Public Comment open for Town’s new Master Plan

Master Plan 2021 draft coverThe Town posted a draft 2021 Master Plan this spring. As I’ve previously shared:

A Master Plan provides a basis for future decision making in the Town. A long term vision document, a Master Plan, helps guide the Town’s growth and change, preserve its natural and cultural resources and maintain its public facilities and services.

The public is invited to read and comment on the document. You can share your thoughts by emailing MPC@southboroughma.com.

The version just completed is a result of years of work to update the 2008 version of the plan. Over the years, I’ve heard officials complain that issues raised in the 2008 Master Plan that were never followed through on. It looks like the Planning Board, which is responsible for overseeing the effort, sought to avoid a repeat of that.

At Annual Town Meeting, Master Plan Chair Meme Luttrell touted that the Town took a different approach this time:

Unlike previous Master Plans which were written by consultants and cost a considerable amount, except for a small grant to get us started, the 2021 Master Plan was entirely written by the dedicated town resident volunteers on the Master Plan Committee. The Master Plan Committee was made up of members of 16 different Town entities and Members At-Large*. . .

I thank all the Master Plan Committee members for their dedication and hard work. It was a truly collaborative effort.

She summed up that it is a “uniquely Southborough plan”.

The Committee plans to present the draft jointly to the Planning Board and Select Board in June. (Between now and then, they’ll be inserting some of the photos that were submitted by the public.)

The 2021 Plan starts by outlining the process by which the Committee developed the plan’s visions and goals. The report concludes with an Implementation Plan for how the Town can see the goals through. That section explains:

In Spring 2022, a detailed Implementation Plan was created with each recommendation assigned to a specific board, committee or department with the Town. The MPC members collaborated with their sponsoring group to provide an estimated timeframe and potential funding source, considering several key guidelines

You can read about those guidelines and review the Implementation Plan starting on page 120.

In between overall vision and implementation, the plan is broken into sections by:

  • Land Use and Zoning  
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Open Space, Natural Resources and Recreation  
  • Circulation and Transportation
  • Historic, Cultural and Community Resources
  • Public Services, Resiliency and Schools  

The Table of Contents includes embedded links to chapters and subheadings to make it easier for readers to find the sections they are interested in.

You can view the current draft here.

*Lutrell asked me to credit the following individuals for their work on the Master Plan:

  • Southborough Master Plan Committee members (and the roles they represented while serving on the Committee)
    Meme Luttrell (Planning Board-Chair), Judith Watson (Conservation Commission-Co-Chair), Kathleen Bartolini (Economic Development Committee), Lisa Braccio (Select Board), David Candela (Recreation Commission), Roger Challen (School Committee), Julie Connelly (Economic Development Committee), Andrew Dennington (Zoning Board of Appeals), Rebecca Deans-Rowe (Historical Commission), Deborah DeMuria (Zoning Board of Appeals), Gina Glazomitsky (Member At Large), Karen Hanlon-Shimkus (Member At Large), Marguerite Landry (Youth & Family Services), Kristin LaVault (Recreation Commission), Joyce Macknauskas (Council on Ageing), Thomas Marcoulier (Housing Opportunity Committee), Keturah Martin (School Committee), Kathryn McKee (Trails Committee), Andrew Mills (Planning Board), Bonnie Phaneuf (Select Board), Matthew Probst (Municipal Technology Committee), William Sines (ADA Committee), Karen Cvitkovich (Open Space Preservation Commission), Sam Stivers (Select Board), Richard Wallace (Library Board of Trustees), William Warren (Municipal Technology Committee )
  • Town of Southborough employees
    Mark Purple (Town Administrator), Karina Quinn (Town Planner), Melissa Danza (Conservation Agent), Tim Davis (Recreation Director), Sarah Hoecker and Colleen Stansfield (Principal Planning Assistants), Kate Battles (Recording Secretary)

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