Master Plan and Issues Papers

As part of completing Foxborough’s Master Plan and preparation for the Goals & Priorities Workshop on Thursday, March 26th, four issue papers have been developed addressing:
Public Water Supply Protection
Sewer, Growing Sustainably & Land Use
Land Use and Sustainability
Healthy Communities / Healthy Foxborough.

The Goals and Priorities workshop will be on Thursday, March 26th, at 7 pm in the Media Room at Foxborough High School, 120 South Street.

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Save the Date: Thursday, March 26th

fox_Postcard_11x425_FRONTimage~crA goals and priorities workshop for guiding Foxborough’s future will be held on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm in the Media Room of the Foxborough High School, 120 South Street. The Master Plan has identified many issues that Foxborough needs to tackle in the coming years. We need now to determine the final goals and priorities. Your help, input and comments are welcomed and needed! So please join the Planning Board on Thursday, March 26th at 7 pm.

A copy of the flier for the Goals & Priorities workshop, can be downloaded here.

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Your Ideas for Future Land Uses

The Weekly Poll posited several different future uses of “undeveloped” land in Foxborough and sought readers’ guidance as to the allocation of desired future land use for “undeveloped land” as well as land that be may be prime for redevelopment. A wide range of responses was received for each potential use.  One scenario for future land use is non-residential development, such as commercial, for jobs and tax revenue. Responses ranges from 0% to 75% of undeveloped land. The mean average response was 21.7% of undeveloped available land should be used for non-residential uses.
Another scenario suggested residential development for more and different types of housing. For additional future residential development responses ranged from 0% to 70%, with mean average response of 13.1% of “undeveloped” available land being allocated to new residential uses.

 

Water supply protection was another proposed future land use. Weekly Poll respondents indicated anywhere from a low of zero percent to a high of fifty percent, with the mean average desiring 20.7% of future land use being allocated to water supply protection.  Setting aside land for conservation, recreation, pollution control and habitat protection is another future land use that drew the largest range of responses from zero percent to 100% of all future undeveloped and redevelopment lands. The mean average allocation for conservation and recreation uses was 30.3% by Weekly Poll respondents.
Public facilities and Schools both drew a small range of responses. Suggested allocation of undeveloped land for public facilities ranged from zero to 25%, with a mean average of 7.3% of future land use. The allocation of future land uses for schools ranged from zero to fifty percent, with a mean average of 6.6% of undeveloped lands for schools.
Weekly Poll solicited comments and suggestions for future uses of undeveloped land, as well. Bike paths, walkways, hiking paths, trails were the most frequently mentioned additional other land use. Connection to the Mansfield walk/bike path was suggested, as well as sidewalks enabling East Foxborough residents to walk to the Mansfield train station. Another idea was for walking and hiking paths to be established around water bodies, as well as the woods. One reader commented that the Conservation Commission “should develop the land it has for public use.”
An agricultural buffer from I-95 to the State Forest was identified as another land use. Improvement of rail lines and rail spurs were also proposed.  One respondent suggested limiting growth to Route 1, noting increasing traffic problems. Another commented that commercial should be limited to currently zoned areas and that residential areas need more protection.
One person suggested leaving the land as is, while another suggested a solar farm and a third suggested an arboretum. A dog park was mentioned as a need, noting that there are numerous dogs being walked on public fields.

WeeklyPoll_11_Chart_CompositeDesiredLandUse

 

 

The chart depicts the adjusted composite average response so that the sum equals 100%. 

This Weekly Poll was designed to spark the discussion about future land uses and priorities for Foxborough’s future, which will continue at the upcoming Thursday, March 26th public forum sponsored by the Foxborough Planning Board. The Goals & Priorities Forum will be held at 7 pm at the Media Room of the Foxborough High School, 120 South Street. All are welcome.

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Weekly Poll: Future Land Uses in Foxborough

foxborough_6x4_postcard_FRONTOne of the key considerations in development of a master plan is land use. In the next few weeks, the Planning Board and its consultant team will be working on land use issues leading to the upcoming Thursday, March 26 public forum and workshop examining goals and priorities, including future land use priorities.

The Weekly Poll is seeking your input on land use – both land that is “undeveloped” and land that could be redeveloped for different uses. The competing interests for land includes economic growth for jobs and taxes; water supply protection; residential growth for an increasing population that is living in smaller and smaller households; conservation land for habitat protection, pollution control, and recreation; public facilities and schools. Alternative land use needs often seem to be at odds. The Weekly Poll wants to know your priorities for land use in Foxborough.  So, click here to take the Weekly Poll.

All responses must be submitted by next Monday, February 16th by midnight. You can respond online here. Or you, can drop your response in one of the Weekly Poll boxes at Foxborough Town Hall, the Senior Center, the Boyden Library, the Foxboro Reporter, the Foxborough Planning Board office, or the Foxborough Public Safety Building at 8 Chestnut Street. You can also respond on line at www.FoxboroughMasterPlan.com.

The Weekly Poll is sponsored by the Foxborough Planning Board and the Foxboro Reporter.

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Your Views on Open Space, Hiking and Walking

Last week, the Weekly Poll posed four scenarios regarding open space and mobility to gauge interest in alternative approaches to incorporating movement and the outdoors in the life of Foxborough residents. There was a lot unanimity in the responses. The most favored initiative is for the Town to encourage the use and development of walking and hiking trails on conservation and public lands, including the State and Town forests. This garnered 94.1% overall agreement, including almost two-thirds (62.4%) of respondents strongly agreeing.

The second most favored scenario is the Green Buffer. The Green Buffer scenario called for the establishment of a green buffer of open space and trail areas protecting residential areas of Foxborough from development along the Route 1 corridor. Nearly nine out of ten respondents (89.2%) favored the Green Buffer, with over half (53.9%) strongly agreeing that a Green Buffer should be established.

The development of a sidewalk program for building and maintaining sidewalks within a half mile of schools and parks was supported by 87.3% of respondents with 55.9% of respondents strongly agreeing.

Both the multi-use trail and the establishment of wildlife corridors on conservation land was supported by 84.3% of respondents. However, 54.9% of respondents strongly agreed that a multi-use trail parallel to the existing railroad track connecting Payson Road recreational facilities and the growth nodes – Chestnut Green, Downtown, Route 1, and south Route 140 and the Foxborough Boulevard area. 43.1% strongly agreed that wildlife corridors should be established on conservation lands.

The comparative strong support for each of these open space and mobility scenarios is shown in the chart below.

weeklypoll10results_150211am0700_ChartGreenBlue

The Weekly Poll is sponsored by the Foxboro Reporter and the Foxborough Planning Board. The results of the Weekly Poll are being used to inform the completion of the Master Plan.

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Weekly Poll: Open Space, Hiking and Walking

foxborough_6x4_postcard_FRONTThe outdoors, open space and F. Gilbert Hills State Forest are some of the many reasons, people to choose to live in Foxborough. This week, the Weekly Poll is seeking your thoughts about varying approaches the Town can pursue to integrate the outdoors and open space with mobility. Click here to take the Weekly Poll.

For new subdivision development the Foxborough Planning Board requires sidewalks on both sides of the street. Purchasers of new homes have responded quite positively to sidewalks. During the Route 1 Workshop, the concept of a green buffer (open space and walking path) to protect residential areas of Foxborough from development along the Route 1 corridor was introduced and is depicted here.

Route1_diagramGreenBuffer_McCabeTeam_150129
For more information on the benefits of sidewalks and walking, the American Association of Retired People (AARP) is a strong proponent of walkable neighborhoods and has summarized the benefits of sidewalks at http://www.aarp.org/livable-communities/info-2014/sidewalks-fact-sheet.html. The American Trails Association also has an extensive set of articles and fact sheets on the impacts and benefits of trails at http://www.americantrails.org/resources/benefits/ for readers who wish to dig deeper.

Please encourage your friends, neighbors, family members and colleagues to take the Weekly Poll!

All responses to the Weekly Poll must be submitted by next Monday, February 9th by midnight. You can respond online at www.FoxboroReporter.com, or www.FoxboroughMasterPlan.com. Or you, can drop your response in one of the Weekly Poll boxes at Foxborough Town Hall, the Senior Center, the Boyden Library, the Foxboro Reporter, the Foxborough Planning Board office, or the Foxborough Public Safety Building at 8 Chestnut Street. You can also respond on line at www.FoxboroughMasterPlan.com. A new questions comes out every Thursday. The Weekly Poll is sponsored by the Foxborough Planning Board and the Foxboro Reporter.

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Your Comments on the Needs of the Town’s Younger Residents

Young people’s needs generated comments from young and old in Foxborough in the last Weekly Poll. The first question asked whether people agreed or disagreed with Foxborough has many recreational activities for young people. A strong majority of respondents, 85.4% agreed or strongly agreed with the statement that Foxborough has many recreational activities for young people. About one in three (30.9%) strongly agreed, where a small minority 15.4% disagreed or strongly disagreed.

The Weekly Poll posed the question whether needs more programs and activities for young people. Over one in six respondents (17.1%) strongly agreed that more activities and programs are needed in Foxborough. An additional 42.3% of respondents agreed, for a totally of 59.4% overall in agreement. Interestingly 39% disagreed, and only 1.6% strongly disagreed that Foxborough needs more programs and activities for young people,

The Weekly Poll asked if it is easy for young people to get to the park, school, and other activities in Foxborough by walking or bicycling. A clear majority disagreed (42.3%) and strongly disagreed (17.1%). Overall 59.4% disagreed. However, one-third of respondents (35.0%) believed it is easy for young people to walk or bike to the park, school and other activities. As one respondent commented, “Although there have been a vast increase in crosswalks and sidewalks, there are still gaping holes in the continuity of sidewalks, preventing my children and others from safely walking to local parks.” Another stated, “I am always worried about young people crossing the streets near to the center of town. There are inadequate crosswalks and signage for pedestrians, especially on Mechanic and Central Streets.” Another comment was “there needs to be safer routes for kids to actively get around town and for mother’s with strollers. Maybe a bike lane or slower speed limits near the schools.”

The comments about young people’s needs provided additional insight into residents’ responses. One noted that they are “always looking for more activities for kids under 3.” Another person pointed out that there are “lots of activities, but are cost $$$.” While a different voice pointed out that “Children need unstructured time to wonder and grow. Our local government doesn’t have to invent problems to fund. Kids, left to their own instincts, will find ways to have fun with each other.” However, another person observed, “I don’t think there are many places for high schoolers to go outside of the high school. Besides maybe the Y, Cumberland Farms, etc., I can’t think of many popular hangouts.” Someone else noted that “if a particular opportunity is lacking, those desiring it should take the initiative to organize it and lead it.”

There were various suggestions as to the types of programs needed. Several people commented on the emphasis on organized sports, and stated that their needs to be “an emphasis on non-sports activities,” and another noted that “not all kids are athletic.” Suggestions included “creative workspaces for young (and older) residents with other interests: art studios, music practice space, etc.,” “substance abuse education,” and “hiking/biking/recreational activity” for families. Several people mentioned a desire for a splash pad for younger kids. Many people suggested bike paths, trails and bike lanes.

The Weekly Poll is sponsored by the Foxboro Reporter in conjunction with the Foxborough Planning Board. For further information, visit www.FoxboroughughMasterPlan.comWeeklyPoll_09_RecActivities_Chart.

 

WeeklyPoll_09_MOREyouthPrograms_chart

EasyToGetAround_chart

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Weekly Poll : Needs of Young People

foxborough_6x4_postcard_FRONTThe Weekly Poll this week is asking about the needs of young people in Foxborough.  Click here to take the Weekly Poll.

 

The Weekly Poll would like to hear from people of all ages in Foxborough, so please pass along the link or forward the poll to your friends, neighbors, colleagues, and children / grandchildren.  Thanks!

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Route 1 Workshop Spurs Discussion

Nearly 40 people, town residents, business and property owners, and local officials, braved the snow and cold last Thursday evening for the Route 1 workshop at Boyden Library. Based on the responses to the Weekly Polls as reported here, many Foxborough residents view Route 1 as an opportunity to strengthen the Town’s tax base. Property owners voiced concerns over the strictures of the existing zoning, particularly in the S-1 zone. A participatory discussion amongst all ensued.

 
Many of the challenges to development were discussed including:
• A Zone 2 water resource area that merits protection;
• Sewer service for Route 1 businesses;
• The additional cost of redevelopment;
• Transportation, traffic and parking;
• Buffering Foxborough’s residential areas from development along Route 1;
• Enhancing Foxborough’s front door by greening Route 1.

A green buffer with open space and paths was suggested as an approach to protect residential areas of Foxborough from development along Route 1, as depicted below

Route1_diagramGreenBuffer_McCabeTeam_150129

The Route 1 Workshop presentation can be viewed here:  Rte_1_Workshop_PPT_150129_FoxboroughMasterPlan_McCabeEnterprises_Final_update

The Foxborough Planning Board intends to continue the discussion and work about Route 1 planning and zoning in the weeks and months to come. So stay tuned.

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Young People in Foxborough

foxborough_6x4_postcard_FRONTThis week, the Weekly Poll wants to hear what you think about the needs of Foxborough’s younger residents.  Young people (persons under 18 years of age) in Foxborough number 3,961 persons. Young people constitute nearly one-quarter (23.3%) of the Town’s residents. Many families choose Foxborough as a place to live citing the Town as family-friendly. The Weekly Poll is inquiring this week about the needs of Foxborough’s younger residents.

Please encourage your friends, neighbors, colleagues and younger people you know to chime in about the needs of Foxborough’s younger residents.   Click here to take the Weekly Poll.

Don’t Forget:  The Route 1 Workshop is Thursday evening, January 29th, 7 pm at the Boyden Library, 10 Bird Street.  Come, join the discussion and be a part of the Master Planning process.

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