Westborough master plan will seek Town Meeting endorsement

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Westborough master plan will seek Town Meeting endorsement
Photo by/Kevin Perinton Turner
Individuals speak at this year’s Westborough Annual Town Meeting.

By Susan Gonsalves, Contributing Writer

WESTBOROUGH – Although the pandemic has slowed the process, an update of Westborough’s master plan is moving forward. 

During a July 6 Planning Board meeting, members heard a brief timeline summary from Town Planner Jim Robbins and board member Hazel Nourse.

Robbins said that the master plan’s leadership group received the “implementation matrix,” which they will share with the full Master Plan board, the Planning Board and Town Manager Kristi Williams.

Williams, in turn, will submit the plan to department heads for review and comment. They will have until Saturday, July 31 to offer suggestions and advice.

“We’re doing our best to get prepared for a fall Town Meeting,” Robbins said.

“It’s been sort of mix and match and catch up,” Nourse said, noting that now, with summer months, many offices are short-staffed as people take vacations.

“We’re moving as quickly as we can,” she added. “With COVID-19, it’s just not made it easy to run this project.”

Nourse said the town is looking to present the master plan to Town Meeting in October. She explained that Town Meeting is called upon to “endorse” the plan, not adopt it.

“The implementation is done by town departments and boards,” she said.

Robbins noted that the Planning Board is the entity that adopts the plan.

He said that, prior to that happening, the Planning Board will meet jointly with the Select Board, town departments and the Master Plan Advisory Committee to hear an overall summary. 

According to www.westboroughmasterplan.com, the plan focuses on the following categories:  land use and development patterns; housing; economic development; natural, cultural, and historic resources; open space and recreation; public facilities and services; transportation and circulation; sustainability and climate change; and public health.