Master Plan panel’s 1st meeting is next week

WESTFIELD — Westfield’s Master Plan Committee is nearly fully formed and scheduled to have its first meeting next Wednesday to formally kick off the process.

Mayor Donald Humason Jr. said that 10 people so far are expected to be on the committee to form the city’s first master plan in decades. Those include City Council President Brent Bean, Bill Schneeloch, Melissa Trzasko, Harrison Stephano, Jay Ducharme, Rania Kfuri, Leslie Pooler, Rick Barry, and Jennifer and Jillian Battles.

The committee will likely be no larger than 15 people when fully staffed.

Humason said that the committee itself is going to be largely administrative, and that most of the input for the master plan should ideally come from members of the public who attend their meetings. The committee will hire a consultant who specializes in developing community master plans.

“The members of the committee have no more input for the process than anybody else,” said Humason, “Everybody in Westfield who wants to participate, can.”

A master plan is a sort of guiding document that lays out how the residents of 2021 want to see the city grow and develop over the next 10 to 20 years. Southwick is undertaking its own master plan development, also for the first time in decades. Humason said that Westfield can benefit by watching how Southwick’s plan moves forward first, as they are slightly farther along in the process than Westfield.

Humason said that he assumed that Mayor-elect Michael McCabe would want to add people to the committee, as well, so he kept some spots open. The Planning Board may also add two more members.

In addition to regular meetings, the schedule for which will likely be set during the Nov. 17 meeting, Humason said that there will also be a web page launched for Westfield residents to share their own input outside the confines of a public meeting.

“It is our goal to make this as inclusive to the residents and stakeholders of the city as possible,” said Humason.

The process of developing the master plan will likely take at least the entirety of 2022, Humason said.

The first meeting will take place at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 17, in Room 315 of City Hall, 59 Court St., Westfield.

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