Dedham MBTA Communities Zoning

CommunityScale worked with the Town of Dedham’s staff and planning board to craft MBTA Communities compliant zoning. The zoning has been adopted and submitted to the EOHLC for approval.

Dedham is one of the 175 communities subject to the law, due to the location of three MBTA commuter rail stations within its border. As with every other MBTA community, Dedham is subject to specific requirements based on the existing number of housing units, the type of MBTA infrastructure to which it has access, and the percentage of land within a half-mile of stations that EOHLC has determined to be “developable”.

Over the course of five months, our team members worked from a broad range of options to develop several specific scenarios in GIS that investigated the implications of different zoning options. Together with the client, those scenarios were refined and vetted until a preferred option was selected.

The proposed scenario was presented to the Planning Board on January 11, 2023. It uses two overlays to achieve the required capacity. The higher density overlay uses dimensional and density requirements similar to residential developments already built or entitled near Corporate Center, at a density of roughly 30 units per acre. The lower density overlay has a density of roughly 15 units per acre.

Following adoption of the zoning, CommunityScale worked with the Town to complete EOHLC’s compliance calculator and other materials for compliance submission. More information is available on the Town’s website.


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