CITY OF WORCESTER

Economic Development Committee Meeting

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Levi Lincoln (North) Chamber

Convened: 5:31 P.M.

Adjourned: 6:36 P.M.


Mayor
Joseph M. Petty

 

www.worcesterma.gov

 

Clerk of the City Council
Nikolin Vangjeli

Committee Members

Chairperson Sean M Rose
Vice Chairperson Khrystian E King
Councilor Sarai Rivera
 

City Hall - 455 Main Street Worcester, Massachusetts


Present Were:Chairperson Councilor Sean M Rose Councilor Khrystian E King Councilor Sarai Rivera, who participated remotely
 
Also:Assistant Chief Development Officer Michelle Smith Principal Clerk Fundador Morales, Spanish translator City Clerk Nikolin Vangjeli, clerk
 
1.

Virtual Attendee Call-In Information

1a.

Pursuant to Chapter 20 of the Acts of 2021 and in order to ensure active, public engagement, the City of Worcester currently allows for both in-person and remote participation at all City Council and Standing Committee meetings. To partake in the meeting, you may attend the meeting in-person within the meeting location, follow the below link to join via Zoom or dial the direct line as indicated.

Economic Development Committee Zoom Link: https://us06web.zoom.us/j/93387484291
Economic Development Committee Zoom Phone Number: (929) 205 6099
Economic Development Committee Zoom Access Code: 933 8748 4291

Attachments
2.

Approval of the Minutes

2a.

Order - That the City Council Standing Committee of Economic Development hereby approves the minutes of the Economic Development Committee meeting on July 19, 2022.

View Agenda

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and moved for a roll call vote to adopt the order. Order adopted on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3.

Zone Change / Zoning Amendment Items

3a.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Brendan Gove and Dale Benander request request the Zoning Map be amended by extending the Business General (BG-3.0) and Commercial Corridors Overlay District - Elsewhere (CCOD-E) onto a parcel located at 17 Hermon St. # 14a CC August 9, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Hal Reeder, no residence given, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized the Chief Development Officer, who provided insight as to the Planning Boardís recommendation to approve the item.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to accept the recommendation.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3b.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Donald J. O'Neil, on behalf of Valk Properties Two, LLC., request the Zoning Map be amended by extending the ML-2.0 Zoning District boundary line bisecting the property located at 1 Brussels St. to include the entire 50,094 square foot parcel, designated on City of Worcester Assessor's Map as Parcel MBL-07-051-00007, within the ML-2.0 Zoning District by changing the portion of the parcel designated MG-2.0 to ML-2.0 # 14b CC August 9, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Donald OíNeil, Esq., no residence given, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the City Councilís adoption of an ordinance relative to self-storage facilities, as well as the purpose and intent of the request with the Assistant Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to accept the Planning Boardís recommendation to approve the item.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3c.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Thoma Nici et al. request the Zoning Map be amended by extending the BL-1.0 zoning onto the parcels located at 266 Webster St. and 15 Clover St. # 14c CC August 9, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speakers:
1. Janet Parent, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the item
2. Mike Parent, Worcester resident, spoke in opposition to the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed whether any correspondence had been received from the petitioner for the meeting with the Assistant Chief Development Officer and City Clerk.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed the need for an extensive traffic study occurring in the vicinity of the potentially affected properties prior to the item being considered, as well as the potential for this amendment to negatively impact the quality of life for surrounding residents.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be placed on file.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3d.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Amanda Shearstone request City Council request City Manager consider crafting an ordinance to allow chickens in residential communities. # 17a CC July 19, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognizes the following speakers:
1. Casey Burns, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item
2. Cheryl Schwartz, Hubbardston resident, spoke in favor of the item
3. Mia McDonald, Westside resident, spoke in favor of the item
4. Tabitha Rodriguez, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item
5. Dominick Calsolaro, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item
6. Amanda Shearstone, Worcester resident, spoke in favor of the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose then discussed the needs to restart the process due to improperly filed petition and the importance of feedback from the community.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the appropriateness of requesting a draft ordinance to allow for chickens in the city for further review, as well as the intent of Planning Boardís recommendation with the Assistant Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who spoke in favor of starting the process of crafting an ordinance relative to allowing for chickens in the city.

Chairperson Councilor Rose brought forth the following three (3) Chairmanís Orders: 1) Request City Manager create a working group/taskforce to explore the possibility of crafting a draft ordinance to enable residents to keep and raise chickens; 2) Request City Manager request City Solicitor work with Board of Health, Commissioner of Inspectional Services and Police Chief to provide City Council with report concerning how chicken ordinances in other gateway cities (such as Boston, Brockton and Springfield) were rolled out and what policies were established in advanced of the roll out, including whether there was a special permitting process and; 3) Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning insights from municipalities who have crafted and approved chicken ordinances as to whether there have been any residual issues or challenges with said ordinances.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who spoke concerning the item.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

Chairman's Orders

Request City Manager create a working group/taskforce to explore the possibility of crafting a draft ordinance to enable residents to keep and raise chickens.

Request City Manager request City Solicitor work with Board of Health, Commissioner of Inspectional Services and Police Chief to provide City Council with report concerning how chicken ordinances in other gateway cities (such as Boston, Brockton and Springfield) were rolled out and what policies were established in advanced of the roll out, including whether there was a special permitting process.

Request City Manager provide City Council with report concerning insights from municipalities who have crafted and approved chicken ordinances as to whether there have been any residual issues or challenges with said ordinances.

3e.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Steven Rothschild, Trustee of More Bricks Realty Trust, request the Zoning Map be amended by changing the zoning designation of the property located at and known as 24, 36 and 40 Jackson St. from the current zoning designation of Manufacturing, General (MG-2.0) to Business, General (BG-6.0) and Commercial Corridors Overlay District - Downtown (CCOD-D), as shown on the plan attached hereto. # 17b CC July 19, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Mark Borenstein, Esq., Worcester resident, spoke concerning the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized the Assistant Chief Development Officer, who provided a clarification as to an amendment that occurred to the petition while being heard by the Planning Board.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed plans for creating affordability as it relates to the residential developments associated with the item with Speaker #1.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who discussed supporting the growth of affordable, residential properties.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized the City Clerk, who discussed procedural motions appropriate for the item.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be held.

Recommend Hold on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays

3f.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Mark Borenstein, Esq. request the Zoning Map be amended by changing the zoning designation of the property located at and known as 96 and 98-100 Beacon St. from the current zoning designation of Manufacturing, General (MG-2.0) to Business, General (BG-6.0) and Commercial Corridors Overlay District - Downtown (CCOD-D), as shown on the plan attached hereto. # 17c CC July 19, 2022

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and recognized the following speaker:
1. Mark Borenstein, Esq., Worcester resident, spoke concerning the item

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor Rivera, who moved to recuse herself from the item and did not participate in the discussion.

Chairperson Councilor Rose recognized Councilor King, who discussed the appropriateness of parking variance requests, as well as the affect inclusionary zoning could have on the properties with the Chief Development Officer.

Chairperson Councilor Rose moved for a roll call vote to accept the Planning Boardís recommendation to approve the item.

Recommend Approval on a roll call vote of 2 Yeas and 0 Nays (Rivera recused)

3g.

Report of the Planning Board Upon the Petition of Nick Lewis request the property located at 110 Webster St. be included in the adaptive re-use overlay district to allow for multi-unit residential development. # 16a CC February 15, 2022

In Committee June 8, 2022 - Held

Attachments

Chairperson Councilor Rose read the item and moved for a roll call vote to recommend the item be filed.

Recommend File on a roll call vote of 3 Yeas and 0 Nays