MBTA Multi-Family Zoning MGL c.40A, sec. 3A
UPDATE 6/23/2023: The town has begun the process to hire a planning consultant to assist the Town with a Comprehensive Review/Update of our Zoning Bylaws that includes zoning that will be in compliance with the new Multi-Family Zoning Requirements. Click Here for more information on this process.
Final Guidelines for the Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities were issued by the state on October 21, 2021. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has also put together a webpage that they have been updating regularly.
This new regulation, which is part of the Housing Choice Initiative enacted in an economic development bill passed in January 2021, requires MBTA communities, including Middleton, to have at least one zoning district in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right and meets the other criteria in the statute including:
Failure to comply with these multifamily zoning requirements would make a community ineligible for funds from Housing Choice Grants, Local Capital Fund Projects, and MassWorks Infrastructure Program. DHCD may, in its discretion, take non-compliance into consideration when making other discretionary grant awards.
TIMELINE FOR MAINTAINING COMPLIANCE WITH MBTA COMMUNITY ZONING
DATE COMPLETED BY TOWN
|3/31/2022||Submission of comments to DHCD||3/22/2022|
|5/2/2022||Select Board briefed on Draft Compliance Guidance & Submit Community Information Form||Brief: 1/25/2022|
Community Inf. Form Submitted: 4/7/2022
|1/31/2023||Submit an Action Plan that outlines the town's process for adopting compliant zoning||Action Plan submitted 1/11/2023; Action Plan approved by DHCD 1/27/2023|
|12/31/2024||Submit Compliance Application to DHCD for approval|
INFORMATION ON MBTA COMMUNITY ZONING REQUIREMENTS
Common misconceptions regarding MBTA community zoning requirements
The following articles from Dain Research highlight different aspects of the MBTA Communities zoning law.
1. What is zoning capacity?
2. What does 15/units per gross acre mean?
3. What is by-right zoning, and why is the state promoting it?
4. Where should new multi-family housing go?
5. What does it mean to zone for family-suitable multi-family housing?