City Redevelopment Plan to be revised

The City Council is set to approve a revised redevelopment plan that will consolidate more than three dozen amendments to the existing, 15-year-old redevelopment plan. The new plan also will combine what were separate redevelopment plans for the Central Business District (CBD) and Lower Main Street Redevelopment Area.

The ordinance amending and supplementing the Redevelopment Plan was introduced by City Council Feb. 11 and is scheduled for a public hearing and final approval on Monday. The process to update the Redevelopment Plan started last summer.

The original CBD redevelopment plan was adopted January 1998 and since has been amended 37 times. “It’s not a plan, it’s 37 amendments,” said Redevelopment Agency attorney Frank Regan before the Planning Board last week.

The new plan would consolidate all those amendments and allow a number of redevelopment projects recently proposed, he said. For instance, the former Westbury site now controlled by Slokker is planned for as many as 180 residential units with parking and possibly some retail. “This plan would permit that development,” Regan said, adding that developers hope to come before Planning Board this summer. Previous redevelopment projects were added to the 1998 Redevelopment Plan over the years as amendments, requiring approval from the City Council and recommendations by the Planning Board each time.

Paul Phillips of Phillips Preiss Grygiel said the Redevelopment Plan will mandate active ground-floor retail, present-day standards of redevelopment as well as improvements to design standards. The biggest change in the ordinance will be adding the Lower Main Street Redevelopment Plan into the Central Business District Redevelopment Plan, Paul Grygiel of Phillips Preiss Grygiel said in remarks before the Redevelopment Agency in recent months.

The plan spells out minimum standards for things like floor area, bulk standards for lot area as well as prohibited uses and maximum density within certain zones and subdistricts of the CBD. For instance, the minimum floor area for a unit would be 350 square feet for a studio and 500 square feet for a one-bedroom, plus 150 square feet for each additional bedroom.

Maximum gross density would be highest within the center of downtown and decline in zones toward the outskirts:

* Subdistrict CBD-1 (West Milton to Poplar): no maximum.
* Subdistrict CBD-2 (River Place and Station Place): 75 units per acre, 100 per acre for properties 20,000 square feet or greater
* Subdistrict CBD-3 (Hamilton, Bridge and Pierce streets): 50 units per acre, 75 for properties 20,000 square feet or greater

* Subdistrict M-X (City Hall Plaza): 143 units per acre, with a maximum building height of five stories.
* Subdistricts R-2, R-3, R-4: In accordance with medium-density single-family residential zone, low-rise multifamily residential zone and high-rise multifamily residential zone, respectively.
In general, 1.25 parking spaces would be provided per unit, with some exceptions, and of that amount, one unit should be provided on site while the remaining requirements could be fulfilled by public or private lots, on-street spaces, or payment in lieu of parking agreements (within CBD 1, 2 and 3).

The 26-page Redevelopment Plan is available in its entirety within O-6-13.

10 thoughts on “City Redevelopment Plan to be revised”

  1. How about more free parking? Parking in downtown is pricier than Westfield – and we dont have even half to offer. Seems to me that someone is lining their pockets!

  2. It's amazing what has happened downtown. People forget that this has had to trudge on through a recession and the progress that was made is impressive. Lets hope that now that the economy is picking up it will happen quicker.would like to see timetables for the two potential projects on Main and the AM project..

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