The bylaw creates a flexible and responsive zoning overlay that enhances the “129 business corridor” by enabling broader use and larger scale (re)development.
Key provisions include the following:
- Existing underlying zoning remains in place.
- Expanded uses include retail, restaurants, hotels, indoor recreation and entertainment, healthcare, fitness centers, child day care facilities and parking garages.
- Special consideration for Increased building heights, parking garages and integrated amenities are supported to stimulate multi-use site development.
- NEW opportunities for the development of multi-family housing to address changing trends and stakeholders’ needs.
- Flexible dimensional ,parking and landscaping standards.
- Streamlined and expedited permitting.
On October 24, 2016, the Town of Chelmsford overwhelmingly voted to approve a zoning overlay for the Rt. 129 corridor. This significant step towards reinventing itself will help Chelmsford to re-establish its regional leadership role as the center of community and commerce for northeastern Massachusetts.
The 129 overlay plan received unanimous endorsement by key governing and regulatory boards, demonstrating the depth of Chelmsford’s commitment to economic development and its desire to compete regionally. The Planning Board sponsored the zoning change and the Economic Development Committee actively canvassed the support of the community. The Finance and School Committees unanimously endorsed the initiative as did a majority of the Board of Selectmen.
Chelmsford can truly be described as the Crossroads of Community and Commerce. Located at the intersection of Routes 495 and 3 and only a 35-minute drive from Boston, 10 miles north of Route 128 and 10 miles south of southern New Hampshire. The 129 corridor is centrally positioned in the heart of Massachusetts’ Route 495 high-tech region. Chelmsford offers unparalleled access to an experienced talent pool, and close proximity to colleges and universities, including UMass Lowell.
The 623-acre area is home to six million sq. ft. of commercial and industrial space, 350 individual businesses and 7,500 daytime employees, multiple local, regional and world headquarters, such as Zoll Medical, Brooks Automation and Analog Devices. The adopted overlay provides smart zoning designed to support current and future market needs, new opportunities for comprehensive (re)development aimed at blending amenities such as restaurants, retail, indoor recreation, entertainment, hotels, and housing to foster a “live, work, and play” environment. Additionally, there are four private multi-family developments located within the Route 129 business area, with 448 rental apartments that are either under construction or progressing through the permitting process.