Manchester–by-the-sea is creating a task force to examine the impact of complying with the multifamily zoning requirements for MBTA communities. The taskforce will consist of Planning Board members, Select Board members, and community members nominated by town officials.
A significant portion of Manchester’s downtown district already complies with the density requirement and Manchester’s general district allows the creation of three units per 6,000 square foot lot by right.
Still, there are three issues that need to be considered:
Determining the minimum radius from the MBTA station for the multifamily district is complicated by the fact that the station is surrounded by the ocean
A large swath of eligible area is within future FEMA flood zones
75% of Manchester downtown properties are non-conforming and thus require a special permit for any construction
Manchester has until January 31st to submit a preliminary action plan to the state. The task force will hold public meetings to discuss compliance, with the goal to present the compliance option to voters at a 2024 town meeting.