MBTA Communities (also known as Section 3A) is an exciting and bold program that affordable housing proponents and lawmakers from across the country are closely watching to see what kind of impact can be made in Massachusetts. Stantec Urban Planners took on the challenge and proposed a zoning overlay solution. Stantec’s process offers a three complementary overlay zones viewpoint. This three-zone view meets (and exceeds) the overall MBTA Communities requirements which offers a large degree of flexibility in siting the zones. Stantec’s overlay provides an opportunity for the community to evaluate and choose between multiple scenarios (which could become contentious due to perceived economic benefits or negative externalities being distributed unequally) and find the most equitable and optimum strategy to meet the MBTA Communities goals.