Mayor Carlo DeMaria showed excitement about the future of Everett after the new Zoning for the Lower Broadway Neighborhood and the establishment of a Redevelopment Authority passed the Board of Aldermen Monday night.
“This is a great time for the City of Everett,” DeMaria said. “The support from the City Council goes a long way in assisting the Wynn application for the casino and improving the lives of Everett residents. Our cooperation and support to the casino project will be looked upon favorable at the Gaming Commission.”
After a lot of debate and an out crying of support from the administration and the public, the Board of Aldermen passed favorably both the new zoning and the redevelopment authority.
DeMaria, who presented both items to the Board, outlined the absolute importance of the items for the resort casino, the continuation of the Lower Broadway Master Plan, and for the future of the Lower Broadway area.
“We have been working on this plan since 2011, long before the resort casino was a possibility,” DeMaria said. “The Broadway Master Plan is a result of years of hard work, public meetings and a commitment from my administration to make Lower Broadway a highlight for the City of Everett and an entrance to the City that makes us all proud.”
The new zoning district will assist the casino with expedited permitting for the overwhelmingly publically supported project. The Zoning also provides clear protections for the City and neighborhood residents, including important provisions around minimum standards on landscaping, setbacks, parking and other items designed to both encourage and minimize negative impacts from future development. Uses that currently exist, including residential uses, are protected and allowed to stay. DeMaria introduced two different zoning options one that merely was an overlay district for the Casino site and another that was a comprehensive zoning plan for all of Lower Broadway. The more comprehensive plan that that will protect Everett residents and allow for the best uses in the area was passed.
“There is an important misconception that must be cleared up,” DeMaria explained. “The City will not be taking any residents’ homes. Some opponents to the projects made it seem like that was a possibility and it is not. We have great residents in that area and they deserve to stay in their homes and see their neighborhood become even better.”
The redevelopment authority, a multi-member body appointed by the Mayor and state and approved by the City Council, will be responsible for implementing an Urban Renewal Plan that will be formulated after hearing resident feedback and following City Council approval.
The redevelopment authority is most important to the project because it will allow the Wynn Resort to assemble, construct, and address important circulation and public safety access issues.
“A lot of people came out on a Saturday in July to support the Wynn resort and our successfully negotiated host agreement,” DeMaria said. “It is of the utmost importance that we, as elected officials, do everything that we can to support what our constituency obviously wants. The people of Everett can see what this new district will do for the City of Everett and I am excited to work with each and every one of the residents. Together, we are creating a bright future for the City of Everett.”
The Zoning still needs approval by the City Council and another vote by the Board of Aldermen before it is officially passed.
“I’m proud that the Board of Aldermen put aside any differences and stood with me and the residents of Everett to bring Wynn Everett even closer to a reality,” DeMaria said. “Now we must continue this course and bring both the zoning and redevelopment legislation to fruition over the coming weeks.”
The City Council will vote Wednesday and then the item returns to the Board of Aldermen the following Monday.