Monday, June 23, 2008

Granby Master Plan Charrette Schedule

June 23-28 Granby High School Cafeteria Rte 202
9:00 set up room
1:30 media event / private tour
1:45 public tours begin
5:30 community pizza dinner/public meeting--Overview of the Master Plan effort & the Charrette
Tuesday and Wednesday are designed to do two things: 1) provide opportunity for working groups on all plan elements; 2) provide time for all residents to get involved in the planning process by walking around the Charrette space to be educated about and then voting on top strategies to go in the plan
Thursday—explore alternative futures/compare Granby with the rest of the Commonwealth
Friday—draft Granby’s new Master Plan

Tuesday – working groups, tours, voting on strategies
9-12: Charrette Tours: self guided tours all day long, guided tours on the hour (15 minute tour); all residents are encouraged to take the tour before the end of the day Wednesday and vote on their top 3 strategies in each plan element
9-10:30: economic development
10:30-12: infrastructure/energy
12-1: LUNCH
1-2:30: mobility
2:30-4: schools
4-5:30: history/culture,
5:30: dinner and public meeting—with Tim Brennan, Executive Director-PVPC

Wednesday -- working groups, tours, voting on strategies concludes
9-12: Charrette Tours: self guided tours all day long, guided tours on the hour (15 minute tour); all residents are encouraged to take the tour before the end of the day Wednesday and vote on their top 3 strategies in each plan element
9-10:30: housing
10:30-12: agriculture
12-1: LUNCH
1-2:30: natural/open space/recreation
2:30-4: land use
4-5:30: community

Thursday – working day with guest presenters in the afternoon (Michael DiPasquale, Architect on site all day)
9-10:30: WORK! Synthesizing results of working sessions into draft plan, tallying up voting and elaborating on strategies accordingly
10:30-12: Mobility—MassHighway District 2 invited
12-1:30: WORK
1:30-3: How does Granby compare with other Massachusetts communities with respect to economic development—results of a comparative analysis presented by Marc Horne, Northeastern University Center for Urban and Regional Policy
3-4:30: How does Granby compare with other Massachusetts communities that have assessed their ability to grow smart—Eric Hove, Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs
4:30-5:30: WORK
5:30: dinner and public meeting—results of voting on strategies/public discussion of implementation

Friday: work 2:00--send plan to printer!

Saturday: celebrate! 8:30-10:30: Pancake breakfast—receive copy of draft Master Plan

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Traffic Counts for Master Plan to begin this week

The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission (PVPC) will conduct a series of daily traffic counts as part of the transportation component of the Master Plan. These counts should begin this week and continue through the month of May. All total, 16 counts will be conducted at various locations throughout town. Traffic data is collected by two black rubber tubes that stretch across the road. Air pulses are triggered when vehicles drive over the tubes that the counters then record. This information can be used to determine the volume of traffic by direction, the speed of the vehicle, and the class of each vehicle (i.e. car, truck, bus, motorcycle, etc.). Traffic counters will be placed on the following roads for approximately 7 days:

  • Route 202 east and west of School Street
  • Route 202 east of North Street
  • Route 116 west of Amherst Road
  • School Street north and south of Route 202
  • Burnett Street
  • Amherst Street south of Route 116
  • Pleasant Street north of Route 202
  • New Ludlow Road
  • Harris Street
  • Fred Ruel Road
  • East Street
  • Brook Street
  • Carver Street
  • Chicopee Street

Recent traffic count data collected by the PVPC and the Granby Police Department will also be used to assess daily traffic volumes at other key locations in town.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Granby's Master Plan Process

Our towns and cities are in dire straits. Not only they are trying to find a way out of their financial woes but they are also in need of figuring out their future direction, in terms of
  • how and where open space can be preserved
  • where new development (both residential and business) should be concentrated
  • how infrastructure investments should be prioritized
  • which recreational areas and activities can be expanded
  • how economic growth can be stimulated
Master plans are documents that allow towns and cities to determine where they wish or envision to be in 10, 15 or 20 years.

It's been over 40 years since the Town of Granby had a new Master Plan. The Town is now in the process of updating its Master Plan with the assistance of Pioneer Valley Planning Commission. The process began in February 2008 with the formation of a Master Plan Committee and subsequent meetings in order to put together a survey that would serve to gather town residents' feedback about Granby.

As explained in the following article from the Hampshire Gazette, April 28, 2008 marks the beginning of a series of interactive events and meetings.

How will the town look in the next 10 or 20 years? Will subdivisions replace fields and woods? Will business and industry be encouraged to locate in a specific section of town?
Those questions and many more will be decided by the residents who participate in the master planning process that begins April 28.

"We want residents to express their hopes, wishes and desires for the future," said Emre Evren, Planning Board member and chairman of its Master Plan Committee. As many people in town who possibly can should offer input into the process, he said, so the town can reach a consensus about where it wants to be in the future, he said.

Once directions are known, steps such as zoning initiatives can be taken to shape the town's future, Evren said, but the desired direction for the town is needed before planning can result in the preferred outcomes.

April 28 will see a talk by nationally known journalist Tom Hylton, author of "Save Our Lands, Save Our Towns," from 5:30 to 6:45 p.m. in East Meadow School cafeteria. Free pizza will be provided for those attending. The lecture and discussion will end in time for residents to attend the special Town Meeting at the high school next door.

On May 5, a visioning session, what Evren described as the most important step in the master planning process, will take place from 5:30 to 7 p.m., in the high school cafeteria with. Residents will have the opportunity to discuss what they want for the town's future. Again, free pizza will be offered.

May 8, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., at the Senior Center, breakfast and a discussion about what should happen to the landfill on New Ludlow Road will take place, including a presentation by state Department of Environmental Protection officials.

May 22, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., at the Senior Center, John Mullen, director of the University of Massachusetts Center for Economic Development, will talk about how the town's tax base might be bolstered. Breakfast will be provided.

June 5, from 8:30 to 10 a.m., at the Senior Center, there will be a discussion with Clem Clay of the Trust for Public Lands on the pros and cons of the Community Preservation Act.

And during the week of June 23--28, a series of events and meetings will take place, and residents are invited to drop in at the office in the high school where Catherine Miller, a planner for the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission who is coordinating Master Plan activities, will gather the final public input for the plan.