Newton officials approve $500,000 Washington Street study

Newton city councilors have approved a $500,000 study of Washington Street, which Mayor Ruthanne Fuller has said is needed to help guide future growth in one of the city’s key residential and business areas. Given the green light April 2, the study will be conducted by Boston-based Principle Group, which will develop a master plan and zoning recommendations, according to a statement from Fuller’s office. Work will focus on the 2½-mile stretch of Washington Street along the Massachusetts Turnpike between West Newton and Newton Corner. The area has seen a slew of new development in recent years, including mixed-use housing and residential construction. Principle, which performed a similar task for Somerville’s Union Square revitalization effort, will hold community meetings and “open studio” sessions on Washington Street “to listen and to learn the concerns and desires of residents and businesses,” the statement said. A future plan for the area would include details such as locating housing, business, and open space; building height and density; as well as transportation options, the statement said. The work should take about 13 months and will draw on planners, city officials, and “in-depth community input,” the statement said. The work will also study potential economic development and land use decisions. “This process will guarantee that developers conform to the city’s vision, not the other way around,” Fuller said in the statement.


John Hilliard can be reached at john.hilliard@globe.com