A New Development Coming to West Lynn


 By Gayla Cawley |  Item Live | July 29, 2020

As construction on a long-awaited community bike path is expected to wrap up next summer, city officials are seeking input on what kind of development residents want to see along that West Lynn corridor. 

The “Northern Strand Zoning Overlay Community Survey,” administered by the city’s consultant, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), launched this month and closes on Aug. 21. 

Through the survey, city residents and professionals are asked a series of questions centered around what kinds of businesses, development, or public space they would like to see in certain areas throughout West Lynn.

The majority of the study area is currently single-family residential, but there are some areas that are zoned for industrial and business uses. 

Construction continues on a segment of the North Strand Bike Path between Cottage and Spencer streets in Lynn Thursday. (Spenser Hasak)

“It’s looking at some targeted sites and opportunity areas to consider a zoning change, which could include a zoning overlay district or a change in underlying zoning,” said Aaron Clausen, the city’s principal planner. 

“Having a multimodal transportation (path) coming into the neighborhood, there is opportunity to blend some commercial and mixed uses that have commercial and residential on the site.”  

Study focus areas include Summer Street and the Northern Strand, the Western Avenue business district, Market Square by Market Basket, the Market Square parking lot across from Market Basket, the Summer Street intersection where the multi-city trail turns into a community path, and Bennett Street. 

The aim of the survey is to figure out how to capitalize on the new infrastructure, which will provide a regional connection to four other communities, in terms of providing services and economic development for the community, according to Clausen. 

“We’re not really coming into this process with a preconceived notion of what the possibilities are,” said Clausen.

When completed, the Northern Strand Community Trail, a state-funded project with a price tag of about $15 million, will connect the communities of Everett, Malden, Revere, and Saugus and wind through Lynn to Nahant Beach. 

The Lynn portion of the trail is being constructed along a portion of an abandoned railroad line that will continue as a separated bike lane, starting at Market Square and running along North Common Street into the downtown. 

The community path of Lynn, which continues along the remaining abandoned railroad line and is the portion of the trail that connects to Nahant Beach, is also being upgraded. 

A vision of Bike to the Sea since 1993, the nearly 12-mile trail will offer a continuous path and connect to the beaches in Revere, Lynn and Nahant when complete. 

Project partners include the city of Lynn, the Economic Development & Industrial Corporation of Lynn, the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, MAPC and the Community Path of Lynn. 

“It’s an exciting project for the community (in terms of) the recreational opportunities and transportation options,” said Clausen. “It is certainly recreational, but it also brings the opportunity for safe travel for bicyclists and pedestrians towards the downtown."


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