The Town Council will be discussing proposed zoning changes that would create a Regional Mixed Use District (RMUD) in the area near the Arsenal Project, Watertown Mall and other parts of East Watertown. They will also take public comment.
The meeting will be held on Tuesday, Dec. 1, at 6:30 p.m. in the Town Council Chamber of Town Hall, 149 Main St. in Watertown.
The first draft of the proposal was submitted by BP Watertown LLC, which owns the former Arsenal Mall. The zoning would change the zoning from Industrial to mixed use, and allow retail, office and residential uses on those properties. It would also require larger projects – 2 acres or more – to go through a master plan process, rather than having each building approved one at a time.
Watertown’s Planning Department expanded the area of the RMUD. It started as just the area south of Arsenal Street, and now includes the properties where the Watertown Mall is located, plus sections of Elm Street and Coolidge Avenue. They also put in some amendments, including preventing development within 100 feet of Greenough Boulevard because of the proximity of the river. An exception is where current buildings are located.
On Nov. 9, the Planning Board gave its OK to the RMUD proposal and sent it to the Town Council to consider. At the meeting, residents expressed concern about the height of buildings – up to 79 feet – and the proximity to the river and Arsenal Park.
To see the version of the RMUD voted on by the Planning Board, which shows the changes to the zoning ordinance, click here. Copies of the proposal and the map are also available at the Planning Department, on the third floor of Town Hall.