East End Smart Growth Overlay District (40R)

What is 40RThe City of Amesbury is investigating the possibility of creating a Smart Growth Overlay District (aka 40R) in the area of Route 110, Clarks Road and Elm Street.

The overarching goal of the proposed East End Smart Growth Overlay District is to encourage a concentrated, mixed-use development along the existing commercial areas at the intersection of Route 110 and Clarks Road and Elm Street and to improve the transition between the commercial and residential neighborhoods. Adoption of a Smart Growth Overlay District will give the City more control over the process for creating well-designed, mixed-use development.

Designating a Smart Growth Overlay District is a lengthy process. The City must first submit a preliminary application to determine eligibility to the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The application requires background reports on the status of the existing zoning, the potential build-out, and the capacity of the existing infrastructure (roadway, utilities and municipal services) to support new development. The City is also required to hold a public hearing to solicit comments on the proposed Smart Growth Overlay District as part of the designation process. As of July 2022, all of these requirements have been met and the City has a letter from DHCD stating that the proposed amendment to create a general 40R Smart Growth Overlay District satisfies applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for preliminary eligibility. All of the documents can be found below. 

Pursuant to Ordinance 2023-005, the Amesbury Zoning Ordinance is proposed to be amended to add the East End Smart Growth Overlay District to the Zoning Overlay Map and make certain revisions to the current zoning ordinance. The Planning Board held a public hearing on the proposed zoning amendment and has sent its report with recommendations back to the City Council. The Planning Board recommendations and revised documents can be viewed below. After City Council holds a public hearing on this zoning amendment and votes to accept the zoning amendment with any revisions, the final zoning amendment as voted for adoption will be sent to Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC), formerly known as DHCD, for final review and approval.

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Neighborhood Feedback

Neighborhood Meetings

The City is holding a series of neighborhood meetings to discuss the proposed zoning overlay district and get feedback from residents and other stakeholders. Meeting presentations and notes from each meeting are posted below.

East End Neighborhood District Presentation to Planning Board

East End Neighborhood Planning Workshop

  • Tuesday, March 30 | 6 to 8 pm
  • There was no presentation at this meeting

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 3

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 2

East End Neighborhood Meeting Number 1

East End Overlay District Public Hearing

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