2018 Master Plan update

What is a Master Plan? Why is it important?

A Town Master Plan is a written document that helps to shape the future of a town by articulating a desired long-range vision for the town’s future and laying out the steps to reach that vision. The Master Plan translates community values and desires into public policies that help address the forces of change. Change raises many issues, among them concerns regarding development, preservation and protection of desired elements, and the definition of a place-identity—(e.g. an identity for the whole town or a specific area). The Master Plan identifies the community’s goals and objectives for responses to change and shaping the future as well as providing implementation strategies designed to achieve those goals and objectives. A master plan is important because it affects things you do every day and how you’ll do them in the future.

Current status of 2004 Master Plan

In 2004 the Town of Canton created a Master Plan to guide decision-makers leading Canton’s future. The plan is a living document that must be revised as conditions and circumstances within and around Canton change. Canton has been successful and implementing many of the recommendations within the 2004 Master Plan. However, a lot of development has happened in the past 13 years, including new large-scale development in Westwood (University Station) and approval of the Paul Revere Heritage Site (Plymouth Rubber site). The 2004 Master Plan is missing some of the more recent best practices (e.g. energy, public health) which many municipalities now include in their master plans. The background data is dated and does not reflect the most recent decennial census and local data. The goals are now no longer tied into the Capital Improvement Plan.

What the 2018 Master Plan update will do

The update of the plan will be a result of the coordination and compilation of information, data analysis, public input, town officials’ opinions, demographic and market trend analysis, and professional expertise. It will identify and articulate what-- in the opinion of Canton residents, business owners, town officials and the Consultant Team --should be preserved and enhanced in Canton, and what can and should be changed over time to meet evolving needs and to improve the quality of life for the Town’s residents. The updated Master Plan will be able to integrate more recent subsection updates, such as the Housing Action Plan (2015) and soon-to-be updated Open Space and Recreation Plan (2017).

Canton’s growth has citizens asking how their quality of life will be impacted as a result. A thoughtful Master Plan can help ease uncertainty by ensuring Canton will remain both an environmentally sound and fiscally healthy community. Smart growth management, directed by a Master Plan, involves more than protecting existing community assets. It also means utilizing planning tools such as zoning and subdivision controls to help shape Canton, while also taking into account local resources and the needs of future generations. Forward-thinking and comprehensive transportation planning recommendations will assist the town in making strategic investments to improve traffic flow, while protecting the needs and safety-concerns of transit-riders, walkers and cyclists.

How to get involved

 - Stay tuned to this page for continuing updates

 - Join the Master Plan Steering Committee!  More information, click here.

 - Attend a public meeting as they are scheduled

 - Answer online surveys as they are available