Shrewsbury – The town of Shrewsbury will host its second public forum for the new Master Plan project Wednesday, May 7, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the town's Senior Center, 98 Maple Ave.? This is the second public event in a year-long public process that will set a course for Shrewsbury over the coming 10 years. Master Plans not only serve to develop a clear vision for a town's future, but also provide a detailed, strategic road map for achieving that vision.
The forum will be an opportunity for the public to discuss formative issues on specific topics like neighborhoods, jobs, transportation, historic preservation and the environment.
“In working with our Master Plan Steering Committee, we have been taking what we heard at the first public forum and our discussions with community leaders to draft what we call “formative issues,”” Town Planner Kristen Las said. “These issues identify what's really important to our success.”
The public will be asked to provide some initial thoughts on what these policies might be.
The first public forum was held in November 2013. Nearly 60 residents gathered to talk about big picture ideas and what makes Shrewsbury a great place to live. The group identified areas they think need protection, places that could be strengthened, and where there are exciting opportunities for transformation.
Shrewsbury's most recent Master Plan was finalized in 2001. Since then, enormous changes have taken place both locally and globally. The town's population has increased significantly over the past 10-12 years as has the average household income. Of course, these trends have occurred as the region is only beginning to climb its way out of a massive housing crisis and the accompanying global recession.
Not only does Shrewsbury have the 2001 Master Plan as a foundation, it recently developed stand-alone plans for Housing (2012) and Open Space and Recreation (2012). A Steering Committee was formed for the project and will help to ensure that the issues most important and unique to Shrewsbury shape the policies and strategies that emerge over the next year.
Steering Committee member Mindy McKenzie Hebert talked about the importance of local involvement.
“Shrewsbury can learn a lot by looking to similar communities across Massachusetts, but we cannot lose sight of what makes us unique,” she said. “Having our residents and business owners at the table will ensure that we make this a document tailored to our community's needs.”