AYER -- Town development officials will set up a studio to give residents the chance to meet others from the community and exchange ideas about what kind of development they want to see.

The neighborhood sustainability studio night will take place Feb. 6 in the Great Hall of Town Hall at 5:30 p.m.

Large maps and illustrations of Ayer's neighborhoods and districts will be on display.

Residents can visit stations throughout the hall that will highlight how the state's 10 principles of sustainable development can relate to the town's community development plans.

Efforts to expand housing opportunities, increase job opportunities, and advance equity are among the state's development principles.

Alan Manoian, Ayer's director of community and economic development, said hearing from residents can help lead to design, planning, zoning, and development approaches for the town that fit their needs.

"This town is transforming now at more of a rapid rate than in the past," Manoian said. "We want to be seen in Ayer as a model of citizen participatory planning ... The real, sustained and truly legitimate development comes when you say you're going to write the plan with the people."

As part of development efforts, the town is competing for a $700,000 community development block grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Manoian said.


The goal is to make improvements to redo the sidewalks, curbing, and other infrastructure on Prospect and Oak streets in the Grove Pond neighborhood, he said.