In the past few weeks, a number of highly respected Arlington organizations have come out in support of the MBTA Communities Plan. Here are a few. We will continue to update this list as it grows.
Greater Boston Interfaith Organization
This week the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization’s Arlington members released a letter of support, stating:
Arlington GBIO members support the Arlington Redevelopment Board’s proposal for the Article 12 of the Fall 2023 Special Town Meeting (MBTA Communities Overlay District) to enact changes in Arlington’s zoning by-laws that will allow for more multi-family housing to be built by right. We support an article that goes beyond the minimum capacity required by law in order to encourage the construction of a meaningful number of additional homes of various sizes beyond the number already present in Arlington.
Arlington Chamber of Commerce
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce sent a letter supporting the MBTA Communities Plan on October 2, saying:
The Arlington Chamber of Commerce believes that the MBTA Working Group’s proposal presents a strong plan for both housing and commercial growth. Arlington’s existing and future small businesses will benefit from an increased customer base and foot traffic resulting from additional housing units.
Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Arlington’s Division of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion wrote to the Arlington Redevelopment Board in support of the MBTA Communities Plan:
The DEI Division would like to formally voice our support for the Working Group’s effort to create a zoning plan that would allow for more multi-housing opportunities at varied price points across Arlington. Only 9% of Arlington’s land is devoted to multifamily housing, and even where building multi-family housing is allowable, it is not permitted by right. This does not provide suitable conditions for a range of housing types to exist. The current price point of homes in Arlington are far beyond the reach of most residents, regardless of their status as a member of a protected class. stating:
Read the full letter. [PDF]
Clean Energy Future Committee
The Clean Energy Future Committee said passage of the MBTA Communities Zoning was crucial because:
Passage of the MBTA Communities zoning amendment at this fall’s Special Town Meeting is the only viable pathway for Arlington to participate in the State’s Fossil Fuel Free Demonstration Program (Demonstration Program), which would allow implementation of the Clean Heat bylaw and home rule petition passed overwhelmingly by Arlington Town Meeting in 2020. Participation in the Demonstration Program will allow the Town to prohibit the installation of natural gas, oil, propane, and other fossil fuel infrastructure in new buildings and major renovations. Town Meeting sent a clear message in 2020 that enacting the Fossil Fuel Bylaw was a priority, and we–the CEFC, Town administrators, and elected and appointed bodies–have an obligation to act upon that priority; passage of the MBTA Communities zoning amendment is an essential step to carrying out the will of Town Meeting.
Mothers Out Front
As we previously reported, the Arlington chapter of Mothers Out Front supports the MBTA Communities Plan, writing:
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.