Smart Growth Initiative Research for the LCD

40R Overlay in the LCD

Community Meeting to Discuss Potential for Zoning Overlay District

An Opportunity to Plan Ahead in the LCD

The Manchester Planning Board researching the possibility of creating a 40R Smart Growth Overlay District in the Limited Commercial District (the LCD, north of Rt 128).

In 2004, Massachusetts enacted the Smart Growth Zoning and Housing Production Act (Chapter 40R) authorizing financial and other incentives for municipalities that create zoning overlay districts that encourage housing production with certain “smart growth characteristics”. The district must be primarily residential, include as-of-right densities of at least 8-20 units per acre with at least 20% affordable units. The 40R process allows a community to proactively create comprehensive development guidelines for a specific location(s), including density limits and design standards. The project approval process is streamlined for developers that meet the standards while the community will receive incentive payments for successfully completed projects.

Creating a 40R Smart Growth Overlay District in the LCD aligns well with the goals defined by the community in the recently completed Manchester Master Plan, as it would address housing needs while limiting financial impacts to the town and schools, as well as allowing for some complementary uses. While no specific site has been chosen, the LCD is an area that the community identified for new development.

Please bring your neighbors and join the Planning Board for an informative presentation by representatives from the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) with a question and answer session to gather feedback about the possibilities and concerns.

For more information contact Town Planner, Sue Brown, with at (978) 525-6436 or

Change happens, let’s manage it in advance!

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