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Master Plan 2021

This is ** NOT ** to be confused with:

The official MPSC site: Official Town Master Plan WebPage

These are the personal notes and thoughts of me, YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh.

Previous Master Plans:
1962 Master Plan
2001 Master Plan

Final Thoughts

    From: YON - Jan C. Hardenbergh 
    Sent: Sunday, March 7, 2021 5:42 PM
    To: Duchesneau, Adam ; masterplan ; Planning Board 
    Subject: Master Plan - final thoughts

As a member of the MPSC, I am proud of the work we did on the Master Plan. I was also frustrated, surprised, and gratified by the process. More importantly, I am in awe of my fellow volunteers and the top notch paid staff and the good will of all participants.

My major disappointment is perhaps foolish in this day and age. We did not produce a Vision Statement about the town. We touched on the issue of a vision a few times, but there was never quite the time or prioritization to step back and look at the big picture of Sudbury. We had a lot of homework that might have created a vision of what it might be like in 2039, 400 years after Sudbury was originally incorporated, but we never got there. Ultimately, the MSPC's goal was to steer a master plan draft to the Planning Board, not to create a vision.

Housing is a major piece of the vision. At Town Meeting we passed an Affordable Housing Zoning Bylaw and the state has recognized us as a Housing Choice Community. Yet, when 40B was reaffirmed by state referendum, it was nearly a tie in Sudbury with a slight edge going against it. In Sudbury, I would like to see more economic, cultural and racial diversity. We the people only works if it really is a cross section of the people. My kids grew up thinking we were poor while we had the average salary and the average house size in Sudbury. They survived somehow and got to see the wider world. An LS education gets you quite far in this world and every additional kid we can give that to is another cog in our wheel.

Housing is key for the vision of Route 20. I'd like to see a series of clusters on Route 20 with a few more mixed housing developments. Each cluster would have a bus stop with dependable transport from Marlboro to Alewife. The area from Horse Pond to Mill Village should be a pleasant pedestrian environment. It should be possible to be a Sudbury Resident without owning a car.

On the map of proposed walkways on page 48 of the Part 2: Master Plan, there are plenty of gaps. I assume that these will disappear as owners of those sections become more enlightened or sell to those who are. It would be easy to find a path from Shaws/Avalon to Tippling Rock and just a bit harder to find a path from Tippling Rock down to the Wayside Inn. We will eventually have the BFRT walkway from Route 20 to Town Center and I assume that the East/West Rail Trail will happen eventually, too. A Wayside Inn to Town Center and a Town Center to Round Hill and a river walkway back down to the East/West (Mass Central ) Rail Trail should be possible.

One fun moment in the process was finding the maps in the 1962 Master Plan. One has a connector from Nobscot to Union and the other has a Rte. 20 bypass along the south. Those still seems like a good ideas. Another map has a 4 lane parkway crossing the Sudbury River and driving up the Hop Brook / Wash wetlands and coming out to Rte 20 just west of Shaws. It’s a very good thing that did not happen.

I have commuted through the town center for decades with perhaps thousands of hours waiting for the light. I have come to believe that we should not do anything to ease traffic. Sudbury is an inefficient network of highways and byways that sees terrible traffic at rush hour. People avoid the worst intersections. If we make any route much more efficient, the overall flow will adapt with the new road becoming a little less congested while carrying increased traffic more efficiently.

I think First Parish was wrongfully excluded from the list of organizations that maintains our historic structures on page 56 of Volume 2. First Parish of Sudbury maintains the iconic meetinghouse that was built by the Town for meetings of both Church and State.

We base so much of our planning on guesstimates about the future variables of tax revenue, population and the general health of the economy. I believe it would be possible to build an economic model of the local economy, transportation, population such that we could make better estimates of how much the Rte 20 sewer system would benefit the town and who it would benefit the most. We have a few of elder tech savvy residents who might be intrigued by working on such a model.

Thank you for the opportunity to serve the Town.
Jan Hardenbergh Member At Large

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image LandUse1962.jpg
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2021-03-12 YON <>