by Roger LeCours
After many months of intense study and preparation, Hardwick's proposed new town plan is about to emerge.
The town planning commission will present the plan at a public hearing at 7:30 p.m., July 8, at the Memorial Building.
The hearing will be the plan's first step toward eventual adoption by the voters at a special town meeting, said Town Manager Dan Hill.
"The plan is an overview of where Hardwick is and where we should start to go," Hill said.
"The Hardwick Town Plan states goals and objectives to guide the growth and development of land, public facilities, and services, and identifies 'p05sible actions' that may help us achieve those ends"; this is stated in the plan's introductory paragraph.
"It describes our present, our heritage from the past, and a vision of the future. The Plan is intended to support community development efforts already underway and serve as a launching pad for new initiatives," the introduction adds.
After the public hearing, the planning commission can incorporate new suggestions with amendments to the plan, Hill explained.
"They can react to whatever happens at the hearing and then turn it over to the select board. It then becomes the select board's property," Hill added.
The manager said the process then includes the select board's review of the plan with any amendments it might choose to make. When the board is satisfied with the document, it adopts a resolution for support of it.
"Between 30 and 120 days of receiving this plan, the select board must conduct two public hearings of its own. After that, we have to call a special town meeting to vote by Australian ballot on the plan," Hill said.
Hill said if the plan is approved by the voters it becomes effective 60 days after that date.
Hardwick's original town plan was written in 1990 with most of the actual writing and research being done by George Lisi. The project was funded by state planning monies.
The plan was updated earlier this year by the planning commission for the purpose of making it a "current document." The planning commission expressed gratitude to the 17 citizens who served on the land use subcommittees and the 92 people who returned the planning survey that was distributed with the annual town report of 1990.