City hopes new zoning district will revitalize Donald Lynch Boulevard


City hopes new zoning district will revitalize Donald Lynch Boulevard
A proposed change to the city’s zoning ordinances aims to attract more businesses to Donald Lynch Boulevard. (Photo/Maureen Sullivan)

MARLBOROUGH – A request to amend the city’s zoning ordinances to create a new zoning district for Donald Lynch Boulevard has received approval from the Planning Board.

During its meeting on June 17, the board issued a favorable recommendation to the City Council.

“Something needs to be done” about revitalizing the area, said board Chair Sean Fay.

RELATED CONTENT: City mulls future of Donald Lynch Boulevard

In its recommendation, the board said the proposed change would not have an impact to neighbors; and would benefit the city by attracting new business and “encourag[ing] development options.”

Proponents have cited changes in retail from brick-and-mortar sites to online, and the need for more amenities along the boulevard.

The council’s Urban Affairs Committee examined the amendment at its June 24 meeting. The committee gave its approval; it will be taken up at the next City Council meeting on Monday, July 22, and could then be sent to the city’s solicitor.

After that, the council will vote on the amendment at its meeting on Monday, Aug. 26.

About the district

The district, should it be approved, would allow more businesses to open in the area, such as stand-alone restaurants, medical offices or clinics, open-air markets and, with a special permit, multifamily housing and artists’ studios.

There may be exemptions, such as height, to allow for a recreation complex such as the Hampshire Dome.

The proposed district would encourage more parking for bicycles, more landscaped islands within parking lots, and shared outdoor spaces.

Allowed by right – offices, banks, insurance and financial institutions; medical offices/clinics; commercial greenhouses; brew pubs; and open-air markets.

Within the new district, the following would not be allowed – single-family and two-family homes; conversion of a two-family home to three-family; boarding houses; tourist homes/bed-and-breakfast; open space development; assisted-living facilities; kennels and animal hospitals; and funeral homes; adult video and bookstores; and tattoo parlors.

Comprehensive developments would be allowed; multifamily dwellings, trailer mobile homes and retirement community overlays would be allowed with a special permit.

Also allowed with a special permit – yard sales/charitable sales and bazaars; artist studio/work gallery space; recording studios; veterinary hospitals; retail sales and services; hotels.

The complete amendment, including a table of uses, is available via

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