On Friday December 20, 2019, the state Dept. of Housing and Community Development issued a so-called "1.5 percent ruling" concerning an application by a developer for a Ch. 40B comprehensive land use permit in Watertown. DHCD found that Watertown is in compliance with the requirement that 1.5 percent of the town's land that is zoned for residential, commercial or industrial use is being used for affordable housing. Thus, the town has achieved "safe harbor" from having to accept Ch. 40B permit applications. This is the first community to achieve the 1.5 percent since new regulations went into effect in 2008. Prior to this, towns that have achieved "safe harbor" have done so by having 10 percent of its housing affordable.