How can we approve more subdivisions and still preserve open space and farms? How can we permit new revenue-generating development without causing too much traffic congestion in our neighborhoods? How do we respect private property rights while preserving community values? How do we weigh the adverse impacts on some residents versus the larger benefit to many residents?
As South Coast communities try to plan for their future, they are confronted with those questions and dilemmas again and again.
Occasionally, there are places where the concerns for the future are all being played out in one location. One such place is a two mile stretch of South Main Street in the Assonet section of Freetown – from Exit 9 on Route 24 south to the Fall River City line. This area is a microcosm for many of the issues that face our region.
Decisions that are being made now will profoundly affect the town and the region in the future. And none of these decisions is easy or uncontested.
The area in question is characterized by unique beauty and outstanding development potential – a deadly combination.
What’s a town to do?
Development in line with current zoning of industrial and general use districts will result in a future that nobody wants. Fortunately, a committee of dedicated local officials, residents and property owners has been wrestling with these issues.
The process has been bumpy and occasionally contentious. Their work is far from complete.
Public/private partnerships are essential. No one has a monopoly on the best solutions.
As we emerge from a long winter of a recession, our cities and towns will increasingly face more issues of this type.
Read the entire article in May's South Coast Insider