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‘Sustainable’ master plan to debut Tuesday

GREENFIELD — A new “sustainable” master plan that will carry the town through at least the next 10 years will be unveiled during a presentation to the public on Tuesday night.

Creators of the plan — a 36-member committee — said it includes suggestions for preserving open space and agricultural land, promoting energy efficiency throughout town, and encouraging more use of pedestrian and bike paths, as well as public transportation, to reduce the town’s carbon footprint.

The presentation will be made in Greenfield Community College’s Sloan Theater on its main campus beginning at 6:30 p.m.

The ideas that came up again and again as the 36-member Sustainable Master Plan Advisory Committee met over the last 16 months to write the sustainable master plan were: resilience, vibrancy and quality of life.

The sustainable master plan will go to the town’s Planning Board for approval, according to Eric Twarog, the town’s director of planning and development.

The committee looked at everything from agriculture and natural resources to housing and education, along with tourism, a creative economy, economic development, transportation, facilities, services, energy, and natural, historic and cultural issues facing the town. It consisted of residents, community leaders, town leaders and local environmentalists.

The last comprehensive master plan in Greenfield was completed in 1974 and updated in 2001.

The project, which was led by consultants Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, was funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.

Twarog said HUD gave the town $40,000 to help pay for the project and the town used a Community Development Block Grant of $78,542 to pay for the rest.

The committee, which formed several subcommittees, looked at several elements: land use, transportation, economic development, housing, natural, historic and cultural issues, education, and public facilities, services and energy.

To become Greenfield’s official guide, the new master plan will need a majority vote of the Planning Board, said Twarog. He said the vote will be taken by February, he believes.

Tuesday night’s presentation will not include comments from the public. Twarog said those forums were held throughout the process.

“This is just a chance for the public to see and learn about the new sustainable master plan,” he said.

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