Ashby Community Development Plan
A Brief Outline
The Community Development Plan is ddesign to provide a guide to shared goals and actions that might achieve those goals in the coming years. When thinking about housing needs, Ashby residents should think about the best type, quantity and location of housing in relationship to the protection of natural resources and the relationship to transportation. The same factors come into play when considering expansion of its commercial or industrial sectors. In assessing options for natural resource protection, residents should think about its effect on future residential development and quality of life.
The CD Plan is divided into three sections, housing, economic development and natural resources. The CD plan seeks to bring these elements together in a cohesive whole to guide development in the coming years.
The following is a brief outline of the draft CD plan.
Economic Development Outline
Draft Economic Development Section
Fact; In 2001 Ashby had 48 employers employing 238 persons and 76 home based businesses. Business accounts for 5% of the tax base.
Seek to expand economic base in keeping with the character of the community.
Develop new economic niches such as tourism or equestrian businesses.
Focus on economic opportunities for Ashby residents.
Encourage Expansion of existing business.
Overlay district to encourage mixed use area such as a village center.
Streamline permitting for certain types of business.
Encourage tourism and work with regional and state tourism promoters.
Promote local activities and attractions and encourage local business to offer services top tourists.
Encourage equestrian and specialty agriculture business.
Investigate the feasibility of wind generating farms.
Natural Resources & Open Space Outline
Draft Natural Resources & Open Space Section
Fact; 20% of the land (3,000 acres) in Ashby is permanently protected open space. Approximately 66% of that is owned by the state, 18% is owned by the city of Fitchburg and 6% by the town.
Plan to protect future drinking water supplies.
Protect water quality in streams and ponds.
Create wildlife corridors linking existing open space.
Identify options for nature based recreation.
Enhance public awareness about environmentally sound private landscape practices.
Collaborate with regional and state agencies integrate local open space protection and recreation with regional efforts.
Monitor private well water for quality and quantity.
Begin funding for a public water supply feasibility study.
Prioritize streams for upland watershed protection.
Work with Nashua River Watershed Assoc. on Source Water Stewardship Program.
Promote protection of rare species habitat.
Promote protection of vernal pools.
Give priority of to actions that link existing open space and habitat areas.
Plan trail and greenway creation in conjunction with other natural resource priorities.
Collect and distribute information on best practice for private landscape mangement.
Draft Housing Section
Fact: 37% of Ashby's households are low or moderate income, 5% of the households have income below the poverty line.
Shape housing development to preserve rural character.
Provide affordable housing for seniors and young families to maintain demographic diversity.
Establish road corridor overlay districts to protect vegetation and stone walls along scenic roads.
Establish smaller frontage requirements for siting homes in backland.
Consider zoning for a new compact village center with design standards.
Establish a local housing partnership to encourage affordable housing.
Seek technical assistance from state housing programs.
Explore friendly 40B and/or Local Initiative Program.
Permit accessory apartments and duplexes by right if one unit is affordable.
Adopt state law on tax title properties that promote affordable housing in return for tax forgiveness.