Friday, February 22, 2013

Permitting, Zoning, and Openings... Oh My!

Excuse the theatre reference... or perhaps movie reference. I'll always be a theatre geek at heart. That partially excuses why this blog is so inactive. Most of the time I'm either at Arts After Hours rehearsal space, theatre or office when I'm not at my regular 9-5. Makes it hard to keep up on this. There is so MUCH going on though and I would be remiss not to let you know about it.

1. PERMITTING - AAH recently became a member of the Chamber of Commerce. This year, I was fortunate enough to hear Barry Bluestone speak at the Chamber annual dinner. He spoke about collaboration between the Chamber and City Hall that is producing real results in streamlined permitting. It's exciting to see such real progress being led by people who have studied urban policy and planning for decades. It's the right way to approach this and I'm glad they are taking the feedback to heart.

2. ZONING - You need a special permit to do anything Downtown. It's borderline insanity. You need a special permit for any type of residential, including mixed use. You need a special permit for almost everything. Recently a group called the Metropolitan Area Planning Council came to town to look at zoning in our Downtown in a very real way. They already identified several opportunities for improvement and will be leading a charge to inventory our land use downtown and come up with tools to make development of the things we want downtown much easier. Check out this link for more on the vision for downtown lynn.

3. OPENINGS - We saw the opening of CM Bistro close to City Hall most recently. Smoothies, fresh fruit drinks, sandwiches and more. Check it out. In central square a new tax prep office opened up in the old Flavaz space. Coming soon we have D'Amici's  and a pizza shop coming to Oxford. Still in recent history we saw the opening of Bernie's on Liberty and Central, Stacey's Home Decor on Wheeler Street and a brand new gallery Visionspace at Centerboard's new headquarters in City Hall Square.

I'd say we have a lot to be grateful for in DTL at the beginning of 2013.

Guest blogger, Kevin Sampson, is currently working up some stories about the many startups and home businesses in DTL that are proving incredibly successful. Be nice to take what's also happening behing the scenes in DTL and get the word out about these wonderful people and their booming enterprises.

Best to you all in 2013,

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