Marlborough – The Marlborough Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), in collaboration with the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), has organized a public visioning session to collect the community's input on the state of Marlborough's downtown.
The Downtown Marlborough Public Forum will take place at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 3 at the Masonic Hall, 8 Newton St.
The event will be held as part of the MEDC and MAPC's joint efforts to evaluate Downtown Marlborough's current zoning regulations and to provide the City Council with recommendations, which will serve as a long-term vision for the area's development and design.
Through the public forum, the two organizations hope to gather local opinions and assess the community's appetite for a number of proposed changes, including rezoning the downtown into a mixed-use area.
“We need to get this right to ensure that we have a prosperous downtown for years to come,” said Marlborough City Councilor and Urban Affairs Committee Chair Joe Delano, who is a member of the downtown study group working on this initiative. “Folks need to be thinking about what they want in their downtown not just next year, but 10, 20 and 30 years from now.”
In addition to holding public meetings, MEDC and MAPC have also started distributing the Downtown Marlborough Survey, which has already gathered more than 360 responses since its March 3rd launch. MEDC Executive Director Tim Cummings said he is pleased that people are eager to provide their input.
“Marlborough belongs to its residents, its workers, and its property and business owners,” Cummings said. “So it is our duty to consult them thoroughly, as we consider the introduction of major zoning changes to Marlborough's downtown. Anything we decide will ultimately impact the local community, so we have to seriously consider everyone's ideas and be sure that we are all on the same page.”
In early February, a Technical Assistance Panel from the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Boston issued a list of recommendations aimed at reviving Marlborough's downtown area. After the panel presented its report to the Marlborough City Council, MEDC was tasked with reviewing the findings and creating an action plan to implement some of the articulated recommendations. Cummings says he hopes that, with the public's input, the action plan could be ready as early as May.
“The only way to be heard is to speak out,” Cummings said. “That's why we strongly urge the people who live and work in Marlborough to share their thoughts with us??”take the survey, join the public forum. We want to better the city for them, and we hope that they will help us make that happen.”
Take the Downtown Marlborough Survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/DowntownMarlboroughSurvey, and join the Downtown Marlborough Public Forum Facebook event page at www.facebook.com/events/648131891907440/.