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demarcated by Chelmsford, Manufacturers, Plain, and Short Streets that fall within the Regional Retail zone are owned by twelve different, private owners. There is no publicly owned land. Without securing a major developer who could acquire multiple properties, the possibilities for physical reorganization and a more intensified site use is limited. The general lack of unifying architectural or design features of the entire zone is also notable, making the retail district seem disjointed from both surrounding traditional residential neighborhoods and the historic Nottingham Mills.

RECOMMENDATIONS 1. Amend zoning code to allow ecologically and visually compatible commercial and automotive uses that do not require significant Chelmsford St. frontage. Given the site’s limited appeal to most retail uses (due to the current lot configuration and surrounding uses), we believe the site is ideal for businesses such as autobody shops. Autobody shops, or other automotive establishments, require large flat spaces but not prominent street frontage, both of which are conditions met by the site. Thus, as a first step, the City should amend the zoning ordinance to allow these sorts of uses to locate there.

The Nottingham Mills Site sits between Chelmsford and Powell, just south of Shaw Street. The RMV location is south of the Mills, just off of the Lowell Connector.

NOTTINGHAM MILLS & RMV

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Lowell, MA neighborhood plan for the Lower Highlands  

In the Fall of 2009, a team of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning p...

Lowell, MA neighborhood plan for the Lower Highlands  

In the Fall of 2009, a team of graduate students from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning p...

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