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Town of Burlington FINDINGS REPORT: OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH Larry Koff & Associates Bluestone Planning Group / BPG Mark Bobrowski,

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Presentation on theme: "Town of Burlington FINDINGS REPORT: OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH Larry Koff & Associates Bluestone Planning Group / BPG Mark Bobrowski,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Town of Burlington FINDINGS REPORT: OPPORTUNITIES AND BARRIERS TO ECONOMIC GROWTH Larry Koff & Associates Bluestone Planning Group / BPG Mark Bobrowski, Esq.

2 Questions  Why should the town be concerned with economic growth?  Whose responsibility is economic growth? The private sector? The private sector? The Selectmen? The Selectmen? The Planning Board? The Planning Board?  How does the Landlocked Parcel fit into the town’s economic growth?  How much and what type of growth is needed?

3 Study Goals  Undertake a comprehensive review of the industrial and business zoning districts.  Identify development opportunities and barriers for growth.  Recommend development sites and strategies to facilitate desirable economic growth.

4 Need for Economic Growth  Commercial uses account for 60% of the town’s tax revenues while comprising only 20% of the town’s land area

5 Need for Economic Growth  FY ’08 saw a reversal of the seven year decline in the commercial share of property taxes  Commercial share of taxes at 57.2% or $39.8 m

6 Need for Economic Growth  Upgrade older industrial/office parks with inadequate floor space (single or 2 story) and mix of uses to meet current demand

7 Need for Economic Growth  Reduce Burlington’s commercial vacancy rates (20% office, 10% R&D, and 15% industrial)  Finance roadway, water, and sewer infrastructure improvements in order for commercial areas to compete with adjacent towns/cities  Provide funding for improved transit options  Increase quality of life factors: landscaping, shopping, health, housing mix, open space

8 Overview  Background  Planned Growth  Potential Growth  Six Recommendations

9 Background  Current Mix of Commercial Activity 15 million square feet of non-residential space 15 million square feet of non-residential space Office uses dominate (5.8 million square feet): Over 1/3 of total mix Office uses dominate (5.8 million square feet): Over 1/3 of total mix Retail/Service uses: 20% Retail/Service uses: 20% R&D facilities: 17% R&D facilities: 17% Hotels and Restaurants: 6% Hotels and Restaurants: 6%

10 Background  Market Conditions Rental Rates per Square Foot, Burlington and Area MunicipalityOfficeNew OfficeManufacturing Burlington$26$38$9 Waltham$40$48$14 Bedford/Billerica$15-$20$28$5

11 Planned Development  5.4 million square feet on 12 sites

12 Planned Development  5.4 million square feet 80% office 80% office 12% retail 12% retail 8% hotel, medical and industrial 8% hotel, medical and industrial 5% under construction 5% under construction  Status 31% permitted 31% permitted 64% under review, including Northwest Park PDD 64% under review, including Northwest Park PDD

13 Potential Development  15 of 17 sites (480 acres) have been identified and recommended as options for improved industrial/ commercial or mixed use  Range of possible uses includes industrial/R&D, health sciences, offices, mixed use residential/ commercial, institutional, or recreation

14 Potential Development Redevelopment Site: Involves the demolition of existing buildings and their replacement by new development, which will address water resource and stormwater protection issues Burlington Dodge Cinema 128 Corporate Center DataCon Blanchard Road Pool & Patio Building 19 MassHighway Garage/DPW Retention Site: Includes site planning and/or building improvements to ensure that the majority of current uses and/or properties remain Terrace Hall Ray Avenue Terry Avenue

15 Potential Development Infill Site: New development or selective redevelopment on a building site surrounded by existing development New England Executive Park Burlington Business Center Burlington Woods Greenfield: Development of a site that is currently undeveloped Landlocked Parcel* 245 acres *Note: The Landlocked Parcel re-use is constrained by a resource protection easement. The Town must initiate a comprehensive site assessment process to clarify its economic development costs and benefits.

16 Six Recommendations Planning Board 1.Target Economic Growth Locations 2.Consider Regulatory Reforms Board of Selectmen 3.Initiate Infrastructure Planning and Funding Public/Private Partnership (Chamber and Town) 4.Begin Marketing Initiative 5.Identify Funding and Incentives for Economic Growth 6.Reconsider Need for Organizational Changes, Staffing, and funding

17 Recommendations 1.Planning Board: Target Economic Growth Locations

18 Recommendations  Zoning Revise Sign Bylaw. Revise Sign Bylaw. Adopt an electronic expedited permitting process, especially within the Priority Development Districts. Adopt an electronic expedited permitting process, especially within the Priority Development Districts. Consider the designation of a Growth District. Consider the designation of a Growth District. Undertake changes to the zoning bylaw: FAR, parking, uses, site plan review, and definitions. Undertake changes to the zoning bylaw: FAR, parking, uses, site plan review, and definitions. 2.Planning Board: Consider Regulatory Reforms

19 Recommendations  Sewer Moratorium Town to institute advanced engineering studies and system improvement contracts to correct deficiencies of infiltration and inflow so as to facilitate larger scale development. Town to institute advanced engineering studies and system improvement contracts to correct deficiencies of infiltration and inflow so as to facilitate larger scale development. Town to continue to work with DEP to lift sewer moratorium. Town to continue to work with DEP to lift sewer moratorium. Town to institute discussions with neighboring affected communities to jointly resolve system problems. Town to institute discussions with neighboring affected communities to jointly resolve system problems.  Water Resource Protection Facilitate development in the seven growth locations appropriate to the protection of the Aquifer and Water Resource Districts. Facilitate development in the seven growth locations appropriate to the protection of the Aquifer and Water Resource Districts. Promote brownfields redevelopment. Promote brownfields redevelopment. Regulatory Reforms, cont.

20 Recommendations 3.Selectmen: Partner with Business Community for Infrastructure Planning and Funding  Establish a schedule and formula for funding local roadway improvements needed in commercial areas.  Prepare a long term sewer infrastructure plan, project list, and sinking fund to facilitate commercial area expedited permitting  Establish a commercial area infrastructure revolving fund to receive contributions to carry out large projects.  Fast track MHD $14 m funding for Middlesex Turnpike/Mitre Link.  Initiate a Brownfields Remediation Program.  Consider establishment of a BID to carry out Town Center Improvements.

21 Selectmen with support of the Chamber:  Encourage Chamber’s initiative to establish a Transportation Management Association (TMA).  Establish a Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) to implement a lunchtime shuttle bus and provide alternative commuting options.  Support MHD efforts in organizing a Route 128 Central Corridor Coalition.  Work with corridor communities on an infrastructure improvement plan. Infrastructure Planning and Funding, cont. Recommendations

22 Recommendations 4.Public/Private Partnership: Begin Marketing Initiative  The Chamber, with assistance from the Town Planning Staff, should identify a marketing strategy for Burlington’s business clusters.  The Chamber should work with the Town to update the town’s website to showcase Burlington’s unique business presence.  The Chamber should establish a sub-committee to support the MOBD consultant’s efforts to identify a Corridor marketing strategy in conjunction with Bedford, Billerica, Lowell, and Chelmsford.

23 Recommendations 5.Public/Private Partnership: Work to Assess Funding and Incentives for Economic Growth  Chamber to identify funding for the development of a marketing strategy.  Chamber to work with Planning Board and Selectmen on incentives. Zoning Zoning Transportation Management Transportation Management Infrastructure Planning Infrastructure Planning  Assess alternative strategies to facilitate economic growth, i.e. BID, TIF, DIF, betterments, sinking funds.

24 Recommendations 6.Public/Private Partnership: Reconsider Need for Organizational Changes, Staffing, and Funding Chamber:  Govt. Affairs Committee to initiate monthly meetings with Town.  Adopt the “Chamber Leads Model” for undertaking fundraising to support marketing and planning initiatives. Town:  Create ad hoc Advisory Committee on economic development/funding.  Jointly fund with the Chamber and State an economic development specialist.

25 What’s Next?  Planning Board Regulatory Reform Regulatory Reform Zoning Bylaw revisionsZoning Bylaw revisions Site plan and special permit regulations updatesSite plan and special permit regulations updates Sign Bylaw revisionsSign Bylaw revisions Improved Web Presence Improved Web Presence Website upgrading to facilitate permitting and interaction with residents and business communityWebsite upgrading to facilitate permitting and interaction with residents and business community

26 What’s Next?  Town Meeting Sign Bylaw updates (General and zoning bylaws) Sign Bylaw updates (General and zoning bylaws) Zoning Bylaw updates Zoning Bylaw updates

27 What’s Next?  Board of Selectmen Transportation Initiatives Transportation Initiatives Encourage Chamber’s initiative to establish a Transportation Management Association (TMA)Encourage Chamber’s initiative to establish a Transportation Management Association (TMA) Support MHD efforts in organizing a Route 128 Central Corridor CoalitionSupport MHD efforts in organizing a Route 128 Central Corridor Coalition

28 Questions &Answers


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