Unified Planning Committee Created and Looking for Volunteers
So here we are, Weston, with another new committee entering the fray. And I do mean fray. At the risk of insulting a finance person, I am going to say that I would like to outsource future naming opportunities to an actual marketing person. I would volunteer for the job but having named the most popular telecom product in Brazil in 1998, I am living off my royalties and can’t be bothered. First part is true, second part is not.
“UPC”s are universal product codes, defined as “a barcode symbology that is widely used worldwide for tracking trade items in stores.” Hmmm, wait – maybe this works. The UPC will be “tracking strategies, ideas, goals and expectations from varied areas of focus…”so those are kinds of products. Sort of. Honestly, Weston, I have already renamed it in my mind to “Getting our s*** together” or “GOST” perhaps pronounced like “Ghost”.
In any case, I literally have zero time to parse this government-toned communication. I have just found out that my favorite principal OF ALL TIME is retiring and I am traumatized. Totally traumatized. Seeking help right now.
Here’s the town stuff: Volunteer, Weston! Especially you all who always have lots to say about how we could plan better. Be a “GOST” buster. Well, why not?
The Unified Planning Committee (UPC) shall be charged with the preparation of the Unified Master Plan of Weston (UMP) which will meet the requirements of MGL Chapter 41 Section 81D. The Plan will include other areas of interest as deemed necessary or valuable by the Unified Planning Committee. The UPC will work with other committees, departments, groups, and residents in town to create an inclusive and dynamic vision of Weston. The Plan will connect strategies, ideas, goals, and expectations from varied areas of focus, striving to unify the Plan into a coherent whole. In developing the Plan, working groups made up of appropriate Town groups and individuals will be created to focus on individual subject areas as deemed appropriate by the Unified Planning Committee. The UPC will submit its Plan to the Select Board and the Planning Board within three years after the UPC’s first meeting.
After the Plan has been approved, it should be updated periodically to include significant milestones met and new objectives set. It is expected that the Plan will be kept up to date on the town website so that it may be a useful roadmap for Weston.
The Unified Planning Committee’s role will include managing the working groups, coordinating the format, reviewing the Plan and recommending the Plan for approval to the Planning Board and Select Board. The final draft of the Unified Master Plan shall be approved by the Planning Board and the Select Board.
The Committee will be charged with developing the scope of the project, setting the timetable for completing the project, and identifying resources from the Town needed to complete the project. It is expected that the Committee will engage a consultant with relevant experience in municipal unified plans to work with the Committee. The Town Manager will be charged with requesting funding to support the project as needed.
The membership of the Unified Planning Committee shall choose members of the Committee to serve as officers of the committee including Chair and any other position necessary for its organization. The membership of the Unified Planning Committee shall consist of 9 members for three-year terms, including:
- One representative or designee from the Select Board;
- One representative or designee from the Planning Board;
- One representative or designee from the Finance Committee;
- One representative or designee from the School Committee;
- One representative or designee from the Council on Aging;
- and four other residents of the Town appointed by a joint meeting of the Town Moderator, Select Board Chair and Planning Board Chair. The citizen representatives are expected to be a cross-section of residents and stakeholders from Weston, preferably including those with expertise or strong interest in environmental concerns, housing (affordable/senior, etc.), business or non-profit spheres, diversity, equity & inclusion, and knowledge of land use and land management, as some examples.
Weston Residents who are interested please fill out the online volunteer application by April 7, 2023
Ex Officio members:
- Town Manager
- Town Planner
It is expected that representatives of various boards or committees will report back to their respective groups to inform them of progress and decisions being made in the process.
there are four “master plans” I know of. I hope will be folded into, or help to inform, the town-wide UPC, namely the Open Spaces and Recreation Plan, the Traffic and Sidewalk Plan, the Housing Plan and the Recreation Master Plan. (The first two are close to hitting their shelf life.) I’m guessing that there are others. I hope the UPC will set up liaisons to Recreation, Housing, Conservation, and Traffic and Sidewalk. Participation from someone on the Sustainability Committee would be nice too.
Agree with all. This is going to be a huge committee and a lot of work!