The current proposal for how Arlington should comply with the MBTA Communities Law is the result of extensive outreach to residents that gathered feedback from residents. Below is a timeline of past and upcoming opportunities for community input.
November 7, 2022
The Department of Planning and Community Development held a public meeting to explain the MBTA Communities Law and start the conversation about what compliance with the law might look like in Arlington.
February 2, 2023
The Department of Planning charged the MBTA Communities Working Group (the “Working Group”), made up of volunteer residents, with devising a plan to comply with the Law. It began meeting in February 2023. Minutes of the Working Group’s meetings can be found here.
March 9, 2023
The Department of Planning and Community Development and the Working Group hosted a community visioning session to discuss potential locations for multi-family housing in Arlington. Watch the meeting recording.
March and April 2023
In March and April 2023, the Working Group conducted a survey to gather further community input on what strategies the town should prioritize in meeting the requirements of the law. A total of 1,033 people took the survey. The strategies that received the most support among respondents were integrating sustainable principles, encouraging housing that includes affordable units, encouraging housing near public transit, and promoting the development and vitality of commercial centers. A report on the survey can be found here.
June 8, 2023
The Working Group hosted a public meeting to present a Draft MBTA Communities District map. More than 125 residents attended this meeting. Read the meeting report.
June and July 2023
The Working Group conducted a second survey to gather feedback from those unable to attend the June 8 meeting. There were 213 respondents to this survey. The locations receiving the most support for MBTA Communities zoning were along Mass Ave and Broadway. Respondents expressed support for six-unit and larger apartment buildings and for building heights of around 3-5 stories. A report on the survey can be found here.
July 25, 2023
The Working Group hosted a second public meeting to present an updated draft MBTA District Communities map. More than 100 residents attended this meeting. Read the meeting summary.
August 17, 2023
The Working Group published its proposed Zoning Bylaw Amendment. The Arlington Redevelopment Board will review this proposed Amendment at their meeting on September 11, 2023. This meeting will be open to the public.
September 6, 2023
The Working Group published a report summarizing its findings on the MBTA Communities Law and explaining its recommendations for how Arlington should comply with the MBTA Communities Law.
A Special Town Meeting, which will start on October 17, 2023, will debate and vote on the final version of the Amendment, as voted on by the Redevelopment Board.
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