Weymouth Landing

Weymouth Landing is poised for revitalization as a thriving village center. The Landing has a lot going for it: many successful businesses, a new commuter rail stop, a unique waterfront, a large municipal parking lot, and the purchasing power of 14,000 residents within easy walking or biking distance. Led by Mayors Joseph Sullivan and Susan Kay, Braintree and Weymouth are working together to implement a shared vision and plan for the Landing.

In 2009 and 2010, MAPC developed an overall plan for the Landing, specific zoning recommendations, parking strategies, and design and economic development suggestions.  This project was funded by the District Local Technical Assistance program.

MAPC’s work in Weymouth Landing is now complete.  Both Braintree and Weymouth Town Councils adopted new zoning for their portion of the Landing in December 2010 and January 2011.

Click hereto view the Braintree/Weymouth Landing Zoning Ordinance adopted by Braintree Town Council on January 4, 2011 (link to Town of Braintree website.)

Click here to view Weymouth’s Village Center Overlay District adopted by the Weymouth Town Council on December 6, 2010 (link to Town of Braintree website.)

Weymouth Landing Report and Executive Summary

MAPC has completed its planning report on the revitalization of Weymouth Landing. The report outlines six key strategies for revitalization, as well as short term action steps that can be accomplished in the next six months.

Click here to download a 2-page summary of recommendations.

Key recommendations:

Support new development with zoning and incentives

Improve the walking/biking experience

Make efficient use of existing parking

  • Combine public and private funds to improve municipal parking lot
  • Begin planning for a comprehensive parking study

Strengthen and diversify the business mix

  • Form a business-led Joint Economic Development Committee

Enhance sense of place and aesthetics

  • Establish a Joint Design Committee to advise during site plan review
  • Adopt design guidelines

Leverage waterfront connections

  • Complete construction of Canoe Launch

Download a copy of the report below

What about the “big box” stores?

I’d like to hear what the new rezoning laws put into place and what new meat is put into this that’s going to stop them [big box stores] from coming in” – Wade Killman, Front Street, at March 23 meeting

When it comes to development, the right zoning puts the town in the driver’s seat.  New zoning should set out clear community expectations for design before a developer comes knocking.  If the bylaw requires village-type buildings close to the street, with the entrances in front and the parking in the rear, developers who want to build big boxes won’t be interested, but investors who want to build village-type development will know that they are welcome.

The graphic below shows how MAPC’s recommended zoning can ensure village-style development and prevent stand-alone big-box stores inconsistent with residents’ vision for the future of the Landing.

March 23, 2010 workshop

“Big box” stores, pedestrian improvements top discussion

March 23 meeting crowd photo

Nearly 70 people turned out on March 23 to weigh in on plans for Weymouth Landing, with new storefronts, sidewalks, open space, and homes.  MAPC presented recommendations of a nine-month planning study and town officials provided updates on putting the plan into action.   (Scroll down to see the report, executive summary, maps, and video of MAPC’s recommendations using a 3-D computer model of the Landing.)

People were excited about the strategies and business owners such as Harry Sarras and Charlie Tappa said the proposals could jump-start plans to expand and improve their properties.  Susan Lafoe said the suggested crosswalk designs were “beautiful,” and many participants voiced support for making Brookside Road a one-way or dead end.

Some residents asked how the proposed zoning would ensure the Landing sees village style development instead of stand-alone “big box” stores. In response, MAPC’s Tim Reardon highlighted how the recommended zoning would require village-style development with buildings facing the street, multiple entrances, and parking in the rear.

Mayor Sullivan at March 23 meetingBraintree Planner Christine Stickney reported on the town’s initiatives underway, with a storefront improvement program, business assistance, and PWED design all getting started soon.  Mayor Sullivan stated that the towns intend to file zoning articles with Town Councils within 40 days.  “In April when we make our final presentation you’ll have a better sense what the recommendations will be specifically in Braintree and Weymouth versus what MAPC has offered tonight.”

Senior Regional Planner Tim Reardon reported that MAPC will continue to revise the report based on responses at this meeting and other comments, and will issue a final report in mid-April, after which the Mayors, Town Councils, municipal staff, and residents will choose which recommendations they wish to implement.

Click here to download the meeting notes.

Click here to download the presentation.

November 18, 2009 Workshop

Courtesy of Chris Brown. Braintree and Weymouth residents review maps and exchange ideas at the November 18 workshop. 2009.

Over 70 people came to Braintree Town Hall on November 18 to hear about draft recommendations for Weymouth Landing and to provide their feedback. The meeting featured remarks from the two mayors, a presentation by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council, a “tour” of the plan using a 3-D computer model of the Landing, and an hour of participant discussion about MAPC’s recommendations. Downloads:

Highlights from the November 18 discussion:
  • Some people feel that the proposed four story height limits are too tall for the Landing. Others think that higher height limits are needed in order to make new development economically feasible. Design was identified as an important factor. For example, one participant suggested that varying heights (some two story, some four story) contribute to a village feel. Another participant suggested that height limits set at some half-story increment (e.g., 3 ½ stories) would encourage traditional peaked roofs and dormers rather than flat roofs.
  • Participants generally supported the proposed Monatiqout River district comprising the waterfront industrial properties on the Braintree side. However, some East Braintree residents were opposed to any development on the Braintree Electric Light Department property on Allen Street; they felt this property should be converted to parkland and possibly an amphitheater. MAPC planner Tim Reardon noted that the plan calls for residential development with publicly accessible open space and a public walkway along the river; this development would help to pay for cleaning up contamination on the property and would provide tax revenue for the town.
  • Many participants felt that pedestrian safety is a critical issue that should be improved, even if those improvements might impact drivers. For example, two participants suggested making Brookside Road one way or dead-end and one person suggested narrowing Quincy Avenue/Commercial Street to a single lane in each direction, as has been done successfully in congested areas such as Cambridge.
  • Some participants emphasized the need for private sector collaboration in implementing the plan. For example, merchants and property owners have a responsibility to invest in storefront improvements. Another participant noted that public sector investments can only go so far; economics will determine what gets built.

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