How did the state calculate our requirements?

Reading’s required total zoned unit capacity was calculated by multiplying the total number of housing units in Reading against the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities' (EOHLC) multiplier per our definition as a commuter rail community. 

  • Existing Housing Stock in Reading (from the most recent Decennial census): 9,952 
  • Total Units 9,952 x Applicable percentage of housing units as a commuter rail community 0.15 = 1,493

The density requirement of 15 units per acre comes directly from the law.

Our required reasonable district size was calculated to be 43 acres. The district was defined to be either 50 acres of 1.5% of the developable land area in town, whichever is less. Reading uses the latter to determine our district size of 43 acres.

Reading’s Existing Developable Station Area was calculated to be 343 acres. The developable station area is derived from taking the area of the half-mile circle around an MBTA station, and removing any areas comprised of excluded land. Excluded land includes publicly owned land, bodies of water, recreational land, public rights-of-way, and institutional uses. For the full list please see page 3 of the PDF linked below. 

Because our developable station area is between 251-400 acres, Reading is required to have 40% of our unit capacity and district size within ½ mile of the Depot (598 units on 17.2 acres). 

For more details on all of the above definitions and calculations, please see the guidance issued from the Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), now called the Executive Office of Housing & Livable Communities (EOHLC).

Show All Answers

1. What is the MBTA Communities law (3A)?
2. What does this mean for Reading specifically?
3. How did the state calculate our requirements?
4. Do we currently comply with the law?
5. Why should we comply?
6. By-right Development & Site Plan Review
7. What are Reading’s existing housing goals?
8. How does compliance work?
9. Why can’t we use Accessory Dwelling Units to comply?
10. Can we just zone over existing apartment complexes?
11. Where are we in the process?
12. Survey Results
13. Materials from our Knowledge Series held Fall 2023
14. Materials from our Public Hearings held Dec 2023 - Feb 2024
15. I’m concerned about the impacts of future construction
16. When do we have to build units?
17. What happens after the new zoning is adopted by Town Meeting?
18. This is the first I’m hearing of this; how have you been informing the public?
19. General Zoning Considerations & Definitions
20. Helpful Studies and Links
21. Local Data, Resources, and Documents