MBTA Communities Zoning Initiative

What is the MBTA Communities Legislation? 

  • Enacted on January 14, 2021 as part of the Economic Development bond bill  as new Section 3A of M.G.L. c. 40A (the Zoning Act). 
  • The overarching goal of the legislative mandate is for communities to adopt zoning that meets the specified set of requirements, namely high density housing by-right. (Site Plan Approval can be required)
  • Communities that do not comply with the new requirements will be ineligible for grant programs such as MassWorks, Housing Choice, and Local Capital Projects funds.

What is an MBTA Community? A community that is served by the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority (MBTA) or is adjacent to a town or city served by it. Shrewsbury is an MBTA Adjacent Community, bordering the towns of Westborough, Worcester, and Grafton which have commuter rail lines. This means Shrewsbury is subject to the requirement.

The Planning and Economic Development Department is working closely with our Local Boards and the broader Shrewsbury community to determine how best to develop zoning that complies with this new law and will provide regular updates throughout the planning process to the appropriate boards in public meetings and on this webpage.

The Director of Planning met with the Select Board to provide an update on the MBTA multi-family zoning on September 27, 2023 and the full presentation can be viewed on Shrewsbury Media Connection’s YouTube channel

MBTA Outreach Schedule by Louise O'Neill

Related Materials and Resources

We need your assistance!  Please fill out our survey regarding the MBTA Multi-Family Zoning 

In this survey we will ask your opinions about (1) the types of multi-family housing you would prefer to see built in Shrewsbury (2) where, and (3) concerns you may have about additional multi-family housing being built in Shrewsbury.  This survey does not ask about single-family homes or duplexes as the MBTA Communities process is focused on multi-family housing (3+ living units). 

In order to participate in this survey you can:

1.      Take the survey online at this link 

2.      Download this document to print and fill out

3.      Come pick up a hard copy at the Planning and Economic Development Department in Town Hall

Your participation is very much appreciated. Your responses will remain confidential and your identity will never be published.   

If you have any questions, please contact planning@shrewsburyma.gov or call 508-841-8512 - thank you!