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Planning the Future of Brockton

City-wide Comprehensive Plan

The Department of Planning and Economic Development has kicked off an eighteen month effort to develop a city-wide comprehensive planning effort with the goal of increasing the pride we have in our community and its assets and creating a framework for our City to thrive as a prosperous, livable, and inclusive community that is poised to capitalize on opportunities for growth and economic development.

The last Comprehensive Plan was published in 1996.  Since then, Brockton has undergone significantly population and socio/economic changes.   The new plan will incorporate those changes and better represent the goals and aspirations of our community. 

Campello & Southern Main St. Plan

The Department of Planning and Economic Development, working with Old Colony Planning Council and TK.designlab have developed a Vision Report for the historic Campello business district and Southern Main Street commercial corridor. 

 The Report provides a “high altitude” look at the study area.  Starting with existing conditions and market data, the team gathered input from the community and local businesses to craft a vision that reinvests and maintains a walkable mixed use business district radiating out from the intersection of Main, Perkins and South Streets, promotes denser, transit-oriented residential around the Commuter Rail Station, supports neighborhood scale commercial development between Clifton and Hayward Street, and the industrialization of the former “Auto Row” and failed big box commercial center south of Hayward. 

Campello & South Main Plan

Thatcher Street Smart Growth Overlay District

The City is working with the Sisters of Jesus Crucified and the Archdiocese of Boston Planning Office for Urban Affairs on a proposed MGL Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay District at the Our Lady of Sorrows Convent on Thatcher Street.  MGL 40R is a zoning designation that would allows denser residential or mixed-use development near transit stations, in areas of concentrated development such as existing city and town centers, and in other highly suitable locations.  An application is currently under review by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) before being submitted to the Brockton City Council for consideration. 

A copy of the current draft application can be found here.

A copy of the current draft zoning language can be found here.

Other Planning Efforts

The Department has identified 11 areas outside of downtown that should have their own District Master Plans.   These include the Campello and Montello districts as well as Belmont and Pleasant Street Corridors and the east side commercial districts along Centre, Court and Quincy.  Each of these districts has an important role to play in improving the lives and economic opportunities of our residents.   As staff and funds become available, the Department will begin a community led planning effort. 

Current and Future Planning Areas

CSX Area Master Plan

The former CSX rail yard lies at the heart of this planning study area. The area and the rail yard are bisected by Trout Brook. This study area is northeast of downtown and is generally located between the MBTA Commuter Rail Tracks on the west and Parker Street on the east. Portions extend north from Elliot Street towards Puffer Playground and south along Plymouth Street towards Snow Park.

This area has some industrial uses but is mostly vacant, and it separates the Downtown from existing residential neighborhoods. This site is not contributing to the economic health of the Downtown, nor is it an asset for the adjacent neighborhoods. However, in addition to being adjacent to the Downtown, much of the Study Area is within easy walking distance of Brockton Station (the commuter rail) and the Brockton Area Transit Centre (bus station).

The purpose of this study was to evaluate future development possibilities for the site by understanding existing conditions – physical, environmental, and economic – and scenario planning to examine, as a high level, different mixes of land uses, including industrial, commercial, and residential. Research on the current conditions and the preparation of maps and other analysis followed the guidelines of 760 CMR 12.00 (as revised in May 2018) as the City anticipated that this planning process might lead to the development of an urban renewal plan under Chapter 121B of the Massachusetts General Laws.

Preferred Development Option

Guided by a local steering group, and after analyzing different development scenarios, the City hosted a public meeting on March 13, 2019 to present our finding and take public input. As a result, we have settled on a preferred development option for the rail yards and the property surrounding it.

Multifamily development along Court Street provides residential units within easy walking distance of commuter rail and bus services. The demand for goods and services from the residents of these units will also help support further revitalization of the businesses along Main Street. Active ground floor uses, such as a café or small convenience store could support the needs of both residents and commuters.

Along the rail tracks, commercial flex will add additional space for businesses and jobs to support the overall economy of the City and the specific economy of the downtown by providing demand for food, goods, and services.

Trout Brook becomes a significant asset to this area. Removing invasive plants will help restore the function of the brook. To the west of Trout Brook, this plan identifies flood storage areas to help mitigate existing and anticipated flood conditions. The east side of the Book would become a shared pathway for pedestrians and bicyclists. This pathway would connect Puffer Playground to the north of the CSX site and Snow Park to the south of the site. This pathway becomes a significant amenity for several neighborhoods in the area.

To the east of the pathway, the preferred plan includes a local playground, connected to the multi-use path, a single-family development that knits the existing neighborhood together by extending streets now unconnected to each other. The additional connections will create more access to public transit by fostering a better pedestrian network.

CSX Site Master Plan Study


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