Beverly’s existing Downtown Design Guidelines were published in 2003. Since then, several plans have been published which indicate necessary changes desired across Beverly as the population grows and new businesses move in. Importantly, creating new Design Standards and updating dimension for the City's mixed-use and commercial areas (CC and CN Zoning Districts) was a priority recommendation in the City's 2021 Master Plan.
The new Design Standards are intended to inform future development and redevelopment in Downtown Beverly, but could also be applicable to smaller scale neighborhood centers elsewhere in the City. The primary commercial corridors in Downtown Beverly are Cabot Street and Rantoul Street, two mile-long corridors stretching north and south. Adjacent to the downtown commercial area are dense multifamily residential dwellings, and an industrial area adjacent to the Bass River – some of which is proposed to become a new transit-oriented development (TOD) area.
The City hired Utile, Inc. in fall 2021 to initiate this process of developing new Design Standards. A steering committee consisting of two City Councilors and other community members with relevant expertise or interest was established. The project concluded with a final draft of proposed new Design Standards in August 2022. After review, these will need to be incorporated into the Beverly Zoning Ordinance.
ZONING: A municipal law that outlines permitted uses for various sections of land in a community, as well as dimensional rules and other requirements of those uses, such as lot size, placement, density, and the height of structures.
DESIGN STANDARDS: Method of assuring that key characteristics of buildings reflect community standards that have been established at a policy level. Standards can be incorporated into the Zoning Ordinance and are part of the formal rules.
DESIGN GUIDELINES: Similar, but are not written into the Zoning Ordinance and are more instructive and allow for more flexibility.