Land Use and Economic Development

Canton Center Rapid Recovery Planning - April to August 2021


The Local Rapid Recovery Plan (LRRP) Program is a project of the Massachusetts Downtown Initiative (MDI). It provides municipalities in the Commonwealth with the opportunity to develop actionable, project-based recovery plans tailored to the unique economic challenges and COVID-19 related impacts to downtowns, town centers, and commercial areas. Included are analysis and exploration of challenges, barriers, strategies, and actions, with a focus on developing tactical and strategic project recommendations to help communities achieve their recovery goals. The effort will culminate in plans that summarize the diagnostic findings and offer clear, tactical project recommendations by the end of August 2021. 

3 Phases of Local Rapid Recovery Planning

*Phase 1 – April - May - Data Gathering and Diagnostics: Canton Center businesses were surveyed (134 contacted by hand-delivery, mail, and/or email. Received 28 responses.  Results can be viewed here.

*Phase 2 – June - July - Analysis and Project(s) Recommendations: Piloted a Regional Restaurant Week, featuring restaurants from Canton, Dedham, Norwood, and Westwood.  Early strategic intervention ideas are being vetted with Canton Center businesses via a second (quick) survey, concluding at the end of June.  The presentation to the Select Board can be viewed here.

*Phase 3 – July - August -  Final Plan

Below is an archive of recent land use and economic development focused plans and reports. 
  1. Route 138 Study
  2. Canton Junction Area Study
  3. Draper Knitting Study
  4. Golf Course Study
Rte 138

Route 138 Corridor Economic Development Study

Route 138 is Canton’s most heavily traveled arterial, a main location for the town’s commercial base, and a location for future development. The area has large lots, with some vacant/underutilized land, and a hodge podge of zoning and uses. Development on Route 138 needs to be shaped carefully to minimize traffic problems and safety issues, and to create an environment that will be aesthetically pleasing. Generally, the community has expressed a desire for a stronger design identity to create a sense of place, and destination stores, restaurants, or other community resources as a draw.

The Route 138 Corridor Study was completed between June 2019 and January 2020. It was good timing to look at a strategic plan and vision for the Route 138 corridor. The Town has recently updated its comprehensive Master Plan, and the MassDOT will likely implement infrastructure improvements for safety, pedestrian, and cyclist access in the next 5 years.  

Final Plan

Land Use