Downtown Development Plan
The Planning Department recently received a grant through the One Stop for Growth Housing Choice program to develop a downtown development plan. The purpose of the project is to reimagine how the downtown can be transformed into a destination for the Westborough community and neighboring towns. The planning team will develop engaging community engagement activities, evaluate traffic patterns throughout the town center to evaluate connectivity needs and develop recommended solutions. Overall, the project will focus on reinvigorating downtown as the historic, cultural heart of Westborough and a regional destination. It will study economics, transportation, land use, open space, and recreation downtown. It will help develop design guidelines, and zoning amendments and study traffic patterns.
The Planning Department continues to work with the DPW, Conservation, and Community Development on the implementation of the BWALT (Boston-Worcester Air Line Trail), a shared-use path that will directly connect Westborough to the communities of Framingham, Southborough, and Shrewsbury. The implementation of the BWALT is of paramount importance for fostering a more sustainable and healthier community. By providing safe and accessible bike and pedestrian pathways, the path encourages residents to embrace active transportation options, reducing the town's carbon footprint and mitigating traffic congestion. The BWALT project serves as a catalyst for Westborough's evolution into a more vibrant, eco-friendly, and people-centric community.
MBTA Communities Compliance
As the Town of Westborough is considered an MBTA Community, the Planning Department is working towards compliance under Section 3A of the Zoning Act to provide provisions for an overlay zoning district that allows multi-family as an as of right use. These regulations ensure that land use and transportation infrastructure are effectively coordinated, promoting more sustainable and accessible communities. By establishing thoughtful zoning that accommodates the MBTA system, Westborough can encourage transit-oriented development, reduce traffic congestion, and provide residents with convenient access to public transportation. The MBTA Multi-Family Zoning Bylaw will be presented and voted on at the March 23, 2024 Annual Town Meeting.
Housing Production Plan
The Town of Westborough is working with VHB to prepare a Housing Production Plan (HPP), as defined by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), including a comprehensive housing needs assessment, identification of affordable housing goals, and implementation strategies. This HPP will establish a framework for the planning and development of affordable housing in the Town for the next five (5) years.