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How will Greenfield implement master plan?

GREENFIELD — If the town’s Planning Board approves Greenfield’s new master plan on Feb. 6 — and there’s no reason to think it won’t because its members helped draft the plan — the next step will be to work out how to make the ideas reality.

If adopted, it will become Greenfield’s official guide for development, transportation, schools, housing and many other issues.

Eric Twarog, director of planning and development, said an implementation committee will need to be formed of residents, town leaders and board members.

That committee, he said, could propose new zoning laws, other types of ordinances, changes to permitting and licensing, and possibly even proposing changes in the town charter, which determines how the town’s government works.

Twarog said details about the committee, including how many people will serve on it, who will serve on it and what its charge will be, are to come.

Twarog said someone from the town’s Planning Department will most likely serve on an implementation committee and, he hopes, someone from Town Council.

“We’ll have to see about who else will be on it,” he said.

It has been suggested that Nancy Hazard, co-founder of Greening Greenfield and a member of the advisory committee, should serve on an implementation committee because of her knowledge about sustainability, a guiding theme of the master plan.

“There are a lot of ways residents can begin implementation,” said committee members Susan Worgaftik. “It can be done by all of us, not just the government.”

Some of the suggestions in the new plan include turning the former First National Bank building into a cultural center, the town becoming both a food and cultural hub, and improving public schools to attract out-of-town students.

Others include concentrating more on downtown development and redevelopment and preserving the town’s agricultural land and other open space.

While Twarog said the state currently does not require that state and local zoning laws are consistent with its master plan, like many other states do, he said the expectation is that town leaders and boards will follow the new plan.

Twarog, who has worked in planning for about 20 years, said he has worked on many master plans and said Greenfield’s latest is one of the most impressive, especially because of the sustainabilty aspect, which is built into every section.

He said the new plan will be available online by next week. To access the plan, visit: www.townofgreenfield.org.

Twarog said there will eventually be copies of the plan in the Planning Department at 114 Main St., in the town clerk’s office in Town Hall and in the library.

Anyone interested in serving on the plan’s implementation committee should contact Twarog at 413-772-1549 or email him at: erict@greenfield-ma.gov.

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