Lee Pouliot, AICP, ASLA | Director | Planning Dept. | (413) 594-1515
Patrick McKenna | Assistant Planner | Planning Dept. | (413) 594-1485
Bobbi Mabb | Communication & Special Projects Manager | Mayors Office | (413) 594-1506
Mayor John L. Vieau Announces Kickoff of Envision Our Chicopee: 2040
- Chicopee’s Comprehensive Plan and the Initial Community Process
CHICOPEE, MA - August 6, 2020: Mayor John L. Vieau announced the community kickoff of Envision Our Chicopee: 2040, a process to develop Chicopee’s first-ever community-driven City-wide Comprehensive Plan. “Comprehensive Plans are long term visions for a city and Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 will guide the City’s development over the next two decades,” noted Mayor Vieau. “I am proud of our City and expect this plan will help build on our collective identity and a common vision for the next twenty years.”
Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 will serve as the City’s official guide for land use and development priorities. It will be a shared vision for Chicopee’s future, a “roadmap” that guides how we get there together, and a tool that can be used by City leaders, staff, boards, and committees to make decisions regarding:
- What new development looks like and where it happens
- How the City can protect environmentally sensitive areas and historic sites
- How to prioritize future investments in community services and infrastructure that promote fairness and equity across the City
- How to better support local business development and entrepreneurship
Lee M. Pouliot, AICP, ASLA - Director of Planning & Development, and his team look forward to the process of developing the Comprehensive Plan and using it to make decisions and guide development efforts coordinated through the Planning Department. “Can you imagine trying to put together a large puzzle without knowing what it should look like when you’re finished? That is what the Planning Department has been trying to do for years. With a comprehensive plan, we will have a clear direction regarding priority projects and funding needs to ensure such investments meet the broader community vision for the City.”
Chicopee is a unique community full of a diversity of people and stories. By planning together, we hope that the community understands that each of us is part of what makes Chicopee special and that residents take active ownership of the City’s future. We all should have a place at the table. Through this process, the community will outline a future that treats everyone fairly and equitably, providing resources and giving support where it is needed most. The City is also dedicated to its children and their families. Chicopee will be a place where people are proud to raise their children and where children are given the opportunity to own the future of their City. “Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 is a unique opportunity for all residents in Chicopee to have a say in how we see our future,” Pouliot emphasized. “Many residents grew up in Chicopee and worried their children wouldn’t stay for a variety of reasons. This plan gives us the chance to develop a clear vision for our City, tackling hard issues, and developing solutions that will ensure Chicopee remains attractive as a place to raise a family. With this plan, the City will capitalize on our unique characteristics and assets while assisting in prioritizing projects that bring our collective vision to life.”
The most important goal of Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 is to protect and enhance the characteristics in Chicopee that make it a great place to live, both for today’s residents and future generations.
As the comprehensive plan is developed through a community process, the City is using a variety of tools to reach Chicopee residents, business owners, and others with a stake in the City’s future to get their input and ideas. Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, traditional community engagement methods are being reimagined virtually. The Envision Our Chicopee: 2040 planning process will host an extended Virtual Public Open House starting on August 17 that will feature updates on the current planning process, with opportunities to collect resident feedback, culminating in a Virtual Community Workshop on September 3 at 7:00 pm. To register for this event, please visit www.EnvisionOurChicopee2040.com.
The Planning Team has also developed something called “Meeting-in-a-Box” for individuals who are not interested in participating online. This is a pre-packaged kit that allows anyone to get together with a small group of family or friends (per current state standards for in-person gatherings) and review the same questions being discussed at the Virtual Workshop. Anyone interested in hosting a “Meeting-in-a-Box” should contact the Chicopee Planning Department at (413) 594-1515 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Everyone is also encouraged to visit the project website: www.EnvisionOurChicopee2040.com. In addition to being the landing page for the Virtual Public Open House and Workshop, this is where information on the planning process, including other upcoming events and future activities, will be posted. Residents can also register on the website to receive email updates throughout the planning process.
The City has appointed a Steering Committee to guide the planning process. It is comprised of City staff, local boards, committees, and organizations, and residents of Chicopee. All meetings are open to the public; the Steering Committee meeting schedule is posted on the project website and is also available via the Planning Department. All meetings are currently being held via Zoom.