Manchester Master Plan Nearly Complete!
On December 5th around 70 Manchester residents, town staff and others gathered at the Manchester Essex Regional High School to discuss the recommendations of the draft Manchester’s Master Plan. The Community Open House featured stations that shared information and offered recommendations for strengthening the community throughout the next ten to fifteen years. Most recommendations had been shared in previous Master Plan Community Forums, or during other planning forums such as those focused on Hazard Mitigation planning, resiliency and facilities planning. New recommendations were offered for governance including a number that focused on communicating more effectively.
The final Master Plan Open House was the culminating event of a three and a half year public process that engaged hundreds of citizens in multiple ways to develop the Town’s Comprehensive Master Plan. Following adoption by the Planning Board, the Master Plan will become a primary tool for setting policies, establishing budgets, crafting regulations and identifying initiatives. That said, nothing in the Master Plan is regulatory, the recommendations are advisory only. Any significant action item that the Plan recommends will require some further action by the Town such as a Town Meeting vote to pass a budget or change zoning.
While a large number of the Master Plan’s recommendations focus on maintaining and improving Town resources and facilities to preserve natural resources and town character, a full set of recommendations outline steps the Town can take to create greater revenue to adequately care for public infrastructure systems (roadways, water and sewer, seawalls) and facilities. Most new revenues are expected to come from deliberate development within the Limited Commercial District north of route 128, with some incremental growth opportunities expected downtown. Another set of recommendations focus on encouraging more diversity of housing types so more appropriate housing is available for our seniors, singles, small families and households with limited income.
The draft Master Plan is available on the Town of Manchester web site as well as at the Library and Town Hall. Any comments can be sent to Sue Brown, Town Planner at firstname.lastname@example.org or 978-525-6436.
A Stronger Manchester Starts With Us!