Grafton establishes MBTA overlay districts

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Grafton establishes MBTA overlay districtsGRAFTON – The town has five new overlay districts to comply with the MBTA’s mandate to create zones where multifamily units could be built by right.

During Fall Town Meeting on Monday, Oct. 16, residents voted to create the MBTA Communities Overlay District (MCMOD) in the following five areas:

  • MCMOD 1 – off Pine Street, adjacent to the MBTA Commuter Rail tracks
  • MCMOD 2 – off Depot Street in South Grafton
  • MCMOD 3 – Fisherville Smart Growth Overlay District, South Grafton
  • MCMOD 4 – off Millenium Drive
  • MCMOD 5 – Upton Street, near North Street

RELATED CONTENT: Grafton Town Meeting approves TIF agreement, water treatment facility

The overlay district, which is part of existing zoning districts, comprises 105 acres. Developers wishing to build within the overlay district must meet affordability requirements and other regulations.

According to David Robbins, vice chair of the Planning Board, the overlay district helps fulfill the town’s requirements as an MBTA community.

“The districts were already in compliance,” he said. “It’s been fairly easy for us.”

In a related article, Town Meeting also voted to establish the North Grafton Transit Village Overlay District, which is part of MCMOD 1. The site is currently a vacant industrial park with a hill and deep slopes. Some residents questioned whether blasting would be required to clear the site to which Town Planner Fiona Coughlan said it would.

“I think it’s a good project for the town,” said Select Board member Ray Mead.

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