Letter: Multi-Family Housing is a Must for Concord

June 16, 2023

It is critical that we add multi-family housing in Concord. The MBTA communities law now requires towns to have multi-family housing within a half mile of commuter rail, bus or subway stations. Concord should build multi-family housing within a half mile of the Concord Center/Thoreau Depot station. 

The zoning plans for the Thoreau District presented at Town Meeting 2022 proposed to make zoning for multi-purpose buildings, with a variety of businesses on the first story, and housing above them. The parking lots near Crosby’s would become housing units, with outdoor seating and green spaces. This would become a place of community and diversity.  

The Thoreau Depot Business District rezoning proposal was voted down. Several people were worried about traffic at the intersection near Crosby’s. The Zoning Board analyzed it and found that this project wouldn’t create that big a difference for traffic. Others were worried that the designs would be insensitive to the community, because the creators of the idea didn’t truly know what Concord residents needed. What they may not have realized is that those who were involved in the plans had designed it to be eco-friendly, sensitive to the historical buildings, and capped off with a maximum height of three stories. 

I propose that we should create a new, revised project, similar to the previous Thoreau Depot Business District zoning proposal. Crowd-sourced, resident designers would come up with a basic plan, and people of the town could add their input, and help create this design. This would make this a community-based project tailored to what is needed in the town. Together we could design a beautiful and lively community, with green spaces, local businesses, and multi-family housing.  

Ella Madan

Fairhaven Road