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Northfield master plan ready for action

NORTHFIELD — The town is looking for a wide range of residents to help make the newly minted master plan a reality.

“We’re putting out the plea for people who want to serve on the Master Plan Implementation Committee,” said Selectboard Chairman John “Jack” Spanbauer.

Zoning bylaws will be the focus of the first phase of implementation.

Planning Board Chairman Richard Fitzgerald said he’d like to hire some of the consultants who worked with Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture to help craft the master plan to work on the zoning aspects. The town set aside $27,000 for that purpose at May’s annual town meeting.

Fitzgerald said he would try to contract consultants for $25,000, leaving $2,000 in reserve for extra community meetings or unexpected expenses.

A review of existing zoning bylaws will be followed with community forums and input sessions, leading to the drafting of new bylaws that would help achieve the master plan’s goals. Fitzgerald said the process will depend heavily on community involvement, from committee members to “civilians,” as he put it.

“This is the town’s master plan, not just the Planning Board’s master plan,” Fitzgerald said.

Several volunteers are needed for the all-encompassing committee, as well as more for several subcommittees for master plan areas from agriculture to zoning and everything in between.

Members of the Open Space, and Recreation and Conservation committees said they’d be happy to serve on a Community Park Subcommittee, after attending Tuesday’s Selectboard meeting on related business.

Fitzgerald said the committee would commence its work in the fall, so that summer vacations wouldn’t keep any interested people from pitching in.

Those who would like to help out on either the implementation committee or one of the to-be-determined subcommittees may stop by Town Hall to fill out a citizens’ interest form, which can also be found online at www.northfield.ma.us.

You can reach David Rainville at: drainville@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 279 On Twitter, follow @RecorderRain

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