Economic Development Task Force

2006 to 2008

Primary Objective

The Taskforce charge was to:

  • Engage the community in education about Lexington's existing businesses and potential for further commercial development, and elicit community opinion on these issues, broadly defined;
  • Conduct a modeling exercise to explicitly examine the tradeoffs associated with various commercial development choices;
  • Examine with the public various regulatory issues affecting prospects for the current business sector in town and for future commercial development; and how the structure of Lexington's complex regulatory and advisory system may impact development decisions;
  • Coordinate its work with that of the 20/20 Vision Task Force on sustainability, and incorporate considerations of sustainable development in its own work and recommendations; and
  • Work with Town officials to arrive at an effective, workable mission for an Economic Development Officer.


The Taskforce formed four subgroups:

  • The Financial Impact and Modeling Subgroup evaluated the potential of three key commercial areas. Town funding was obtained to retain the Cecil Group and GLC Development Resources to do a commercial zone analysis and buildout study.
  • The Permitting and Regulatory Subgroup assessed the appropriateness of the Town's regulations and procedures relative to attracting desirable commercial enterprises to Lexington.
  • The Economic Development Officer Subtroup helped shape the current job description for the then open position.
  • The Communications Subgroup used the media to keep the community engaged and informed of the Economic Development Taskforce (EDTF)'s progress, and held several public meetings about the Taskforce's work.


Lexington's three major commercial areas:

  • Hartwell Avenue
  • Spring Street/Hayden Avenue
  • Forbes Road

are substantially underdeveloped relative to their potential. Development of quality commercial and industrial property is an opportunity for Lexington. This could reverse the recent trend of residential property values rising faster than commercial/industrial values, which has shifted more of the tax burden onto residential taxpayers.


  1. Revenue enhancement through commercial development with appropriate infrastructure improvements and mitigation.
  2. Revise zoning and permitting.
  3. Create an Economic Development Advisory Committee.
  4. Develop a strategy to mitigate traffic increases due to development.
  5. Develop measures to encourage sustainability.