Information on this page will be updated as information becomes available.
MBTA Zoning Legislation - Chapter 40A Section 3A
Enacted as part of the economic development bill in January 2021, new Section 3A of M.G.L. c. 40A (the Zoning Act) 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. Final compliance guidelines were issued in August 2022, updated by the Attorney General in March 2023 and updated again in August 2023. (See documents below.)
Upcoming Task Force Meetings
Thursday, October 12
Thursday, October 26
Hybrid (Town Hall or Zoom)
Community Public Forum
What is MBTA Zoning and how does it apply to MBTS?
The MBTA Zoning Task Force will host a community forum to answer these questions and more.
Saturday, October 14
In Person on Town Common (Rain Location TBA)
Light Refreshments Served
* Timeline is subject to change and will be updated as new facts are confirmed.
MBTA Zoning Task Force
|Chris Olney, Chair, |
|Sarah Mellish, |
Zoning Board of Appeals
|Michael Pratt, |
|Garlan Morse, Vice-chair, Downtown Improvement Committee|
|Susan Philbrick, |
|Sandy Bodmer-Turner, |
At Large Member
At Large Member
Mission of the MBTA Zoning Task Force
The MBTA Task Force was organized by the Select Board and the Planning Board to study the requirements of the housing mandate imposed by the State under MGL 40 A and to make recommendations to the Town on how to address the State Law.
The Task Force will undertake the following tasks:
- Conduct a careful study of the downtown to determine the existing land use conditions, the current supply of housing, any underutilized land, and potential opportunities and obstacles to meeting both the Town’s and the State’s goals.
- Consider the likely minimal modifications to the current Zoning By-law that would bring the Town into compliance with the mandate and the potential impacts of these modifications on the downtown.
- Determine the consequences of failing to comply with the mandate
- Consider changes to the Zoning By-law that would best address both rental and ownership of housing as described in the Master Plan while simultaneously bringing the Town into compliance with 40A.
- Provide ample opportunities for public input and wide dissemination to Manchester’s citizens of the information and analyses as they are developed.
Upon completion of this work, the Task Force will issue a report to the Select Board and Planning Board summarizing its findings and including alternative proposals for any modification to our zoning regulations that meet both the Town’s and the State’s objectives.
The goal is to complete these tasks and submit the report before Spring of 2024.
- MBTA Zoning FAQ
- Introduction to MGL Section 3A
- Section 3A Compliance Guidelines 8.17.23
- Section 3A Summary of Changes 8.17.23
- Updated Compliance Advisory 3-15-23
- MBTA Final Zoning Compliance Guidelines 8.10.22
- MBTS Maps
- Misconceptions about the MBTA Zoning Law
- U.S. Census Bureau Facts About Manchester
- RFQ - MBTA Zoning
- Model Contract MBTS_Form goods services KP
- MBTS Action Plan State Submission 01.27.23
- MBTA Letter on Final Guidelines for 3A of Zoning Act
- Manchester - CIF - 6-8-22
- MAPC MBTA TOD Section3A_FinalComments_3_21_22
- BOS Comment Letter MBTA Draft guidelines 3.29.22
- MBTA Communities Regional Letter 3.23.22
- MBTACommunities Draft Compliance Guidelines c40A Sect 3A
- MBTA Communities BOS Presentation Mar 22 2022 Final