Weigh in on housing policy, development in Melrose

Jun 10, 2021 by

Published June 11, 2021

MELROSE – Do you, your family, or your friends face challenges with housing in Melrose? Do you want to help shape the future of housing and residential development? The City of Melrose and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) ask you to join us and plan for a better housing future. We need your help to prioritize specific housing policy ideas and the location of new residential development.

Last fall, the City and MAPC began a process to create a new Housing Production Plan, or HPP, which will guide housing policy for the next five years. The process to create the plan has been community driven, with opportunities for the public to weigh in on the plan’s direction. There was a fall engagement campaign that introduced the plan, assessed housing needs, and collected input on the community’s housing vision. Interviews with people from underrepresented communities supplemented that engagement.

Working with an advisory committee of local residents, we used the community’s input to draft housing goals and generate specific ideas the City can pursue to meet those goals. These ideas include amendments to local zoning, ideas for new revenue and spending, and more. No community has the capacity to pursue all ideas at once, so now we need your input to choose the best ideas for the next five years. The plan is also assessing where new residential development should be built, and what kind of housing the city needs. To guide that assessment and create development recommendations, we need your input on the general location and type of new housing.

To collect input on these ideas, we have launched a virtual, self-led open house that will run online from Friday, June 4 to Friday, June 25, and will host an additional live webinar on Wednesday, June 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m.

The first opportunity for the public to engage is an online open house, which begins June 4, runs through June 25, and is accessed at mapc.ma/melrose-hpp-open-house. This virtual engagement event mimics an in-person public forum, where participants learn about different housing strategies, comment on their favorites, suggest new ideas, and weigh in on the location of new development. Unlike a typical longer in-person forum, this online open house takes between 60 and 90 minutes to complete and can be taken at your own pace.

A virtual webinar on June 16 will provide a live opportunity to meet with the planning team, learn about strategy ideas, and discuss the future of policy and development. Registration for the webinar is accessed at mapc.ma/melrose-webinar-reg. The webinar and online open house cover similar content and complement one another.

Ultimately, community input will be combined with further analysis into a draft plan, to be released later this year. More details on the plan, timeline, and other information will be posted at mapc.org/melrose-housing. Sign up for email and/or text message updates about the process at mapc.ma/melrose-hpp-email.

For more information about the project, contact John McCartin, Regional Housing and Land Use Planner II at MAPC, jmccartin@mapc.org, or Emma Schnur Battaglia, Senior Planner at the City of Melrose’s Office of Planning and Community Development, eschnur@cityofmelrose.org.

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