About MBTA Communities (MGL Ch.40A, Section 3A)

The state has mandated that Arlington, along with 174 other communities in eastern Massachusetts with access to MBTA service, create a district or districts where multifamily housing is allowed by right. By complying with this requirement, the Town will remain eligible for important state grants for infrastructure projects and will be able to participate in the state’s fossil fuel ban pilot program, which will advance the Town’s stated goal of creating net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Over the next year the Town, through the MBTA Communities Working Group, will be leading a planning and engagement process to determine the location and details of Arlington's district(s). The result will be a zoning amendment presented to Special Town Meeting in the fall of 2023. 

On November 17, DPCD presented an overview of MBTA Communities legislation to describe the basic requirements and what they mean for Arlington, why compliance matters, potential starting points for considering how to locate Arlington’s district(s), and the schedule for engaging with the community to develop a zoning recommendation. The meeting included ample time for Q&A.

We highly recommend that you watch the presentation or at a minimum review the slides before commenting via this form. 

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