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Forum next month in Marlborough to discuss downtown changes

WICKED LOCAL – Local and regional planners will hold a public forum next month to ask residents for ideas on how to pump new life into downtown.

On April 3 at 7 p.m., the Marlborough Economic Development Corp. and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council will hold the forum at the Masonic Hall on Newton Street.

According to a press release sent out this week by the MEDC, the organizations are looking to collect comment and gauge opinions on a number of proposed changes to the downtown.

The MEDC and MAPC are reviewing zoning regulations and finding ways to revitalize downtown. The quasi-public agency is working off the initial recommendations of a technical assistance panel from the Urban Land Institute.

The organizations will take the information it gets at the forum and roll it into its final set of recommendations, which will be submitted to the City Council. The recommendations could include a new mixed-use zoning district for downtown.

“We need to get this right to ensure that we have a prosperous downtown for years to come,” Jospeh Delano, city councilor and Urban Affairs Committee chairman, said in a press release. “Folks need to be thinking about what they want in their downtown not just next year, but 10, 20 and 30 years from now.”

The MEDC has also posted a survey that asks residents about what they like downtown and what kind of improvements they would like to see. The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/DowntownMarlboroughSurvey.

“Marlborough belongs to its residents, its workers, and its property and business owners,” MEDC Executive Director Tim Cummings said in the release. “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.”

The committee considering changes to downtown also meets tonight at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, when it will discuss plans for the forum next month.