A Master Plan is best defined as the community’s shared vision for where it would like to be in the next fifteen to twenty years. During this process, assessments of existing conditions, challenges, and an examination of future scenarios and needs are made and publicly discussed.
The Master Plan translates the needs, desired vision and scenarios for Foxborough’s future into specific plans and recommendations for future action. Once complete, the plan provides public decision-makers with the goals and objectives of the community against which future decisions can be made.
In accordance with Massachusetts state law, a master plan is comprised of the following elements:
- a land use plan;
- economic development element;
- natural resources elements;
- open space element;
- services and facilities element;
- circulation element; and an
- implementation element.
Some municipalities elect to include additional elements to a master plan, including historic preservation, arts and culture, energy, and climate change. The specifics of a master plan reflect the unique character and assets of each community.
The last Foxborough Master Plan was undertaken in 1971, the same year the new Shafer Stadium, home of the New England Patriots, was opening. It is fitting as the Foxborough community discusses the new proposed development of a resort casino on Route 1, that it also begins a master planning process to develop a town-wide shared vision and goals for the future of Foxborough, with a focus on economic development.
Establishing the goals and vision for Foxborough establishes the foundation of the Master Plan and informs economic development. The nature and type of economic development that the Town of Foxborough wants and seeks depends not only on any analysis of current economic conditions and economic trends of Foxborough (albeit very important), but also on what the community’s goals and vision of Foxborough is for 2040.
The Economic Development Master Plan assignment focuses on developing the shared goals and vision for Foxborough, the economic development master plan element, and a Downtown Strategy for Foxborough.
The Foxborough Planning Board is adopting a phased approach to updating the Master Plan. It has commissioned the McCabe Enterprises team to work with the Planning Board and the Town on the economic development component. The Metropolitan Area Planning Commission has been asked to prepare a housing production plan. The Foxborough Conservation Commission recently spearheaded the development of an Open Space Plan, which includes an extensive inventory of natural resources that can serve as both the open space and natural resources chapters of the master plan.