Council Discussing Making Transition Zones Between Industrial, Residential Areas

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With a tide of development hitting Watertown, a Town Council subcommittee will discuss creating transition zones between industrial areas and residential neighborhoods.

Councilor Aaron Dushku made the motion to analyze and look at creating residential transition zones at last week’s Town Council meeting. The council approved the motion and the issue will be discussed by the Economic Development and Planning subcommittee.

The town is in the midst of creating a Comprehensive Plan to help shape the town in the future, but Dushku said he does not think that it has fine enough detail for things such as neighborhoods.

“We [the Council] got such pushback over the last few years from Pleasant Street residents, that this has been on my mind,” Dushku said in an email. “When you look at a map, you can see many other places that fit the description I laid out of a ‘transition zone’ that aren’t just in the Pleasant Street overlay.”

Similar concerns were brought up by the Concerned Citizens Group about the project at 202-204 Arsenal Street (click here to read more about the project).

“By the time our Comprehensive Plan is done and we get into the processes of developing master plans for our neighborhoods or sectors, this current boom in development may have made its way through most of these vulnerable sites,” Dushku said.

Dushku has been in touch with a number of architects in town who said there is a need for more detailed planning for such areas to address what is not included in the Comprehensive Plan.

He would like to see residents of neighborhoods near industrial areas have a dialogue with owners of the areas that are likely to be developed.

“We ought to have neighborhood meetings with the residents and industrial site owners, businesses, etc.,” he said. “These are where big maps sit on the easel and we all take turns sketching them up.”

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