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The Canton Master Plan is a community-driven plan that articulates our shared, long-range vision for the town’s future and lays out the steps to reach that vision. It is comprehensive, addressing all aspects of life in Canton – our neighborhoods, where we shop, parks and playgrounds, public services, historic sites and buildings, local employers, and even how we get around town. It talks about where we are as a community, where we want to go, and how we’re going to get there. Through the Master Plan, we recognize and anticipate changes in the future and respond through a clear and direct action agenda.
The Canton Master Plan is important because it is used by local officials to guide their decisions, which impact our quality of life. Through the Master Plan, we clearly state what we love about living in Canton, what needs more support to strengthen its vitality and longevity, and what should be transformed to meet our needs as a community. A master plan is important because it affects your everyday life now and for years to come.
In 2004, the Town of Canton adopted its current Master Plan. Once used by decision-makers to develop local policies and make local investments, several goals and objectives are outdated and no longer express current needs around capital and infrastructure improvements. Over the past 13 years, the Town has been successfully implementing many of the recommendations within the 2004 Master Plan, however, baseline data within the plan need to be updated to reflect current conditions and circumstances in and around Canton. Further, a lot of development has occurred since 2004, including new large-scale development in Westwood (University Station) and the approval of the Paul Revere Heritage Site (Plymouth Rubber site). These developments need to be factored into Canton’s future. The Town has also completed and is currently undertaking several studies and initiatives that are impacting local policies not reflected in the 2004 plan. These include the Housing Action Plan (2015), Open Space and Recreation Plan (completed in 2019), and Complete Streets Prioritization Plan (2018). The 2004 Master Plan also lacks direction for emerging issues such as climate change, renewable energy and energy efficiency, and the link between community planning and public health, which have town-wide implications.
Yes, a report card was prepared of the Implementation Schedule in the 2004 Master Plan. More than half of the actions the Town outlined to do over the 10-year period were completed, are still ongoing, or are not longer applicable today. The remaining actions will be revisited as part of the update process.
The overall update process will involve:
The Canton Master Plan is a community-driven plan and public participation is critical to its success. Everyone is invited to participate and have their voices heard through an open and transparent process. The Town and the Master Plan Steering Committee (See “Who is on the Canton Master Plan Steering Committee (MPSC) and what are their responsibilities?”) will use different ways to reach out to the public to ensure that everyone has an opportunity to talk about the issues that are important to them (See “How do I get involved?”). We want to hear from you what should be preserved and enhanced in our town, and what can and should change over time to meet evolving needs and improve the quality of life for residents.
The planning process will last approximately 18 months with a final plan scheduled for completion in early 2020.
The Planning Board is charged under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 41, Section 81D to lead the master plan effort. The Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board appointed a Master Plan Steering Committee (MPSC) to oversee the development of the Master Plan update. The MPSC works directly with a consultant to conduct, guide, and document the master plan effort. The MPSC is composed of various elected and appointed members of town boards and select citizen stakeholders. This committee meets under the direct oversight of the Planning Board.
All MPSC members are residents of Canton and appointed to a two (2) year term. The MPSC meets monthly at a regularly scheduled time. It consists of nine members: representatives from the Board of Selectmen, Conservation Commission, Economic Development Committee, Housing Authority, and Planning Board, as well as four at-large citizen stakeholders:
David McCarthy: Planning Board Member
Thomas Theodore: Board of Selectmen Member
Gerald Carmichael: Conservation Commission Member
Emilio Mauro, Jr.: Economic Development Committee Member
John McSweeney: Housing Authority Member
Sonja Grauds: Citizen-at-Large
Meredith McLoughlin: Citizen-at-Large
Michael McMahon: Citizen-at-Large
Tonja Mettlach: Citizen-at-Large
Staff: Laura Smead, Town Planner
We want to hear from as many residents, business owners, workers, and visitors of Canton as possible. Public events will be scheduled throughout the update process, either as formal public workshops or informal drop-in “open houses.” We’ll also be asking the public to respond to surveys, asking questions about what in Canton should be protected, what should be strengthened, and what should be transformed to meet the needs of current residents and those of future generations.
Here’s how to stay informed: