Lexington, MA (February 3, 2021) — With recent approvals by the 2020 Special Town Meeting that increased the density and established the district boundaries, Hartwell Innovation Park (C-HIP), Lexington’s commercial rezoning effort, is well underway.
The approvals will be followed by a presentation to the 2021 Annual Town Meeting to establish a streamlined and transparent permitting process to grant permits in 60 days or less, an increase in the number of allowed uses and uses by-right, and the implementation of design standards.
The rezoning of Hartwell Avenue and Bedford Street is envisioned to attract light manufacturing, research & development, life sciences companies, along with amenities that support the C-HIP workforce.
With an exponential demand for lab space in the Greater Boston area and a supply shortage in Lexington, the C-HIP Zoning has been developed to meet the ever-changing demands of the market while ensuring a predictable and transparent permitting process. Once the commercial rezoning efforts are completed, the C-HIP Zoning District is expected to lay the foundation for the future of one of Lexington’s most extensive and inclusive commercial districts for research & development and light manufacturing.
C-HIP Rezoning Project Timeline
- 2018, Lexington developed the Vision of Hartwell: The Vision of Hartwell focuses on underutilized land, trails and open space opportunities, infill development, redevelopment and reinvestment of existing buildings, sustainable development, space activation, streetscape enhancements, increased number of allowed uses, transportation, and off- street parking.
- Special Town Meeting of 2020: Lexington Town Meeting voted to adopt Article 16, presented as a Citizen Article. Article 16 increases the maximum allowed building height from 65 feet to 115 feet; removed both a maximum Floor Area Ratio (FAR) and lot coverage; decreased minimum lot area from 3 acres to 20,000sf; in addition to establishing a uniform Manufacturing (CM) District.
- September 2020 through January 2021: The Town of Lexington hosted a series of public listening sessions and information sessions to both listen to comments from the Lexington community while providing education regarding the project. Public engagement included 14 sessions, with approximately 370 attendees.
- February 1, 2021: the provisions of Article 16 become active, pending approval by the Attorney General.
- February 2021: the Lexington Planning Board will hold a series of public hearings for Article 45 of the Annual Town Meeting, the C-HIP zoning efforts associated with an expansion of uses, the establishment of design standards, and a streamlined permitting process.
- Annual Town Meeting of 2021 – Article 45: Town Meeting will vote on the C-HIP rezoning effort recommended by the Planning Board. The C-HIP is a collaborative effort of municipal employees, landowners, boards, commissions, and committees, along with the Lexington community working to Create the HEART of Hartwell. The C-HIP is expected to lead by example for future development while setting the bar for doing business in Lexington.