SECTION 1. Chapter 40A of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2016 Official Edition, is hereby amended by inserting after section 3 the following section:-
Section 3A. (a) Zoning ordinances and by-laws shall provide for the development of multi-family housing as of right, which may include business, commercial or mixed uses, in a district or districts of reasonable size within a quarter of a mile of a commuter rail station or public transportation ferry terminal. For the purposes of this paragraph, multi-family housing shall: (i) be without age restrictions and be suitable for families with children; (ii) have a minimum gross density of 14 units per acre, subject to any further limitations imposed by section 40 of chapter 131 and title 5 of the state environmental code established by section 13 of chapter 21A; and (iii) align, to the extent possible, with existing or planned water, sewer and transportation infrastructure.
A city or town may satisfy this subsection by obtaining a determination from the department, acting directly or through a regional planning agency as its designee, that the multi-family provisions of its zoning ordinance or by-law are consistent with the department’s regulations established under subsection (b). If a city or town obtains such a determination from the department or regional planning agency, the city or town may use the determination as verification of compliance when applying for discretionary funding by state agency programs that have included a preference or priority for multi-family zoning.
The department may waive or reduce the requirements of this subsection in a manner consistent with the purpose of promoting sufficient additional multi-family housing to satisfy regional housing needs.
(b) The department shall promulgate regulations necessary to implement the provisions of this section, including but not limited to, establishing guidelines for what qualifies as multi-family housing and the reasonable size of multi-family districts, and enforcement of this section.
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