Harvard Street

Last updated: 3/30/2023

The Regulatory Division has been studying regulatory barriers to multifamily and mixed-use development and proposed remedies that can serve as an objective basis for community visioning workshops. The first installment of this study is Harvard Street, a vital mixed-use neighborhood. 

  • STUDY FOUNDATION: The basis for this study is a Community Character Documentation: Microscale Analysis, which catalogs nearly 120 specifications of sampled blocks along Harvard Street from Verndale Street to Station Street. As you'll see below, some sections have not yet been linked here. We have prioritized publishing draft sections that are the most timely as it relates to the public process  and compliance with the MBTA Communities Act.
  • COMMUNITY RESOURCE: The Study is a living document that may be amended as dialog with the boards, commissions, and the community evolves. The Study serves as a tool the community can use to both reinforce the character of this cherished neighborhood and shape its future.


Meetings Scheduled to Date:


PART 1: Harvard Street Study Parameters*

PART 2: Zoning Concepts

2.1 Basic Concepts*2.3 What Is Zoning*
2.2 Fair Housing Act*2.4 Transect Organizing Principle

PART 3: Current Town Policies and Policy Guidance

PART 4: In Practice - Navigating By-Laws to Plan a Project*

PART 5: Macro- and Microscale Analyses

5.1 Maps and Data5.3 Microscale Analysis (draft)
5.2 Main Street Community Type and Storefront Frontage5.4 Lot and Development Data

PART 6: Constraints, Disincentives, Gaps in Zoning

6.1 Special Permit Requirements6.6 Site Plan-Design Review
6.2 Inclusionary Zoning6.7 Nat'l Register Area Protection*
6.3 Supporting  Commercial6.8 Private, Public Infrastructure
6.4 Parking Minimums Residential6.9 Urban Heat Islands
6.5 Design Review Standards

PART 7: Regulatory Barriers to Multifamily/Mixed-Use

7.1 Height7.3 Open Space
7.2 Floor-Area Ratio (FAR)7.4 Lot Area Minimum

PART 8: Potential Benefits and Managing Risks (to be developed with community input)

PART 9: Summary of Zoning Recommendations for Discussion

PART 10: Scoping Harvard Street as a Potential MBTACA District (to be developed with community input)