Zoning Changes Encouraging Campus Style Developments Endorsed
Three zoning changes that would encourage easier development of campus style business parks may make more work for city officials.
Zoning changes could create more work for city officials as they encourage a more campus like setting for business developments.
"My job is is to make sure the city’s concerns are still addressed too," Building Commissioner Michael Mendoza said of agreements that would allow a joint parking lot to be used by multiple buildings in a business park. “There is going to be a lot of tweaking on these written agreements I see coming.
A change that would allow for parking to be centralized was one of three zoning amendments designed to encourage campus style development in business parks that were endorsed by the Urban Affairs Committee Monday night.
The zoning changes were put forward by representatives from Boston Scientific, which plans to break ground on a new building at its Marlborough complex in April. Last year, the company announced it was moving its headquarters to the city.
The benefits of these campus-style developments have been talked about recently by developers in the city as well as the State Economic Development Secretary while discussing developments in Marlborough.
Having central parking would allow for buildings to not be broken up and make better use of spaces that often go unfilled, said Boston Scientific Representatives.
Another zoning changes that was recommended by the committee would allow for bridges between buildings on separate parcels of land that are within the same development. Currently the bridges would violate setback requirements.
“These kinds of bridges are the kinds of connections to these buildings that we want to encourage," said Attorney Arthur Bergeron who was representing the company. “We want to develop sensibilities in these campus like settings where people can go to them without going outside."
If any of the buildings came under different ownership, the bridges could come down, he said. An amendment was placed in the language limiting the bridges to 200 feet.
The other recommended change eliminates green space requirements separating lots, allowing for the larger parking lots.
The recommendations will be given to the City Council at their meeting Monday, March 11.