Safety First

Zoning Ordinances

Zoning Laws are defined by each city and town. In Medford, the zoning ordinance allows for no more than 3 (three) unrelated individuals to live together in one unit. In Somerville, the zoning ordinance allows for no more than 4 (four) unrelated individuals to live together in one unit.

A few terms utilized in defining the type of dwelling unit habitable by a family or unrelated person(s) are as follows:

  • Family: means one or more persons related by blood, adoption or marriage, living and cooking together as a single nonprofit housekeeping unit; provided, that a group of five or more persons who are not related by blood, adoption, or marriage shall not be deemed to constitute a family. *
  • Lodging House: means a dwelling in which living space, without individual kitchens and with or without kitchen privileges, is let for compensation to four or more persons who are not within the second degree of kinship to the owner or operator as defined by civil law, but not including hotel, dormitory, fraternity, sorority, or other building of an institutional or educational use.*
  • A Boarding House is defined as a residential use that provides four or more rental boarding rooms for four or more unrelated individuals, for occupancy longer than a 14 day period…A boarding house shall include a lodging house, rooming house, and single room occupancy dwelling. **

To find out more about zoning laws, contact the City Inspectional Services or City Zoning Board in the respective location.

  • In the City of Medford, you can link to the Municipal Codes live on www.medford.org and search for specifics.
  • In the City of Somerville, you can link to the Municipal Codes live on http://www.ci.somerville.ma.us and search for specifics.

*defined by the City of Medford Zoning Department
**defined by the City of Somerville Zoning Department

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