Master Plan Survey Up and RunningNov 26, 2020 06:05PM ● By Susan Manning
Now is your chance to be heard. The survey for the Master Plan process is online and committee members are hoping residents participate. The community survey — which can be found at envisionhopedale.com — hopes to allow residents who might not otherwise be able to or want to participate, a chance to be heard. The website is also a great place to stay updated with information as the process progresses. People can sign up for newsletters and read about the process as it’s happening. The town of Hopedale is working with Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission —CMRPC— to create a master plan. Principal Planner Ron Barron, said the process will happen in two phases: phase 1 will be completed by fall of 2021; phase to completion will depend on funding. “This plan is set up as a twophase process. This phase will cover the Land Use, Population and Housing and Economic Development elements and will take approxi - mately one year. “ P h a s e two will focus on the Natural and Cultural Resources, Open Space and Recreation, Transportation and Circulation and Facilities and Public Services,” he said. Typically a municipality will review its master plans every 10 years or so. But Hopedale has never had one. Barron said although the plan for developing one is in state law, it is not a requirement of towns. “We are in the process of determining what goals from all prior land use plans have been acted on and which have not. This process (called a Benchmark Review) is slated to be completed by the end of the year,” he said. So what is a master plan and why is it so important to town? Barron explained, “A master plan is the guiding document for all town planning. The process collects baseline data, examines trends and develops a guiding vision and goals for the town across several metrics.” The process of developing a master plan also guides a municipality in developing a vision statement, which is necessary “for the community and a comprehensive strategy for implementation,” according to Barron. “Having a master plan allows communities to set clear, actionable objectives for achieving its stated vision,” he said. The community survey closes on Saturday, December 12, at 6 PM. Other opportunities to get involved in this process include two public meetings that will happen in early 2021, as well as getting involved with the committee itself. Schindler said the committee wants to hear from his many residents as possible. “We're all very excited to get underway,” said Schindler. “Creating the Master Plan will be a true community effort and is a great opportunity for anyone in town to help shape our collective future. That involvement starts with a community survey which can be found online at envisionhopedale.com and on paper at the Town Hall, Senior Center and at the Bancroft Memorial Library. We're asking for as many people to take the survey as possible to ensure we get a variety of answers that are representative of everyone in town. As a small incentive, participants can enter to win gift cards to local Hopedale businesses,” said Jim Abbruzzese, chairman of the Steering Committee.