A 1969 review of our first 5 years of implementing the first master plan


The first Town of Medfield master plan was done in 1964, and five years later the stewards of master planning in town looked back at what had been accomplished.

Interestingly, the town voted down in 1967 the recommendation to install a traffic signal at Main and North, but recanted a year later.

Of those named, I only recognize Bob McLeod as still in town.

THE MEDFIELD MASTER PLAN THE FIRST FIVE YEARS 1964 - 1969 The MEDFIELD Master Plan is a tribute to the wisdom and vision of those who, in the Town Meeting of 1962, showed sufficient concern over Medfield's future to authorize the expenditure of $21,000 ($14,000 of which was provided by government funds) for the preparation of such a Plan by Metcalf and Eddy, a firm of civil engineers eminently qualified for this undertaking. Before a blueprint for the future of our Town through 1980 could be proposed it was first necessary to analyze those trends in its past which had shaped its present, and how these trends, without proper provision for their development, would affect all of us in the years ahead. So there followed two years of exhaustive investigation and research into every phase of Medfield's life--a period during which Medfield residents themselves provided substantial assistance to the Planners in the collection and analysis of data. Nine Working Committees prepared detailed reports on their assigned subjects and over 2500 residents participated in comprehensive surveys. From school buildings to road systems, from zoning requirements to conservation problems every aspect was examined in complete detail and nothing was judged too insignificant to merit the Planners' closest scrutiny. In 1964 the Planners completed their assignment and published their Master Plan in seven volumes. With the aid of statistics and maps, problems are analyzed, priorities assigned and remedies are proposed which, if implemented in the manner and at the time recommended by the Plan, will ensure that Medfield's growth through 1980 is orderly and controlled. (A Summary of the Master Plan is available to all Medfield residents and those who do not have a copy are urged to obtain one from the Town Hall.) Following a recommendation by the Planning Board, a Special Town Meeting in 1965 sanctioned the appointment of a Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) , the primary function of which is to channel the efforts of other Town Committees and Boards in the directions recommended in the Plan. The fifth anniversary of the Plan's publication now provides the MPIC an appropriate opportunity to review the major accomplishments and failures of the Town Meetings in recent years in implementing the Plan's recommendations. These can be summarized as follows: 1. SCHOOLS The new Junior High School, approved by the Town in 1964, was completed and opened in 1966. In 1968, construction began on the Elementary School on Elm Street--on land acquired for that specific purpose in 1965. The school is scheduled to open in 1969. 2. BUILDING CODES AND ZONING LAWS Regulatory measures are fundamental to orderly growth. Such measures, essential to the implementation of the Master Plan and undertaken since 1964, include: -Adoption of a Building Code, approved by the Attorney General's Office. -Revision of Subdivision Rules and Regulations. -Amendment of Zoning By-laws with respect to apartment buildings. -Adoption of Zoning By-laws for the Industrial Area. -Drafting of Zoning Regulations for the Central Business District. This matter is still under review and the services of Metcalf and Eddy have again been retained to re-examine the whole question of the location and character of the Central Business District. As is evident, progress in these matters has been impressive but much still needs to be done. An immediate necessity is for a Soils Survey Analysis, a proposal for which was rejected by the Town in 1968. Such a Survey is essential for efficient planning and without it serious consequences could develop, particularly with respect to on lot water and sewage systems. Therefore, the Planning Board have provided for this Survey in their 1969 budget, to be presented at Town Meeting in March. 3. RECREATION A major development has been the opening of a new Community Recreation Center in the old North Street School, an accomplishment which owes most of its success to the resourcefulness of the youth themselves who not only renovated the building and are now maintaining it but, with some Town appropriation, have contributed the funds necessary for this project. Although the conversion of North Street School to a Recreation Center is not proposed in the Master Plan, the MPIC nevertheless considers this a most valuable asset, both for the young people and for the many Town Committees and organizations who also now use it extensively. In 1966, the Town approved funds for the building of new basketball and tennis courts at the Junior High School. In 1967 the Town approved funds to operate a skating rink on Green Street. Additional land adjacent to the Town's swimming pond was acquired in 1968. 4. CONSERVATION Land along the Charles and Stop Rivers acquired by the Town and set aside for conservation now totals 190.85 acres. Conservation and recreation land in Medfield administered by the Trustees of Reservations now total 662 acres. 5. HIGHWAYS AND STREETS Medfield has kept in touch with other towns affected by the proposed relocation of Route 109 and with the State Department of Public Works in whose hands the matter now rests. The Town has sanctioned the financing of land takings resulting from the planned reconstruction and relocation of Route 27. The new route--from Main Street to the Sherborn Line--will roughly parallel that recommended in the Master Plan. Approval has been given to reconstruct a section of Elm Street from South Street to cater to the requirements of the new school. Traffic lights are to be installed at the North and Main Street intersection. This proposal was defeated in 1967 but accepted by the Town in 1968. The street numbering project on all existing and proposed streets in the Town was completed in 1966. various streets have been reconstructed and others have been paved under the Street Improvement Program. 6. WATER SYSTEM AND SEWERAGE The Town's water supply has been augmented by the commissioning of a new well off Elm Street. r A new package sewage treatment plant has been installed and while this may satisfy current needs discussions continue between various Town departments and outside engineers on the possible requirement for additional sewerage and a larger treatment plant. 7. TOWN BUILDINGS AND LANDS It is under this heading that the Master Plan has suffered most of its defeats so far: -In 1965 the proposal to acquire land adjacent to the Town Hall for the purpose of a Common and parking area was rejected. -In 1965 and 1966 funds for North Street School's renovation and conversion to a municipal office building were denied. (In 1967, however, sanction was given to transfer the building to the Park and Recreation Commission for use as a Community Center.) -In 1967 the voters rejected the proposal to acquire land and construct thereon a garage to house Town equipment. -Although the Town had/ in 1965, approved the purchase of the adjacent bank building for the expansion of the existing Library, funds to implement this program were denied in 1966 and 1967. In 1968, however, funds were voted to redecorate and refurbish the existing library. The old bank building is now used by the Historical Society. SUMMARY In retrospect/ it can be seen that, despite some setbacks, much has been accomplished in the last five years, and the Town's investment in a Master Plan has paid substantial dividends. In order to carry the Plan through its next/ and perhaps most critical stage of development/ the MPIC, in consultation with other Town Committees and Boards, is now preparing a Capital Outlay Program, the implementation of which will ensure that the next five years will contribute even more to Medfield's orderly growth. Joseph C. Donnelly, Jr. Chairman Paul Hurd, Vice Chairman Grace P. Ritchie, Secretary John V. Cracknell Richard Kaerwer Robert Macleod Elizabeth M. Place Richard V. Sturtevant l 11964-1969 The First Five Years_Page_21964-1969 The First Five Years_Page_31964-1969 The First Five Years_Page_4

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