"IN 2021, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts adopted the MBTA Communities zoning law requiring municipalities served by the MBTA to zone districts “of reasonable size” for multi-family housing at a “gross density” of 15 dwelling units per acre. The law applies to 175 cities and towns. Some may already have zoning that meets the requirements. For most of the municipalities, compliance will involve local legislative votes, at town meetings and city councils.
In the process of local reform, thousands of public officials, constituents, and advocates will have to become familiar with the law’s novel, complicated, and flexible concept of gross density. I am writing this article to give people a head-start in understanding it."
|Multi-family development in Winchester, MA. (Photo by Amy Dain.)|
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