In an effort to build on the momentum of economic growth in Marlborough in 2012, input on an Economic Development Master Plan (EDMP) is being sought.
"We should be feeling a sense of urgency because our city is in competition every day with surrounding cities, states, and even foreign countries," said City Councilor Joseph Delano in a letter to the City Council. "We should act while we have momentum on our side, because that can be so easily lost."
Delano chairs the Operation and Oversight Committee which is currently reviewing the EDMP that has been prepared by the Marlborough Economic Development Corporation. The stated goal of the plan is to improve economic opportunities and stabilize the residential tax rate by increasing commercial values.
Within the last year, the city has seen TJX, Quest Diagnostics and Boston Scientific sign on to move operations to the area. The city has also seen different uses for industrial land in the form of Forest Park and Brookview Village.
The EDMP will not be a singular strategy or program, said Delano, but an assessment of the current economic situation and an agreement by all officials that the city needs to take steps to encourage smart development.
One thing that the study has revealed so far, he said, is that the city needs to offer the types of housing and recreation that appeal to young professionals.
Among the methods that could encourage economic development include mixed-use zoning, recodifying land, allowing for greater building height limits, lower the commercial tax rate and change parking space requirements. Delano also mentions the possibility of re-establishing an office with a City Planner, as has been called for by the Zoning Board.
The issue was brought before the council so that other councilors, committees, departments and boards could bring input to the process.