This is one of five reports submitted for the LA497C Spring 2011 Senior Studio project.
The town of Hatfield needs a Master plan to keep the town up to date on zoning regulations amongst other topics. They need to preserve rural character and enhance its economic base without overstepping private property rights. The town needs to attract new business, provide housing opportunities for the elderly, and standards for clustered residential development that will help preserve open space. The residents in Hatfield are concerned with three specific areas.
1. Managing growth and economic development
2. Preserving agriculture, natural resources, open space, and historic neighborhoods—the “rural character of Hatfield”
3. Providing infrastructure (water, sewer, schools, and roads) or determining how the town meets its responsibilities to residents. (Sited ‘Hatfield’s Master Plan for Twenty First Century II’)
The Hatfield Master Plan Committee used a combination of public meetings and a survey mailed to all residents to solicit public involvement in the master planning process. Results of these efforts were used to determine the topics of the six working papers, essentially the backbone of Hatfield’s Master Plan. The issue of economic development illustrates the nuances that were uncovered through the combined process. Hatfield’s geographic location is between the Connecticut River and interstate highway 91. The most important external force affecting Hatfield’s future land use is regional growth pressure. The most important internal force is the inadequacy of Hatfield’s zoning regulations. The business district in Hatfield is divided into 29 separate land parcels or freestanding groups of parcels, which are scattered throughout the town. The industrial districts comprise 19 distinct parcels or groups of parcels, also scattered throughout town. Although Hatfield has significant acreage of industrial and commercial zoned land, large amounts of this land either are already developed or are constrained from future development due to floodplains, wetlands, river protection lands, and other environmental constraints. Hatfield needs to manage residential development and update their zoning regulations to protect and provide for their residents.
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