MBTA Communities Zoning

Section 3A of the Zoning Act provides: 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. For the purposes of this section, a district of reasonable size shall: (i) have a minimum gross density of 15 units per acre, subject to any further limitations imposed by section 40 of chapter 131 and title 5 of the state environmental code established pursuant to section 13 of chapter 21A; and (ii) be located not more than 0.5 miles from a commuter rail station, subway station, ferry terminal or bus station, if applicable.

The purpose of Section 3A is to encourage the production of multi-family housing by requiring MBTA communities to adopt zoning districts where multi-family housing is allowed as of right, and that meet other requirements set forth in the statute. Grafton is designated as an "Adjacent Community."  Adjacent community means an MBTA community that (i) has within its boundaries less than 100 acres of developable station area, and (ii) is not an adjacent small town. Adjacent communities must comply with the new law by December 31, 2024.

Grafton is working with the Central MA Regional Planning Commission to modify zoning to comply with Section 3A. If you have any questions, comments, or would like be be involved in the process, please email planningdept@grafton-ma.gov.

Guidelines, resources, and other information from the state can be found on the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities' website: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/multi-family-zoning-requirement-for-mbta-communities and on the 3A Resource Hub for Cohort Communities: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/10qnNeNmed9WFKdWXy_1JWKWhZNHxhxvG

MBTA Communities MA