MBTA Communities - MGL 40a Sec 3a

Read the MGL 40A Section 3a law regarding multifamily zoning as-of-right in MBTA Communities.

Interim Compliance Action Plan

Helpful Resources

CPTC Presentation on MBTA Communities  -slide deck

What is an MBTA Community?

Why is Multi-family zoning important near transit and in neighboring communities?  

What is the Law?

Section 3A (MBTA Communities) Guidelines

Compliance Model

District Compliance Deadlines

Additional Resources

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: What is unit the requirement for Upton?

A: Upton must provide a Zoning District which will allow for up to 150 units.

Q: Do the units within new 40B developments count towards this requirement?

A: No. 40B developments are not related to the requirements of the MBTA Communities. 

Q: What is the density Upton must provide?

A: The Town must provide no less than 15 units per acre within the new district.

Q: When must the town complete the 150 units?

A: The requirement is not a building quota. It is a requirement to provide a zoning district which may realistically provide for the placement of up to 150 units, not a requirement to construct 150 units.

Q: Where must the Town locate this district?

A: the Town can choose the location of the new district. However, the proposed district must be approved by the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC)

Q: Is there a requirement to make units within the district "affordable"?

A: There is no requirement to provide affordable units within the new district. The Town may choose to enact an affordable provision within the new district but cannot exceed a 20% affordable requirement. 

Q: Can there be mixed-use development within the district?

A: The EOHLC updated their guidelines in August 2023 to allow for a certain amount of mixed-use development to be provided in the district should a Town choose to allow for it.

Q: Will the 150 units count toward the Town's 10% goal of affordable housing to enter "Safe Harbor" Status potentially avoiding future 40B developments?

A: No. The requirements of the MBTA Communities (MGL 40A Sec 3A) are not tied to the requirements found in MGL 40B. The Town must provide alternative ways of achieving its 10% affordable housing goal. The Town has completed a new Housing Production Plan which seeks to identify options for obtaining the 10% required by 40B.