Medford is fast becoming a bedroom community, with more and more people commuting outside the city for work and play. Opportunities to expand our commercial taxbase and local jobs are limited by our antiquated zoning laws. Current zoning policies don’t encourage increasing local investment in businesses. Because of a lack of best practices in Medford’s planning and zoning approach, developers regularly seek and obtain variances that sometimes don’t serve our neighborhoods and always lack the public process that creates the best outcomes.
We need a comprehensive zoning plan for Medford, engaged community advisory boards for projects that impact neighborhoods, and a professional zoning professional to review our current zoning and drive a modern approach alongside the City Council. The character of our neighborhoods needs to be our top priority to ensure our city is getting the development that will work for all areas. And we need to expand our commercial tax-base to have the resources necessary to improve infrastructure. While other cities have rightfully tackled this issue, Medford has failed to advance a strategic approach to planning and zoning. We can’t afford to wait any longer.
We need to invest in enough experienced community and economic development staff within local government to stay ahead of the pace of change and provide real solutions that engage neighborhoods in the type of growth we want and the commercial revenue we need to improve services. We need to work together to create a short and long term plan for Medford.
For more, please read: "A Detailed Plan to Improve Medford’s Approach to Zoning, Planning and Community Development"
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