Littleton Station Village - MBTA Communities

April 5, 2019 Littleton Station Area Study - WelcomeThank you! 
Thank you for the robust input and feedback on Town Meeting floor. Planning Board will be exploring a new zoning bylaw amendment to bring Littleton toward compliance with the MBTA Communities requirements with a Board discussion scheduled at the November 16, 2023 meeting.

Planning Board Public Hearing - 
The Planning Board opened a public hearing on Thursday, October 12, 2023, which will continue on October 26, 2023 at 6:15 p.m. in Room 103 of the Shattuck Street Town Offices on the proposed MBTA Communities Zoning Bylaw - Article 19 of the November 1, 2023 Special Town Meeting warrant. 

Article 19 - MBTA Communities Zoning Bylaw
Art. 19 LSMFD District Map Proposed
FAQs - Article 19

Article 19 updates the zoning bylaw to bring Littleton into compliance with MBTA Communities Multifamily Zoning requirements. Section 5 updates the King Street Common (KSC) zoning district to allow Littleton to “count” the KSC multifamily and mixed-use district as the majority of the required 50-acre multifamily zoning district. Littleton will be able to count 600 of the 750-unit zoning requirement at the KSC district (the former IBM site). Section 1 through 4 adds a new 10-acre multifamily zoning district, the proposed Littleton Station MBTA Communities Multi-family District (LSMFD) adjacent to the commuter rail station, allowing “missing middle” housing adjacent to the Foster Street commuter rail station. This article builds on foundational planning work of the community by promoting recommendations of the Littleton Master Plan, the Littleton Common Revitalization Roadmap, and the Littleton Station Village Vision Plan.”

September 12, 2023: Planning Board meeting of September 14, 2023 included a discussion on the DRAFT MBTA Communities Zoning Bylaw.  A new "Littleton Station MBTA Communities Multi-family District (LSMFD) is proposed to allow multi-family housing by right in accordance with Section 3A of the Zoning Act. The LSMFD district is proposed to be approximately 10 acres located adjacent to the Foster Street Commuter Rail Station.  In addition, an update to the King Street Common Zoning District will allow Littleton to "count" the King Street Common zoning district toward compliance with State zoning requirements. 

Current zoning work is based on prior work of the Littleton Station Committee, and consultants at Dodson & Flinker that resulted in the Littleton Station Design Standards from Feb. 2021.

August 17, 2023: Planning Board meeting of August 17, 2023 included a 6:15 p.m. discussion on the draft proposed MBTA Communities multifamily zoning district bylaw. 

Littleton's Aug. 2023 DRAFT Bylaw.
Presentation - Aug. 17, 2023 PB Meeting

The State MBTA Communities Sample Zoning is at this link.

NEW INFORMATION: The State Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (formerly DHCD) announced revisions today (8-17-23) to the Compliance Guidelines for Multi-Family Zoning Districts under Section 3A of the Zoning Act (Guidelines). Details below, but for Littleton, this means that the list of discretionary grants that any community that does not meet these new zoning requirements just got MUCH LONGER. 

Summary of Changes 8-17-2023
Revisions to Section 3A Compliance Guidelines REDLINE
Revisions to Section 3A Compliance Guidelines CLEAN

July 20, 2023: Planning Board meeting of July 20, 2023 included a 6:30 p.m. discussion on the MBTA Communities multifamily zoning requirements. Consultants Emily Innes of Innes Associates and Chris Herlich of RKG Associates shared an updated presentation for July 20, 2023 which included a third test scenario for potential residential developments near the Foster Street Commuter Rail Station. Thank you for joining us at 6:30 p.m. on July 20, 2023 in Room 103 of the Shattuck Street Town Offices.  

JUNE 8, 2023: Planning Board met with consultants Emily Innes of Innes Associates and Chris Herlich of RKG Associates to review "minimum" buildout scenarios for three areas within 1/2 mile of the Foster street commuter rail station. MBTA Communities Zoning Study Presentation - 6-5-2023

New Information March 2023: The Massachusetts Attorney General has issued an advisory (PDF) regarding the enforcement of the MBTA Communities Zoning Law. The Planning Board, building on prior work of the Station Area Committee, and the Littleton Common Revitalization Roadmap, is working to bring a well-supported MBTA Communities zoning bylaw amendment forward within the required timeframe.

Wednesday, March 8, 2023 Workshop Number 2

"Recommendations" in Room 103 of the Shattuck Street Town Offices was a success; thank you for your input and your time. View the updated presentation (PDF). The Planning Board hopes to bring a zoning bylaw amendment to the Fall 2023 Town Meeting to bring Littleton into compliance with legal requirements AND to better meet local housing needs.

February 9, 2023, Workshop Number 1

"Investigations" - The Planning Board was pleased to host the Online Public Workshop Number 1; view the MBTA Communities Zoning Study Presentation - February 9, 2023 (PDF). The Meeting Number 1 survey has been closed. Thank you for your participation.

January 13, 2023

The Littleton "Action Plan for MBTA Communities (PDF)" was officially sent to the state, meeting the January 31, 2023 deadline. DHCD notified the Town (PDF) that Littleton's Action Plan was approved!

January 5, 2023

Planning Board Meeting: The Planning Board reviewed the Public Outreach Plan (PDF) and the Timeline/Scope of Services (PDF) for the Littleton Station Village/MBTA Communities work with consultant Emily Innes of Innes Associates, Ltd. at the meeting of January 5, 2023. The Planning Board is moving forward with the Updated Timeline for MBTA Communities work (PDF).

Fall 2022 News

As expected, DHCD has issued final guidance regarding the MBTA Communities legislation. The path for Littleton to come into compliance has changed since the draft guidelines were issued on December 15, 2021. Recalling that new laws require every MBTA community to zone for multi-family housing, Littleton will be working to meet the requirements within the statutory timeframes. Updating our zoning to allow multi-family housing "by-right" near the Foster Street commuter rail station will make our zoning more equitable.

MBTA Communities' zoning requirements are now tailored to each MBTA community. Littleton's minimum MBTA zoning district size is still 50 acres, and the minimum number of housing units required within the district is still 750, however, "only" 20% of the district is required to be within 0.5 miles of our Foster Street commuter rail station. This will allow the Town to better reflect our Master Plan goals of focusing first on Littleton Common while taking the time necessary for a thoughtful discussion on the goals for the Littleton Station Area. Recalling that Littleton recently received another $50,000 EEA Planning Assistance Grant for planning for the MBTA Communities Zoning/Littleton Station Area, this funding and timeline allow us the opportunity to meet the goals by the December 2024 deadline. Visit the DHCD's web page for a deeper explanation of the legislation and the Section 3A guidelines.

August 2022 News

The property owner at 245 Foster Street presented a Zoning Bylaw Amendment proposal to the Planning Board at the August 15, 2022, PB meeting. View the TEXT of the bylaw amendment proposal (PDF). The Planning Board took this proposal under advisement.

May 2022 Update

The Town of Littleton has submitted our MBTA Community Information Form to DHCD (PDF). This response outlines Littleton's current status regarding zoning for multifamily transit-oriented development. Our next step is to submit a "complete request for determination of compliance" or "notify DHCD of lack of full compliance" by December 31, 2022. We believe that the King Street Common zoning passed at the October 2021 Fall Town Meeting brings us toward the goal of by-right zoning for Transit-Oriented Development. An update to the zoning in the Littleton Station Village area surrounding the Foster Street Littleton/Route 495 MBTA Commuter Rail Station will also be required for us to remain eligible for State Grant funding.

January 2022 Update

The State Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has published draft guidelines for MBTA Communities to comply with the January 2021 Economic Development Legislation - in effect, Littleton will be required to update our zoning before December 2024 to allow the buildout of 750 units of multi-family housing within one-half mile of the Foster Street MBTA Commuter Rail Station. Visit the State (DHCD) guidance website.

The Planning Board and Select Board have both been briefed on these requirements.

Littleton will utilize the work of the Littleton Station Area Committee, our Littleton Station Village Vision Plan, and consultants to move forward with developing a zoning bylaw amendment to bring to a future Town Meeting to help bring the community into compliance with this legislation prior to December 2024. Detailed local information includes the updates and briefings posted above and the information below:

July 2021 Update

The Littleton Station Area Committee, comprised of 2 Select Board members - Cindy Napoli and Matthew Nordhaus - and 2 Planning Board members - Delisa Laterzo and Mark Montanari - is now scheduling in-person meetings in Room 103 to reinvigorate the discussion on 40R Smart Growth in Littleton.

The LSAC, Planning Board, and Select Board discussed a 40R zoning bylaw amendment on January 28, 2021, in preparation for further public input and discussion for a Spring 2021 Town Meeting vote - view the July 2021 presentation. At March 4, 2021, Planning Board meeting, Select Board Member and Vice Chair of the Littleton Affordable Housing Trust Cindy Napoli shared this presentation regarding affordable housing (PDF).

The Planning Board reviewed a presentation on Littleton Station 40R District and Design Guidelines (PDF).

May 2021 Update

April 2021 Update

New Comments

See also:

View All

November 2020

View examples of 40R Developments (PDF)

June 1, 2020 - Littleton Station Village Vision Plan

Consultant Judi Barrett of Barrett Planning Group presented the Littleton Station Village Vision Plan (PDF) at the Planning Board meeting on Thursday, June 4 at 8 pm.

View the:

Maps include the following:

July 2020 Update

The Littleton Station Area Committee members asked to see a progression of plans presented for discussion for the so-called "Nordblom" site at 245 Foster Street. Those plans include:

February 12, 2020 - Littleton Station Village Vision Plan - In Progress

The Planning Board will continue to work with our consultant and the members of the Littleton Station Area working group to finalize a report presenting the results of this study. stay tuned for updates!

October 15, 2019

The Littleton Water Department met with the Master Plan Implementation Committee regarding the Water Department's outlook on implementing the 2017 Master Plan, including the Littleton Common Revitalization Roadmap, and Littleton Station Area Study. View the LWD Presentation (PDF).

July 29, 2019 - Littleton Station Survey Results

July 2019 Update

On Littleton Station Village planning study:

The Planning Board heard from consultants Judi Barrett and Peter Flinker at the PB meeting on July 18, 2019.

If you have comments/concerns/questions, please email Town Planner Maren Toohill. Comments received by August 15, 2019, can be included in the DRAFT Littleton Station Village report.

The Planning Board is working with a consulting team led by Barrett Planning Group, funded by a $65,000 grant from MassHousing and $11,250 local matching funds, on a "Littleton Station Area Study". Thank you to all who attended the Listening and Visioning sessions on Friday, April 5, and Saturday, April 6 - your input is important! And, thank you to everyone who participated in the online surveys - your input is important as this study moves forward.

For any/all Planning Board issues, please email Town Planner Maren Toohill with any questions or comments.

Survey Number 1 - Littleton Station Area Study: open May 13 through May 27 Survey Number 1 closed.