MBTA Communities - Multi-Family Zoning Districts Under Section 3A of the Zoning Act

Proposed Multi-Family Housing Overlay District Bylaw & Map  Community Forums Presentations  Pre 2024 Annual Town Meeting Material What is zoning?
  • Zoning is a set of permitted land uses, or rules, that tell us what can and cannot be located at a certain property.
What does zoning control?
  • Types of development that are allowed or land uses such as business, limited business, industrial, limited industrial, residential, medical professional, multi-family, agriculture, etc
  • Size, height, and types of buildings that are allowed, building set-backs
  • Parking Requirements
What is a zoning overlay?
  • Zoning overlay is a tool to add more options for properties without having to take away what zoning they currently have.
  • A zoning overlay is an added layer of zoning that goes over top of the existing layer. This means that what exists underneath (like residential zoning) is still there and works as normal, but the new overlay also applies, like multifamily zoning. 
  • For example, if someone wanted to build a new home where the overlay was added that fits within the original single family residential zoning, no problem!
  • If someone wants to build a new multi-family house which previously was not allowed, with the new overlay also no problem!
Basic requirements for Wayland under the new state guidelines:
  • Zoning (districts) that would allow 750 dwelling units of multi-family buildings
  • At a minimum density of 15 dwelling units per acre
  • On 50 acres of land:
    • At least one 25-acre district comprised of contiguous lots
    • Plus multiple smaller districts of not less than 5 acres each
  • As-of-right (i.e., no need to obtain a Special Permit)
Per State Guidelines, in the new zones there can be:
  • No age-restricted units (such as units for individuals over age 55)
  • No restrictions on the size of units
  • No cap on the number of bedrooms
  • No cap on the size of bedrooms
  • No restriction on the number of occupants
  • No restrictions on the minimum age of occupants
  • No requirement that multi-family use be combined with commercial or other uses
  • No more than 10% affordable units (with the possibility of 20%)

When proposed zoning districts are established, there are no requirement that the units must be built

When creating Multi-family Zoning Districts we need to avoid:
  • Areas that are subject to flooding, are known habitat for rare or threatened species, or have prime agricultural soils in active agricultural use
  • Land dedicated to parks, cemeteries or conservation
  • Municipal, State, or Federal Land
Where do we have residential density?  

Alta Oxbow

Alta Oxbow
  • 26.36 units/acre
WHA Wayland Housing Authority
  • 106 Main St – 47.74 units/acre
  • 6 Bent Ave – 25.16 units/acre
State Regulations and Information  Public Presentations  Maps Town Correspondence