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Town of Andover Master Plan What is the purpose of the Master Plan? As citizens of Andover, we believe that our town is an exceptionally good place to live and to raise a family. At the same time, we recognize powerful trends in changing land use, resource availability, evolving responsibilities and expectations, and new technology that could dramatically alter our town. We have a choice. We can simply accept how the town evolves or we can creatively manage change. To manage change, we need to understand ourselves and what is important to us — our values, aspirations, and the goals that we share for our community. The Master Plan provides a framework for decision-making that elevates the importance of these shared elements and desires. What is included in the Master Plan? In this section, you will find: The Vision, which identifies the core values that bind Andover residents together. Shared values become critical guideposts for our elected officials and town staff as they make decisions on our behalf. Goals Statements, which provide a clear notion of how best to implement community values. In following sections, you will find supporting information and measures for implementing goals for the following elements: Section 2.0 Land Use Section 3.0 Housing Section 4.0 Economic Development Section 5.0 Open Space and Recreation Section 6.0 Natural, Historic, and Cultural Resources Section 7.0 Transportation and Circulation Section 8.0 Municipal Facilities and Town Services Section 9.0 provides a comprehensive plan for implementing the goals, including the assignment of responsibilities and timeframes. How was the Vision developed? The Andover Strategic Planning Task Force, an ad hoc committee of the Board of Selectmen, School Committee, and Finance Committee members, recommended that the Town Manager form a diverse and representative committee of citizen volunteers to articulate a Town Vision. Members of the Vision 21 Committee were approved by the Board of Selectmen and were given the charge to develop a comprehensive twenty-year vision of Andover that reflects community core values. Over a two and a half-year period, the Vision 21 Committee debated scope and format and how to create a truly useful Vision; reviewed similar efforts by other communities; held open public input meetings with guidance and assistance from planning consultants; conducted a survey at Town Meeting; met in focus groups with community groups; held roundtables with town leaders; and listened to experts on issues related to community and regional planning and the task of building a Vision. From all of these sources, the Committee developed lists of shared values and potential strategies and used them to write this Vision. Thank you to the Vision 21 Committee: Bruce E. Earnley (Chair), Mark F. Hornick, Maria K. Bartlett, Janice Burkholder, Alan F. French, Amy L. Janovsky, Ann M. Daly, Michael A. Frishman, John R. Roberts, Joseph A. Dorsey, Jr., Raymond E. Hender, Carol Tanski. Challenge to our Fellow Citizens As citizens, we must all consider how our own decisions, both civic and personal, affect the Town. As in natural ecosystems, all of our actions interconnect. To inform these decisions, we must insist that our elected officials, Town staff, and volunteer boards and committees provide us with consistent, honest, and informative data that helps us to monitor those qualities of Andover that we value. As Andover evolves, we must increase efforts to forge connections throughout the community - connections that help us to know one another, to exchange interests and concerns, and to continue to manage ourselves by those values that we share. Ultimately, our Vision depends on our shared resolve, not only on public actions and votes at Town Meeting, but on individual choices and personal lifestyle. Together, we can harness the forces of change and the creative potential of our citizens to make Andover an even better place to live than it is today. Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 What is our Vision for Andover? QUALITY EDUCATION FINANCIAL STABILITY We will follow prudent financial practices that balance We will offer a rich and challenging public education that builds essential skills and knowledge that support a broad consistent high-quality services, private vs. public range of academic and vocational options, enable successful responsibility, stable tax rates, and responsible levels of debt. We will set ambitious goals but live within our means. participation in our society and culture, and sustain curiosity and learning in a world of new and ever changing In making financial decisions, we will include an opportunities. We will cultivate the public library as a understanding of long-term costs and consequences, particularly to the environmental integrity of the Town. We resource for lifelong learning and enrichment and as facilitator for the flow of information throughout the will consider regional partnerships that offer more effective community. We will find ways to protect the quality of these and economical options, and we will manage the impact of our decisions on property values relative to similar institutions through fluctuating economic cycles. OPEN SPACE AND RECREATION communities. HEALTHY AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT We will continue to acquire and protect open space as a We will protect public health and safety through careful crucial natural resource that helps to maintain the character of the town, offers access to both active and passive monitoring and enforcement of environmental, health, and safety regulations and by continuing to provide effective and recreation, and provides an important natural system for responsive fire and police protection and beneficial public water recharge, flood control, and wildlife habitat. VIBRANT DOWNTOWN health services. MANAGEMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES We will maintain our downtown as an attractive and vibrant We will manage and protect our natural resources, center with a mix of commercial and public activities, historical elements, and parks. We will use permits, zoning particularly water, in a manner that acknowledges our responsibility to future generations and to other guidelines, and planning approvals to attract and keep communities that share those resources. We will monitor air pedestrian-friendly street-level enterprises. SMALL-TOWN CHARACTER quality and take measures to mitigate negative effects of emissions from vehicles, regional incinerators, and industrial Even as the Town continues to grow, we will actively seek to facilities. identify and preserve those elements — town layout and scale, central focus, community-wide activities, respect for TOWN SERVICES We will provide effective and efficient services that build historical structures, and housing mix that gives Andover so and maintain Town infrastructure, handle Town business, much of its appeal and character. CITIZEN PARTICIPATION and assist citizens. We will use technology to facilitate interdepartmental communication and efficiency, and to We will govern ourselves in a manner that encourages provide public access to Town information. participation by all, that consistently provides adequate information for making informed choices, and that acts to HUMAN SERVICES Through our department of community services, other Town preserve our investment and the interests of the community programs, and religious institutions, we will sponsor services as a whole. We will acknowledge the needs of others and consider compromises that are in the best interest of the and programs, facilities, outreach, and recognition to veterans, seniors, youth, and the disabled or disadvantaged Town and region. HISTORICAL HERITAGE among us. We will foster connections among all citizens to We will maintain strong and consistent zoning that protects help us to appreciate, learn from, and support one another. TRANSPORTATION historic buildings and places, and we will support the institutions that protect and promote Andover’s historical We will monitor changing commuting patterns and side- heritage. effects on air and water quality, noise, and traffic. We will work within the region to strengthen opportunities for CULTURAL DIVERSITY We will be respectful of Andover’s many races, ethnicities, regional transit, rail travel, commuter buses, and improved religious beliefs, and lifestyles. We will facilitate public connections with mass transit hubs. We will seek solutions to local needs for downtown and commuter parking, for safe events that celebrate diversity and provide opportunities for sharing cultural traditions. As a community, we will not and efficient traffic flow, and for shuttle service to local tolerate acts of hatred or persecution. facilities and services. We will encourage foot and bicycle travel as an alternative to automobiles, whenever feasible. Vision Statement and Goals Page 3 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 What are our Goals for Andover? The goals statements on the following pages are meant to serve as a policy guide for the development of the Master Plan. They are the result of the Visioning Process, a reassessment of the 1992 Master Plan goals, interviews conducted with key town stakeholders and input from members of the Andover Boards, Commissions and Committees. These goals statements represent overarching policy positions. Because there may be an overlap, they can fall into more than one category and efforts have been made to combine comments that are redundant. Land Use and Zoning (LU) A balance of residential, commercial and industrial development is vital to a community’s continued quality of life and long term sustainability. Goal LU-1 Downtown – General Business and Mixed Use District Downtown is the civic, cultural, service and commercial center of Andover. It is also a regional commerce center for surrounding towns. LU.1.1. Remove potential regulatory barriers to mixed-use development, including parking and dimensional requirements. LU.1.2. Encourage the highest and best use of commercial space in the General Business district. LU.1.3. Relocate the Town Yard to a more appropriate site. LU.1.4. Encourage pedestrian access in downtown. LU.1.5. Keep parking available to customers. LU.1.6. Work with the Andover Business Center Association and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce to keep downtown Andover a civic center. LU.1.7. Help downtown Andover to become 100% accessible to person with disabilities. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 4 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Land Use and Zoning (continued) Goal LU-2 Residential and Agricultural Districts It is important to respect the property rights of owners, while at the same time preserving natural resources, farmland and the environment. LU.2.1. Encourage more residential development that is appropriately located, land-sensitive, environmentally sustainable, and capable of withstanding economic downturns. LU.2.2. Encourage the preservation of remaining farmland to ensure that future generations can enjoy Andover’s agricultural heritage. LU.2.3. Continue to collaborate with neighboring towns about the development that occurs along and across municipal borders. Goal LU-3 Industrial and Commercial Districts The industrial and commercial properties in Andover provide a strong tax base as well as thousands of jobs. Both are important when it comes to keeping a community balanced. LU.3.1. Maintain a mix of land uses so that approximately 29 percent of the property tax base is from nonresidential classifications. LU.3.2. Ensure that there is adequate infrastructure capacity to serve future development. LU.3.3. Encourage innovative site and building design. LU.3.4. Reduce dependence on the automobile. LU.3.5. Plan for future build out of the Industrial Districts. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 5 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Land Use and Zoning (continued) Goal LU-4 Historic Districts and Preservation The character of the historic districts of Andover and heritage landscapes contributes to the overall quality of life in Andover. LU.4.1. Maintain Andover’s attractive and aesthetically diverse housing stock and continue to promote architectural compatibility in future development and redevelopment. LU.4.2. Encourage creative and adaptive reuse of existing sound building stock in the historical and industrial sections of Andover, such as Dundee Park, Shawsheen Village and Ballardvale. LU.4.3. Encourage the preservation and restoration of existing structures of historic interest. Work with the Preservation Commission and the Ballardvale Historic District Commission on a community education program to explain the importance of preserving the historic mill areas. LU.4.4. Promote the use of effective preservation tools such as Neighborhood Conservation Districts, scenic road bylaws and overlay zoning. Goal LU-5 Design Review LU.5.1. Improve the use and effectiveness of the existing design guidelines, design review criteria, and design review procedures, including consultation with the Design Review Board, by and for the benefit of the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Selectmen. LU.5.2. Develop and implement a written policy delineating the role and responsibilities of the following boards and commissions in the design review process: the Design Review Board, the Preservation Commission, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The policy should also specify the role of the Community Development and Planning Staff in disseminating information about and ensuring compliance with design review procedures. LU.5.3. Emphasize through Town policies and procedures the value to applicants of meeting with the Design Review Board prior to filing a formal application for design review. An informal review prior to design finalization improves applicants’ understanding of the relevant design guidelines and design review criteria and facilitates compliance. LU.5.4. Develop and make readily available to applicants, staff and boards an informational brochure or handbook outlining design guidelines, design review criteria and design review procedures. LU.5.5. Membership of the Design Review Board should be composed primarily of design professionals (architects, landscape architects, urban designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, and historians and critics of art or architectural history) but may include other interested residents who support the goals of the Board. Board membership should be determined in consultation with the Planning Board and the Preservation Commission. Vision Statement and Goals Page 6 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Land Use and Zoning (continued) Goal LU-6 Sustainability It is important to consider the long term when making decisions or recommending actions. LU.6.1. Review and consider opportunities to appropriate available Town land for alternative energy generation in such a way that would create cost savings for the Town without impacting open space. LU.6.2. Review “Best Practices” for cost and energy efficient building codes and make recommendations that encourage upgrades without undue cost burden to home and business owners. LU.6.3. Take proactive steps to reduce the reliance of Andover’s businesses on energy and fossil fuels. LU.6.4. Increase both residential and industrial/commercial opportunities to recycle trash and other waste. LU 6.5. Continue to improve various technology efforts to facilitate communication with the public, create greater efficiency in government, and reduce dependency on variable external factors. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 7 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Housing (H) Goal H-1 Future Generations Historically, Andover is a socially conscious and equitable place to live. It is important to remain an economically diverse population and have a diverse housing stock. H.1.1. Promote the construction and renovation of a wide range of housing types including single family homes less than 2500 square feet, condominiums, apartments, and townhouses, for both ownership and rental. H.1.2. Support the renovation, rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of existing homes or buildings. H.1.3. Educate the residents of Andover on the benefits of a diverse housing stock. H.1.4. Encourage affordable housing for the elderly. H.1.5. Encourage the creation of affordable housing for persons with disabilities; this includes those who are either mentally and/or physically challenged and those who are developmentally disabled. Goal H-2 Housing Supply To remain in balance with job growth, the affordable housing supply should increase at a reasonable rate alongside the market rate supply as to not over burden the community. H.2.1. As the market rate housing supply increases, promote an increase in the supply of affordable housing so that Andover remains above the state’s Subsidized Housing Inventory (SHI) of 10% minimum as required by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under MGL Chapter 40B. Goal H-3 Context New housing developments should be designed to protect the Town’s natural resources and to preserve open space corridors. H.3.1. Create guidelines for developers who build housing in Andover. H.3.2. Encourage multi-family housing in appropriate locations (closer to the town center) and at an appropriate scale (height, width and massing). H.3.3. New housing developments should advance Andover as a walkable community. Goal H-4 Inventory An inventory is an important tool to show where various types of housing including the percentage of affordable housing. H.4.1 Maintain a current inventory of potential developable areas for affordable housing. H.4.2. Preserve the affordability of previous 40B projects. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 8 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Economic Development (ED) Goal ED-1 Employment It is important to maintain a balanced local economy that serves the employment needs of Andover. ED.1.1. Encourage the creation of a full range of jobs for local residents, from services and trades to high tech and research and development. ED.1.2. Continue to promote a community identity that values quality businesses that support an expanding job market. ED.1.3. Find services and retail uses to fill gaps in local needs for goods and services. ED.1.4. The Town’s General Business Districts should be preserved and redeveloped whenever possible, especially where there are old mill complexes that support high tech firms and back-office activities. Goal ED-2 Retention, Promotion, Marketing Retention, Promotion and Marketing are the three key factors in keeping Andover known as a first-rate, strategically located commercial center. ED.2.1. Retain existing jobs and companies currently located in Andover. ED.2.2. Promote and Market Andover to create new jobs. Goal ED-3 Regional Center It is important to keep Andover is a regional economic center. ED.3.1. Provide an environment through permitting practices and zoning to encourage start-ups. ED.3.2. Provide expedited permitting and adequate infrastructure to entice large national and international corporations to reside in Andover. ED.3.3. Strengthen and maintain Andover’s position as a regional center for banking, insurance, legal and other professional services. ED.3.4. Market Andover as a regional center for innovative industries. Goal ED-4 Tourism ED.4.1. Expand the tourism potential of Andover. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 9 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Open Space (OS) Goal OS-1 Merrimack and Shawsheen Rivers OS.1.1. Acquire through the Town, AVIS or other non-profit, permanent protection of the Deer Jump Trail that runs through the large tracts of land along River Road and the National Grid land along the Merrimack River. OS.1.2. Acquire in fee or protect with restriction via the Town, AVIS or other non-profit river front areas and parcels along the Shawsheen River from Lawrence to the Tewksbury line. OS.1.3. Construct a Riverwalk along the entire length of the Shawsheen River from the Lawrence to Tewksbury lines. The Riverwalk should be accessible to persons with disabilities. Provide for both active and passive recreation sites, such as playing fields and boat ramps. OS.1.4. Purchase or protect with Conservation Restrictions, land on the west side of Route 93 to preserve the oxbow Shawsheen riverfront, the wetlands and areas for the Priority Habitat of Rare Species and Estimated Habitat of Rare Wildlife. Goal OS-2 Advocate for Conservation Land Fund OS.2.1. Request annual funds for the Conservation Land Fund to be ready to purchase parcels that meet the requirements of the Conservation Commission when they come on the market. OS.2.2. Investigate and prioritize the purchase of Chapter 61 lands in Andover (which currently comprises more than 1,300 acres of open space). OS.2.3. Create and prioritize a “parcels of interest list,” to actively seek to acquire open space. The Commission should reach out to owners in advance of parcels coming on the market. This list should be flexible to be ready to purchase desirable parcels when the owners are ready to sell. Goal OS-3 Great Ponds and Significant Water Bodies OS.3.1. Negotiate with land owners to purchase parcels when they become available or prior to going on the market. At Fosters Pond it is desirable to link vacant parcels with the extensive AVIS Goldsmith Woodlands and abutting Conservation Commission parcel on the pond. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 10 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Open Space (continued) Goal OS-4 Land Management Plan and Land Manager OS.4.1. Develop a Management Plan for the town-owned open space. OS.4.2. Hire a Land Manger for the more than 2,200 acres of permanently protected town owned land under the control of the Conservation Commission. Goal OS-5 Education The town should educate the public about the parcels under its control so as to encourage access and use. OS.5.1. Create avenues to educate the public about town-owned parcels to encourage greater use of the land. Goal OS-6 Community Gardens and small parks The town should support the creation of community gardens in several neighborhoods across town, especially for people with disabilities, children, apartment dwellers, seniors and families. OS.6.1. Continue to foster the Community Gardens (on town owned sites) program under the direction of a Master Gardener. In some instances, create gardens specifically for seniors, people with disabilities, and an educational garden for high school students. OS.6.2. Encourage and support the weekly farmers market during the growing season at the Andover Historical Society. OS.6.3. Create pocket parks (i.e. small parks) in dense neighborhoods throughout town. Goal OS-7 Trail System The town should strengthen the extensive trail system throughout town to connect neighborhoods and schools, and to encourage connections to abutting open space when new developments are planned. OS.7.1. Require trail and open space connections among and within neighborhoods when a new subdivision or development is planned. This has been a longstanding policy of the Planning Board and the Conservation Commission. OS.7.2. Encourage a volunteer network to keep trails clear and safe, and to create more. Vision Statement and Goals Page 11 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Open Space (continued) OS.7.3. Strengthen the role of the Overseers of the town-owned reservations and the Wardens of the AVIS reservations through education and support. Encourage work parties for trail blazing/ maintenance, and explore a policy of “adoption” of some Conservation Commission parcels by designated groups. OS.7.4. Utilize funding sources including Massachusetts DCS grants, Commonwealth Capital grants, other state and federal grants as well as Andover Town Meeting appropriations. Goal OS-8 Active Recreation OS.8.1. Establish new boat launch sites on the Merrimack and Shawsheen rivers and ponds. OS.8.2. Continue to plan for a Riverwalk the entire length of the Shawsheen River in Andover by purchasing in fee or acquire through permanent Conservation Restrictions along the riverfront parcels. OS.8.3. Continue the Blanchard Street field’s project. At the 2009 Town Meeting, voters approved $425,000 as a partial amount for a public/private partnership for the construction of three baseball fields and a soccer field on the Blanchard Street site, which the town purchased in 2007 for $2,100,000. OS.8.4. Maintain current sports fields, create new ones on former Reichhold land and seek new sports fields sites and multiuse parks. OS.8.4.Make improvements to the recreation parcels and buildings under the control of the Department of Community Services. OS.8.5. Support on-road and off-road biking for recreation and for commuting to work and school. OS.8.6. Create and execute a localized open space and recreation plan for the lands on both sides of Route 93 in the southern part of town to be developed as the result of the new interstate intersection. Include features for accessibility for people with disabilities and both active and passive recreation in multi-use parks. Build a bridge over the Shawsheen River and a suspended walkway under the highway. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 12 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Open Space (continued) Goal OS-9 Accessibility OS.9.1. Create paths along the river and walkways over streams accessible to all persons whenever possible. OS.9.2. Plan and build accessible walkways and other structures at the new Merrimack River reservation behind the Greater Lawrence Technical School. OS.9.3. Design and build accessible playground/s throughout town and specifically at the new Bancroft School. OS.9.4. Redesign existing parks and playgrounds to be accessible as recommended by the Commission on Disabilities. OS.9.5. Build an accessible bridge over the Shawsheen River and an accessible suspended walkway under Interstate 93. Vision Statement and Goals Page 13 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Natural, Historic, and Cultural Resources (NHC) Goal NHC–1 Natural Resources It is important to protect the natural resources and systems in Andover. NHC.1.1. Protect and enhance surface and ground water quality. NHC.1.2. Promote clean air and encourage emissions reductions. NHC.1.3. Ensure that new developments conform with sound environmental practices. NHC.1.4. Identify, protect, and maintain outstanding natural features, endangered habitats, archaeologically important sites, and open spaces at critical locations. NHC.1.5. Protect significant shade trees located on town owned land. Goal NHC-2 Cultural Resources The historic structures, traditional neighborhoods, and cultural landscapes contribute to Andover’s charming and pleasant setting. NHC.2.1. Continue to promote heritage education in the community. NHC.2.2. Continue to update the Town's inventory of historic properties to include properties over fifty years old. NHC.2.3. Seek funding resources for historic rehabilitation i.e. certified local government status. NHC.2.4. Encourage architectural quality and the preservation of community character. Goal NHC-3 Cultural Diversity Participation by all members of the community and an appreciation for diversity of views will ensure a more cohesive community, while fostering a more inclusive and welcoming atmosphere. NHC 3.1. Raise awareness throughout the community of existing diversity efforts and the importance of viewing the future through a lens attuned to the value of diversity. Vision Statement and Goals Page 14 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Transportation and Circulation (TC) Goal TC–1 Regional Transportation TC.1.1. Promote regional transportation improvements. Goal TC-2 Local Transportation TC.2.1. Promote local transportation improvements. Goal TC-3 Alternative Transportation TC.3.1. Provide for safe and comfortable bicycle and pedestrian circulation throughout Andover. Vision Statement and GoalPage 15 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Municipal Facilities and Town Services (MF) Goal MF-1 Public Facilities It is important to maintain public facilities so that costs are kept under control and the built environment is safe for students, employees and the general public. MF.1.1.Follow the priorities in the Capital Improvement Program (CIP). MF.1.2.Support initiatives to maintain public facilities responsibly regardless of economic flux. MF.1.3.Concurrent with the construction of new facilities, provide a budget adequate to ensure long-term maintenance of public facilities. MF.1.4.Ensure that all public facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities. MF.1.5.Use energy efficient technologies when replacing, reconstructing, and rehabilitating municipal buildings. MF.1.6.Implement new technologies to conserve power and further “Green” initiatives. Goal MF-2 Parks, Grounds and Roadways Maintain all public parks, grounds, trees, Bald Hill compost site and Spring Grove Cemetery. MF.2.1.Maintain over 120 acres of sports fields throughout Andover ensuring continued enjoyment by students, youth sports and recreational use groups. MF.2.2.Support public safety initiatives by mowing and maintaining roadside vegetation along town owned roadways and by supplementing snow removal services with the D.P.W. MF.2.3.Follow established arboricultural practices and procedures in maintaining all public shade trees along Andover’s roadways and green spaces. MF.2.4.Administer the Bald Hill Compost Site permit program in support of Andover’s composting initiatives and provide residents with a supply of rich compost and a place to repurpose their leaves and grass clippings. MF.2.5.Provide lot sales and burials for Andover residents at the Spring Grove Cemetery. Vision Statement and Goals Page 16 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Municipal Facilities and Town Services (continued) Goal MF-3 Educational Buildings and the Public Library Provide educational and cultural facilities and services to serve Andover residents. MF.3.1.Encourage coordination and communication between the school department and the town government in order to maximize the efficient utilization of existing facilities. MF.3.2.Support Memorial Hall Library as the cultural heart of the community, enriching citizens through a lifelong relationship with ideas, art, literature, information and technology. MF.3.3. Continue to maintain the Old Town Hall, also called the Town House, as a focal point and gathering place in downtown Andover. Goal MF-4 Water Treatment Plant Maintain and continue to improve the function of the Water Treatment Plant MF.4.1.Provide water supply capacity (volumes and pressures) that are adequate for average and peak demand levels and public safety needs. MF.4.2.Provide wastewater collection and treatment facilities that are adequate to serve the existing and projected development and to protect the environment. MF.4.3.Install and update infrastructure that will reduce long term costs. Goal MF-5 Public Safety Provide the highest level of public safety to the citizens and business community of Andover. MF.5.1.The Andover Police Department is committed to providing the highest level of public safety and service to the citizens and business people within the community. The members of the Department are empowered to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the By-laws of the Town of Andover to ensure that the peace and tranquility of our neighborhoods are maintained and that crime and the fear of crime are reduced. MF5.2. Andover Fire Rescue will serve the citizens of the community and its visitors by protecting them from the dangers created by man-made and natural emergencies. Andover Fire Rescue aggressively attempts to minimize the risks associated with these incidents through effective fire prevention and investigation, code enforcement, public education and injury prevention programs Vision Statement and Goals Page 17 Vision Statement and Goals Section 1 Municipal Facilities and Town Services (continued) Goal MF-6 Education Provide the highest level of education to the students of the Andover Public School System. MF.6.1. Ensure that students receive the knowledge and skills they will need to thrive in a diverse, global community. MF.6.2. Ensure that teachers are highly qualified to prepare students for a diverse global community. MF.6.3. Ensure that communication is enhanced among all constituents MF.6.4. Ensure that all children are in schools that are safe and conducive to learning. MF.6.5.Ensure that the district manages operations efficiently and cost effectively. The Master Plan draws from and in some cases defers to other Town planning documents. It does not intend to replace other Town plans but instead complements and incorporates those plans into one comprehensive document. The overall objective is to provide the Planning Board with the tools and information to make decisions and guide future growth in a managed and conscientious way. It is also a document that may be referenced by Town Staff, the Board of Selectmen, the Finance Committee, and Town Meeting attendees. Many Town Boards, Committees and Commissions have provided input into the Goals and Objectives of the Master Plan. Thank you to the Planning Board, the Preservation Commission, the Conservation Commission, the Design Review Board, the Recycling Committee, the Green Advisory Committee, the Andover Housing Partnership Committee, the Ballardvale Historic District Commission, the Commission on Disabilities, Mary Lally, Beth Mazin, Becky DelRosso, and everyone else that has taken an interest in the update of the Town of Andover Master Plan 2011. Vision Statement and GoalsPage 18 Section 2 Land Use and Zoning (LU) A balance of residential, commercial and industrial development is vital to a community’s continued quality of life and long term sustainability. Goal LU-1 Downtown – General Business and Mixed Use District LU 1.1. Remove potential regulatory barriers to mixed-use development, including parking and dimensional requirements. Vision - Vibrant Downtown o Amend the zoning by-law to allow shared parking for uses The definition of a vibrant downtown requires many factors working with complementary parking demands, such as mixed-use simultaneously in the downtown area, developments that contain residential and commercial uses. such as job creation, a strong tax base, maintenance of property values, options o Evaluate the effect of the Andover Zoning By-law on the redevelopment of existing buildings and new construction, for goods and services, pedestrian activity and providing an important civic forum and propose appropriate changes if necessary. where all members of the community can and want to congregate. Downtown o Continue to encourage housing as a part of the mix of uses Andover is the heart of the community and downtown. its condition serves as an indicator of the health, capacity, and self-regard of the entire community. In order to make the downtown LU 1.2. Encourage the highest and best use of commercial space in the General Business district. desirable to the entire community, as the community grows, the options and o Update the parking requirements in the zoning by-law to services provided by the downtown must grow and change; otherwise the residents promote first floor retail. located inconveniently to the downtown will seek alternate locations for attaining o Conduct a periodic market analysis to help identify new and those services. needed small, locally owned businesses. Andover has the ability to sustain its vibrant downtown; however, continued planning and adjustments must be made. LU 1.3. Relocate the Town Yard to a more appropriate site. Below are indicators that should be tracked in order to monitor the vibrancy of o Rezone the area surrounding the Town Yard and the railroad Andover’s downtown. crossing to complement and encourage mixed use Change in use from first floor storefront retail or services to office or development and implement building design standards. commercial Vacancy and lease rate changes of retail and office space in downtown LU 1.4. Encourage pedestrian access in downtown. Turnover and use at peak hours of existing parking spaces downtown o Require sidewalks and connections between and around Renovations and new construction of commercial properties. properties in downtown New commercial space and housing units added to the downtown area Percent increase in the accessibility LU 1.5. Keep parking available to customers. rate of buildings and businesses downtown. o Encourage employees to park in designated long-term spaces and to participate in the parking sticker program. Land Use and Zoning Page - 1 Section 2 LU 1.6. Work with the Andover Business Center Association and the Merrimack Valley Chamber of Commerce to keep downtown Andover a civic center. o Develop a map of downtown to be distributed to residents, businesses, and visitors. o Create and participate in downtown events that promote the Town’s quality of life and community spirit. LU 1.7. Help downtown Andover to become 100% accessible to person with disabilities. o Encourage existing businesses to redesign entrances and interiors. o Encourage new construction to go above and beyond what is required by law. Goal LU-2 Residential and Agricultural Districts It is important to understand the property rights of owners, while at the same time understanding the importance of preserving natural resources, farmland and the environment. LU 2. 1. Encourage more appropriately located land-sensitive residential development that is environmentally sustainable and capable of withstanding economic downturns. o Update the Subdivision Rules and Regulations and work closely with the Department of Public Works and the Planning Board to improve current practices. o Revise the cluster subdivision by-law and reduce the requirement from a 10 acre to 5 or fewer acre minimum. o Add an open space residential development and context-sensitive design standards. o Discuss with developers early on about low impact development, green building initiatives, and connectivity. LU 2.3. Encourage the preservation of remaining farmland to ensure that future generations can enjoy Andover’s agricultural heritage. o Utilize the open space plan and the element of the Master Plan to help guide the acquisition of farmland for preservation purposes. o Promote regional and local agriculture to provide local food production, distribution, and access. Encourage citizen participation in food coops, community supported agriculture programs and farmers markets. LU 2.4. Continue to collaborate with neighboring towns about the development that occurs along and across municipal borders. Land Use and Zoning Page - 2 Section 2 Land Use Development - Percent of Land Developed 100.0% 90.0% 80.0% 70.0% 60.0% 50.0% 40.0% 30.0% 20.0% Percent of Land Developed 0.0% 1965 1985 2010 Industrial 9.0% 62.3% 82.4% Commercial 76.8% 90.5% 94.0% Residential 46.0% 81.7% 89.8% Table ?: This Table shows that in 1965 only 9 % of the industrial zoned land was developed. In, 2010, 82.4 percent of the industrial zoned land was developed. The Town of Andover is reaching build out capacity in all three categories. Goal LU-3 Industrial and Commercial Districts The industrial and commercial properties in Andover provide a strong tax base as well as thousands of jobs. Both are important when it comes to keeping a community balanced. LU 3.1. Maintain a mix of land uses so that approximately 29 percent of the property tax base is from nonresidential classifications. LU 3.2. Ensure that there is adequate infrastructure capacity to serve future development. o Review the infrastructure that is in place (water, sewer and roads) and propose improvements every two years. LU 3.3. Encourage innovative site and building design. o Use flexible zoning by-law design controls that enhance the natural features of the land. o Encourage innovative building design that meets energy efficient criteria used by the U.S. Green Building Council and energy use alternatives that reduce dependence on fossil fuels. o Require that all new construction utilize energy efficiency, water conservation, and other renewable or alternative energy technologies. o Require landscape transitions, which protect adjacent residential properties by buffering and limiting the location and design of large-scale developments. o Provide safe pedestrian and vehicular circulation within the development and the vicinity of the proposed project. o Encourage the provision of open space and landscaped areas within developments. LU 3.4. Reduce dependence on the automobile. o Create an overlay zone in the Industrial Districts for additional lifestyle conveniences or concierge services, such as cleaners, coffee shops, hair styling and restaurants near or within the industrial Land Use and Zoning Page - 3 Section 2 and office parks, as a means to reduce traffic and add new options for local retail goods and services. o Require new businesses to join the local Transportation Management Assoication. LU 3.5. Plan for future build out of the Industrial Districts. o Prepare a strategic plan for future development in nonresidential areas (incorporate current information about natural systems, environmental constraints, zoning, energy and transportation issues. Goal LU-4 Historic Districts and Preservation The character of the historic districts of Andover and heritage landscapes contributes to the overall quality of life in Andover. LU 4.1. Maintain Andover’s heritage landscapes attractive and aesthetically diverse housing stock and continue to promote architectural compatibility in future development and redevelopment. LU 4.2. Encourage creative and adaptive reuse of existing sound building stock in the historical and industrial sections of Andover, such as Dundee Park, Shawsheen Village and Ballardvale. LU 4.3. Encourage the preservation and restoration of existing structures of historic interest. Work with the Preservation Commission and the Ballardvale Historic District Commission on a community education program to explain the importance of preserving the historic mill areas. LU 4.4. Promote the use of effective preservation tools such as Neighborhood Conservation Districts, scenic road bylaws and overlay zoning. Goal LU-5 Design Review LU 5.1. Improve the use and effectiveness of the existing design guidelines, design review criteria, and design review procedures, including consultation with the Design Review Board, by and for the benefit of the Planning Board, the Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Board of Selectmen. LU 5.2. Develop and implement a written policy delineating the role and responsibilities of the following boards and commissions in the design review process: the Design Review Board, the Preservation Commission, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. The policy should also specify the role of the Community Development and Planning Staff in disseminating information about and ensuring compliance with design review procedures. LU 5.3. Emphasize through Town policies and procedures the value to applicants of meeting with the Design Review Board prior to filing a formal application for design review. An informal review prior Land Use and Zoning Page - 4 Section 2 to design finalization improves applicants’ understanding of the relevant design guidelines and design review criteria and facilitates compliance. LU 5.4. Develop and make readily available to applicants, staff and boards an informational brochure or handbook outlining design guidelines, design review criteria and design review procedures. LU 5. 5. Membership of the Design Review Board should be composed primarily of design professionals (architects, landscape architects, urban designers, graphic designers, industrial designers, and historians and critics of art or architectural history) but may include other interested residents who support the goals of the Board. Board membership should be determined in consultation with the Planning Board and the Preservation Commission. Goal LU-6 Sustainability It is important to consider the long term when making decisions or recommending actions. LU 6.1. Review and consider opportunities to appropriate available Town land for alternative energy generation in such a way that would create cost savings for the Town without impacting open space. LU 6.2. Review “Best Practices” for cost and energy efficient building codes and make recommendations that encourage upgrades without undue cost burden to home and business owners. LU 6.3. Take proactive steps to reduce the reliance of Andover’s businesses on energy and fossil fuels. LU 6.4. Increase both residential and industrial/commercial opportunities to recycle trash and other waste. LU 6.5. Continue to improve various technology efforts to facilitate communication with the public, create greater efficiency in government, and reduce dependency on variable external factors. Land Use and Zoning Page - 5 Section 2 Encourage Sustainability through various land usetechniques and planning principles such as: Energy-Efficient Landscaping atype oflandscapingdesignedforthepurposeofconserving energy. Techniques include planting trees forthepurposeofproviding shade;plantingorbuilding windbreaks toslowwindsnear buildings;andearthshelteringand positioningbuildingstotakeadvantage ofnaturallandformsas windbreaks. GreenBuildings the practiceofincreasingtheefficiencywithwhichbuildingsandtheirsites useandharvestenergy, water,and materials;andreducingbuildingimpacts onhumanhealthandtheenvironment,throughbettersiting,design,construction, operation,maintenance,andremoval. SmartGrowth usedbythosewhoseektoidentifyasetofpolicies governingtransportationand landuse planningpolicyfor urban areasthatbenefitscommunitiesandpreservesthe naturalenvironment. EcologicalFootprintforCommunities depicttheamount oflandandwater areaa humanpopulationwouldhypotheticallyneedto provide theresourcesrequiredtosupport itselfandtoabsorbits wastes,given prevailing technology. Sustainable City(or Eco-City)a citydesignedwithconsiderationofenvironmentalimpact,inhabitedbypeoplededicatedto minimizationofrequiredinputs ofenergy,water and food,andwasteoutput ofheat,air pollution -CO2,methane,andwater pollution. SolarCommunityEnergyProjects anintegratedapproachtosupplying a localcommunitywithits energyrequirements from renewableenergyor high-efficiencyco-generationenergysources. Sustainable Urban Infrastructure infrastructurethat facilitatesa placeorregions progresstowards thegoalofsustainable living.Attentionis paidtotechnologicalandgovernmentpolicywhichenables urbanplanningforsustainablearchitectureand initiatives that promotesustainableagriculture. TrashPickup Improvements saveenergyand taxdollarsthrough solar-poweredtrashcompactionsystemsarereducing waste pickups. Recyclingefforts thatencourage increaseparticipationandreduce waste. UrbanDesignconcerns the arrangement,appearanceandfunctionalityoftowns andcities. Ittypicallyrequires interdisciplinary input withbalancedrepresentationofmultiplefields includingengineering,ecology,localhistory,and transport planning. Zero-Waste CommunityBerkeley, Californiaestablishedazero-waste goalfor2020. CommunityGardens smallplots oflandallocatedtogroups ofpeoplebysomeorganizationthat holdstitle or leasetothe land, sometimes for rent,sometimessimplyas agrant ofland. CommunitySupported Agriculture acommunityofindividuals whopledgesupport toafarmoperationwiththegrowersand consumersproviding mutualsupportandsharingtherisksandbenefits offoodproduction. Farmer's Markets are markets,usuallyheldout-of-doors,inpublicspaces,wherefarmerscanselltheir producetothe public. Productsatfarmers'markets arerenownedfor being locally-grownand veryfresh. Land Use and Zoning Page - 6 Section 3 Housing (H) Goal H-1 Future Generations Historically, Andover is a socially conscious and equitable place to live. It is important to remain an economically diverse population and have a diverse housing stock. H 1.1. Promote the construction and renovation of a wide range of housing types including single family homes less than 2500 square feet, condominiums, apartments, and townhouses, both ownership and rental opportunities. o Review sections within the zoning by-law that would allow for restricting the maximum size of a residential dwelling. Vision Small Town Character o The Planning Board should consider special permits for Even as the Town continues to grow, we will actively seek to identify and preserve multifamily use within the mixed use and general business those elements — town layout and scale, districts. central focus, community-wide activities, respect for historicalstructures,and o Within a special permit application, change the zoning by- housing mix that gives Andover so much of law to allow for a density bonus if affordable housing is its appeal and character. The factors that make up "small town included. character" can be drawn from many o Support non-profit organizations that build or renovate perspectives. The visible attractiveness of housing that is “scattered site” that is, scattered randomly Andover starts with its historic downtown throughout Andover and is designed to fit into the buildings and neighborhoods, reaching out to the less densely populated outer areas. character of the neighborhood. Invisible, however, are the sense of community and concern of residents for H 1.2. Support the renovation, rehabilitation and adaptive one another and the ability for persons that reuse of existing homes or buildings. grew up in Andover to be able to live in Andover. The following indicators can help o Evaluate current fee structures for such construction. assess changes in small town character. Number and type of community o Explore rehabilitation grants and alternative tax options. activities, and percentage of residents o Update the inventory of historic or notable homes in participating Andover so that more homes are covered by the Number of historic buildings vs. number restored vs. number lost Demolition Delay By-law. Total population, percentage change Number of homes replaced by larger o Consider the redevelopment of the Town’s older homes, as percentage of all homes industrial sites, for a mixture of uses, including lower cost Ratio of protected open to developed housing for families and the elderly. space Number of housing types and units: H 1.3. Educate the residents of Andover on the benefits of a price range and function (condominium, starter homes, single diverse housing stock. family homes, multi-family homes, o Continue support of the Andover Housing Partnership retirement, etc.) Committee, which serves as an important resource on all housing issues that come before the town’s elected officials, appointed board members, and the community. Housing Page 1 Section 3 o Encourage the use of the senior center as a means to learn from, provide information to, and support seniors with regards to their housing needs. H 1.4. Encourage affordable housing for the elderly. o Promote the use of alternative residential programs such as life-care, assisted, or congregate living arrangements. o Update the Congregate and Assisted Living By-law in the Zoning By-law so that it is utilized. H 1.5. Encourage the creation of affordable housing for persons with disabilities; this includes those who are either mentally and/or physically challenged and those who are developmentally disabled. o Work with organizations that create new group homes or renovate existing homes for the use of non-profits to provide this type of Warren House, Waltham housing. Supportive Living, Inc. o Encourage the parent groups in town to work together to create this type of housing for persons that grew up in Andover and attended Andover schools. POPULATION DEMOGRAPHICS 35,000 45.0% 30,000 40.0% 35.0% 25,000 30.0% 20,000 25.0% People00 20.0% In
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