Written by Michelle Tinger, Planning Department intern (University of Massachusetts Boston, M.S. in Urban Planning and Community Development, 2021)
To assess the challenges and successes of existing mixed-use projects, determine consistency of additional mixed-use development with the Town's overall development and housing goals, and, further, determine whether refinements or modifications of the mixed-use zoning bylaw could better align the bylaw with the Town's future economic and housing goals.
The Town of Dedham amended the Town’s Zoning Bylaw in 2004 to include a regulation of Mixed-Use Developments, which it defines as a building with commercial and non-residential uses on a lower floor and residential dwelling units on upper floors.
The oldest example of a mixed-use building in Dedham is located at 5 Eastern Avenue, at the corner of High Street in Dedham Square. The three-story brick building dates to 1910 and has 27 apartments over seven retail storefronts. No other mixed-use buildings were constructed in Dedham for nearly a century.
Since 2004, 11 mixed-use developments have been approved and constructed in different parts of Dedham. Two are under construction in East Dedham Square. Two have been proposed in Dedham Square.
The continuing high demand for mixed-use developments in Dedham has provided both new housing and commercial opportunities to the Town, but also raised potential issues and concerns. As a result, a the Planning Board requested a 6-month moratorium on the issuance of Special Permits for mixed-use developments at Town Meeting on May 20, 2019, in order for the Town to study the positive and negative effects of mixed-use development on Dedham.