Ashby Open Space & Recreation Plan
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SECTION 2

Introduction

This document describes the priorities of the citizens of Ashby for open space planning and recreational needs. It provides a set of tangible goals for the next five years. Townspeople set great store by the qualities of small town living. We value open spaces, privacy, stargazing in the center of town, the moose walking down South Road, informality, socializing at the Post Office, quirky town politics, clean air and water, band concerts on the Common, the July 3rd bonfire, and the terrible tennis courts. Ashby is facing increasing pressure from development. We wish to protect our quality of life.

This is Ashby’s first formal Open Space and Recreation Plan, however, it is not the first time townspeople have addressed their concerns about development. In 1987, Town Meeting voted a Future Growth Study Committee to study ways to manage Ashby’s growth. The Committee produced a graphic potential build-out analysis of Ashby based on current zoning by-laws. The statistics gathered by the Future Growth Committee and the data from a survey which that group mailed to residents have provided the present Open Space and Recreation Committee with much useful information.

 

Planning Process and Public Participation

Ashby’s Planning Board wanted to become increasingly active in maintaining the rural character of the Town. The Planning Board is convinced that open space planning and protection is vital to that end. In the summer of 1998, the Board submitted an application to the Department of Housing and Community Development for funding to assist in the creation of an Open Space and Recreation Plan. Although the request was not funded, in the fall of 1998, the Planning Board met with members of the Conservation Commission to form a working group committed to producing an Open Space and Recreation Plan. The original members of the Open Space and Recreation working committee were Alan Pease, Roberta Flashman, Jeanie Lindquist, Claire Lavin, Bob Leary, Janet Flinkstrom, and Martha Morgan. This core grew at the beginning of 1999 to include members from the Board of Health, the Parks Department and interested citizens including Lynette Courtney, Chris Allen, Robert Bedard, Tony Batista, Wayne Stacy, Linda Stacy, Jim Stacy, Anne Hayes, Paula Packard, Mike Somers, Julie Roberts, Bob Higgins-Steele, and Derek Saari. Committee meetings were advertised through posters and press releases. We held our first televised public meeting on March 5, 1999 to reach as many townspeople as we could. A survey requesting feedback from town residents on priorities, concerns, and comments about open space and recreation was mailed to all households in town. This document was written primarily by the members of the original working committee and edited by Dondi Tomkinson. The Committee intends to hold several more public meetings to hear comments and suggestions before we submit a final plan to Ashby’s Annual Town Meeting and to the Division of Conservation Services for approval.

Ashby Open Space & Recreation Plan
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