MBTA Communities Zoning
Legislation enacted by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Legislature in January 2021 requires that an “MBTA community” shall have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multi-family housing is permitted as of right and meets other criteria set forth in the statute:
• Minimum gross density of 15 units per acre
• Located not more than 0.5 miles from a commuter rail station, subway station, ferry terminal or bus station, if applicable
• No age restrictions and suitable for families with children
An “MBTA community” is defined by reference to Section 1 of MGL c. 161A:
- one of the “14 cities and towns” that initially hosted MBTA service;
- one of the “51 cities and towns” that also host MBTA service but joined later;
- other “served communities” that abut a city or town that hosts MBTA service; or
- a municipality that has been added to the MBTA under G.L. c. 161A, sec. 6 or in accordance with any special law relative to the area constituting the authority.
The specific requirements and exceptions to the multifamily zoning requirements for an MBTA community are based on a community designation determined by the type of transit serving the community. Additionally, each community’s minimum unit capacity is based on a percentage of its existing housing stock. Randolph is designated as a "commuter rail" community due to it's proximity to the Randolph/Holbrook Commuter Rail Station and subject to the .
There are established timelines for municipalities to adopt compliant zoning districts. MBTA communities that do not comply with Section 3A are ineligible for funding from certain funding sources provided by the Commonwealth.
|Conduct a briefing with Town Council||April 25, 2022|
|Submit MBTA Community Information Form||May 2, 2022|
|Submit an Action Plan for interim compliance||January 31, 2023|
|Adopt a compliant district and related zoning||December 31, 2024|