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Local Planning Assistance
Under the Commission’s Local Planning Assistance (LPA) program, CDAP staff provides hundreds of hours of technical assistance annually to communities throughout our Region. In many cases, CDAP staff utilized LPA resources to help reduce the costs to the communities in development of their various planning projects.
Of the 40 communities in our region, approximately half do not have a full time planner on staff. CMRPC provides a valuable resource to those communities by providing Planning Assistance services such as writing various zoning bylaws and amendments, subdivision regulations, master planning, open space and recreation planning, and GIS services (see GIS section under Regional Services).
Communities begin each fiscal year with a base of 12 (LPA) hours per that can increase to a maximum of 20 hours. Additional hours are earned through community participation at various CMRPC events and meetings.
The LPA program is multi-disciplinary. In addition to work through the CDAP program, technical assistance through our GIS program, and also through our Administrative team. Examples of this interdisciplinary team approach include:
►Mapping and research for the Worcester Regional Employment Board
►Develop map and materials to be used in developing materials relative to town-owned property being auctioned
►Revising internal municipal processes relative to accounting systems
CDAP-specific LPA work may include development of Housing Production Plans, Open Space and Recreation Plans, Commonwealth Capital filings and other planning and grants application documents. We also provide local planning assistance to communities in development of CDBG, STRAP, USDA and other grant applications as well as a variety of other requested services. We work with communities to revise and update Earth Removal Bylaws, assist with the development and start-up of local Energy/Green Committees, and are available to assist in any planning-related effort our communities wish to pursue. We develop conceptual subdivision designs in order to guide development consistent with municipal goals to development of Housing Plans. And we continue to work with communities in streamlining permitting processes while ensuring that bylaws and regulations adequately guide development and address local and regional needs.