PLYMPTON – On Monday, Oct. 15, Lisa Sullivan, a senior planner with the Old Colony Planning Council held a drop-in event at Town House to solicit opinions from the public and from town officials and committee members regarding the future of the village center and the Town House campus.
She was quick to note that it was a “visioning” event and that she was there to seek input, not to change anything. The OCPC provides grants and technical assistance for projects such as the future development and improvement of the village center, something that Selectmen have been discussing for some time.
“This is one…of the reasons that I ran for Selectman,” said Selectman Mark Russo. He wants to leave a “master plan” in place for officials in the future.
Some residents seemed a little confused as to who Sullivan was and what she exactly was there to do.
“Please don’t get upset,” said Sullivan. “We’re not here to make decisions…We make recommendations. We make a report.”
She’ll be summing up all of the input she gets, including from an online survey in a report that the Selectmen should receive in November, she says, for the Town to use as it sees fit.
They will analyze demographics, current zoning, streetscapes, parks, housing possibilities, even lighting and crosswalk preferences.
“Nothing will happen of this unless your community decides to act on it,” Sullivan added.
Participants at the event filled out surveys as they sipped bottled water and snacked on free cookies while talking to Sullivan, after she gave a brief presentation.
They also voted by placing colored stickers on charts depicting different suggested improvements for the village center. For example, several different types of affordable housing were pictured, and residents placed stickers next to the type they preferred, if any. Another chart contained several types of parks, while another showed crosswalks and another light polls.
One thing that became apparent quite quickly is that people define the boundaries of the village center in many different ways.
The board, according to Russo, hopes to have a master plan in place within a year. The survey is still available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/JNCL2HK