MHP's 2022 MBTA Community Webinar Series
MHP’s MBTA Community Webinar series, titled “More Than Compliance: Multifamily Districts That Work in Your Community” focused on MBTA zoning and how communities can design districts that meet their unique needs. The virtual interactive webinars address subjects that communities should consider when planning multifamily districts and will feature experts on topics ranging from infrastructure basics to community engagement and messaging strategies. Time is allotted for questions at the end of each session.
The series was part of MHP’s Complete Neighborhoods Initiative, which supports the state's efforts to build more multifamily housing near transit, downtowns, jobs and services. Additional resources and trainings for MBTA communities will be rolled out regularly throughout the law's two-year compliance period.
Session 1: The Case for Complete Neighborhoods (9/21/2022)
Christine Madore (Senior Development Manager, MHP) kicked off the webinar series with a presentation discussing how Complete Neighborhoods help provide tangible benefits that address climate change, wealth, health, equity, and community. Madore then facilitated a panel discussion with Alyssa Larose (Franklin County Regional Housing & Redevelopment Authority), Patricia Zaido (Salem for All Ages), Jonathan Berk (Patronicity), and Liz Murphy and Tom Skwierawski (City of Fitchburg).
Session 2: Water and Wastewater Basics for MBTA Communities (9/28/2022)
Joseph Peznola (Director of Engineering & Regional Office Manager, Hancock Associates) joined us to discuss the topical intersection of water and wastewater treatment with the multi-family zoning requirements for MBTA communities.
Session 3: Complete Streets and Neighborhoods for MBTA Communities (10/5/2022)
Adi Nochur and Chris Kuschel (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) joined us to discuss Complete Streets, Complete Neighborhoods and walkability. MAPC's presentation explored these concepts and used case studies to demonstrate how these elements can be incorporated into multi-family districts in Massachusetts.
Session 4: Encouraging Family-Friendly Housing in MBTA Districts (10/12/2022)
Alexis Smith and Emma Battaglia (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) joined to discuss the value of family friendly-housing, avenues to encourage it MBTA districts, and it's relationship to zoning, parking, and open space.
Session 5: Getting Started for MBTA Communities (10/19/2022)
Chris Kluchman and Nathan Carlucci (DHCD) joined to discuss the elements requested in Action Plan submissions and answered questions about compliance. Next Tom Hopper and Matija Jankovic (MHP) shared and demonstrated the three tools their team has created to help planners and communities visualize a variety of data. Tom and Matija also gave a preview of Residensity, which will be a helpful tool to MBTA communities to visualize the built density in their neighborhoods.
Session 6: Exploring Housing at Different Densities (10/26/2022)
Grant King and Philip Hu (Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District) and Judi Barrett (Barrett Planning Group) shared visuals of housing at a variety of densities. These images and the expertise they shared, offer an excellent collection of creative approaches to increase density and build more multi-family housing.
Session 7: Siting Your District for Adjacent Communities (11/2/2022)
Grant King, Amber Davis, Robert Cabral and Taylor Perez (Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District) joined to discuss strategies that elected officials, community planners, and local decision-makers can use to help decide where to locate multi-family zoning districts in your community. The team highlighted mapping as a tool to help align multi-family districts with existing planning priorities.
Session 8: Making the Case for Affordable Housing: Local Engagement and Narrative Change (11/9/2022)
Dana LeWinter, Whitney Demetrius, and Lily Linke (Citizens' Housing and Planning Association) joined help us explore what it takes to build a local housing advocacy coalition, how to change the local narrative about housing and zoning, and some examples of the work so far in communities across the commonwealth.
Session 9: Site Plan Review (11/16/2022)
Judi Barrett (Barrett Planning Group) and Amy Kwesell (KP Law) joined us to discuss the site plan review process and how it fits into the toolbox municipalities have at their disposal.
Session 10: Including Affordability in Your MBTA District (11/30/2022)
Alexis Smith and Emma Battaglia (Metropolitan Area Planning Council) joined us to discuss avenues and approaches to including affordability in your MBTA district. MAPC also hosted a panel discussion with Steve Magoon (Assistant City Manager and Director of Community Development and Planning) and Larry Field (Senior Housing Planner) of Watertown, and Jean Delios (Assistant Town Manager) and Andrew MacNichol (Staff Planner) of Reading.