and the most feasible solutions to put Gloucester on track to meet long-term energy, climate and resiliency goals.
Rapid Recovery Plan, 2021
The Local Rapid Recovery Planning (RRP) program is a key part of the Baker-Polito Administration’s Partnerships for Recovery Plan, the strategy established to help communities stabilize and grow the Massachusetts economy as a result of the economic impacts brought on by COVID-19. The plan invests $774 million in efforts to get people back to work, support small businesses, foster innovation, revitalize downtowns, and keep people in stable housing.
Housing Production Plan, 2017
The Community Development Department began the Housing Production Plan process in early 2016 in order to address Gloucester’s housing needs. A Housing Production Plan is a tool to maintain and increase affordable and market-rate housing, analyze local housing needs, opportunities, and challenges, as well as identify housing goals for the future.
As part of a Reimagining Railroad planning process undertaken in partnership by MAPC and the City of Gloucester for the downtown surrounding area of the MBTA commuter rail station, this market study identified an early vision for a Transit Oriented District (TOD) and the potential planning for improvements to the downtown area's housing, retail, and office market segments.
The City of Gloucester has a fundamental obligation to ensure that people who now live and work here can continue to afford to live here. The current inadequate housing supply and escalating home prices are causing displacement, individual and family stress, pressure on existing businesses, and deterrence to the development of new business. Furthermore, the salaries of people who provide services to the local community - teachers, city workers, health care providers, and others - are not sufficient to meet the current cost of housing. The City must be proactive in bringing about choices for a broad spectrum of housing types, costs and locations. Otherwise, the diversity of Gloucester, the backbone of its social and economic identity, will be lost. In keeping with the community's Vision, these choices should be compatible with protection of natural resources and preservation of open space and should blend into host neighborhoods.
Gloucester's Zoning Ordinance, Codified through Ordinance No. 2022-072, adopted April 26, 2022. (Supp. No. 5)
The executive powers of the city fall under the office of the Mayor. It is the Mayor that causes laws, ordinances and orders for the government of the city to be enforced.
The City Council is responsible for the enactment of the City Laws which are found in the Code of Ordinances and in the Gloucester Zoning Ordinance. In connection with this legislative and zoning power, the City Council holds public hearings on proposed changes to the laws including adopting new laws and on applications for various types of Zoning Permits.
Under the City Charter, the City Council has three standing committees, each of which is comprised of three members. The Planning and Development Committee deals with all matters which affect of land use, planing, zoning and other development of the city.
The Planning Board, authorized and formed pursuant to MGL Chapter 41, sections 81-A-81J, is the City’s primary agency responsible for the establishment of planning and community development policies. In addition to statutory responsibilities, the Planning Board formulates policies which guide land use and the development of municipal facilities, educates the public and other multi-member bodies with respect to those policies and, with the cooperation of the Community Development Department, studies issues or projects related to the development of the City.
In 2008 Gloucester citizens voted to adopt the Community Preservation Act with a 1% tax surcharge. As required by the CPA a local Community Preservation Committee was formed to make recommendations on CPA projects to the Mayor and the City Council. This fund can only be used to: preserve open space and historic sites, create affordable housing, and develop outdoor recreational facilities.
The Gloucester Affordable Housing Trust Fund was created to support the creation, preservation, and maintenance of affordable housing in the City of Gloucester. In doing so, it is also the policy of the City of Gloucester and Affordable Housing Trust to protect, preserve, and enhance the economic and social diversity of the City, to provide affordable rental and home-ownership options for people of all ages and income levels, and to accommodate the changing housing needs of families and individuals.