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Newton Aldermen Take Another Step Toward Developing Austin Street Lot

The lot could be developed into a mixed-use site.

The Newton Board of Aldermen Monday night approved a zoning change that is a step toward building a potential mixed-use development on the Austin Street municipal parking lot. 

The board voted 22-1 in favor of rezoning the parking lot to a "mixed-use 4" zoning district. Alderman Jay Ciccone Jr. was the single dissenting vote, according to minutes from the meeting. Alderman Lenny Gentile was absent. 

The new zoning, which was recommended by the city's Planning Department, will allow for a potential developer to build a mixed-use project on the lot. Once the zoning is finalized, the city can solicit development proposals for a new mixed‐use residential development on the site, according to minutes from the Sept. 24 Zoning and Planning Committee meeting.

The Zoning and Planning Committee unanimously approved the zoning item at that meeting.

A joint advisory planning group that studied the lot recommended last year the space be used for a combination of both housing and commercial development. The group also recommended that if a project is built, at least 85 of the current 159 parking spaces in the lot should remain. 

Before the approval of the Austin Street zoning, the full board approved a separate item that created the mixed-use 4 zoning district. That item was approved 23-0 with Ald. Gentile absent.

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