HARVARD -- The Office of the Planning Board of the Town of Harvard has awarded a contract to Dover, N.H.-based RKG Associates, Inc., an economic, planning and real estate consulting firm, to support Phase II of the update of Harvard's master plan. The award culminates the Planning Board's search for a master plan consultant that was approved by Harvard voters at the April 28, 2012 Annual Town Meeting.
RKG Associates submitted a proposal in response to the Master Plan Consultant RFP on July 1, 2013. The Planning Board's Master Plan Steering Committee (MPSC) worked with RKG to finalize a scope of work that will address the broad interests and concerns expressed by Harvard residents during Phase I of the master planning process, completed in 2012, and conduct a critical assessment of Devens within this context.
The first task under the contract will be to design a framework for engaging Harvard residents and setting milestones and program deliverables. In order to fully incorporate the vision, aspirations and concerns of Harvard residents, the MPSC and RKG will schedule a number of public forums, workshops, and other events, and work in close collaboration with the town planner. Work on Harvard's master plan is expected to continue through Spring 2014.
Massachusetts General Law Chapter 41, Section 81D specifies that towns and cities develop master plans as a basis for their long-term development. The Town of Harvard Master Plan project seeks to set policies, directions, and strategies for land use, infrastructure, capital outlays, municipal services, and governance. This RFP is for Phase II of the Master Plan, and focuses on translating the Phase I vision and goals into programs, plans, and tasks for the next decade. Phase I of the current master planning process was completed in March 2012 and is available at http://harvard.ma.us/Pages/HarvardMA_BComm/Planning/index. The town's previous Master Plan is from 2001/2002.
About the Planning Board:
Under Massachusetts General Law, the Office of the Planning Board for the Town of Harvard is responsible for studying the resources, possibilities and needs of the town; potential risks to public health; and the availability of owner-occupied and rented dwellings. In this capacity, the Planning Board is charged with preparing, extending, and perfecting Harvard's master plan. To support the master planning process, the Planning Board has in turn charged a working committee, the Master Plan Steering Committee, with the day-to-day management and administration of the master planning process.