June 9, 2011 – Despite conflicting sporting and social events on the night of Wednesday June 8, a group of diehard Marlborough residents, development supporters and city councilors turned out to participate in the public forum that took place at the Massachusetts International Academy.
After a brief welcome from Mayor Nancy Stevens, principal consultant Ken Buckland of The Cecil Group presented an update on the economic development master plan currently in preparation. He also reviewed the results of the recently held focus groups where over 150 people participated in 13 key areas the findings of which have been compiled into a 40 page report. Finally Buckland introduced the participants to the concept of the mapping game planned for the evening.
The thirty participants were then divided into two breakout groups and directed to rooms where a large map of Marlborough was laid out for people to gather around. With the map as the game board, participants figured out the lay of the land and were vocal about what works and what does not in the current outlay of the city. Then using cards describing different types of land uses, developments, improvements, or changes that could occur within the community as the game pieces, the assignment was to discuss and design a future vision of the City.
While many interesting ideas and suggestions surfaced Buckland highlights the following as key recommendations:
- Route I-290 corridor and Southwest corner of the City are principal locations desired for larger scale development and redevelopment with a full range of uses
- The City should provide an easy point of contact for developers that provides guidance and assistance, and the City should provide a reasonable and efficient process for development approvals
- The downtown should be activated with events and be made more accessible to increase business and make the downtown more attractive
Brett Piercy, Economic Development Research Group and Ryan Lawlor and Emily Innes, of The Cecil Group assisted in conducting the mapping game exercise.
Marlborough residents who still wish to participate in the planning process may take the online visual preference survey at http://staging.marlboroughedc.com/links/visual-preference-survey/
See Slide Show
This story originally appeared here