Active Adult Neighborhood Planning Effort

Map showing current AAN overlays in Stow*UPDATE* Active Adult Neighborhood Overlay District Bylaw Amendments - Passed at May 2021 Annual Town Meeting

*UPDATE* Zoning Amendments Presentation - April 2021

In the fall of 2019, Habitech, Inc. approached the Planning Board with a request to lift a cap on the number 55+ age-restricted homes allowed in Stow for the purpose of constructing a new neighborhood on several parcels off Hudson Road within the Active Adult Neighborhood (AAN) overlay district.  Rather than amending the bylaw to simply allow more units of age-restricted housing, the Planning Board engaged Habitech Inc. to cooperate in a broader planning effort to examine how amendments to the Active Adult Neighborhood Overlay District could advance the Town’s evolving housing and open space planning goals in the District’s remaining parcels.  This collaboration produced a Bylaw amendment, passed at the May 2021 Annual Town Meeting, that will allow Habitech, Inc. to meet its financial goals while also addressing Stow's long term planning goals. 


The Town of Stow, together with the 13 Town sub-region of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, known as MAGIC, has committed to making Stow an Age-Friendly Community through a partnership between the AARP and the World Health Organization.  In February of 2018 the Town of Stow provided written committment to the regional effort to advance housing and transportation improvements that could provide an environment for healthy aging.  Updating zoning to provide for additional older adult housing opportunities is one component of that ongoing work. 

In 2018 and again in 2019 the Stow Planning Department hosted two Housing Fairs on behalf of the Assabet Regional Housing Consortium and Metrowest Collaborative Development (MWCD).  The Housing Fairs revealed the surge in interest in housing for older adults, with strong turnout for the "55 and Ready to Make a Move" presentation by Metrowest Collaborative Development. Residents from Stow and surrounding towns, some on behalf of their aging parents, joined the forum to learn about current and upcoming opportunities for senior housing. 

Amending the Active Adult Neighborhood will advance the healthy living options for older adults in Stow by providing a variety of housing types and sizes, universal designs to allow for ease of access and mobility, and an increased focus on communal design to provide opportunities for social engagement.

Next Steps

The amendment to the Active Adult Neighborhood Overlay District was passed at the May 22, 2021 Annual Town Meeting. The Planning Board is now working on updating Rules and Regulations for the Overlay District. There will be a public hearing for these changes to Rules and Regulations toward the end of Summer 2021. 

You can find relevant maps, reports, and correspondence related to the Active Adult Neighborhood Overlay district below, as well as more information about Habitech Inc's current development proposal. Also included is a recording of the public forum hosted by the Planning Board on March 23 which provided an overview of the current zoning as well as a broad overview of proposed changes.



Relevant Housing Reports


Public Forum March 23, 2021 - Active Adult Neighborhood Bylaw Changes