[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Middleton 5-12-2009 by Art. 14. Amendments noted where applicable.]
There is hereby established a Master Plan Committee, consisting of nine voting members. Each of the members shall be appointed by the Town Moderator as follows:
One member of the Board of Selectmen for a term of three years.
One member of the Planning Board for a term of two years, and thereafter a term of three years.
One member of the Finance Committee for a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large member for a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large member for a term of one year, and thereafter for a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large for a term of two years, and thereafter for a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large for a term of one year, and thereafter a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large member for a term of two years, and thereafter a term of three years.
One citizen-at-large member for a term of one year, and thereafter a term of three years.
Each member of the Committee shall serve for his or her term, or, where applicable, until the person no longer serves in the position or on the board, committee, or commission as set forth above, whichever is earlier.
The Master Plan Committee shall study the needs, possibilities, resources and goals of the Town regarding a Master Plan for future development. It is in the Town's best interest to: manage the residential and commercial growth of Middleton while maintaining the small-town community environment that already unites the residents; allow for change while minimizing encroachment on the natural environment; and to create a town center that has a participatory, functional local government and which encourages gathering, stopping and pedestrian activity.
The Master Plan Committee shall supervise the administration of the Master Plan. The Committee shall review decisions and actions, including, but not limited to, those concerning zoning; planning; municipal facility; land acquisition; open space; Master Plan recommendations and revisions; and Town Charter review and recommendations. The Master Plan Committee shall review all warrant articles which would, if adopted, effect changes to the Zoning Bylaw and report its recommendations thereon to the Town Meeting. The Master Plan Committee may propose recommendations with regard to zoning amendments at any annual or special Town Meeting.
Municipal facilities planning principles. Prior to consideration of a municipal facility project by Town Meeting, the Master Plan Committee shall make a recommendation as to the conformity of the proposal to expand, renovate, or build a new facility with the following planning principles:
Sizing: Municipal facilities should be designed to meet Middleton's needs at build-out, with construction to be phased where and as appropriate.
Siting: The sites for new and/or expanded municipal facilities should be of sufficient size as to accommodate the build-out design while minimizing land acquisitions and enhancing community appearance.
Combining uses: Where uses are compatible, facilities should be combined for cost savings and enhancing value to the Town.
Financing: The building of municipal facilities should maximize the use of outside funding sources while the Town's portion of debt service is scheduled so as to minimize the impact on taxpayers.
Timing: The timing of projects should be coordinated so as to facilitate principles #2 and #4 while providing the level of services needed by the Town.
Land acquisition procedures.
[Added 5-8-2012 ATM by Art. 37]
All potential acquisitions of land, improved or unimproved, by the Town for conservation or municipal needs will be referred to the Board of Selectmen. The Board of Selectmen and the Master Plan Committee will jointly determine whether the potential transaction fits within the Town’s long-range priorities and plans and will outline the required due-diligence process. If approved, the Master Plan Committee shall be involved in all phases of the proposed acquisition from this point on.
The Master Plan Committee will obtain from the owner, or from available sources as may be necessary, all pertinent information regarding the real estate in question. The Master Plan Committee will perform a due-diligence process, as required, for each potential acquisition. This due-diligence will consist of, but is not limited to, appraisals by an independent licensed appraiser and a land use plan by a registered engineer, as reviewed by the Planning Board and Conservation Commission. A title search and an environmental profile study may be required as specified in Subsection D(4) below. Other steps may be added at the discretion of the Master Plan Committee, as deemed necessary. At the recommendation of the Master Plan Committee, the Board of Selectmen may agree to waive or modify these requirements depending on the particular real estate involved.
The Master Plan Committee will render written and oral recommendations to the Selectmen and Town Administrator with copies to the Finance Committee, Planning Board, Conservation Commission, and Town Moderator. The reports will be submitted in a timely manner, providing adequate time for review and recommendation prior to potential Town action. The Master Plan Committee’s report will include the reasons for said recommendation and shall include a review of all appraisals and data supporting such appraisals and any other information deemed necessary by the Master Plan Committee.
If the Town votes to acquire land recommended by the Master Plan Committee, the Board of Selectmen will authorize the Master Plan Committee to purchase services to conduct an examination of the record title. The Board of Selectmen will also authorize the Master Plan Committee to purchase services, to conduct an environmental profile study (i.e., Chapter 21E) to ensure the satisfactory condition of the property before authorizing the acquisition of the real estate in question.
The Master Plan Committee will request an annual budget which will be used in part to cover the cost of appraisals, title searches, and environmental studies as specified above, and for any other services necessary to carry out its obligations as set forth in this bylaw. The Master Plan Committee when authorized by the Board of Selectmen will have the authority to contract for such services through the Chief Procurement Officer.
The Master Plan Committee will report its activities to the Board of Selectmen on a regular basis, or as requested by the Board of Selectmen.
As part of its study, the Committee shall consult with existing municipal boards, including the Conservation Commission, the Historic Commission, the Zoning Board, the Planning Board, and the Housing Authority, or persons acting in those capacities or performing like duties, in conducting such studies. As part of its study, the Committee shall hold one or more public information hearings on the needs, possibilities and resources of the Town regarding Master Plan possibilities and resources, notice of which shall be posted publicly and published for each of two weeks preceding a hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town.
The Master Plan Committee shall make an annual report to the Town meeting as to the transaction of its duties over the previous year.