Thank you to everyone who came out and participated in the third and final public forum on January 25, 2017. The feedback we received was very helpful and will inform discussions with the Master Plan Committee as we work together to determine a comprehensive set of strategies and implementation measures for the Town to consider. We have put together a summary of all the input we received at the forum, which can be found here.
On February 10th, the Master Plan Committee and Consultant Team will be releasing a DRAFT of the Strategies Document for public comment. This document will include a comprehensive list of potential strategies and recommendations for the Master Plan that will provide direction to the Town for ways in which it can achieve the vision and goals. The document and a comment matrix, when released, will be available here.
On March 10th, we will be releasing a DRAFT of the entire Master Plan for public comment. Please continue to stay engaged and share your thoughts and comments on these two documents as they are rolled out.
MPUSC & the Master Plan Consultant Team
Six months ago a large moving van showed up on The Common to unload my family’s stuff into our house, which has now become our home. Likewise, thanks to everyone’s friendliness and welcoming manner, our new town quickly became our new hometown.
I have come to learn that Littleton is a special place because its residents care deeply about what happens to the town. This is evident by the near-one-thousand people who engaged in the town meeting in November. It is also evident by the still large but fewer numbers who have attended town forums and charrettes over the last seven months. Your impressive input at these events means there are ideas in the Master Plan for everyone, from open space and land use, historic and natural resource preservation, housing, transportation, economic development and Town services. I am so proud to be a part of this active community.
As stated in my colleague’s previous blog post, there are still several opportunities for everyone to engage in this Master Plan process over the next four months, culminating in a May 1 Town Meeting vote. Until then, the Master Plan Update Steering Committee (MPUSC) needs your continued engagement so that a viable plan can be produced.
Wednesday, January 25 is your next formal opportunity to participate in the Master Plan process. This meeting will be an “open house” format so you can come and go any time during the four-hour time period.
Additional MPUSC meetings are scheduled and we encourage you to attend and offer your input as the Master Plan continues to be developed. The remaining meeting schedule from now until May is:
Master Plan Update Steering Committee Member
The recent Town Meeting attracted one of the largest number of Littleton Residents to any Town meeting in recent memory. As impressive as that was, the other important feature of the turnout was who was there. According to my back of the envelope estimate: families of all types and sizes, the young, the not so young, renters, large and small property owners, business owners, the well off and the not so well off, and recent and longtime residents of town were represented in force and consistent with government census and demographic data about Littleton. What they voted for will impact the town for years. This is how it should be.
In contrast, the turnout is not nearly as large for the various Forums and Events designed and intended to obtain input for the update of the Town’s Master Plan. Those who do show up represent a much narrower demographical grouping than attended the Town Meeting. This is not unusual. Town Meetings and Forums are not alike. Maybe folks think that a plan has no teeth. Maybe the absence of a simple up or down secret ballot vote on alternatives is part of the lack of participation. There is no fault finding here and there is no value in finding a pathway to lay blame.
The residents who do attend the Forums and other MPUSC events have and continue to contribute what they see as priorities, problems that need attention, things that are working well, and solutions to issues arising. These residents have given up their evening hours, and more, to contribute and help. Their input has and will continue to be relied upon and taken quite seriously in preparing the plan for the Planning Board.
What does matter is how best to use the expressed views from both Town Meetings and the MPUSC events. Thus, do take a look at the outputs of the MPUSC events and the various items voted up or down at Town Meetings in the last few years. Where there is agreement is just as important as where there is divergence. Do the votes taken in Town Meetings provide a credible reflection of priorities? The course of action the Town pursues should have a plan that residents have shaped for themselves. Here are two sources, at least, for a plan of action.
- Mike Zeldin, Littleton Master Plan Update Steering Committee Member
The MPUSC and Consultant Team have received several comments and suggestions regarding the dates selected for the first Master Plan Charrette. Please see the response below from the MPUSC. We hope to see many of you for parts, or all, of the Charrette in September. A schedule of the MPUSC's upcoming meetings can be found here.
In considering the various large public events in support of Littleton’s Master Plan update, the Master Plan Update Steering Committee (MPUSC) has reviewed various and sundry inputs to deconflict as much as possible myriad Town events and personnel availability. Throughout, there were no perfect dates on the calendar that fully satisfied each constituency in Littleton.
It remains the MPUSC’s goal to obtain maximum input from all interested parties as we continue our journey to produce a viable and executable Master Plan that serves the best interests of all in Littleton. To this end, the MPUSC having both, time and funding available to add an additional planning exercise incorporating resident’s concerns, ideas and proposals for improving the Common will examine timing and venue opportunities in order to elicit additional input for improving Littleton Common.
Moving forward, in addition to participation in large-scale planning forums, the MPUSC actively encourages residents to attend regularly scheduled committee meetings (schedule attached) and advance input for not only Common improvement, but to also offer contributions to the Master Plan process writ-large.
Master Plan Update Steering Committee Chairman
Thank you, Littleton! Over 230 residents came out to participate in the first Master Plan public participation forum held June 13th at the Littleton Middle School. Outreach to get the community involved included a variety of methods such as notices in LWD water bills, Facebook, sandwich boards around town, email distributions to 'friends of the master plan', word of mouth and more!
Residents were greeted with a chance to enter into a raffle at the end of the night. Raffles prizes included strawberries and chocolate from Springdell Farms, $50 gift certificate to Great Road Kitchen and Springdell Farm, the Littleton 300th Anniversary book and more! A delicious *free* pasta dinner was served during the first hour and residents could walk around to various interactive stations to write down their thoughts and feedback about Littleton's future.
During the facilitated part of the meeting, residents were divided into groups of around 15 people and were asked their opinions on a few key questions about what's important to them for Littleton's future. Each person's input was recorded and each member of the team prioritized all the ideas shared to come up with the 'top' ideas for that question. At the end of the group interview activity, each group reported out their top ideas so everyone could hear feedback from all groups. Raffle prizes were then given out - thank you to all who donated!
All of the valuable feedback collected is now being analyzed and summarized as direct input to the Master Plan. Many thanks to all who came out and we look forward to seeing you again during our next public participation forum!
- Littleton Master Plan Update Steering Committee (MPUSC)