March 23rd Information &

Resource Update

In this issue....

  • 495/MetroWest State House Day 2023

  • Attorney General's Office Issues Advisory Regarding Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities

  • Energy Efficiency Funding for Area Small Businesses

  • Federal Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Funding Available

  • Bowditch Webinar: Federal Data Transparency Act (FDTA)

  • Sponsorship Opportunities: 495/MetroWest Supply Chain Directory

You're Invited: State House Day

The 495/MetroWest Partnership cordially invites you to attend our annual State House Day event, which for the first time since the onset of the pandemic will return to the State House itself!

495/MetroWest State House Day

with Senate President Karen E. Spilka

and members of the 495/MetroWest Delegation

Wednesday, April 12th 11:00 AM — 1:00 PM

at the Massachusetts State House

24 Beacon Street, Boston

Click Here to Register

This event is an annual opportunity created by the Partnership for our stakeholders to interact with members of our region’s legislative delegation, hear about their priorities, and ask questions or offer feedback relevant to your business, organization, or community.

Advance registration is required for this event; click here or the link above to register. Additional details including access and parking information will be provided to registrants during the final week of March.

Attorney General's Office Issues Advisory Regarding Multi-Family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities

The Massachusetts Attorney General's Office last week issued an advisory to clarify requirements imposed on towns and cities by the 2021 MBTA Communities Zoning Law. To address the Commonwealth’s housing crisis, the law implemented zoning reforms that require towns and cities to allow reasonable levels of multifamily housing development near MBTA stations. In response to some confusion about the requirements of the law, the AG’s advisory explains that all MBTA Communities must comply. 

Click here to access the full text of the complete advisory.

30 of 36 495/MetroWest Partnership communities are defined as MBTA Communities.

The MBTA Communities Zoning Law was enacted to remove barriers to the development of higher-density, transit-oriented housing along the MBTA transportation network to address the Commonwealth’s housing crisis, and advance significant climate and transportation goals. Because some local zoning laws sought to limit or prevent the construction of multifamily housing near MBTA stations, the statute explicitly responds by requiring MBTA Communities to have at least one zoning district of reasonable size in which multifamily housing is allowed “as of right.” This district must generally be located within half a mile of a transit station and allow for development at a minimum gross density of fifteen units per acre. The law also prevents restrictions within the designated district that would interfere with the construction of housing suitable for families with children.

The advisory explains that covered communities must come into compliance with the MBTA Communities Zoning Law. MBTA Communities that do not currently have a compliant multi-family zoning district must take steps outlined in the Department of Housing and Community Development’s guidelines to demonstrate interim compliance. The advisory clarifies that covered communities cannot opt out of or avoid their obligations by choosing to forego state funding. Failure to comply may result in civil enforcement action or liability under federal and state fair housing laws.

The Citizens' Housing and Planning Association (CHAPA) is now providing technical assistance for community engagement to all interested MBTA Communities seeking to comply with the Multi-family Zoning Requirements for MBTA Communities (Section 3A). Municipal staff, elected leaders, and board members are encouraged to apply.

Energy Efficiency Funding for Area Small Businesses

495/MetroWest area small businesses may be eligible for funding for energy improvements through Eversource's Main Streets Program. The program is time-limited and is coordinated with specific municipalities to connect business owners with no-cost energy assessments and proposals. Interested participants sign up for a no-cost, no-obligation energy assessment of your business. An Eversource-approved energy efficiency expert will reach out to schedule your assessment, to ensure minimal disruption to your daily operations. The program offers a wide variety of energy efficiency improvements, which will be specifically tailored to how your business uses energy. These include:

  • New lighting controls
  • Occupancy sensors
  • Sensors for programmable thermostats
  • Refrigeration controls

During the assessment, the energy efficiency expert will inspect your facility and provide your business with a customized list of energy efficiency improvements that can be made to your facility.

Consult the schedule to find out when Eversource will be in your area. Even if the date for your community has passed, you can still request an assessment. 495/MetroWest communities with scheduled dates this season include:

  • Bellingham
  • Framingham
  • Millis
  • Natick
  • Shrewsbury
  • Westborough 

A special webinar on the program will be co-hosted by Eversource, the 495/MetroWest Partnership, the Town of Natick, and the City of Framingham on Monday, April 3rd at 6:00 PM. Click here to register for the webinar. To learn more about the program, click here.  

Federal Public Works and Economic Adjustment

Assistance Funding Available

The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) has published a new Fiscal Year 2023 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (PWEAA) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). The FY23 PWEAA NOFO outlines application submission requirements and review procedures for applications received under EDA’s Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance (EAA) programs.  

The Public Works program provides resources to meet the construction and/or infrastructure design needs of communities to enable them to become more economically competitive.  

Supported activities under EDA’s EAA program include construction and non-construction such as construction or upgrading of public infrastructure, sectoral partnerships for workforce training, design and engineering, technical assistance, economic recovery strategies, and capitalization or re-capitalization of Revolving Loan Funds (RLF).

Eligible applicants include city or township governments, Public and State controlled institutions of higher education, and nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS other than institutions of higher education.

There are no application submission deadlines and applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Click here to access the complete NOFO

Webinar from Bowditch: Federal Data Transparency Act (FDTA)

The newly-enacted Financial Data Transparency Act (FDTA) has the potential to significantly change the format currently used by issuers and conduit borrowers in submitting financial information to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB).


Bowditch will host a webinar on the FDTA’s requirements, timeline and potential challenges relative to the new financial reporting filing requirements on Thursday, March 30th at 2:00 PM. Topics will include: 

  • Discussion of the FDTA’s new financial reporting format
  • Operational/technological adjustments to producing financial information in a fully machine-readable and searchable structured format
  • Potential for unintended consequences resulting from an extension of these new standards to other financial disclosures beyond audited financial statements
  • Considerations for confirming compliance with FDTA requirements relative to new public finance transactions
  • Ways in which issuers and conduit borrowers can engage in a meaningful dialogue with respect to the SEC’s rule making process

Click here to register for the webinar

Sponsorship Opportunities:

The 495/MetroWest Supply Chain Directory

In 2021, the 495/MetroWest Partnership launched the 495/MetroWest Supply Chain Directory, an online informational resource focused on enhancing information about business entities located within the region at several different points of a supply chain, aimed at supporting regional supply chain resiliency.

Now with approximately 300 area businesses listed, the 495/MetroWest Partnership is extending sponsorship opportunities to businesses that would like to put their company’s message and services before our Directory’s audience.

Click here to learn more about Supply Chain Directory sponsorship opportunities. Interest and questions regarding sponsorship opportunities may be directed to Executive Director Jason Palitsch at (774) 760-0495 or The 495/MetroWest Partnership will invoice sponsorship commitments received within one week; payment is due within 30 days. Sponsor benefits are in effect for one year from receipt of commitment.

As always, please do not hesitate to reach out if the Partnership can be of any assistance to you:
Jason Palitsch, Executive Director
(774) 760-0495

Thank you for your continued commitment to strengthening our region.
Facebook  Twitter