The Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities, Sec. 3A of M.G.L. c. 40A, was passed by state legislature in 2020 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.
The study was undertaken from January of 2021 through September of 2021. The process began with an analysis of the current conditions on North Main Street to provide a foundation of data for the discussion of recommendations. That analysis is summarized in this report. An analysis of the current zoning in the study area was also undertaken to provide a baseline for zoning recommendations. Public input was gathered through two community meetings, with one held in March and one in June of 2021, and through a series of stakeholder interviews. Two community surveys were available following the community meetings in order to provide additional opportunities for public input.
What type of MBTA community is Winchester?
Winchester is a “Commuter rail community” - an MBTA community that (i) does not meet the criteria for a rapid transit community, and (ii) has within its borders at least 100 acres of developable station area associated with one or more commuter rail stations.
Is compliance optional?
The Massachusetts Attorney General has released an Advisory Concerning Enforcement of the MBTA Communities Zoning Law that states; All MBTA Communities must comply with the Law. Communities that fail to comply with the Law may be subject to civil enforcement action. Non-compliant MBTA Communities are also subject to the administrative consequence of being rendered ineligible to receive certain forms of state funding. Communities that fail to comply with the Law’s requirements also risk liability under federal and state fair housing laws.
When is the compliance deadline?
The Winchester Planning Board is planning on bringing their compliance model to Spring 2024 Town Meeting ahead of the required December 31st deadline.