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LAND USE AGENT

During 2007, the Land Use Agent role covered a variety of tasks including assisting boards, bylaw writing, and grant coordination, reporting to the State, review of tax title properties, mapping, and planning. In July 2007, I was given the following tasks by the Land Use Department in order of priority. The goal is to achieve these tasks by the end of the contract period, June 2008.

1.

Advise and assist the land use boards as appropriate or when requested by the boards

2.

Create an outline for a master plan process to include updating the Open Space Plan

3.

Master planning

4.

Attended and contribute to a roads committee

5.

Develop the digital database of mapping and resources for the land use boards and the citizens

I have advised and assisted the boards on a variety of tasks including research for citizens on particular land use issues, finalizing work with the Department of Conservation and Recreation on an inventory and mapping of the cemeteries of Ashby including a preservation plan for the First Parish Cemetery, editing and coordination on proposed bylaws including the Open Space Residential Development bylaw which passed at the Annual Town Meeting, and attending historic preservation conferences for protecting the future of Ashby.

I completed adaptive reuse reports on properties currently in tax title and formal comments on the updated Flood Insurance Rate Maps. The reuse reports include site visits and descriptions of reuse opportunities for the Town to choose. The formal comments on the FEMA FIRM maps identified and described seven areas of concerns to be mitigated with FEMA. I also completed the Commonwealth Capital report to the state. The Commonwealth Capital report is a method for the state to grade towns on their organization and smart growth methods. The grade is critical to obtaining grants and funding from the state. Ashby’s score increased 12 points (from 50 to 62).

Progress has been made on the Low Impact Development bylaw, Open Space Plan, unified permitting process, and the digital database. A preliminary Low Impact Development bylaw has been prepared and is under review. Edits to the Open Space Plan are under way and public hearings will be held this spring.

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