Master Plan Infomation

 

2016 Master Plan -Click HERE

 

Executive summary alone - CLICK HERE

 

Public Workshop Summaries

Public Workshops were held:

2004 Master Plan

2016 Master Plan Process

Master Plan Surveys were mailed to all Town residents at the end of February and were due by 3-31-13.

Master Plan Visioning Session took place on Saturday March 2, 2013. Check the Public Access TV for replay of the event.

Master Plan Committee Minutes

A Community Master Plan:

  • Tells a community what it looks like today and what direction it has decided it wants to go for the future; it includes assessments of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and desires.
  • Is a policy guide and provides a framework for the physical development of the municipality. While the emphasis is on buildings and infrastructure, it does not ignore the important social and economic values of the community. The master plan is a method of translating the community's values into specific actions.
  • Covers a time frame of about 10 years; it is assumed that shorter-term reviews will keep it current with the changing needs of the community.
  • Is closely integrated with other municipal planning documents and initiatives, for example the Open Space & Recreation Plan and the Housing Production Plan.

The purpose of the master plan is to enable municipal officials to better manage change and to inform residents and businesses about the community's characteristics, trends, and policies. The plan will guide future residential, commercial, and industrial growth in the Westport community.

The Master Plan is not a zoning bylaw, a subdivision regulation, a budget, a capital improvement program, or other regulatory document. It is meant to be the basis for the preparation of these elements.

Required Elements of a Master Plan:

The plan contains the following sections, according to the requirements set out by Massachusetts General Laws for a comprehensive (master) plan under MGL Ch 41 § 81D.

  • The first section calls for a goals and policies statement. It requires each community to clarify values, create goals, and identify patterns of development that will be consistent with these goals.
  • Land Use
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Natural and Cultural Resources
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Services and Facilities
  • Mobility (Transportation)
  • The final section, Implementation, defines schedules and notes funding sources for the specific actions necessary to achieve the objectives of each element above.

Statute requires that the Master Plan be updated and contain the goals of the town with respect to industrial or commercial development, affordable housing, and preservation of parks and open space, and more.

The Benefits of Having an Updated Master Plan Are:

  • A careful, thoughtful planning process better directs a town’s future actions than sequential adhockery.
  • The process of creating a local master plan increases citizen involvement in their self-governance, and helps volunteer boards and commissions coordinate their work.
  • If land use regulations are challenged, a consistent master plan will help you in court.
  • At times, the state offers monetary incentives (grants) for having an adopted master plan in place.
  • Better bond rating.

Public Involvement:

Public involvement is the most important aspect of master planning. A series of events called “A Vision for Westport” will be open to the public. Specific meetings will be advertised to solicit and encourage community participation. A variety of means will be used to keep people informed, for example, newspaper, cable TV, newsletters, and town website. If you ever want to know what is happening, contact the Planning Department at the Town Hall Annex, or visit the Planning Board’s website.