Billerica is a community rich in history and burgeoning with change. We come from colonial, agrarian roots, participated in the industrial revolution and enjoyed our day as a vacation destination. Billerica changed as the post war economy changed and became a haven for those, many from the city, seeking a close-knit community to raise families. We are now at the forefront of a high technology economy that has brought with it jobs, hotels and more change. As a community we struggle with our desire to preserve our historical character as a rural community and our realization that economic development is progress and must be encouraged.
The Long Range Master Planning Committee was established by the Board of Selectmen to seek to strike the proper balance between these sometimes competing interests. Twice Town Meeting has supported funding to support the Committee's work. The Committee was charged with developing a master plan for the community that would take a long-range view of many important areas of concern. The Committee has reviewed (with the assistance of many others) land use, housing, school needs, economic development, natural and cultural resources, open space and recreation, transportation, services and facilities.
The Committee believes that the best way to develop a master plan is through diverse community involvement and substantial public input. In our view the Master Plan that follows reflects this belief. The Plan is the result of a collaborative effort involving hundreds of citizens who participated in our planning charrette, mailed in surveys, served on one of our subcommittees or simply passed along comments to one of our members. We estimate that the compilation of the Master Plan took over three thousand volunteer hours from committee and subcommittee members as well as from citizens who took time to provide input.
Section 1: Pages 1-110
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