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Update from DHCD regarding MBTA Community Zoning - Including a Sample Zoning Bylaw/Ordinance

23 May 2023 2:39 PM | Christopher Brown (Administrator)

Below is an email sent by DHCD to municipalities and the MMLA regarding an update on the implementation of Section 3A of the Zoning Act relative to MBTA Community Zoning requirements:

Dear MBTA Community stakeholders: 
The Section 3A/MBTA Communities team is pleased to announce the following updates in Section 3A implementation:

New Funding for MBTA Communities Compliance Activities
On Tuesday 5/9/2023, the Healey-Driscoll Administration announced the availability of additional funding for municipalities across the Commonwealth to support community planning and engagement efforts geared towards increasing the production of housing.  Section 3A compliance activities are eligible for the funding.  Applications are available through the Community One Stop for Growth program, which is open through June 2, 2023, at  These "early action" grants will be announced in mid -June and municipalities must be able to execute a contract by June 30, 2023.  This funding opportunity is a chance to secure funding for completing an economic feasibility analysis with a start date of July 1, 2023. Get more information about this opportunity at:

Sample Zoning
A sample zoning bylaw/ordinance is now available on the Section 3A website under “Resources for MBTA Communities”.  This sample zoning sets forth a framework for developing a local zoning overlay district to comply with Section 3A. It is complete with commentary to help practitioners work through the requirements of Section 3A and the suggestions contained in the sample. 

Inclusionary Zoning Guidance/Economic Feasibility Analysis Details
MBTA communities with inclusionary zoning requirements that require an economic feasibility analysis may now find details, instructions, and forms for conducting and submitting the analysis.  The materials are available on the Section 3A website under “Resources for MBTA Communities”. The release of this information means that all MBTA communities can submit a district compliance application. 

Pre-adoption Review Application
MBTA Communities seeking assurance that proposed zoning will meet Section 3A requirements before bringing that zoning to a local legislative session may now submit a “Pre-adoption Review Application”.  This application is an option, not a requirement, and it is available on the Section 3A website under “District Compliance”. Please be advised that pre-adoption review applications must be submitted at least 90 days prior to a local legislative session to allow for a timely DHCD review.

Updated Compliance Model
An updated version of the Section 3A Compliance Model is now available Section 3A website under “Compliance Model”. Those working in or with communities on compliance model activities should download and use the latest version.  Detailed release notes on the revisions to the model are also available on the website. 
Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions about Section 3A. There is also a dedicated email address for technical questions: Thank you for your continued hard work and partnership in implementing this important zoning reform. 

Nathan Carlucci
MBTA Communities Compliance Coordinator (he - him)
Department of Housing & Community Development
Department of Housing & Community Development



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