On March 17, 2012, Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Greg Bialecki announced the recently completed 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan. In his introduction to the plan, Secretary Bialecki noted that as a State, we must plan ahead for future growth in order to maximize the benefits of the economic development and growth that the 495/MetroWest region is expected to see in the future and to ensure that such growth is sustainable over the long term. To do this, the State partnered with five regional planning agencies, a regional economic development organization and a not-for-profit environmental organization to undertake a comprehensive regional planning effort. The Plan that follows is the result of that collaboration and hundreds of hours of meetings, discussions and public forums held to gather feedback from local planning boards, boards of selectmen, residents and other stakeholders in the region.
The Compact Planning process reflected in this Plan, at its core, is a locally driven effort which builds upon the priorities identified by the communities in the region. The Plan identifies areas in the region at local, regional and state levels that are considered Priority Development Areas (PDAs) and Priority Preservation Areas (PPAs) in each community.
The priority areas identified in this plan are intended to guide and inform future land use decisions in the region. By providing a regional perspective on the 495/MetroWest Region, the Plan will help local,regional and state partners make decisions and investments that promote new growth which maximizes current resources in the region and to assure that continued growth will be sustainable over the long term.
It will be important in the future that local, regional and state partners continue to work together to implement the plan by adopting prompt and predictable permitting and zoning in the areas identified for growth, to protect areas identified for preservation, to address the infrastructure needs of the region that will support areas of new growth to help support the region’s economic prosperity.
The 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan included 37 communities which are located in five of the 13 Regional Planning Agencies in the state. The communities included in the region are: Acton, Ashland, Berlin, Bellingham, Bolton, Boxborough, Foxborough, Framingham, Franklin, Grafton, Harvard, Holliston, Hopedale, Hopkinton, Hudson, Littleton, Marlborough, Maynard, Medfield, Medway, Milford, Millis, Natick, Norfolk, Northborough, Plainville, Sherborn, Shrewsbury, Southborough, Stow, Sudbury, Upton, Wayland, Westborough, Westford, Worcester, and Wrentham.
The 495/MetroWest Development Compact Plan