Your Downtown Initiative

Community Engagement Around the Downtown Smart Growth 40R District

The Town of Reading is engaging the community to explore ways to improve the Downtown Smart Growth District (DSGD).

The Town of Reading, in partnership with the regional planning agency known as the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), is facilitating a series of community engagement activities focused on the town's Chapter 40R Downtown Smart Growth District (DSGD). The district has seen new mixed-use and multifamily development over the last decade resulting in more housing opportunities, thriving local businesses, and greater vibrancy overall.

For more information or to ask questions please reach out and Email Julie Mercier, Community Development Director and / or  Email Andrew MacNichol, Staff Planner.

Your Downtown Survey

To check in with the community on these changes and set priorities for the future, the Town and MAPC released a Your Downtown Survey in order to hear from you. The survey was an opportunity for the public to weigh in on their vision and priorities for downtown and received over 800 responses!

Review the Survey Results (PDF)!

Your Downtown Webinar Number 2

A second Zoom webinar was held on December 1, 2021. The webinar was again facilitated by MAPC focused on how the Zoning language can be used as a tool to advance the priorities of the Town. A preview of potential 40R zoning amendments was given in advance of the Public Hearing scheduled for Monday, December 6, 2021.

View the Presentation Slides Webinar Number 2 (PDF)

View a recording of the webinar:

Your Downtown Webinar Number 1 - Development Pressures

A Zoom webinar was held with a panel of developers to hear about development pressures, economics, priorities, and tradeoffs on October 19, 2021. MAPC facilitated the discussion with Dave Traggorth of Traggorth Companies, Matt Zahler of MPZ Development, and Ian Gillespie of Gillespie and Co.

View the Presentation Slides Webinar Number 1 (PDF)

View a recording of the webinar here:

March 29, 2021 CPDC Zoning Workshop Information

The Reading Community Planning and Development Commission (CPDC) held an online public Zoning Workshop on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 7:30 pm in order to discuss and receive input to help shape the future of the Town's existing Downtown Smart Growth District (DSGD 40R Overlay).

The Zoning Workshop focused on 3 topics related to the 40R Bylaw:

  • Lot coverage and dimensional requirements;
  • Opportunities for open space, greenery, and pathways; and
  • Parking requirements

The goals of the workshop were to have inspired conversations, receive targeted feedback, and generate ideas for the future of downtown that may result in amendments to the 40R Bylaw at a future Town Meeting. With over 50 public participants attending the virtual workshop, and by utilizing a new public participation program (Google Jamboard), the goals of the workshop were accomplished but there is still lots of work to do. The CPDC will continue to discuss the 40R Bylaw at future hearing dates.

Takeaways / Summary of Workshop

Google Jamboards

Workshop Materials