North Adams Closing In On Master Plan
NORTH ADAMS, Mass — The city is inching closer to a master plan.
The region's planning commission gave the city another small grant to work toward developing a long-term vision for the city.
A new Community Development Advisory Board, to be appointed by Mayor Richard Alcombright, will tackle the details of planning the city's future.
The city has not had a long-term master plan in more than 40 years but began creating one with a similar grant last year.
"We hadn't done any formal long-term planning in years," Alcombright said on Monday. "The next piece will be much more involved with the public."
The master plan will set goals and decided the types of land use throughout the city.
The group will be picking up where the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission left off. Last year, the planning commission gave the city a similar grant, which the city used to hired BRPC to create a long-range planning strategy. The draft version of that strategy was completed in November.
After failing to reel in a federal grant to complete a master plan, the city once again asked and received the smaller BRPC grant.
The community development board will now take the planning strategy and engage the public to develop actual planning strategies. Residents will have chances to chime in as early as April, Alcombright said.
"We're hoping this will continue where we left off," Alcombright said. "They're relatively small grants but BRPC does a lot with them. We have no money but we found a way to bring in someone from BRPC once a week."
The regional planner will help the advisory board bring the plan to the public. Next fall, the city will apply for the federal grant to finish the job again.
The advisory board members and the final draft of the long-range plan will be revealed to the public and city boards on Feb. 22. Alcombright said the long-range strategy is mostly a series of broadly defined goals including rebranding, creating a diverse economy, combating poverty and examining the geographical impacts on business.
"This is a jumping off point," Alcombright said.
The mayor did not know the exact amount of the grant but estimated it to be around $20,000.
“BRPC is very pleased that we can continue to provide this modicum of support to the City of North Adams in development of a new comprehensive plan and we continue to look forward to working with the city. We are fortunate that we have municipal leaders across the Berkshires, including Mayor Alcombright, who understand the need for comprehensive planning, followed by aggressive implementation, in order to continue to rebuild our communities and continue to build jobs for the future, while protecting our environment,” said Executive Director Nathaniel Karns in a statement.
|Tags: BRPC, Master Plan, Grant|