Project Advisory 45, March 2017

MSBA Requirements for Land Use

The MSBA occasionally receives questions regarding land use considerations and restrictions to development and how they might affect project approvals, costs, schedule, and cash flow. This project advisory serves to clarify the MSBA’s position regarding a District’s use of an existing site, or potential alternate site that includes restrictions to development. Some examples of land use challenges that may impact a project include:

  • Article 97 Park Land Restrictions
  • Eminent Domain or Purchase of land
  • Easements
  • Local zoning approvals
  • Wetland and/or conservation commission approvals

At the Preliminary Design Program phase, all site options should be presented with potential development restrictions identified, and all potential development and site issues identified by the conclusion of the Preferred Schematic Report phase. The MSBA requires a summary of the process undertaken to identify all potential issues and steps that are to be taken to resolve them. An updated project schedule that includes dates of anticipated approvals (e.g. Article 97 approvals) and key steps to gaining full ownership, control, and exclusive use of the land is also required in the Preferred Schematic Report submitted to the MSBA for review.

Upon submission of the District's Schematic Design Submittal, it is preferred that the District have ownership, full control, and access of the site. However, should there be outstanding issues that are in the process of being resolved and that are mapped out to the satisfaction of the MSBA, staff will forward a conditional Project Scope and Budget recommendation to MSBA Board of Director’s for its consideration. The recommendation will be conditional upon the District obtaining full ownership, control, and exclusive use of the proposed project site. The MSBA will not sign a Project Funding Agreement and will not reimburse the District for any costs incurred beyond the Feasibility Study Agreement without all land use issues being resolved.

Any further questions should be directed to the MSBA Project Coordinator assigned to the project.