Crafting a New Comprehensive Master Plan

Weekly Update

    May 23, 2017

    Community Open House to Follow Land Use Work Group Meetings

    On May 18, approximately 25 residents and other stakeholders with an interest in housing and neighborhood issues met at the Manchester Community Center to assist Master Plan Committee members and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) in assessing potential land use options that were offered as ideas to increase town revenues for funding infrastructure and facility needs.

    Based on goals developed during Visioning for the Master Plan and working with the Master Plan Committee and Town Planner Sue Brown, MAPC developed and shared ideas for commercial, mixed use, housing, resource preservation, open space, and bike and pedestrian uses, along with the projected revenues and other impacts of each potential project. Following a lively discussion on the options presented, each attendee identified their top five top ideas.

    Main points from the meeting included general support for increasing bike and pedestrian connections between the downtown, beaches and other natural resource areas; appropriately designed mixed uses downtown offering more dining and service options; a greater diversity of rental and housing options to better serve all life stages and offer a greater range of affordability; better management of existing parking and peak traffic, including investigating the use of shared parking at the Manchester Athletic Club and other Limited Commercial District sites; and support for considering environmentally sensitive developments within the Limited Commercial District, including offices, a mixed-use village, and assisted living facilities. 

    A second work group meeting, focused on economic development issues related to potential land use options, will take place Thursday, May 25 from 1-3pm at the Community Center. As was the case last week, the public is welcome to attend. For more information, please email Town Planner Sue Brown or call 978-525-6436.

    Ideas generated from these meetings will be the focus of a Community-Wide Master Plan Open House on Wednesday, June 21 at 6pm in the Manchester Essex Regional High School Dining Room. Please save the date and spread the word. A Stronger Manchester Starts With Us

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The Master Plan Process

The Town of Manchester is undertaking a two-year community planning initiative to develop a new comprehensive Master Plan. The Master Plan initiative will engage residents, resource managers, the business community, service providers and others in a series of discussions and activities to first develop a shared community vision and then identify the necessary actions for achieving that vision. The Master Plan Committee (MPC) was appointed by the Board of Selectmen and the Planning Board in March 2015. The MPC began meeting in April 2015 with a focus on reviewing previous Master Plan process and goals, identifying community outreach strategies and schedule, documenting existing conditions to create a community profile, reviewing sample vision and master plans to determine what format would be best for Manchester, developing logo and tag line, conducting small sample (3-4 per MPC member) “on the street” interviews, and identifying preliminary themes. 

To view MPC meeting agendas and minutes, please visit the Agenda Center.

Click here for a timeline of the MPC's activities.

For more information on the Master Plan or the planning process, please contact Town Planner Sue Brown by phone at 978-525-6436 or via email, or visit our Documents and Resources page.