Monday, May 6, 2024

Maynard, MA Population 12,000?

Until after WWII, the population of Maynard was larger
than the populations of Acton, Stow and Sudbury combined 
The 2020 Federal census put Maynard's population at 10,746. That was before some 350+ housing units at the Maynard Crossing development were occupied, so a fair guess is that the population now exceeds 11,000. There is potential for further population growth. The MacDonald Corporation is nearing completion on a three-story apartment building on Main Street, between CVS and the Assabet River. The Town of Maynard put to a vote in May 2024 a proposal to sell the building at 61-63 Summer Street that from 2000 to 2022 was ArtSpace and Acme Theater ( and before that Fowler School). This could become a building conversion to apartments or condominiums, or a teardown followed by new building construction. See below for vote results.

Maynard is also proposing that owners of single-family dwelling properties be allowed to create a second dwelling unit on their property. As proposed, these can be an existing or new structure, attached to the main house or not, that will be a separate unit with its own entrance, electricity and plumbing. Size to be limited to 600 square feet. Renting cost to be limited to affordable housing rates set for Maynard and no short-term renting, as in like AirBNB, allowed.Initial term 90-days, and after that, either month-to-month or longer for the existing tenants. Neither the unit nor its parking may be between the existing house and the street. 

At the same Town Meeting, people are also being asked to vote on the Powder Mill [Route 62] Overlay District (PMOD) to create a minimum of 474 housing units in a high-density building complex - meaning a minimum of 15 units per acre. The proposal includes zoning for many types of retail establishments in addition to housing. The property in question is the former Stratus campus at 111 Powder Mill Road (occupant, before that Digital Equipment Corporation corporate headquarters), a 37 acre property located south (behind) Wendy's restaurant.

Collectively, all this means that the population of Maynard is expected to exceed 12,000 in the not too distant future. The question then, is whether this constrains Maynard's existing infrastructure. Maynard's water supply is local wells. First level water use restrictions are enacted every year, whether the aquifers are full or not, as a means of keeping the need for water restriction inthe public eye. Maynard also has rights to White Pond, Hudson, but to reactivate that would require a multimillion dollar multi-year project. 

Maynard starts water use restriction every year, on May 1st. Policy described at  Page 13 of the state water status reports that as of April 11, 2024, no parts of the state are at any level of drought. (See ). Maynard, as do many other towns and cities in Massachusetts, announce a water restriction starting in May regardless of the drought status.


ARTICLE 17 ARTSPACE BUILDING was passed: "To see if the town will vote to change the use of the property at 61-63 Summer Street (former Fowler School) from general municipal use to a property for sale and to authorize the Select Board to sell the property on the terms and conditions it deems appropriate and are in the best interest of the Town and to enter into any and all agreements to effectuate same."

ARTICLE: 18 PUBLIC SHADE TREES was passed: "To see if the Town will vote to Amend the Town By-laws by adopting a new Chapter 46, Public Shade Trees as follows." (lots of detail about tree managment on Town property)

ARTICLE: 27 ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS (ADUS) was passed:  "To see if the town will vote to amend the Town of Maynard Protective Zoning Bylaw as follows." (lots of detail on adding dwlling units to existing property)

ARTICLE: 28 OVERLAY DISTRICT AND MBTA COMMUNITIES was passed: "To see if the town will vote to amend the Town of Maynard Protective Zoning Bylaw as follows." (lots of detail on allowing hundreds of units of housing and also business zoning at Powder Mill Road site)