This site had an interesting section on quaint towns and cities in New England. As you know the Planning Board is working on the village overlay district for the May 2012 Town Meeting. Some of the towns featured are much bigger than Bolton but it is important to look at a wide range of towns to see which aspects of the town you like that you could incorporate into Bolton’s zoning (in the existing commercial district).
Currently Bolton only allows one building per site with a 150 foot setback. This requires a building to build one large building with the parking up front. The village overlay district would multiple buildings but much smaller designed to fit in more with the village setting. By reducing the setback it pulls the building up closer to the road and puts the parking to the rear and/or side. The total lot coverage would be the relatively the same meaning that the total square footage would be the same but be spread out in multiple smaller buildings. The project would be reviewed under Special Permit by the Planning Board.
Here is an example of one large building with parking all up front.
Here are some of the images from the Travel Guide of America that features main streets in a wide range of sizes: hamlets, villages, towns, and cities. Please share your thoughts on what features you like and don’t like.
Centerville, MA is an historic village located a short distance west of Hyannis in the Mid-Cape section of Cape Cod. Centerville is a tiny place, with a country store and beautiful church set along the main street as well as a number of 19th-century homes. Near Centerville is Craigville Beach, a popular place for sunning and swimming in the summer.
Concord, MA a beautiful suburb of Boston, is popular for its history and bucolic landscape. Concord played an important role in the Rvolutionary War, and still has numerous historic homes and sites. There are also many parks and conservation areas around Concord, including Walden Pond and Great Meadows.
Deerfield, MA is a living museum, with perhaps one of the best preserved–and most picturesque–main streets in New England. The center of this Pioneer Valley town includes a number of restored homes from the 1700s and is a perfect place for a leisurely stroll.
Great Barrington, MA is the largest town in the southwest Berkshires and a center for hikers, bikers, boaters, skiers, and others who come to the area for outdoor activities. People also come to Great Barrington for its funky stores and dining spots, and the beautiful scenery of the Berkshire Mountains.
Montague, MA is a small town in the Pioneer Valley, near the Connecticut River and the Amherst/Northampton area. Just outside of the center of town is the Montague Bookmill, a converted gristmill that has quirky shops and dining spots, all of which are situated above the Sawmill River.
Onset, MA is a bustling seaside village that is part of the town of Wareham, located just west of Cape Cod. Onset is particularly busy during the summer, with sun worshippers flocking to the village for its attractive beaches, interesting shops, and seafood shacks.
Shelburne Falls, MA is a charming town located just off the Mohawk Trail (Route 2) in the eastern part of the Berkshires. One of the main draws of Shelburne Falls is its beautiful Bridge of Flowers, an old railroad bridge that is now a linear garden with a walking path through it. Shelburne Falls is also a progressive town with a thriving art scene and several cafes and coffee houses.
Wellfleet, MA is a charming, quiet town on the outer part of Cape Cod that is home to many art galleries, bed and breakfasts, and restaurants. Wellfleet, which is bordered by the ocean on both the east and west side of town, is home to some of the most beautiful beaches on the cape.
Bristol, RI is an historic resort town on the East Bay of Rhode Island, about midway between Providence and Newport. The Bristol area has much to offer vacationers, including a bayside bike trail, vineyards, country stores, and clam shacks
Jackson, New Hampshire is a quiet, old resort town that feels more like a Vermont village than one in New Hampshire. Surrounded by peaceful meadows, beautiful streams and rivers, and some of the highest mountains in New England, Jackson is a top jumping-off point for hikers, kayakers, and skiers.
Peterborough, NH is a popular art and cultural center in the heart of “Currier and Ives country” in southern New Hampshire. The narrow streets of Peterborough are lined with interesting art galleries, as well as antique stores, pubs, and restaurants.
Wolfeboro, NH is an old, established summer resort town that is located on the eastern end of Lake Winnipesaukee. The pace of Wolfeboro is slower than that of many lakeside vacation towns, which gives it a special appeal to families and retirees. Wolfeboro’s main street has a number of interesting restaurants, gift shops, and art shops.
Grafton, VT is considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in New England. Set in a remote, hilly region in the central part of Vermont, Grafton has beautiful old homes and inns, as well as several interesting shops and restaurants.
Stowe, VT a classic New England village, is a popular four-season resort in Vermont that is known particularly for its ski areas. The area around Stowe includes several of the highest peaks in Vermont.
Waits River, VT is a tiny village southeast of Barre and Montpelier that is one of the most photographed towns in the state. The classic view of Waits River, as seen from a road above the village, is shown on countless New England calendars.
Weston, VT which is located on a plateau high up in the hills of South-Central Vermont, is mostly known for the Vermont Country Store, a famous shop that features all kinds of interesting gifts. In addition to the store, Weston also has a few charming places to eat and stay, and is only minutes south of Okemo Mountain, one of the biggest ski resorts in Vermont.
Chester, CT is a cozy little riverside village tucked into the hills near the Connecticut River. Chester, which is a few miles north of Route 95 and Long Island Sound, near Essex, has the feel of a tidy European town. |
Essex, CT is a resort town on the banks of the Connecticut River that is often described as one of best places to visit (or live) in the United States. The Essex area, including Old Saybrook, Chester, and Old Lyme, is known for its exclusive inns, top restaurants, and cultural activities.
Ridgefield, CT is a beautiful town situated in the hills of southwest Connecticut, not far from New York City. Many famous people both past and present have called Ridgefield their home, as it is one of the wealthiest towns in New England. Its trim, neat main street is one of the most attractive in the state.
One of the most beautiful villages in all of New England, Kennebunkport, ME lies on the coast of southern Maine about midway between Portsmouth, NH, and Portland. The narrow lanes of Kennebunkport are lined with art galleries, restaurants, and inns, as well as well-preserved old homes that date back to the era when the village was a shipbuilding center.
Southwest Harbor, ME is a laid-back fishing town on the quieter side of Mount Desert Island. Near Southwest Harbor are lesser-visited sections of Acadia National Park, most of which is on the island. Southwest Harbor is a classic New England village, complete with interesting little shops, a few good restaurants, and quiet tree-lined streets.