Town of Acton, MA
Acton 2020
Comprehensive Community Plan


Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative Online Survey for Preferred Alternatives

If you missed the recent public workshop and would still like to share your opinion, the Acton 2020 Town Committee would like to invite you to comment on the preferred alternatives for Kelley's Corner as selected during the September 16, 2014 Public Workshop. Please go to this link to participate: Preferred Alternatives Survey

You can also view the workshop presentation here and watch the Acton TV recording of the workshop.

Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative Public Forum: Alternatives and Choices

Tuesday September 16, 2014
7:00pm - 9:00pm
Acton Town Hall, Room 204
472 Main Street, Acton 

Please mark your calendar and save the date for this very important public forum which has been planned and offered in order to solicit the feedback of the community. We encourage your participation in this process of creating a vision for Kelley's Corner.

During the forum, a presentation will be given by The Cecil Group, the planning consultants, and they will review their existing conditions analyses and present alternative strategies for improving traffic and circulation, streetscape conditions, and land use. Throughout the evening, the public will be given opportunities to provide their thoughts and opinions on the proposed possibilities.

We look forward to seeing you on the 16th.

Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) Final Report - June 4

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) released their final report from the workshop held on February 10th. The report - Kelley’s Corner: Can It Become a Walkable Town Center? - can be viewed here.

Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative Public Workshop

Wednesday May 7, 2014
7:30pm - 9:30pm
McCarthy-Towne School, Parker Damon Cafeteria
11 Charter Road, Acton 

Please join the Acton 2020 Implementation Committee, the Kelley's Corner Steering Committee and The Cecil Group at a public workshop to learn about The Cecil Group's initial findings regarding Kelley's Corner. Join in on facilitated discussions and small group brainstorming sessions and express your opinions about the future of Kelley's Corner

We need community input. Please make your voice count!

Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative Open House

Saturday May 10, 2014
9:00am - 11:00am
McCarthy-Towne School, Parker Damon Library
11 Charter Road, Acton 

Not sure what the Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative is all about? Wondering what the consultants hired to study Kelley's Corner are doing? Interested in sharing your thoughts on the future of Kelley's Corner? Please stop by this informal Open House to learn more about the Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative.

Urban Land Institute Technical Assistance Panel (TAP)

In May 2013 the Acton Planning Department together with the Acton 2020 Implementation Committee applied for the “pro-bono” Technical Assistance Panel (TAP) Program. The TAP program is sponsored by the Urban Land Institute which organizes an objective panel of experts (real estate, designers, engineers, developers etc.) to help municipalities evaluate a local land use challenge. Fortunately, Acton’s application for review of the Kelley’s Corner area was chosen for their 2014 program.

On February 10th, 2014 Acton hosted the Technical Assistance Panel. The program was a day long process where the experts came prepared with knowledge of past studies of the area, conducted site walks and interviews with stakeholders, facilitated a collaborative session to draft solutions and then shared their recommendations in a public presentation. The Board of Selectmen held a special meeting that night in Town Hall Room 204 to hear the TAP’s presentation. A written report of the panel's findings will be prepared and submitted to the Town a few months following the presentation and will address three questions:

  1. What are the overarching impediments that inhibit or impair Kelley’s Corner transformation into a vibrant, walkable, mixed use center?
  2. What are projected market conditions, trends and challenges for commercial and residential real estate that may conflict with Acton’s town center redevelopment goals?
  3. What tools and initiatives could Acton pursue to further its goals?

We believe the TAP will be an essential component of the Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative. We expect this program to position the town on solid footing going into the Kelley’s Corner project by providing an objective, expert opinion on town center improvement strategies that are viable given the existing conditions. The TAP program is not intended to take the place of public participation or planning efforts of the Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative. Rather its purpose is to inform, enhance and focus the Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative. With the knowledge gained from the TAP program, the Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative consultant team, The Cecil Group, will begin leading the multifaceted Kelley’s Corner planning and design effort.

Kelley's Corner Steering Committee

Acton 2020 is in the process of forming a Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative Steering Committee. The Steering Committee will provide project oversight and direction on behalf of the Town on procedures and other matters affecting policies, politics, perception, and etiquette; help maintain consistency with Acton 2020 / Comprehensive Community Plan; help with events planning, preparations, and hosting; review, critique and approve consultant prepared materials before public release; and carry out any other tasks and assignments in furtherance of the project. The Steering Committee will be composed of 7 members including: three representatives from the Acton 2020 Implementation Committee; one representative of the Planning Board; one representative of the Finance Committee; one Representative of the Economic Development Committee; one Representative of the Design Review Board as well as several associate members. Acton 2020 is seeking two people from the at-large community to serve as associate members on this Committee. If you are interested, please contact the Acton 2020 Committee.

Kelley's Corner Improvement Initiative Consultant Selection

In April 2013, the Acton Annual Town Meeting appropriated $277,000 for the Kelley's Improvement Initiative. The funds became available on July 1, 2013 with the beginning of the new fiscal year. On August 14, 2013 the Town issued a formal Request for Proposals from consultants or consultant teams to assist the Town with the Initiative. A Briefing and Q&A session for prospective consultants took place on August 26, 2013, at 10 AM in Town Hall, Faulkner Room. Following the briefing, four consultant proposals were received by the due date of September 30, 2013.

A consultant Selection Committee was then formed by the Town Manager comprised of nine members, one member each from the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board, Finance Committee, Economic Development Committee, Design Review Board, two members from the Acton 2020 Implementation Committee, a Kelley’s Corner business property owner/developer, and a “Town Elder.” The Selection Committee carefully and diligently reviewed the four consultant firms’ technical proposals, checked references, and conducted interviews to determine the most advantageous proposal.

In late November, the Selection Committee made a recommendation to the Town Manager to hire The Cecil Group, based on the qualifications outlined in the RFP. The Town Manger then reviewed all four price proposals and subsequently began contract negotiations with the Cecil Group. The Town and the Cecil Group are now finalizing contract negotiations and hope to begin the next phase of the Kelley’s Corner Improvement Initiative within the next month.

Senior Environmental Planner of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council to Speak to Acton 2020 Implementation Committee

On Wednesday, January 22, 2014 at 7:30pm at Acton's Town Hall Room 204, Julie Conroy, AICP; Senior Environmental Planner of the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) will present to the Acton 2020 Committee on issues related to land use and specifically on what is known as Transfer of Development Rights (TDR).

TDR is a regulatory strategy that harnesses private market forces to accomplish two smart growth objectives. First, open space is permanently protected for water supply, agricultural, habitat, recreational, or other purposes via the transfer of some or all of the development that would otherwise have occurred in these sensitive places to more suitable locations. Second, other locations, such as city and town centers or vacant and underutilized properties, become more vibrant and successful as the development potential from the protected resource areas is transferred to them. The Acton 2020 Comprehensive Community Plan adopted in 2012 recommends the use of TDR as a way of transferring future development potential from Acton's remaining open spaces into existing villages and centers. While less common, TDR can also be used for preservation of historic resources.

Ms. Conroy has worked at MAPC since 2010. She has over twelve years of experience as a planner; starting as an analyst for the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management. Ms. Conroy later became an environmental planner with the Horsley Witten Group where she prepared revised modules for the Massachusetts Smart Growth-Smart Energy Toolkit, including the TDR module. Currently, she develops policies, regulations, and guidance regarding land use choices that protect natural resources. Ms. Conroy also serves as project manager on large scale state and regional projects such as the Regional Climate Change Adaptation Strategy.

Acton 2020 encourages members of the community to attend its January 22nd meeting to learn more about land use, the principles of TDR and its potential in the Town of Acton.