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.

1 comment:

rockinmyers22 said...

I think Granby should basically stay the same but with nice town facilities. I welcome slow growth in Agriculture & small business as long as it doesn't comprimise our country charm. I would also like to see sidewalks on busy streets like Rte 202. Frankly, it's disturbing to watch the elderly walk & wheelchair from Phins Hill to 5 corners.
Cathy Myers....Taylor Street