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Somerset Master Plan update
The Town of Somerset embarked on an approximately eighteen-month planning process to update the town-wide Master Plan. The Town engaged residents, businesses owners and local stakeholders to help shape the ideas and recommendations in the Plan.
Master Plan, "Our Town, Our Furture", A Snapshot of Somerset: http://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif3821/f/uploads/somerset_mp_exhibit_boards_final_112618.pdf
A Master Plan…
- Documents and illustrates what a community looks like today and what direction it has decided it wants to go for the future; it includes assessments of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and desires.
- Is a policy guide and provides a framework for future land use decision-making and the physical development of the municipality. It will not only address buildings and infrastructure, it will also include the important social, natural resource and economic values of the community. The Master Plan is a method of translating the community's values into specific actions.
- Covers an approximate time frame of 20 years; it is assumed that shorter-term reviews will keep it current with the changing needs of the community.
- Is closely integrated with other municipal documents and initiatives.
The Master Plan is NOT a zoning ordinance, a subdivision regulation, a budget, a capital improvement program or other regulatory document. It is meant to provide the framework for the development of these implementation tools.
Somerset Master Plan Sections
The Master Plan will include a range of chapters that will address the Town's needs over the next 15-20 years.
Vision, Goals, Core Values and Policies
- The Vision Statement will articulate the long-term vision for Somerset and will highlight some of the major issues and opportunities that will need to be addressed in the next 20+ years.
- This chapter provides an overview of the Town's current land use patterns and will include recommendations and guidance on how the Town might change, preserve, and grow land uses in the future.
Transportation, Circulation and Parking
- This chapter will summarize Somerset's existing traffic network and will assess the various transportation modes the Town offers now and in the future. Walking, biking and transit will be explored, in addition to understanding vehicular traffic opportunities and constraints.
- This chapter will provide a summary of the Town's housing stock and will assess the need to supplement that inventory with future housing choices. Key to this chapter is understanding demographic changes, household incomes, and employment.
- This chapter will provide a summary of the Town's economic profile and seek to understand how the Town might strengthen its economic base by looking at jobs, income, and local and regional employment opportunities.
- This chapter will address Somerset's natural, cultural, and historic resources, identifying goals and strategies to preserve and leverage these important town-wide systems.
Public Facilities and Services
- This chapter will outline goals and actions related to Somerset's public facilities, such as the Town Hall, Public Utilities and Library. The recommendations will look at ways the Town could maintain or expand services that are provided to the community.
- The final chapter will provide a summary of the goals, actions and recommendations so that the Town will be in the position to advance the Master Plan over time. Timelines, priorities and champions will be identified for each recommendation.
Final Master Plan
We have reached the last segment of the project - the compilation of all pertinent data, information, maps, etc. into the final documents with a final Implementation Plan. VHB has prepared draft documents for review by the Town Officials, Planning Board, stakeholders, and any other interested parties and finalized the plan for the community.
Remember, the Somerset Master Plan will be a living document. It will need to be reviewed at least once a year and updated periodically. The Planning Board or other entities will be charged with overseeing the Implementation Plan and coordinating the efforts of the parties identified as having responsibilities for implementing the plan. As conditions change, and as various sections of the plan are implemented, the Town may find additional projects and/or strategies with which to achieve our goals and objectives.
The final Master Plan will be presented on July 14, 2020 to the Somerset Planning Board for adoption.
Below is a link to the Town of Somerset, Master Plan, July 2020:
Expanded Economic Development Plan
As part of the Somerset Master Plan process, the Town prepared an Expanded Economic Development Plan. A public meeting was held on May 2, 2019 for an update on this process, and for the chance to contribute. Residents, businesses and key stakeholder provided their feedback is an invaluable part of our success! A final report is availble by clicking on the link: http://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/g/files/vyhlif3821/f/uploads/somerset_economic_development_plan_final_draft_03192020_0.pdf