MAYOR RICHARD J. KOS ANNOUNCES FIRST
CITYWIDE COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHICOPEE – Mayor Richard J. Kos announces the hiring of the Horsley Witten Group, Inc. as a planning team to guide the development of Chicopee's first-ever community-driven Citywide Comprehensive Plan.
The new Citywide Comprehensive Plan will serve as the city's official guide for land use and development over the next twenty years. It will act as a "road map," detailing a long-term vision and policy agenda for important issues, utilizing the anticipated impacts of climate change as its foundation. The answer to 'what does the city want to be' will come to a realization during the planning work.
A six-member steering committee, comprised of Lee M. Pouliot, Planning Director - Ben Strepka, Parks Superintendent - Patrick McKenna, Assistant City Planner - Bobbi Mabb, Communications & Special Projects Manager - Nathan Moreau, Associate City Planner - Michelle Santerre, GIS Director, recommended in June to hire Horsley Witten Group, Inc. after releasing a request for Qualifications, Reviewing six (6) qualifying statements, and final interviews.
The hiring of the Horsley Witten Group, Inc. officially kicks off the anticipated twenty-four-month process to create a comprehensive plan. The plan will provide the guiding vision for the city's future development and help to prioritize future efforts with regards to economic development, housing, land use, open space, education, zoning, demographics, and recreation and ensure the broader community realizes the visions determined by its residents.
The final document will be unique to Chicopee evolving from the community process. Community participants will be invited to attend input workshops, info sessions, social media groups, and other participation formats.
"Can you imagine trying to put together a large puzzle without knowing what it should look like when you're finished?" asked Lee M. Pouliot, Director of Planning. "That is what our planning department has been trying to do for years."
"As Planning Director, advancing this comprehensive planning process has been a priority goal since beginning with the Planning Department five years ago. I thank Mayor Kos and the City Council for supporting this critical planning."
"Without a comprehensive plan to guide decisions on such things as land use, transportation, and housing, it could've taken longer than it needed to," said Mayor Kos. "This is going to define our community, sooner rather than later."
"The city's comprehensive plan is a unique opportunity for all residents in Chicopee to have a say in what we wish to see in our future," stated Pouliot. "Capitalizing on our city's unique characteristics and assets, and assisting in prioritizing projects that bring a community-derived vision to life."
The FY2019 budget approved by the City Council earmarked $75,000.00 towards payment of the comprehensive plan, while the rest will come from the FY2020 budget, recently approved by the City Council, to cover its overall cost of $150,000.00.