Zoning Initiatives Make Burlington A Life Science Hub in Massachusetts

August 31, 2021

The field of life science is currently one of the quickest growing sectors in Massachusetts. As such, the town of Burlington has made incredible strides when it comes to providing the proper zoning for life science companies, encouraging them to continue growing and conducting groundbreaking research and development projects in a space suited to their needs.


Burlington Zoning Laws For Life Science Companies

Zoning for Life Science properties and buildings has seen rapid growth in the past few years, thanks to Burlington’s dedicated town planning board. Back in January of 2020, the town planning board unanimously voted to rezone in-town high-rise districts, allowing developers increased flexibility when designing and developing buildings attractive to incoming life science (or bioscience) companies.

A more recent example took place in July (2021), where the planning board approved a massive 270,000 square-foot life science building to be developed on Network Drive in Burlington. The approval seeks to revitalize an underdeveloped property in Burlington into a space suitable for life science research, development, and of course, innovation.

According to Todd Fremont-Smith, the senior vice president of development and director of the mixed-use project for Nordblom Company, “Applicants are looking for all the things we have at the Route 128 and Route 3 intersection. Burlington’s restaurants, hotels, and access to highways are crucial reasons why such companies want to move here. This is a building that will put Burlington right square in the middle of the life science market.”


Burlington Awarded A Platinum Rating From MassBio

MassBio (or the Massachusetts Biotechnology Council) is a “not-for-profit organization founded in1985 that represents and provides services and support for the #1 life sciences cluster in the world.” The organization developed a rating system to help biotechnology and life science companies find the most “favorable destinations in the state” for life science companies. As a result of Burlington’s forward-thinking commitment to the life science industry, the town has received the platinum rating (the highest) from MassBio.

This means that from biotech-zoned science parks to expedited permitting for promising projects, Burlington has much to offer to bioscience companies seeking relocation. The platinum rating also tells life science companies that our community offers:

  • Municipal water and sewer are available in commercial and industrial areas.
  • Zoning allows for biotech laboratory and manufacturing uses by special permit.
  • Identified point of contact in town/city hall to assist biotech projects.
  • Municipality’s Board of Health has adopted the National Institutes of Health guidelines on rDNA activity as part of its regulations.
  • The municipality includes a building or buildings already permitted for biotech uses and has 20,000 square feet or more of available space for biotech uses.
  • And, this is just to name a few. Be sure to explore our comprehensive breakdown of what Burlington offers life science companies in our community. 

Life Science: Another Positive Direction For The Community

When the Burlington planning board approves zoning initiatives attractive to the growing life science industry, it also initiates positive, exciting developments for Burlington residents and the community. As mentioned by Fremont-Smith, these developments often include and attract new restaurants, hotels, shopping centers, and beautiful green areas for outdoor recreation, such as tranquil walking and bicycle paths. 

As our community continues to grow, the town of Burlington will continue to open its doors to innovative, forward-thinking industries, inviting talented individuals, groups, and companies to live, work, and travel to Burlington.