City’s Form-Based Zoning Project Moves Forward
As New Bedford looks to make key areas of the city more adaptable for their unique needs, a team of private design and planning consultants continue to seek input from residents and business owners.
Brovitz Community Planning and Design, along with Principle Group and Dodson & Flinker held their final public meeting at Buttonwood Park Zoo Monday night with over two dozen residents in the audience.
The team presented their proposal of what changes should be made to current zoning ordinances and what types of structures could be implemented into the targeted areas of the Acushnet Avenue International Marketplace, Goulart Square, and the downtown.
The goal is to develop form-based zoning regulations to allow those certain areas of the city to adapt to their specific needs, rather than one-size-fits-all zoning that is currently in place.
Russel Preston, design director for Principle Group, says Monday night's presentation is mainly to be used as a jumping off point.
"So often we find that just by doing a few sketches with those ideas can help to start a discussion around how the public realm can be a catalyst for change as well," said Preston.
Mayor Jon Mitchell says it's up to residents to suggest how zoning should look in the future.
"This is a very democratic way for the community to come around and express its view of how it wants its city to look in the long run," Mitchell said.
The group of consultants will go back to the drawing boards to create a new draft over the next few weeks, which will in turn be released to the public for comment once again.
A final draft will be presented to the City Council some time in the fall for final approval and possible implementation.