MBTA Zoning Technical Assistance
This program will support MBTA communities seeking to comply with the new provision in the $262 million Economic Development Bond Bill of 2021. The bill included modifications to the state's zoning act (Chapter 40A, Section 18), adding a new section (3A) which directs 175 MBTA communities to adopt zoning where multi-family housing is permitted by right.
On August 10, 2022, the state released final guidelines for the new law. To help MBTA communities comply with the new law, MHP's will provide technical assistance in collaboration with Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) and the Massachusetts Department of Transportation.
The 3A-TA program components will include:
- Training: MHP will develop a series of instructional webinars that will complement DHCD outreach on Section 3A goals and technical compliance requirements, focusing on “big picture” and adjacent topics including incorporating affordability requirements into your multi-family district; providing safe and complete streets in transit areas, and building community support for multi-family housing. To learn more and register, click here.
- Early Action Technical Assistance: MHP is providing direct technical assistance will provide direct technical assistance to six “early adopter” municipalities who will be working with MHP and DHCD to pilot the new compliance model.
- Community specific 3A-TA Technical Assistance Awards: MHP staff and pre-qualified consultants will offer free technical assistance to municipalities. The application will be available on Oct. 17, and MHP will be accepting applications through early Nov. Eligible activities for this round will include siting and mapping the district, developing use and intensity requirements, and calculating capacity yield. Email MHP Senior Planner Katy Lacy for more information.
- 3A-TA Information Clearinghouse: Below is the 3A-TA Clearinghouse featuring the latest information to help communities comply with the new requirements. Resources will be posted in collaboration with DHCD’s Community Services Division, and will complement support and guidance available from DHCD, Citizens Planning Training Collaborative (CPTC), the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development (EOHED) and other partners. Materials will also be posted on MHP’s Housing Toolbox website.
MBTA zoning requirement resources
- Mass.gov MBTA Communities zoning web page
- Baker-Polito Administration announce final MBTA zoning guidelines
- Final guidelines
- CHAPA breaks down what's in the guidelines
- MHP announces technical assistance program to support MBTA communities
- MHP 9-part webinar series on MBTA zoning, planning Complete Neighborhoods
- MHP's take: Final guidelines major step forward for Commonwealth
- 4 reasons why final MBTA guidelines make law stronger
- Letter from Baker Administration to MBTA communities
Tools for planners
- Transit-Oriented Developer Explorer (TODEX): User-friendly tool with density maps for 261 Greater Boston transit stops.
- DataTown: Housing & demographic info, graphics and charts for all 351 Massachusetts communities.
- MassMapper: Interactive map with measuring tool that allows users to draw shapes & calculate acreages.
- How to adopt or amend zoning?: This template has information about procedural requirement's of the state's zoning act.
- Density visualizations: Examples of multifamily housing compiled by MAPC.
Zoning & Transportation
- Density analysis of 261 Gr. Boston transit stations: 2019 report by MHP's Center for Housing Data.
- Why MA Needs to Legalize Apartments Near Transit: 2020 report by Boston Indicators.
- 15-Minute Neighborhoods: 2021 report on walkable neighborhoods with case studies of Boston, Reading, Somerville & Worcester.
- Technical Assistance: MHP Senior Planner, Katy Lacy, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Mapping & analysis: Matija Jankovic, MHP's Center for Housing Data, email@example.com