On Wednesday, August 8th, 2001, the Sudbury Planning Board and the Economic Development Committee sponsored a workshop focusing on the Route 20 corridor. The workshop succeeded to draw a mix of Sudbury business owners, residents, and commercial property owners to collaborate with planning consultant Dr. John Mullin.
Dr. Mullin called upon participants to relate their goals for Sudbury’s business districts along Route 20. Discussions remained upbeat and positive and engaged participants until the end of the 4 hour meeting. With approximately 85 participants present, the responses were quite varied.
One theme that emerged from the meeting was a feeling that Sudbury’s Zoning By-law needs to permit mixed uses of property within the business districts, enabling both residential and commercial uses in order to bring more people into the area. In addition, support for greater density of land-use was expressed. Participants indicated they would also like to see a greater diversity of businesses in downtown Sudbury. Pedestrian connectivity was a very popular idea, expressed as a need for both recreational and functional walking opportunities. They advocated for a variety of connections between commercial plazas, including walking and bicycling trails, and roadway bypasses. The participants also stated that for some of these above actions to occur, sewering of the area will be necessary.
Recommendations from the consultant have been received, which complement the suggestions made by the participants. Mullin Associates, Inc. recommends that the Route 20 corridor allow mixed uses, including retail, residential housing, entertainment, recreation and public spaces, service and office activities. This mix of uses will allow the Route 20 corridor to remain active for a 16-hour day, encouraging all levels of activity in downtown Sudbury. They also recommend adopting landscape and design guidelines for the corridor to promote an aesthetically pleasing environment. To view a copy of the Mullin Associates report Click Here.
The workshop was generously sponsored by local businesses, including Gravestar Corporation (owner of the Star Market Plaza), Sudbury Farms, Orchard Hill Assisted Living, Sudbury Wine Merchant and MacKinnon’s Liquors. Door prizes for local gift certificates were awarded to participants who stayed until the end of the meeting. Additional support has been given by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) in the form of pre- and post-workshop technical assistance.
The next phase of this project will include the preparation of design sketches by Steve Cecil, a Registered Architect, who will illustrate the effects that landscaping and facade improvements can have on the Route 20 corridor. A future public meeting will be scheduled and listed on this web site.
The next general meeting of the Economic Development Committee will be on September 25, 2001 at 7:30 pm at the Goodnow Library. All interested citizens are invited.