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Burlington Receives $50K Grant to Advance a Smart Growth Rezoning Initiative

The Town of Burlington is one of 26 communities in Massachusetts to receive funding for sustainable land use planning efforts. The state’s grant program, administered through the Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, provides municipalities with critical funding to undertake public processes and hire technical expertise to prepare for climate change impacts, improve land use practices, sustainably develop land, and diversify housing choices. 

In Burlington, the funding will support an upcoming rezoning initiative along Mall Road and Middlesex Turnpike to create new form-based land use codes designed to shape future development. Town Administrator, Paul Sagarino, stated, “Burlington is honored that the Baker-Polito Administration supports our community’s efforts to be forward thinking and proactive with respect to realizing our vision to evolve into a vibrant, walkable, mixed-use regional hub.” 

Burlington has demonstrated leadership in advancing smart growth efforts and updating zoning to remain competitive. Last year the Town worked in collaboration with MassDevelopment to create a vision and concept plan for the study area entitled, “Burlington128 District.” Through this effort, nearly 100 acres were identified as potential sites for infill development within the commercial district – most of which exists today as surface parking lots. To advance this vision and develop street-level implementation, Town Meeting voted to approve an additional $80K for the rezoning initiative in September 2022 under Warrant Article #10. 

The upcoming rezoning initiative will create a regulatory framework to achieve five goals identified in the concept plan: 1) Economic Vitality – creating an inclusive regional research and innovation center; 2) Reinvestment – unlocking development potential in surface parking areas; 3) Placemaking – creating a mixed-use neighborhood that reduces commuting and invites workers back to the workplace; 4) Mobility – creating networks of pedestrian and bike friendly environments supplemented by transit; and 5) Zoning Predictability – providing a clear regulatory environment to signal civic goals. 

Community members and stakeholders interested in the upcoming rezoning initiative should email ed@burlington.org for more information.