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Town Of Brookline Invites Community Members To Participate In Harvard Street MBTA Zoning Workshops

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Town Administrator Chas Carey invites residents to participate in the next round of Harvard Street zoning workshops to help shape the Town’s proposal.

In 2022, the State passed the MBTA Communities Act, which requires 175 municipalities — including Brookline — to have at least one zoning district that allows multifamily zoning without discretionary permits.

The Town is proposing a zoning update for Harvard Street that would meet the Town’s Goals including reinforcing its 3.5- to 4-story main street character, and facilitating modestly placed housing and commercial growth with objective design standards for more predictable outcomes.

The design standards are informed by four phases of community workshops facilitated by zoning expert Opticos Design and the state Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD).

More than 200 community stakeholders participated in Phase 1 workshops. Participants suggested a focus on better accessibility, quality building materials, human-scale building heights, preservation of historic structures, protection of public shade trees, and richly varied uses on the ground floor.

Phase 2, which focuses on “Test Fits of Community Inputs for Zoning,” will test zoning parameters informed by the community in highly interactive workshops held via Zoom:

Workshop A, Stearns Road to Verndale Street: This workshop will be held on Wednesday, June 28, 2023 at 12:00 p.m. via Zoom. Residents may register here.

Workshop B, Station Street to Stearns Road: This workshop will be held on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at 12:00 p.m. via Zoom. Residents may register here.

Phase 3 and Phase 4 are scheduled for mid-July.

More information on the Town’s zoning plans and goals can be found here and on the Town’s Zoning Hub. Residents also may subscribe to receive alerts for updates on the Zoning proposal here.

“We highly encourage residents to attend these workshops to guide the Town’s efforts,” said Town Administrator Carey. “Community feedback is vital to the success of planning and we want to ensure that community members’ voices are heard on important issues such as this.”

Those with questions regarding the Town’s Zoning proposal or the workshops should contact Planning Director Kara Brewton at kbrewton@brooklinema.gov or Senior Planner Maria Morelli at mmorelli@brooklinema.gov.

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