Community Master Plans

Plainville Master Plan

Welcome!

 

The Plainville Master Plan will take a look at aspects of community life and government to make positive change over the next 5-10 years.  Explore all the background information and data, maps, drawings, and other content - and be sure to check back regularly for new information and online and in-person events.

Welcome to the Plainville Master Plan Project Page!

Over the next 2 years, Plainville will create a new Master Plan, also called a Comprehensive Plan, that will help guide the town moving forward. To complete this work, we need to hear from you - Plainville's residents, business owners, and workforce members.

What is a Master Plan?

A Community Master Plan is a narrative document describing the story of Plainville's history and the experience of living in town today. It is a policy document that lays out an optimal vision for Plainville and articulates the strategies, actions, and decisions that will assist the town in arriving at that future. In short, it is a long-range plan that helps guide the town, that builds trust by making transparent decisions, and that bases those decisions on accurate information and public input.

Project Roles

The Town is working with Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to develop its next Community Master Plan. SRPEDD is a public, non-profit agency that serves 27 communities in southeastern MA. The project will take place from August 2022 to roughly December 2023. Our role is to facilitate a proactive and transparent civic engagement process that gathers and integrates your views on community needs and aspirations.

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Latest News

September 2022

  • Thank you to everyone who joined us for the Open House on September 22!
  • For those who could not make it, share your vision for Plainville through our online activities, linked below!

Upcoming Meetings or Events

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Join the Discussion

Public Comment Form

Workshops

Photos and Media

Photo Library

Maps & Data

Interactive Maps

Demographic Data

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Plainville creating a Master Plan?

The State of Massachusetts requires that all cities and towns create and update a Master Plan every 10 years. (Plainville’s last Master Plan, from 2009, is therefore in need of a full update.) More importantly, the Master Planning process is a meaningful opportunity for you to come together as a community, to reassess your goals and priorities, and to set a course to achieve those goals over the next several years.

Who should get involved?

The Plainville Master Plan will be directly informed and created by the input we receive from town residents, officials, seniors, parents, business owners, and even students! The project team listens to everyone’s ideas, identifies areas of consensus, and provides a road map to make your community goals real. Your ideas – combined with current information – will directly influence this plan and the future of Plainville.

What is the final document like?

That depends. Some towns like a long plan with a ton of data – like a text book! Others like a concise, easy-to-understand, graphically engaging document – like a magazine! The project team will make sure that your Master Plan includes sufficient, necessary, but not excessive information on which you can base your decisions ... but we will probably lean towards making sure the plan is concise and approachable … something the average person wouldn’t mind reading at the end of a long work day.

What’s in a Master Plan?

Master Plans have 9 required “Elements.” You can think of these as chapters. They are: Vision, Land Use, Economic Development, Housing, Open Space & Recreation, Natural & Cultural Resources, Services & Facilities, Transportation & Circulation, and Implementation.

How do you make sure the Plan leads to real change? Don’t plans just sit on the shelf for 10 years until it’s time to update them again?

Well, that’s up to you! Master Plans – good Master Plans – should create their own community momentum, optimism, consensus, and excitement. Ideally, when the planning is done, there will be a group of you – let’s call you “Local Champions” – who believe in the work and want to make it real. For its part, the final Master Plan will read like a recipe or an instruction manual:

  • It will include Goals for each Master Plan chapter. We'll describe the main reasons that each Goal is in the Plan; this “Big Picture” usually includes data and quotes from residents and workshop participants that explain why the Goal is important to you as a community.
    • In turn, each Goal will have Strategies and list the main steps needed to achieve them. To make the Plan easy to use, each Strategy, clearly presents:
      • Who’s in charge – we call these the “Responsible Parties.”
      • How to measure success and progress – we call these “Performance Measures.”
      • Where to look for advice – we call these “Example Success Stories” and “Potential Partnerships.”
      • Other items from the Plan that might help – we call these “Complementary Actions.”
  • All these “How To” items appear again, summarized in charts, tables, or other diagrams and graphics, in the Plan’s Implementation chapter.

How can I get involved?

The best way to get involved with the Master Plan is to interact with the project team, explore data and past plans, and participate in virtual meetings and online exercises to provide your honest feedback. Please visit the “Stay Connected” section of the Plainville Master Plan website to find links to all our engagement options.

What is a virtual workshop?

A virtual workshop is a 2-week period during which the project team will seek information from the public regarding specific topics online through a web page and virtual meetings. The Plainville Master Plan’s “Discovery” workshop will take place from September 15 to September 29, 2022. The in-person open house will take place on September 22, 2022.

How can I participate in the virtual workshop?

You can simply visit the web page and read the information provided, such as demographic and previous planning summaries. The web page will also host exercises that you can do on your own time, including mapping exercises and brief surveys. The project team will also host live Zoom meetings that are open to the public and designed to actively solicit your ideas, hopes, and input.

Do I need to attend both live Zoom meetings to get the full experience?

You do not need to attend both live Zoom meetings. The meetings will follow the same agenda and discussion questions. The project team is hosting two meetings to give greater opportunity and flexibility for the public to participate.

What if I can’t make it to any of the live Zoom meetings?

That’s totally ok! You also have the option to complete the online exercises on the virtual workshop page. In addition, we have provided engagement tools that are available at any point during the planning process including, project email, listening line, public comment form, and the Master Plan Survey.

Who should I contact if I need special accommodations or translations for materials and/or virtual meetings?

Please contact a member of the project team to discuss your needs and what we can do to accommodate them during the live Zoom meetings. We do request advance notice of 5 business days to prepare and gather all necessary tools and staff.

Document Library

Workshop Materials

Workshop #1: "Discovery"

We will post materials here after the meeting.

  • Workshop Summary (To be published after the Vision Survey closes)
  • Open House Boards

Elements of a Master Plan

According to Massachusetts General Law, a Master Plan has nine required "elements" (or "chapters"). We post drafts of each element here as they are created, and welcome comments on any section.
  1. The Statement of Goals and Policies sets out the town's vision for the future. It presents community values, goals, and land use objectives that will meet these goals.
  2. The Land Use Element describes the town’s current and future land use patterns, including proposed locations for various types of activity, such as residences, businesses, and recreation, and the preferred relative intensity of development across the town’s diverse built landscapes.
  3. The Housing Element creates a plan to meet the town's housing needs, which are identified using demographic and market information.
  4. The Economic Development Element identifies strategies for growing the town's economy by building upon local strengths and bringing new and compatible opportunities to Swansea.
  5. The Natural and Cultural Resources Element is an opportunity for Swansea to highlight and take stock of its natural, cultural, and historic resources.
  6. The Open Space and Recreation Element describes existing open space and recreational facilities in town and aligns plans for future recreation and open space with project population needs.
  7. The Services and Facilities Element identifies existing and anticipated needs for public infrastructure and services.
  8. The Circulation and Transportation Element provides an inventory of existing and proposed transportation infrastructure and services across all modes including private cars, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian routes.
  9. The Implementation section provides a blueprint and schedule for making the master plan a reality.