Public Affairs Campaign for Permitting Approval for a State-of-the-Art Mercedes-Benz Car Dealership

The Opportunity

CAG’s overarching goals were to establish its profile within the community and work with town leaders, neighbors and other influencers to refine and secure rezoning approval for the proposal to redevelop the property into a luxury state-of-the-art Mercedes-Benz dealership. The objective of the campaign was to obtain the required two-thirds vote from town meeting members to approve the rezoning and development, generate public support to get the project approved and secure endorsements from the Burlington Board of Selectman, the planning board, the ways and means committee, and the land use committee.

The Strategy

A comprehensive real estate marketing plan to focus on the benefits of the rezoning. The campaign included more than a dozen presentations to town committees, community information sessions, telephone and door-to-door canvassing, direct mail, media outreach and the development of digital properties. To win approval from Town meeting members, BG developed a comprehensive plan to promote the immediate and long-term benefits of the rezoning using direct resident outreach, a resident-centric website and traditional media placements. BG highlighted the collaborative efforts of CAG throughout all stages of the proposal and development. From summer 2013 to January 2014, BG provided counsel and support before, during, and after each of CAG’s multiple presentations to the boards and committees in Burlington necessary to gain approval.

The Result

Based on endorsements from the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and the Ways and Means Committee, the Burlington Town Meeting approved the rezoning of the Mercedes-Benz of Burlington site to add it to the contiguous planned development district with 85% of the vote, far eclipsing the 66% needed for approval, achieving the ultimate goal of the community relations campaign. Over the course of the campaign, BG secured coverage in hyper-local print, local business and trade publications, including The Boston Globe, the Burlington Daily Times Chronicle, the Burlington Free Press, the Burlington Union and the Burlington Patch.