Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Project

Audit and Identification of Priority Action Items for "Climate Vulnerability Assessment”

Weston & Sampson will audit the Town of Brookline’s stormwater, floodplains, zoning bylaws, public way design guidelines, wetlands bylaws, and Department of Public Works’ Site Plan Review Checklist to identify opportunities to mandate higher standards for climate resiliency and to identify any conflicts these standards might have with State policy. Our approach is centered around the promotion of nature-based solutions and strategies such as green infrastructure, low impact development (LID), open space protection, and floodplain protection. The project is funded by a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Action Grant from the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy & Environmental Affairs.

Weston & Sampson will identify opportunities for incorporating standards into the Town of Brookline’s bylaws and other planning instruments to increase the town’s resilience against the effects of climate change, including increased temperatures as well as increased precipitation frequency/intensity and associated flooding. Implementation of this project will help to reduce risk of climate change impacts to public infrastructure, private property, natural resources, and human safety and welfare. The project’s specific recommendations for bylaw amendments as well as sustainability standards for site plan review will be targeted at new and renovated projects across all building sectors: residential, multifamily and affordable housing, commercial, and institutions.

Weston & Sampson’s deliverables, identified as priority action items in the town’s “Climate Vulnerability Assessment,” will include: recommendations for new or amended town bylaws and regulations mandating LID measures, LID Best Management Practices - narrative and Site Plan Review checklist - that targets owners and developers of new and renovated residential, multifamily, and commercial properties, and assists in educating them of the overall benefits to the environment and the value in protecting their properties from climate change impacts. The standards and checklists will serve as imperative components of the “Site Plan Review” ordinance that the town will be adopting and are intended to limit storm and flood damage, mitigate stormwater runoff, reduce impervious surfaces, and improve ecosystem resiliency.

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