MBTA Communities Zoning Law

The City of Malden is exploring ways to comply with the new MBTA Communities Zoning Law (M.G.L. c. 40A, Section 3A), which requires communities to allow multifamily housing by right.    


The new law may be found here.

MBTA Communities Zoning Law (M.G.L. c.40A, Section 3A)


The Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (formerly known as the Department of Housing and Community Development) has issued the following guidelines. 

DHCD Compliance Guidelines (August 10, 2022) 

DHCD Compliance Guidelines with Appendices (Revised October 21, 2022)

DHCD Compliance Guidelines on Affordability (Revised October 21, 2022)


The Malden City Council has received the following presentations regarding the new law.

Presentation to City Council (April 26, 2022)

Presentation to City Council (February 14, 2023)

Presentation to City Council (April 4, 2023)

Presentation to City Council (June 7, 2023)

Presentation to City Council (September 12, 2023)



The City of Malden is one of the twelve rapid transit communities which must demonstrate zoning compliance with the new law no later than December 31, 2023.  The city has received a status of interim compliance as described in this notice.

DHCD Interim Compliance Approval (March 31, 2023)


Malden MBTA Communities Zoning Survey - Ended September 15, 2023

The City of Malden requested community input regarding potential zoning scenarios that would allow Malden to comply with the new law.  The survey is now closed and results will be posted as soon as available.  The survey may be seen at

Malden MBTA Communities Zoning Survey


The survey was available in:

The Malden MBTA Communities Zoning Survey results are available here.

Malden MBTA Communities Zoning Survey Results

On November 14, 2023, Mayor Gary Christenson introduced to the City Council a zoning amendment proposal that will allow the City to comply with the MBTA Communities Zoning law.  The City Council filed this zoning amendment proposal as City Council Paper 418-2023 and referred the proposal for a joint public hearing by the Planning Board and City Council Ordinance Committee. The joint public hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, December 5, 2023 at 7 pm in the Herbert L. Jackson Council Chamber, Malden City Hall, 215 Pleasant Street, Malden, MA. 

Mayor Christenson's Memorandum to City Council re: MBTA Communities Zoning Amendment Proposal (November 9, 2023) 

City Council Paper 418-2023 (MBTA Communities Zoning Amendment Proposal)

MBTA Communities Zoning Overlay Districts Boundary Map (11/9/23) (ref. CCP 418-2023)

Notice of Joint Public Hearing (ref. CCP 418-2023)

On December 21, 2023, Mayor Christenson approved City Council Paper 418 Series of 2023, the zoning amendments ordained by the Malden City Council on December 19, 2023.

City Council Paper 418-2023 MBTA Communities Zoning Amendments, Ordained 12/19/23, Approved 12/21/23

On December 27, 2023, the City filed its MBTA Communities District Compliance Application with the state Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities, and the Application is now under review and pending approval by the state.