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Ashland - Local Town Pages

Beginning to Plan for Ashland’s Future

Hello from the Comprehensive Plan Steering Committee! We are excited to start working on our community-wide master plan, which will create a roadmap for our town’s planning and decisions for the next 20 years. This Steering Committee (which will guide the project for the next 2 years) is comprised of representatives from boards and committees in town, plus one resident from each of the 6 voting precincts, as well as an Ashland High School student. Our goal was to create a diverse committee, representing expertise in many aspects covered in the Comprehensive Plan, as well as encourage new voices from the community to participate. 
Meet our Committee Members...
Nathan Band, Zoning Board of Appeals
Ed Burman, Board of Health
Mike Caira, School Committee
Lisa Churchill, Precinct 6
Karen Coleman, Historical Commission
David Evancho, Precinct 3
Alan Galiwango, Affordable Housing Trust
Rajashree Ghosh, Precinct 5
Claire Goss, Library Trustee
Yolanda Greaves, Select Board
Stacey Grant Lewis, Cultural Council
Carl Hakansson, Conservation Commission
Michael Herbert, Town Manager
Cara Hulme, Town Forest Committee
Catherine Jurczyk, Planning Board
Brandi Kinsman, Select Board
Moala Kitayimwba, DEI Task Force
Chuck Lidz, Sustainability Committee
Tony Lewis, Upper Charles Committee
Aroon Manoharan, Precinct 4
Peter Matchak, Town Planner
Steve Mitchell, Council on Aging
William Novakowski, Design Review Committee
Hasini Reddy, High School Representative
Beth Reynolds, Economic Development Advisory Committee
Roberta Soolman. Open Space and Recreation
Leah Suarez, Precinct 2
Anna Tesmenitsky, Planning Board
Kortni Wroten, Precinct 1
Project Budget and Consultant
At the November 2022 Special Town Meeting, the town allocated $250,000 to the Comprehensive Plan process, specifically to hire an experienced consulting firm to provide the expertise needed to complete and draft our plan.
Following an extensive RFP process, the Select Board and Planning Board held a joint meeting on June 21st, to interview the two consulting firms that were put forward as finalists. Both firms had extensive experience in municipal Comprehensive Plans as well as community engagement. The next step is to review the bids from the consultants and determine the final consultant. We hope to have the consulting firm on-boarded to the project by the July 20 Steering Committee meeting.
What’s in a Comprehensive Plan?
Do you love green space in Ashland, such as the Ashland Town Forest? Are you concerned about keeping housing affordable in Ashland? Do you want to see a thriving Downtown? Is Education important to you? A Comprehensive/ Master Plan covers all these aspects of life in our community and so many more.
Over the next 2 years, we will be covering all the following topics and once completed will begin the implementation phase. We will be asking for your input in all the following areas:
Community Vision
Land Use
Economic Development
Natural & Cultural Resources
Open Space & Recreation
Services & Facilities
Circulation (Transportation)
Implementation Program
Energy, Sustainablity, and Resiliance
Public Health & Wellbeing
Community Engagement/DEI
Downtown & Pond Street
 What’s Coming Up Next
In July the committee will have an initial meeting with their consultant and begin to map out the process for the next two years. They will be starting community outreach this summer too- look for the committee at upcoming events (such as the Farmers Market on Oct 7). Your input is crucial in making this project a success!