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Newton
April 04, 2018 Likes Comments

Fuller to create Washington Street corridor master plan

Newton Mayor Ruthanne Fuller is hiring an outside consulting firm to bring together residents, city officials and businesses to pro-actively plan the future of the Washington Street corridor.

Principle Group is expected to have a final master plan and the associated zoning recommendations for the Washington Street corridor ready in the next 13 months. The firm will be paid $500,000 from the city’s free cash account.

With the help of professional planners, elected officials and in-depth community input, the goal is to develop a zoning plan that reflects a consensus vision for the main thoroughfare from West Newton Square to Newton Corner.
 
“This process will guarantee that developers conform to the city’s vision, not the other way around,” Fuller said.
 
Principle, the firm that will do the master planning, was chosen for its ability to work intensively with the community to develop a detailed plan that includes such things as the mix of office, retail and housing, open space, building heights and density, automobile, bicycle, pedestrian and mass transit alternatives.
 
“They are an unusual firm that has the unusual capabilities we are looking for. It’s a critical investment,” Fuller said.
 
The firm’s work can be seen in a range of cities, including Union Square in Somerville.
 
“The chamber applauds Mayor Fuller for proactively undertaking this process so we can build consensus and bring clarity to how this vital, underutilized commercial district should be redeveloped,” said Chamber President Greg Reibman.
 
The planners from Principle hold community meetings and have an “open studio” session on Washington Street to listen and to learn the concerns and desires of residents and businesses. The fiscal impact of potential land-use and development decisions, and the economic development opportunities will also be vetted.
 
“I’m excited to get started on the future of the Washington Street corridor. Let’s come together, get working and take charge of Newton’s future,” Fuller said.

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