Master Plan Project Process

Master Plan Process Description
Master Plan Community Events
Master Plan Milestone Events
Master Plan Contents

Master Plan Process Description

The Master Planning Process is to be performed in four tasks, as described below.

Task 1: Public Participation Component

In this phase we identify where we are today; what are our Assets and Liabilities; what is our current state of the Town - existing projects, finances, infrastructure, etc.; what do the current trends, economic conditions, and demographics tell us about our town and where it might be headed. An important product of this phase is the Vision Statements that identify the Charlton of the future.

The Vision Statement is distilled from lots of input from the community gathered during interviews and a Community Vision Forum where community members are invited to supply their own personal visions. These will be distilled into a specific Vision Statement for Charlton.

Task 2: Analysis and Studies

In this phase, we dig into the details of each plan element (or topic) and develop specific plans that will lead to the vision for that particular element. Based on the data collected and analyzed in Task 1, and using the community vision as a guide, a plan will be developed for each master plan topic. A concrete set of recommendations will be made to implement plan goals and objectives. There will be continued community involvement during this phase.

The master plan topics include land use; population and housing; economic development; natural and cultural resources; transportation and circulation; and town services and facilities.

Task 3: Draft Master Plan Update

During this phase, the consultants, with the participation of the Planning Board, will prepare the Master Plan for review and comment. The Central MA Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) will be responsible for preparing Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to identify the location of important resources and land use areas of Charlton. One important aspect of the Plan will be the Implementation Plan, which will be a straightforward, step-by-step guide for the Town to implement the Master Plan through specific policies and other steps. This plan will include both short- and long-term action strategies.

The Implementation element will include an action plan that summarizes the actions that each party (e.g., Planning Board, Municipal Council, etc.) will be responsible for completing within various timeframes. The Master Plan consultant will also provide information to the CMRPC to develop an Action Plan Map that illustrates the key points of the implementation plan. The map shall incorporate all proposed zoning changes.

Task 4: Final Master Plan Update

This last phase of the project will see the compilation of all pertinent data, information, maps, etc. into the final documents. The consultants will prepare draft documents for review during a public forum by the Planning Board, stakeholders, and any other interested parties. There will be ample time to review and incorporate any relevant changes.

The Living Master Plan

Remember, the Charlton Master Plan will be a living document. It will need to be reviewed and updated at least once a year. A Committee will be charged with overseeing the Implementation Plan. As conditions change, and as various sections of the plan are implemented, we may find additional projects and/or strategies with which to achieve our goals and objectives. Please feel free to contribute to this ongoing process in any way that you feel comfortable.

Master Plan Community Events

The Charlton residents are invited to participate in the master planning process. Their input is vital to a successful master plan project. There are a series of Milestone Events where the entire community is invited to participate and contribute directly to the data and information gathering process. In addition to the Milestone Events, there are monthly meetings (usually) of the Planning Board during which the consultant will provide updates on the plan's status. These meetings will be posted and are open to the public.

Master Plan Milestone Events

There are a series of Milestone Events where the entire community is invited to participate and contribute directly to the data and information gathering process. Check the Master Plan Calendar or the Town's Master Calendar for date, time, and location. See the Deliverables to get delivery dates.

Community Vision Forum (held on November 2, 2006) - VHB's Presentation and Meeting Notes

  • Kick-off meeting to bring everyone up to speed on planning process
  • Questions and answers about content and process
  • Brief snapshot of Charlton demographic and land use statistics
  • Review and update of the vision and goals and objectives from the 2000 Master Plan

Public Forum (to be held in April 2007)

  • Purpose: refine goals, start to think about strategies; review draft reports on Master Plan elements
  • Output: feedback on contents of reports & identification of areas for further work & discussion
  • Recommendations for Implementation Plan

Draft Master Plan submitted May 2007

Planning Board meeting in June 2007

  • Purpose: review content of plan elements
  • Review draft implementation plan
  • Outcome: revisions for draft implementation plan - review action steps and potential funding sources as they relate to goals & strategies for each element and recommend revisions as appropriate - provide input for determining implementation priorities

Final Master Plan to be presented in July 2007 for adoption by the Planning Board

Master Plan Contents

As prepared and submitted to the Planning Board, Master Plan documents will be posted for your review. Charlton residents and stakeholders will have a few weeks to review them and make comments.

Of course, they will be reviewed at least once a year and updated as necessary as part of the on-going Master Planning process.

  • Vision Statements (will be posted when complete). They are contained also in the Vision Statement document in the Master Plan sections listed below.
  • Goals and Policies Statement
  • Land Use
  • Population and Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Transportation and Circulation
  • Town Services and Facilities
  • Implementation Plan
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