SOUTHWICK – Applications to join the Planning Board’s Master Plan Committee are due Sept. 1 ahead of the Sept. 7 Planning Board meeting where the applications will be reviewed.
The Select Board will seek to have a joint meeting with the Planning Board Sept. 13 to discuss the people who have been selected to join and to determine the next steps for the process.
Planning Board member Marcus Phelps said during the Aug. 24 Select Board meeting that the outline of the Master Plan Committee thus far has five members of the public who are not business owners and not elected officials. The committee will have a maximum of 15 members.
Select Board member Douglas Moglin pointed out that as a committee, they will be required to have a secretary, recorded or written meeting minutes, access for the public, and be subject to Open Meeting Law.
In the Aug. 10 Planning Board meeting, the board came up with a tentative list for elected boards and commissions in Southwick that should be represented on the Master Plan Committee. Those included one member each from the Select Board, the Department of Public Works, the Parks and Recreation Committee, the Conservation or Agricultural commissions, the Economic Development Commission, a school official or School Committee member, the Lake Management Committee, and the Finance Committee.
It will also likely include business owners from Southwick in addition to the five members of the public.
Select Board member Russell Fox said that he would like to see the Agricultural Commission represented on the Master Plan Committee, as Southwick is a rural right-to-farm community. It was suggested that Maryissa Cook-Obregón may fill a seat, as she is on both the Conservation Commission and Agricultural Commission, and could represent both commissions while only taking up one spot on the MPC.
The Master Plan Committee will meet over the course of a couple of years and work to create a new Master Plan for the Town of Southwick, which has not been done since 1967. The Master Plan identifies physical and economic needs and factors of Southwick and acts as a guiding document for future bylaw adoptions or changes, and changes to the zoning map.