Attorneys Art Bergeron and yours truly hosted a workshop for community leaders at the firm’s Westborough office on May 7th to share ideas and lessons learned on building and improving the downtowns in the Boroughs+ region. The program reflected a renewed interest on downtown and village districts in many communities as residents and businesses clamor for greater local amenities, including restaurants, entertainment and shopping downtown.
The event boasted full participation with officials attending from all of the Boroughs+ towns – Westborough, Northborough, Southborough and Marlborough, plus Hopkinton and Hudson – including Town Planners, Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals members and City Councilors (from Marlborough).
Marc Racicot, Director of the Land Use Division at the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, Geoffrey Morrison-Logan, Director of Planning and Landscape Architecture at VHB, and Randy Waterman, founder of Waterman Design, gave outstanding presentations and led the Workshop discussion. Their presentations focused on various downtown development projects throughout the Boroughs+ region and the need to address the unique challenges in each community. A key take away was the importance of building a political consensus with community leaders on the vision for the downtown, and creating the zoning and infrastructure (water, sewer, parking, traffic management, etc.) necessary to bring that vision to reality.
We will hold our next “Building the Boroughs+” Workshop in September. The event will feature an outstanding panel of experts and a discussion on enhancing the assessed value (and municipal tax revenue) in existing commercial and industrial properties. A regional economic development summit in partnership with area economic development organizations is planned for the Fall.
To learn more about our “Building the Boroughs+” Workshops and our work on behalf of property owners and developers in the Boroughs+ region, please contact David McCay, a Massachusetts land use and environmental attorney at Mirick O’Connell, at (508) 791-8500 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.