Hudson Master Plan wins state award

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Hudson – The Town of Hudson received an Outstanding Planning Award presented by the Massachusetts chapter of the American Planning Association. The Comprehensive Planning Award recognizes a plan, program or process of unusually high merit from a municipality with a population under 50,000.

An award ceremony was held in Cambridge Dec. 19, with Planning Director Jennifer Burke, Community Development Director Michelle Ciccolo and Community and Economic Development Assistant Kerin Shea accepting for the town.

The award was judged on five criteria: innovation, quality, transferability, implementation and comprehensiveness. Hudson’s Master Plan went above and beyond the requirements of a typical master plan, including chapters on energy planning and public health/social services. The town also utilized social media for citizen outreach with a website, Facebook page, Twitter account and Pinterest boards, and codes were placed on all posters and flyers for easy access from smart phones.

In addition to paper surveys, an online survey tool was utilized for the kick-off survey. Electronic remote controls were used at each of the public forums to anonymously poll attendees on the issues discussed and to allow people who are not comfortable speaking at a public meeting an opportunity to voice their opinions.

Taking just under two and a half years, Hudson’s Master Plan was adopted by the Planning Board at its meeting Nov. 18. Hudson’s last Master Plan was from 1964, making this its first Master Plan in 50 years. The process was guided by a 22-person Steering Committee made up of members of various town boards, commissions, committees and municipal departments.

Although it was just adopted, Hudson is moving forward on several fronts to implement the plan. This includes the preparation of a Housing Production Plan and an update to its subdivision rules and regulations. Summary reports, handouts, power point presentations and videos are available online. www.townofhudson.org.