Town Planner

The Somerset Board of Selectmen appointed the first Town Planner in July, 2018. The Town Planner's main responsibility is to create and carry out plans for the Town's development and prosperity. The planner works with Town Officials, State and Federal agencies, boards, and residents in order to make recommendations toward the healthy development of the community and to provide sound professional advice and technical expertise. The Town Planner participates in long-range planning and the development of zoning and other by-law amendments.

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Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness Plan

Somerset participated in the Commonwealth's Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) program. This program provides support for towns in Massachusetts that mitigate the impacts of climate change and natural hazards. Communities that complete the MVP program become certified as an "MVP community" and are eligible for State grant funding and other opportunities.

The goal of the MVP planning process is to raise awareness about the dangers posed from natural hazards and identify priority actions to improve resilience to the significant natural hazards that the community faces.  On October 15, 2019, community members participated in a workshop with local and regional leaders to: Characterize the hazards facing the community, Identify community vulnerabilities and hazards, Identify and prioritize community actions, Determination overall priority actions for the community. On December 16, 2019 during a public meeting the rsidents learned about the MVP process and provided feedback about the workshops recommendations. A final plan will be presented to the Planning Board in February, 2020. The final MVP Plan is available by clicking on the link below:

https://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/somersetma/files/uploads/somerset_summary_of_findings_report_draft_-012920-final.pdf

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Route 138 Opportunity Study, For The Community of Somerset, MA

Prepared by SRPEDD

The goal of this study is to re-imagine the Route 138 Corridor in Somerset. Route 138 is ideally situated to enable the evolution of the type of walkable, activated commercial center destinations envisioned by the community. The town asked SRPEDD to perform an analysis of the existing corridor to set the groundwork for future transformation. To gain a snapshot of the corridor today, SRPEDD considered a number of conditions related to economic development, including land use, zoning, infrastructure availability, and vacancy status. SRPEDD then went beyond an analysis of the commercial corridor to explore connections to the surrounding residential context, including barriers to pedestrian connectivity, high crash intersections, the presence or absence of pedestrian and cyclist infrastructure, and localized environmental considerations. The final stage of this analysis considered three sites that combine high potential for site opportunity and neighborhood connectivity as key locations for enlivening the corridor. For these sites, SRPEDD explored future development design scenarios that is reflective of viable attractive, and pedestrian-friendly commercial development. In addition, the report also provides examples of streetscape principles that can be implemented to achieve the desired town center aesthetics, including the use of street trees, banners, signage, facade improvements, and lighting. Somerset's commercial district is competing with neighboring communities to attract shoppers and visitors. Our hope is that this analysis assists the community in highlighting its existing assets in such a way that the Route 138 corridor becomes its own unique destination.

Route 138 Opportunity Study: http://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/somersetma/files/uploads/somerset_138_final_report_12_30_19.pdf

Interactive Web Map: http://srpedd.maps.arcgis.com/apps/View/index.html?appid=af1d2e13c82d461ba6a05a314855ea28&extent=-71.1950,41.7314,-71.0851,41.7903

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I-195 Interchange 4 Transportation Evaluation

The Town of Somerset, with support from MassDevelopment, initiated an evaluation of improvements to I-195 Interchange 4 (Route 103). The intent was to seek solutions that address inefficient travel patterns and improve highway access and safety. The plan identifies a range of options that address inefficient travel patterns and improve highway access and safety. The study began in 2018 and was completed in the spring of 2020.  The I-195 Interchange 4 report is available by clicking on the link below: http://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/somersetma/files/uploads/i-195_int_4_transportation_study_march_2020_high_res.pdf

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The Expanded Economic Development Plan

As part of the Somerset Master Plan process, the Town prepared an Expanded Economic Development Plan to supplement the Economic Development element of the Master Plan. The Master Plan Steering Committee hosted a public meeting for an update on this process, and for the chance to contribute. Businesses and residents provided constructive feedback as an invaluable part of our success. The final Economic Development Plan can be accessed by clicking on the link below: https://www.townofsomerset.org/sites/somersetma/files/uploads/somerset_economic_development_plan_final_draft_03192020.pdf

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