MBTA Community Multifamily Zoning Requirements
March 9th at 8:43am.
To educate the public about the multifamily zoning requirements for MBTA communities (Section 3A of M.G.L. ch. 40A), North Shore REALTORS® has developed a 1-pager customized for each of our North Shore municipalities.
Enacted as part of the state economic development bill in 2021, Section 3A of M.G.L. ch. 40A states that an MBTA community shall have a zoning ordinance or by-law that provides for at least 1 district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right; provided, however, that such multi-family housing shall be without age restrictions and shall be suitable for families with children.
The district must be at least 50 acres with a minimum gross density of 15 units per acre and if possible, the district is required to be within 0.5 miles of a transit station. Either a zoning district or an overlay district is acceptable, and municipalities can use multiple districts to reach compliance.
The number of units that a MBTA community must zone for is dependent on the number of housing units that the community has. It is important to note that section 3A compliance is determined by how many multifamily units a municipality is zoned for, there are no construction requirements.
If a MBTA community is not in compliance, it will not be eligible for funds from the following grant programs: Housing Choice Initiative, Local Capital Project Fund, and MassWorks infrastructure program.
For more information and to access the 1-pagers for all 23 towns/cities in our association, please click here.