Housing Production Plan: March 15, 5:30 pm
With the draft Housing Production Plan completed, please consider attending the Housing Advisory Board meeting on March 15th at 5:30 pm. This Plan will inform how Brookline will continue to create housing that is affordable and fair; background information is available on the Housing Production Plan webpage. The meeting will include presentations, public comment, and discussion.
Harvard Street Visioning Zoning Kick-Off: March 15, 7:30 pm
For the past two years, the Department of Planning and Community Development has been studying regulatory barriers to and recommendations for facilitating multifamily and mixed-use development in Brookline. The first installment of the study is Harvard Street, an urban mixed-use neighborhood celebrated as a focal point for neighborhood retail, services, entertainment, and housing.
A core component of the Study is a block by block analysis of the neighborhood’s physical characteristics. The logic behind this approach is to identify positive and appealing characteristics to inform design standards in the updated zoning. Our key finding reveals that reinforcing a four-story scale in the base zoning using a form-based zoning approach would facilitate growth to sustain our commercial districts and reinforce the neighborhood’s physical identity, including incentivizing ground-floor retail space. The findings will be shared at the visioning kick-off to ask if these characteristics represent the walkable urban environment that community stakeholders want to see more of. Please join us March 15th at 7:30 pm; more information is on the Town Calendar.
The analysis and full study are posted at the Harvard Street webpage. Section 5.3 of the Study is the focus of the Visioning kick-off.
The passage of the MBTA Communities Act (“MBTACA”) in 2022 requires municipalities like Brookline to create a zoning district that allows multi-family development without special permits. Because of the Harvard Street study’s foundational work, staff recognized an opportunity to both remedy Harvard Street zoning and comply with the MBTACA using sound planning principles.
Senior Planner Maria Morelli is also hosting Zoom Office Hours: Mondays noon to 5 pm and Tuesdays 8:30 am to 1 pm at through the month of March at https://brooklinema.zoomgov.com/j/1615833155. Please drop by with any questions or contact her at 617-730-2670 and [email protected].
If you already receive Planning Board notices, you will automatically receive future meetings and notices related to this topic. You can sign up for Planning Board notices online.
Hear Ye, Hear Ye: Noticing – What’s Old is New Again
In this era of multiplying social media and news platforms, nothing is like walking by a place that you live, work, recreate, relax, or visit and seeing information about that place at that place. On March 16th at 7 pm the Zoning Board of Appeals will be discussing a requirement for applicants for to post a sign on the property about upcoming meetings.
Handful of Warrant Articles: Fossil Fuel Free, CPA Funding, T-5 Zoning
We submitted three Warrant Articles for Spring Town Meeting consideration. One article is required in order for the Town of Brookline to participate in the state’s Fossil Fuel Free Demonstration Program. This article proposes to amend the General By-Laws to do so, and also clarifies votes previously taken at Town Meeting regarding the Stretch Code and Specialized Energy Code. The earliest effective date of this By-Law change would be January 1, 2024.
A second warrant article proposes a budget for Community Preservation Act funds for Fiscal Year 2024. The Community Preservation Committee will accept the first applications in the fall of 2023, with the first round of projects funded at Spring Town Meeting 2024.
Finally, the Department of Planning and Community Development filed a warrant article that proposes to create a new zoning district to set forth building massing requirements in two existing T-5 (two-family) zoning districts north of Beacon Street to encourage reuse and deter demolition.