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Town Eyes Zoning Change on Route 40

August 8, 2018

Map of the proposed Route 40 Groton Road Mixed Use Redevelopment Overlay District in Chelmsford between Route 3 and the Westford line. COURTESY PHOTO

CHELMSFORD -- Could retail development be headed to Route 40 close to the Westford line?

The Planning Board will discuss zoning changes for this purpose at its meeting tonight (Wednesday).

The proposed “Route 40 Groton Road Mixed Use Redevelopment Overlay District” would encompass the small area between Route 3 and the Westford line, on both sides of Groton Road.

“The northern side of Groton Road is proposed to be rezoned from IA Limited Industrial to CC Shopping Center and the southerly side of Groton Road is proposed to be split zoned between CC Shopping Center and RM Residential Multifamily,” according to a notice Community Development Director Evan Belansky sent out to abutters and other area property owners July 26.

Changing the underlying zoning is the first step. The second is to create the overlay to permit and regulate the newly created commercial and multi-family zoned area, Belansky said in the notice.

The zoning changes would need to be approved by Town Meeting to take effect. The fall Town Meeting warrant has not been set yet, but an item regarding Route 40 zoning is among proposed articles.

According to the article, the overlay is seen as a way to maximize redevelopment potential of an underutilized area next to the highway interchange and provide access to commercial amenities and housing opportunities.

Similar to the Business Amenity Overlay District in the Route 129 corridor, the Route 40 overlay would follow Community Enhancement and Investment Overlay District, or CEIOD, permitting guidelines.

Residents can learn more about the proposed zoning changes at the Planning Board meeting at 7 p.m. at the town offices at 50 Billerica Road.

A required public hearing on the matter will also be held Wednesday, Aug. 22 at 7 p.m.

Visit www.townofchelmsford.us/DocumentCenter/View/9049/Route_40-Final for more information.

Follow Alana Melanson at facebook.com/alana.lowellsun or on Twitter @alanamelanson.

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