Recently, a group of 15 members of the Easton community met for the first time together. The group included lifelong residents and those who have lived in Easton for just a few years. It included people who are already very involved in Town boards and commissions and those who have never been. Members of the group come from varying backgrounds,neighborhoods and industries and have diverse passions and world views. Everyone in this group, however, has two things in common: Each cares deeply about Easton and the future of the Town and each has committed to giving his or her time and talents to help create and achieve a vision for Easton’s future. This group is the Easton Master Plan Steering Committee.
A master plan, or a comprehensive plan, is a document that sets a vision for what a community wants to be in the future and then lays out how that vision will be achieved. As a comprehensive document, Easton’s Master Plan will cover all issues that will have an impact on what kind of place Easton will be in the coming decades. Massachusetts State Law requires the plan include these elements: Goals and policies; land use; housing; economic development; natural and cultural resources; open space and recreation; services and facilities; circulation/transportation; and implementation. One of the Committee’s major challenges will be how to address each of these issues in a way that compliments all the related issues. Housing, for example relates to land use, economic development, natural resources, open space and recreation, services and facilities and transportation. Addressing each issue one by one is a big job in itself. Looking at how they relate and interact with one another comprehensively will be even more challenging. Luckily, this group is up for it!
Of course the Steering Committee cannot take on this task alone. The goal of the master planning process is to develop a plan that not only engages as much of the community as possible, but is actually driven by the community itself. This will not be a plan that is written for Easton, but rather by Easton and it will reflect broad consensus on where Easton is going and how we will get there.
In order to develop a lasting, visionary, yet achievable plan, the community will need to be heavily involved in the planning process. In the coming weeks you will be hearing much more about this process and about how you can provide ideas and input. Be on the lookout for the soon-to-be-live master plan website that will serve as a home base for information on the process, upcoming meetings and ways you can contribute. For now, if you see one of these Steering Committee members around town, make sure to thank them for their commitment to Easton and ask them about how you can stay involved.
Easton Master Plan Steering Committee
Greg Strange (co-chair)
Cathy Adler (co-chair)