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Brimfield plans townwide talks 

Credit:  By JOHN APPLETON, The Republican, www.masslive.com 10 February 2011 ~~

BRIMFIELD – The potential for a casino in a nearby town prompted people to think about zoning and future town growth, then the proposal to install wind turbines on West Mountain took that thinking further.

One thing that came out of these concerns has been a working relationship with the University of Massachusetts Regional Planning Program.

“The town wanted a land use and zoning study done. They have concerns about regional economic development impacts,” said Mark Hamin, the director of the master’s degree program in regional planning at UMass.

“They want to make sure their land use and bylaws would helpfully address those issues, and, if the current bylaws were not sufficient, how they might want to change it,” Hamin said.

After Hamin’s team at UMass submitted a draft land use report, which is on the town website, www.brimfieldma.org, they met with members of all town boards in September and have plans for a community wide discussion on future economic opportunities and challenges March 5 from 9 a.m. to noon at Brimfield Elementary School.

“They might want to consider thinking about a master plan process or just taking some additional steps beyond that report,” Hamin said.

“The public forum is intended to identify goals and priorities in the town and to see what some of the next steps might be in planning for future regional development impacts in the area,” he said.

Hamin’s main advice to Brimfield is to think in general terms about land use policy and zoning for the coming decades rather than trying to adopt some negative, reactive tools to specifically deal with casinos or wind turbines.

Source:  By JOHN APPLETON, The Republican, www.masslive.com 10 February 2011

This article is the work of the source indicated. Any opinions expressed in it are not necessarily those of National Wind Watch.

The copyright of this article resides with the author or publisher indicated. As part of its noncommercial educational effort to present the environmental, social, scientific, and economic issues of large-scale wind power development to a global audience seeking such information, National Wind Watch endeavors to observe “fair use” as provided for in section 107 of U.S. Copyright Law and similar “fair dealing” provisions of the copyright laws of other nations. Send requests to excerpt, general inquiries, and comments via e-mail.

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