Compact Neighborhoods

DHCD is offering additional incentives to municipalities that adopt zoning districts promoting the Commonwealth’s strong interest in smart growth and housing for working families of all incomes.

Compact Neighborhoods

This is a new tool, like Smart Growth Zoning (40R) in its eligible locations and as-of-right zoning, but it has different residential density and affordability requirements.  Participating communities are eligible for preference in discretionary funding and possible Chapter 40B relief.  For communities that are interested in maintaining control over land use decisions by planning ahead and getting credit for denser, as-of-right zoning, this tool provides another choice.   

There are two specified density thresholds under Compact Neighborhoods which must allow for:

  • a minimum of 4 units per acre for single family development
  • a minimum of 8 units an acre for multi-family (any structure with more than one unit)

Compact Neighborhoods is explained further in the following document: Compact Neighborhoods Policy (effective November 14, 2012)

Compact Neighborhood Zoning (CNZ) Application


Contact Information

For more information, please contact:

William Reyelt at 617-573-1355, or

Elaine Wijnja at 617-573-1360


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