Work begins on new Master Plan for North Attleborough

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North Attleborough Town Hall

By Max Bowen-max.bowen@northstarreporter.com

Town officials are laying the foundation for a new Master Plan, one which looks at economic and housing goals for future growth.

At the Finance Subcommittee meeting on June 17, a motion was passed to recommend approval of a $20,000 allocation of Free Cash to partially fund the new plan. Planning Board Chairman Marie Clarner said the plan will focus on land use, open space, economic development, and housing. The latter will include 40B affordable housing developments, and how the town will address its affordable housing stock. Communities need to have 10 percent of their housing be designated as affordable, and North Attleborough only has 3.5 percent.

Until we do that, it puts us on a long list of people waiting for certain grants,” said Clarner.

The plan won’t be a simple “cut and paste” document, but will carefully look at the town’s goals and how best to reach them. Town Manager Michael Borg said a comprehensive study will be done of the town’s land and how it has been used. Past Master Plans will be reviewed to see what goals were not completed and why. Clarner said this will help further clarify the town’s identity, which for years had been as a jewelry manufacturer.

One thing I hope comes out of this is a new identity,” said Clarner. “How do people see North Attleborough in 10-20 years, what do you want to see and how you’re going to get there.”

All told, the process will take approximately two years to complete and cost $110,000, and would look between five and 15 years ahead depending on the goals set. Borg said he has a lot of experience with Master Plans from past roles, and that they are the stating point for a community’s long-term planning.

This is a vision of what the town is looking for and desires to have,” he said. “It can help us and reaffirm what we desire to achieve.”