In response to efforts spearheaded by the Town of Brookline and other rapid transit communities, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC) announced today that municipalities required to comply with the MBTA Communities Act can now mandate at least some ground-floor commercial use in the “as-of-right” multi-family zoning districts they must develop under that law.
Brookline’s Select Board was instrumental in asking EOHLC to adopt this change. The Select Board voted Tuesday, August 15, 2023, to adopt a consensus-based compliance zoning proposal that mandates ground-floor commercial use along portions of Harvard Street.
This new revision will allow Brookline to preserve the diverse use of the Harvard Street corridor and other T-accessible areas in town. Doing so ensures there continues to be commerce and shops / activities for residents to participate in this walkable area.
“We are grateful to Governor Maura Healey, Lieutenant Governor Kim Driscoll, EOHLC Secretary Ed Augustus, and their staff for hearing and acting on Brookline’s feedback,” said Town Administrator Chas Carey. “This change is a testament to the sustained efforts of the Select Board, Planning Director Kara Brewton, Town staff, other elected officials, and our colleagues in neighboring communities who have been advocating just as vigorously for commonsense solutions that let us sustainably build affordable housing where people want to live, work, and play.”
More information on the Town’s zoning plans and goals can be found here. Those with questions regarding the Select Board’s zoning proposal should contact Planning Director Kara Brewton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Senior Planner Maria Morelli at email@example.com.