Discover more from Burlington Buzz
Hive Roundup #16: Vine Brook Riverwalk, Community Design Charette, and More
Also, Committees are seeking volunteers
Hello, Buzzy Bees!
It’s been a few of weeks, and Spring is a busy time of year, so I thought I’d send a midair roundup your way. Enjoy!
Also, thanks to all of you who voted in the poll last time. The vote was a near-unanimous, “Yes, let’s keep doing these,” so I hope they continue being useful to you.
Top of mind in town government this week is the fact that Town Meeting will be held starting on Monday at 7:00 PM. This annual Town Meeting is where the operating budget for each town department is approved (or not). It’ll last several days, and of course I’ll be here with updates. Learn what’s on the warrant and what it might mean for our town.
Looking ahead, don’t forget to get your ticket to the HELPIS Celebration of Kindness on May 19. Alright, let’s jump in!
Planning for the Future
The town continues being proactive in planning for the future. Several different ideas and initiatives are coalescing at the moment, and it has me really excited for how the town will look—and how its residents will be able to interact with the town and with each other—in the next several years.
Infrastructure & Development
Eversource is planning to build a new electrical substation by the year 2028, in an effort to ease the demand from our single existing substation, which is located on Middlesex Turnpike near 128. They’re currently in their community outreach phase, so be on the lookout for invitations to participate and provide feedback in the next couple of months. You can read more information and sign up to be on the mailing list for the project here.
A community design workshop will be taking place later this month to involve the community to the greatest extent possible in planning for the future of the Mall Road Corridor. As we’ve been discussing for quite some time, there is a lot of unused commercial space in town, mostly in the form of underutilized parking lots, and the town is in the process of working with a design firm to reimagine this area to make it more compatible with the future needs of our town. This rezoning initiative hopes to transform this unused, unattractive space into space the town needs and can use. You can get involved by getting in touch with the town’s Economic Development Office via email or phone (781-505-1186).
Speaking of the area near Mall Road, the Northeastern Masters students whose capstone project involved conducting a feasibility study for a greenway along Vine Brook gave their presentation to the Select Board. Respondents to their survey were interested in and likely to use a pedestrian way in the area for exercise and recreation. The Economic Development Department and Select Board were very enthusiastic about the idea, and the town is going to continue working to assess the feasibility and cost of such a project. There are grants and other methods that can be used to pay for this work, although it is worth noting that a project like this could have been funded by CPA (Community Preservation Act) funding; the act was voted down in last November’s election.
A request to re-open the public hearing regarding the Winn View Heights II development proposed with an entrance off Mountain Road was granted, but on the day of the hearing the Select Board continued the conversation until the June 12 Select Board meeting. This development, a “Friendly 40B” because it will have 15% dedicated affordable housing, has met with considerable community opposition. The largest concerns have been the steep and winding access road that will need to be blasted and built up the hill. Residents are worried about the safety of this road during the winter and for emergency vehicles, among other things. Read more about this here, and if you have feedback about the project don’t forget to pencil in 6/12 into your calendar.
The grants keep on coming for the economic development department, which was recently granted $30k to enhance their website with information about things to do in Burlington. The goal is to show off Burlington’s potential as a destination, highlighting activities in the area to encourage more overnight hotel stays.
The communication survey is still open for a few more days!
There is a subsidized premium pop-up retail opportunity at 3rd Ave in May and June. The idea is for local small businesses to build their customer base and experiment with new approaches. Learn more or apply.
Sports and Activities
Our varsity sports teams, as well as our non-sports teams, are having a pretty okay spring so far, especially our softball team, which is still undefeated, and our National History Day team, of which nine members qualified for nationals. Coaches are seeing a lot of hard work and learning from both successes and failures. Nice work, kids!