MBTA Communities Multi-Family Housing Advisory Committee (MCMAC)

This Committee, appointed by the Town Manager, will serve as an advisory body to town boards, committees, officials, and citizenry regarding pending efforts to amend the zoning bylaw to achieve compliance with M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section 3A, which requires a zoning district where multi-family housing is permitted as-of-right. In doing so, this Committee will perform the following:

1. Become familiar with the MBTA legislation (M.G.L. Chapter 40A Section 3A), the deadline for compliance, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Guidelines for Compliance, and Westford’s Action Plan as approved by DHCD on January 27, 2023.

2. Work with the Town’s chosen consultant on a variety of areas related to this effort.

3. Provide input and recommendations including, but not limited to, the following:

a. The suitability of the proposed location(s) of the zoning or overlay district(s); for example, proximity to shopping areas, major travel routes, etc.

b. Potential effects to the town’s tax base, and possibilities for new growth.

c. Opportunities for economic development and/or redevelopment of underutilized properties.

d. The potential to address housing needs described in the Housing Production Plan, including potential opportunities for and impacts to affordable housing and the town’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI).

e. Opportunities to promote sustainability and climate resilience.

f. Potential impacts to town infrastructure, including water, traffic, etc.

g. Opportunities to incentivize desired development types or features, such as creating, extending, or enhancing pedestrian opportunities and experiences.

4. The Committee shall provide comments and recommendations (including dissenting opinions) throughout the planning process. Furthermore, it is requested that the Committee provide an oral report to town meeting in which this article is discussed summarizing their final recommendations.

5. It is expected that the Committee will meet approximately one to two times per month, typically in person, until the zoning amendment is brought forth to the March 2024 Annual Town Meeting.

6. The Committee shall elect a Chair to be responsible for running the meetings, and a Vice Chair to carry out the duties in the absence of the Chair. The Committee may also elect a Clerk who shall be responsible for recording meeting minutes. The Committee shall adhere to Open Meeting Law requirements. The Committee will have staff support from the Land Use Management Department.