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Planning Initiatives

Worcester Now | Worcester Next Citywide Plan

The City of Worcester is developing a citywide long-range plan (aka Master Plan) in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41 section 81D. Worcester Now | Next does not replace other planning efforts, but instead will build upon and coordinate such planning efforts by establishing a common planning framework. The final Worcester Now | Next plan will help guide decisions regarding policies, regulations, programs, infrastructure and other aspects related to the physical development of the community. Learn more about Worcester Now | Worcester Next plan.

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Chandler Street Redesign - Main Street to Park Avenue

The City of Worcester, in partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), is launching a project to redesign Chandler Street between Main Street and Park Avenue. Chandler Street is a vital artery connecting neighborhoods with schools, businesses and healthcare services.

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Chandler Street & May Street Improvements

The project will improve the design and traffic control for Chandler Street in the vicinity of the Worcester State University campus. The proposed work includes the construction of two modern roundabouts at the northern and southern intersections of May Street and Chandler Street with the addition of median islands, curbing and landscaping/hardscaping. The project will also include upgraded pedestrian, transit and cycling accommodations.

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Elm Park LHD Study

The Worcester Historical Commission, under MGL Chapter 40C, has voted to study the possible creation of a Local Historic District (LHD) in the Elm Park Neighborhood. This area includes the Worcester campus of Becker College and neighboring residential and commercial areas located next to and east of Elm Park. This neighborhood includes many varied examples of mid-nineteenth and early-twentieth century residential architecture. The study is a formal process to gather information on the properties within the area under consideration, engage in dialog with neighborhood residents, property owners and the public at large and plan a recommendation on the formation of a new district.

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Complete Streets

Learn more about Worcester's efforts to improve safety and accessibility for walkers, bicyclists, drivers and all forms of transportation, including the ongoing development of a Complete Streets Prioritization Plan.

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Urban Design and Streetscape Policies

Over the past decade, cities throughout the Commonwealth have adopted streetscape and design standards to promote continuity and accessibility in their downtown neighborhoods. In an effort to raise the standards of architectural quality and promote positive user experiences among residents, workers, and visitors, the Executive Office of Economic Development has created two documents: City of Worcester Urban Design Guidelines and a City of Worcester Streetscape Policy.

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Temporary Outdoor Dining Program

To provide safer dining options for residents and support the restaurant community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the City of Worcester has implemented a Temporary Outdoor Dining Program. The Temporary Outdoor Dining program establishes an expedited permitting process through which restaurants are able to offer expanded outdoor dining options.

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Marijuana Regulations

Information concerning municipal regulation of marijuana-related uses, in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws.

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Contact Information

Planning & Regulatory Services
City Hall Room 404
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

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Phone: 508-799-1400
Fax: 508-799-1406
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