DEC logoCHAPTER 498
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

In the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-three
AN ACT CREATING THE DEVENS ENTERPRISE COMMISSION

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:

SECTION 1. Findings and Purpose

It is hereby found that there exists within the commonwealth substantial unemployment which is detrimental to the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth; that the termination by the United States of certain activities at Fort Devens threatens to result in blight, economic dislocation and additional unemployment, all to the further detriment of the welfare of the people of the Commonwealth; that Fort Devens has operated as a federal enclave, independent of the four towns in which it is located since its inception: that the reuse of Fort Devens will rehire [sic] financial support from the Commonwealth due to the size and complexity of the Fort Devens property: that the towns of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley have a vital interest in the successful reuse of Fort Devens: that the withdrawal of the military from Fort Devens will have a detrimental effect on the towns of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley and on the north-central region of the Commonwealth without the assistance provided by this act; and that in order to facilitate the reuse of Fort Devens for non-military uses it will be necessary to establish various incentives to attract private businesses to locate and expand their operations at Fort Devens, including providing those businesses tax incentives, relief from inconsistent land use controls, and economic relief through the establishment of Fort Devens as an Economic Target Area and an Economic opportunity Area, and application to establish Devens as a federal enterprise and free trade zone. Therefore, it is the purpose of this act to promote the expeditious and orderly conversion and redevelopment of Fort Devens for nonmilitary uses, including, but not limited to, housing, industrial, institutional, educational, governmental, recreational, conservation, commercial or manufacturing uses, in order to prevent further blight, economic dislocation and additional unemployment, and to aid in strengthening the local economy, the regional economy and the economy of the Commonwealth. It is also the purpose of this Act to provide an interim governmental structure for Devens which will assume specified local authority and duties, in recognition of the state and local partnership necessary for the successful redevelopment of Devens, and the duty of the Commonwealth in this regard to consider local and regional interests.

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