East End Smart Growth Overlay District (40R)

What is 40RThe City of Amesbury is investigating the possibility of creating a Smart Growth Overlay District (aka 40R) in the area of Route 110, Clarks Road and Elm Street.

The overarching goal of the proposed East End Smart Growth Overlay District is to encourage a concentrated, mixed-use development along the existing commercial areas at the intersection of Route 110 and Clarks Road and Elm Street and to improve the transition between the commercial and residential neighborhoods. Adoption of a Smart Growth Overlay District will give the City more control over the process for creating well-designed, mixed-use development.

Designating a Smart Growth Overlay District is a lengthy process. The City must first submit a preliminary application to determine eligibility to the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The application requires background reports on the status of the existing zoning, the potential build-out, and the capacity of the existing infrastructure (roadway, utilities and municipal services) to support new development. The City is also required to hold a public hearing to solicit comments on the proposed Smart Growth Overlay District as part of the designation process. As of July 2022, all of these requirements have been met and the City has a letter from DHCD stating that the proposed amendment to create a general 40R Smart Growth Overlay District satisfies applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for preliminary eligibility. All of the documents can be found below. 

The next steps are to draft the final zoning ordinance and design standards. In order for the ordinance to be adopted, it must go before the Planning Board and City Council. Once adopted by both of these boards, the City must submit the final zoning amendment to DHCD for final review and approval. Although the City is only required to hold one hearing to get public comment, the City is continually engaging residents of the abutting neighborhood and other stakeholders to gather feedback and concerns about the proposed Smart Growth Overlay District. Please check back on our progress!

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Neighborhood Feedback

Neighborhood Meetings

The City is holding a series of neighborhood meetings to discuss the proposed zoning overlay district and get feedback from residents and other stakeholders. Meeting presentations and notes from each meeting are posted below.

East End Neighborhood District Presentation to Planning Board

East End Neighborhood Planning Workshop

  • Tuesday, March 30 | 6 to 8 pm
  • There was no presentation at this meeting

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 3

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 2

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 1

East End Overlay District Public Hearing

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