Planning the future of Brockton
City-wide Comprehensive Plan
The Department of Planning and Economic Development has kicked off an eighteen month effort to develop a city-wide comprehensive planning effort with the goal of increasing the pride we have in our community and its assets and creating a framework for our City to thrive as a prosperous, livable, and inclusive community that is poised to capitalize on opportunities for growth and economic development.
The last Comprehensive Plan was published in 1996. Since then, Brockton has undergone significantly population and socio/economic changes. The new plan will incorporate those changes and better represent the goals and aspirations of our community.
Among our first step was to appoint a Leadership Team to help drive the conversation and engage the community. We have hosted five listening events in June and July to gather important from residents and stakeholders. And we have published the first three of our five Trend Reports analyzing how we got to where we are.
This multi year effort will be lead by a Leadership Team that will represent the city geographically, racially, and economically. The steering committee will include residents, business owners, community groups, and other stakeholders. And as a community led planning process, there were be plenty of opportunity for public participation.
Massachusetts law requires cities and towns to prepare a Comprehensive Plan every five years. The Plans are to include the following sections:
- Goals and policies: a statement which identifies the goals and policies of the municipality for its future growth and development.
- Land use: identifies present land use and designates the proposed distribution, location and inter-relationship of public and private land uses in the future. The plan should identify the proposed standards of population density and building intensity to the capacity of land available or planned facilities and services. A land use plan map illustrating the land use policies of the municipality shall be included.
- Housing: identifies and analyzes existing and forecasted housing needs and objectives including programs for the preservation, improvement and development of housing for all income levels.
- Economic Development: identifies policies and strategies for the expansion or stabilization of the local economic base and the promotion of employment opportunities.
- Natural and Cultural Resources: an inventory of the significant natural, cultural and historic resource areas of the municipality, and policies and strategies for the protection and management of such areas.
- Open Space and Recreation: an inventory of recreational and resources and open space areas of the municipality, and policies and strategies for the management and protection of such resources and areas.
- Services and Facilities: identifies and analyzes existing and forecasted needs for facilities and services used by the public.
- Transportation (Circulation): an inventory of existing and proposed circulation and transportation systems.
- (Implementation Plan: defines and schedules the specific municipal actions necessary to achieve the objectives of each element of the Comprehensive Plan. Scheduled expansion or replacement of public facilities or circulation system components and the anticipated costs and revenues associated with accomplishment of such activities shall be detailed in this element. This element shall specify the process by which the municipality’s regulatory structures shall be amended so as to be consistent with the master plan.
The City has contracted the Edward J Collins Center for Public Management at UMass Boston to prepare a series of trend reports that will provide a foundation of facts on which the Comprehensive Plan will be built. The reports will include an analysis of Brockton’s Population, Housing, Economic, and Transportation and Infrastructure trends. The City is also working with the Old Colony Planning Council to analysis Brockton’s land use and zoning.
Thatcher Street Smart Growth Overlay District
The City is working with the Sisters of Jesus Crucified and the Archdiocese of Boston Planning Office for Urban Affairs on a proposed MGL Chapter 40R Smart Growth Overlay District at the Our Lady of Sorrows Convent on Thatcher Street. MGL 40R is a zoning designation that would allows denser residential or mixed-use development near transit stations, in areas of concentrated development such as existing city and town centers, and in other highly suitable locations. An application is currently under review by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) before being submitted to the Brockton City Council for consideration.
A copy of the current draft application can be found here.
A copy of the current draft zoning language can be found here.
Other Planning Efforts
The Department has identified 11 areas outside of downtown that should have their own District Master Plans. These include the Campello and Montello districts as well as Belmont and Pleasant Street Corridors and the east side commercial districts along Centre, Court and Quincy. Each of these districts has an important role to play in improving the lives and economic opportunities of our residents. As staff and funds become available, the Department will begin a community led planning effort.