Boxborough2030

Boxborough's Vision: A Rural, Engaged Community For All

Boxborough shall maintain its traditional values of rural open space, a first-rate educational system, agricultural and conservation lands, and historical roots, while fostering a balanced economic environment and enhancing a close-knit sense of community for all generations.
Magazine Implementation Plan
Download the Boxborough2030 Magazine Download the Boxborough2030 Recommendations & Implementation Plan

The Boxborough2030 Master Plan provided an excellent opportunity for our town to develop a long-term vision for the community and to create steps for implementing this vision. The last Master Plan for Boxborough was completed in January of 2002. After 13 years it was time to update it. Town staff, the Master Plan Update Committee (MPUC), and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) have produced an updated Master Plan for the Town entitled Boxborough2030. This updated Master Plan will serve as Boxborough’s planning guide for the Town over the next fifteen years, through 2030. Moreover, it will help Boxborough achieve and maintain its vision of “A Rural, Engaged Community for All.

The complete Boxborough2030 Master Plan is available on this website. The Boxborough2030 Magazine summary and the Boxborough2030 Recommendations & Implementation Plan are available in print at Town Hall and for download here.

Community Input and Plan Formation

Through public outreach and community sensing throughout the Boxborough2030 process, the MPUC learned that residents are mostly happy with the state of the town. Key elements of a Master Plan vision developed in 2009 were confirmed and found to still be valid today:

• Keep the small-town, rural atmosphere and maintain our character and sense of community.
• Protect the openness of the landscape and quality of environmental resources.
• Maintain the high quality of public services and the school system.

These persistent values are embodied in the succinct vision adopted for Boxborough2030, which has been organized around a set of high level community aspirations.

During community sensing and outreach, a few themes and suggestions consistently emerged. The community takes great pride in the excellent Acton-Boxborough Regional School system. In June 2013, Town Meeting voted to join Boxborough’s Blanchard School to the region which now includes grades K through 12. Support for education and youth recreational needs continues unabated. Most often, we heard that people feel strongly about maintaining the rural quality of the town. Residents are passionate about our protected lands, trails, and natural resources; we would like bikeways on selected roads; we should consider new recreational facilities for all. There were differing opinions about the need to attract more commercial development, but the consensus is that development which enhances quality of life is more important than the pursuit of commercial tax revenue. All suggestions from community members were taken into account as we developed this plan.

The most significant planning guidance embodied in Boxborough2030 for potential future action can be summarized as follows:

  • Encourage economic development which will improve the quality of life for residents, such as supporting development of a a village-like area with restaurants, pubs, shops, fitness and health services, and other amenities.
  • Economic development should not be pursued simply to increase the commercial tax base.
  • Increase transportation infrastructure and mobility, including providing designated bicycle and pedestrian travel lanes on selected Town roads.
  • Plan for long-term water resource management and protection.
  • Establish strategies for energy conservation, carbon footprint reduction, and climate change resiliency.
  • Address community needs pertaining to social services, modestly priced housing, recreational facilities, and open space for all ages.
  • Explore improving municipal facilities. 

A Living Planning Tool

Boxborough2030 is meant to be a living planning tool, not a dusty document filed on a shelf. To this end, we have adopted a new approach to implementation. The Board of Selectmen and Planning Board will regularly host a joint status review of the plan where all stakeholders, boards and committees, and residents can participate. The Town boards and committees will carry out the tactical work within their purview. It is intended and hoped this collaborative review process will facilitate the kind of complex cross-organizational activities that promote the vision and key strategies.

The full plan, detailing over a year of research about Boxborough’s existing conditions, a critical community engagement process, and in-depth recommendations with implementation steps is available here on this website. Boxborough2030’s website serves as an excellent repository of information about the town and is meant to be accessible and interactive for those interested in learning more about Boxborough, the Town’s master planning process, and the recommendations for meeting the Boxborough2030 Vision. The website is intended to be actively used as Town staff, boards, and commissions work to implement the plan over the next fifteen years.

Acknowledgements

Town of Boxborough

Town Planner

Adam Duchesneau, AICP

Master Plan Update Committee

Voting Members

John Markiewicz, Chair, Planning Board Member
Leslie Fox, Vice Chair, Board of Selectmen Member
Marie Cannon, PE, Board of Health Chair
Byron Clemence, PE, Agricultural Commission Member
David Follett, Conservation Commission Member
Mitzi Garcia-Weil, Recreation Commission Treasurer
Rebecca Morris, Energy Committee Member
R. Allen Murphy, Housing Board Member
Frank Powers, Council on Aging Chair

Ex-Officios

​Steve Ballard, Esq., Finance Committee Member
Dmitry Byhovsky, Owner of AlphaCars
Tom Garmon, Department of Public Works Director
Kevin Mahoney, Historical Commission Member
Maria Neyland, School Committee Chair
Warren B. Ryder, Chief of Police
Randolph T. White, Fire Chief
Selina Shaw, Town Administrator
 

Virtual Towns and Schools

Millard Rose
Beth Christensen
Phil Peacok

Metropolitan Area Planning Council

Manisha Gadia Bewtra, AICP, Project Manager
Christine Madore
Emma Schnur
Jessica Robertson
Ani Krishnan
Eliza Wallace, Ph.D.
Tim Reardon
Armin Akhavahn
Lydia Osborne
Hannah Casey
Mark Racicot
Jennifer Raitt
Tanya Paglia
Ralph Willmer, FAICP
Joan Blaustein
​Amanda Linehan
Karen Adelman
 

Photo Credits

James K. Lindley
​Frank Sibley
Kevin Mahoney
Byron Clemence, PE
Andrew Dai
​Adam Duchesneau, AICP
Ali Ahmed
Liz West
MBTA

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