MBTA Communities Multifamily Zoning Requirement

MBTA Communities Multifamily Zoning Requirement (Section 3A)

MAPC Analysis and Recommendations

In January 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature adopted an Economic Development Bond Bill (H5250) that made long-overdue changes to the state’s Zoning Act. The “Housing Choices” sections of the bill made it easier for municipalities to adopt pro-housing zoning changes, discourage meritless anti-housing lawsuits, and require each municipality in the MBTA district to zone for multifamily housing by right. The new multifamily zoning requirement could be a tremendous opportunity for the region and its municipalities.   

The law created a new section—Section 3A—in the Zoning Act and authorized the Executive Office of Economic Development (EOHED) to develop guidelines for implementation of the requirements. Draft guidelines for the program were issued on December 15, 2021; and EOHED is inviting comments on the guidelines until March 31, 2022. This web page is a resource for stakeholders looking to learn more about the guidelines, MAPC’s analysis, and our recommendations.