Massachusetts is experiencing a housing affordability crisis and a climate crisis. For these reasons, Mothers Out Front Arlington supports changes in zoning by-laws that allow greater density in housing near public transit. Mothers Out Front is supportive of the passage of a meaningful MBTA Communities Act that encourages the development of more multi-family housing and a greater diversity of home types in Arlington. A revised zoning by-law to allow for more multi-family housing will reduce pressure to build single family homes on undeveloped land elsewhere in Massachusetts. This safeguards undisturbed ecosystems and provides real alternatives to automotive commutes in the region, reducing both congestion and fossil fuel emissions. In addition, passing this by-law will allow Arlington to participate in the Massachusetts pilot for communities to build fossil fuel-free homes, thus ensuring that new construction in Arlington supports our net-zero climate goals.
Mothers Out Front Arlington respects the public engagement activities that inform the Working Group’s MBTA Communities Act proposal. We appreciate that the Working Group is working with the Town to identify opportunities for developer incentives to encourage public open spaces, mitigate heat islands, and increase the tree canopy. Similarly, the Town’s commitment to maintaining current (and incentivizing higher) zoning requirements for affordable housing also is important to our group. For these reasons, Mothers Out Front Arlington strongly urges the Arlington Redevelopment Board to accept the MBTA Communities Act plan as proposed by the Working Group.