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First public workshop to talk town’s new master plan

GREENFIELD — If you’ve spent time thinking about what you appreciate about Greenfield, what areas you think need improvement, or what the town might look like in 10 to 20 years, you might want to join others on Feb. 9 at “Envisioning a Better Greenfield,” a community workshop to kick off the Greenfield Sustainable Master Plan revision.

A committee made up of 36 municipal heads, business leaders, “green leaders,” the town’s Planning Board and Greenfield residents will host the workshop, where people will share ideas and discuss important community issues, including economic development, housing needs, transportation options and protecting natural and historic resources.

According to Nancy Hazard, a member of the committee, the workshop format has been designed to provide all community members the opportunity to “meaningfully participate in creating a better Greenfield.”

The workshop will be held at Four Rivers Charter Public School, 248 Colrain Road. Refreshments will be served.

The committee and town’s Planning Board will be looking at many issues over the next nine months as the board reviews and revises the town’s current master plan, a document that the town uses to guide growth and development.

The board has begun the arduous task of revamping the entire master plan to bring it in line with changes that have happened since it was created more than 10 years ago, as well as changes people expect to happen over the next decade or two.

The larger committee will meet once a month between now and the end of the summer, and its subcommittees will also meet on a regular basis.

The February workshop is the first of three that will be held over the next several months. The committee has said it wants as much public input as possible on issues facing the town.

The committee will study land use and “smart” growth, economic development, housing, transportation, facilities and infrastructure, and natural, cultural and historical issues.

A three-member team from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin Inc. of Springfield is serving as consultant for the project.

Town Council will eventually have to vote to adopt the town’s new “sustainable” master plan.

Some of the other issues committee members said they’d like to cover include parks, recreation and open space, education, quality of life, livability, diversity, moving the town forward, human rights, and sustainability and green energy, which will be incorporated throughout the plan this time.

Many committee members also suggested at a recent meeting that it and its subcommittees spend a good amount of time talking about how to implement the suggestions and goals they eventually come up with.

“Implementation is very important and key to its success,” said the consultant team.

By summer, the three consultants have said they believe the first draft of the plan will be ready to share with the public and by late fall, the final draft will be ready to be presented to Town Council for a vote.

For more information about the Feb. 9 workshop, visit: www.vhb.com/greenfieldmasterplan.

The project also has a Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/greenfieldsustainablemasterplan.

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