Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Communities Multi-Family Zoning Requirement
In January 2021, the Massachusetts Legislature adopted an Economic Development Bond Bill (H.5250) that made changes to the state's Zoning Act. The "Housing Choice" sections of the bill made it easier for municipalities like ours to adopt pro-housing zoning changes and required each municipality in the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) service area to zone for multifamily housing by right. The law created a new section, Section 3A, in the Zoning Act and authorized the Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities (EOHLC) to develop guidelines for these "MBTA Communities".
The Department of Planning and Community Development is working closely with the Planning Board, Select Board, and the broader Milton community to determine how best to develop zoning that complies with this new law and will provide regular updates throughout the planning process to the appropriate boards in public meetings and on this webpage.
Please take a few moments to fill out this brief survey to share your thoughts and help us develop zoning that works best for the town. Thank you for your time and participation.
If you want to stay as updated as possible, please join our MBTA Communities email list! To join, email Josh Eckart-Lee, our Assistant Town Planner. You can also submit your email in our survey.
About the Multi-Family Zoning Requirement for MBTA Communities
This new law 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
- 50% of the total area of this new district is not more than 0.5 miles from our Mattapan trolley stations
- No age restrictions and suitable for families with children
The state's Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities has defined a zoning district of reasonable size as:
- Being at least 50 acres
- Capable of producing units equal to 25% of Milton's existing year-round housing units
According to the most recent Census data, Milton has 9,844 housing units. This calculation means that we must zone in a way that has the capacity for at least 2,461 multi-family units.
When Does Milton Need to Adopt New Zoning?
As a rapid-transit community, Milton is expected to adopt zoning that is compliant with MBTA Communities by December 31, 2023. Town Planning Staff will be working throughout the year to try and develop appropriate zoning by this date. We have applied for grant funding from the state to assist in this effort.
|Fiscal Impact Analysis||RKG's report on the Fiscal Impact Analysis of adopting MBTA Communities||November 22, 2023|
|FAQs about MBTA Communities||An updated list of 20 frequently asked questions about how the MBTA Communities Law impacts Milton and the planning process.||November 21, 2023|
|Final District Map||Final district map for MBTA Communities subdistricts||November 9, 2023|
|MBTA Communities Zoning Language||Language for Article 1 and Article 2, relating to MBTA Communities, as it will appear in the December 2023 Special Town Meeting warrant.||November 9, 2023|
|November Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of November 1st planning staff public forum||November 1, 2023|
|November Public Forum Presentation||Planning staff presentation from the November 1st public forum||November 1, 2023|
|Presentation from Planning Director on MBTA Communities Zoning Public Hearing||Presentation from the Director of Planning & Community Development on the Select Board's MBTA Communities Zoning article||October 26, 2023|
|EOHLC Letter on Milton's Rapid Transit Classification||Letter from the Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities clarifying Milton's status as a Rapid Transit Community||October 23, 2023|
|October Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of October 3rd planning staff public forum||October 3, 2023|
|October Public Forum Presentation||Planning staff presentation from the October 3rd public forum||October 3, 2023|
|Presentation from Utile on Final Subdistrict Refinement||Presentation regarding MBTA Communities subdistricts with updates following feedback at the September 14th presentation by Utile||September 28, 2023|
|Legal Memo on MBTA Communities Enforceability||Legal opinion from Town Counsel regarding the authority of EOHLC's guidelines for compliance with MBTA Communities||September 27, 2023|
|Fiscal Impact Analysis Preliminary Presentation||Presentation from RKG Associates on methodology and preliminary net fiscal impacts of multifamily development||September 28, 2023|
|Select Board Letter to EOHLC on Reclassification||Letter from the Select Board to the Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities requesting additional clarification on Milton's Rapid Transit classification||September 22, 2023|
|Presentation from Utile on Additional Refinement||Presentation regarding MBTA Communities subdistricts with updates following feedback at the September 7th presentation by Utile||September 14, 2023|
|Letter from the MBTA on the Mattapan Line's Rapid Transit Classification||Letter from the MBTA's Assistant General Manager for Policy and Transit Planning responding to requests for clarification on the Mattapan Line's designation as rapid transit||September 8, 2023|
|Presentation from Utile on Further Subdistrict Refinement||Presentation regarding MBTA Communities subdistricts with updates following feedback at the August 24th presentation by Utile||September 7, 2023|
|Existing Conditions Analysis||Presentation prepared by Planning Board Member Cheryl Tougias on existing multifamily homes in Milton||September 7, 2023|
|Presentation from Utile on Subdistrict Refinement||Presentation regarding MBTA Communities subdistricts & compliance pathways prepared by Utile||August 24, 2023|
|Select Board Briefing||Briefing delivered to the Select Board on continued compliance efforts||August 22, 2023|
|August Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of August 15 planning staff public forum.||August 15, 2023|
|August Public Forum Presentation||Planning staff presentation from the August 15 public forum||August 15, 2023|
|Warrant Committee Presentation||Presentation delivered to the Warrant Committee on the Law and continued compliance efforts||August 14, 2023|
|Select Board Briefing||Briefing delivered to the Select Board on continued compliance efforts||July 25, 2023|
|July Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of July 17 planning staff public forum||July 17, 2023|
|July Public Forum Presentation||Planning staff presentation from July 17 public forum||July 17, 2023|
|Presentation from Utile on Potential Subdistricts||Presentation regarding potential MBTA Communities subdistricts prepared by Utile||July 7, 2023|
|Memo from MAPC on Potential Subdistricts||Memo regarding potential MBTA Communities subdistricts prepared by MAPC||June 26, 2023|
|June Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of June 15 planning staff public forum||June 15, 2023|
|June Public Forum Presentation||Planning staff presentation from June 15 public forum||June 15, 2023|
|May Public Forum Presentation (PDF)||Planning staff presentation from May 18 public forum||May 18, 2023|
|MBTA Communities FAQs (PDF)||Answers to frequently asked questions regarding the MBTA Communities law||March 14, 2023|
|Residential Density within Half Mile Radius of MBTA Stations (PDF)||Map developed using the Residensity tool to show residential density in Milton within the half-mile radius around MBTA stations||February 27, 2023 |
|February Public Forum Video Recording||MATV video recording of February 16 planning staff public forum||February 16, 2023|
|February Public Forum Presentation (PDF)||Planning staff presentation from February 16 public forum||February 16, 2023|
|Final MBTA Communities Action Plan (PDF)||Action plan required by EOHLC (formerly DHCD) for interim compliance||January 23, 2023|
|AIM Presentation (PDF)||Presentation by Planning Director at a forum hosted by Affordable Inclusive Milton||December 15, 2022|
|MBTA Station Half Mile Radius Map (PDF)||Map illustrating the half-mile radius around each of Milton's MBTA stations||November 9, 2022|
|Potential District Scenarios (PDF)||Presentation requested by the Planning Board on potential locations for multifamily zoning districts||October 13, 2022|
|Select Board Comment Letter (PDF)||Comment letter on the EOHLC (formerly DHCD) draft guidelines submitted by the Select Board||March 30, 2022|
|Select Board Briefing (PDF)||Briefing delivered to the Select Board on the draft compliance guidelines from EOHLC (formerly DHCD)||March 1, 2022|