REPORT OF THE PLANNING BOARD

We the members of the Abington Planning Board, respectfully submit our
Annual Report for the year 2004.

The duties and responsibilities of the Planning Board are governed by the
General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and they are many and
varied. However, the primary responsibility of the Board is to plan for the
future development of the town through the preparation of a Master Plan.
The Master Plan of the town forms the basis for guiding the pattern of
development in the community through the adoption of land use controls
including the Zoning By-Law and Subdivision Regulations. The Master Plan
consists of several important elements including plans for land use, open
space and recreation, economic development, circulation and
transportation, housing and public facilities. It is important that the Master
Plan and these various elements be periodically updated to consider
changing conditions in town and to provide for new opportunities and
challenges. The Board is pleased to report that its planning efforts over the
past year have resulted in the completion of a Community Development Plan
in April. The Community Development Plan has updated elements of the
Master Plan including the Open Space and Recreation, Economic
Development and Housing elements and made recommendations for actions
that are designed to guide the Board's actions in the near term.

The Planning Board takes great pride in reporting that through its efforts in
2004 Abington was named as a community that is "growing smart" by the
Southeastern Massachusetts Vision 2020 Program. The Town was one of two
communities of the 52 communities in Southeastern Massachusetts selected
to gain this distinction. Abington was deemed to be growing smart on the
basis of actions it has taken to guide growth and development in the
community including the update of its Plans and the adoption of smart
growth Zoning By-Law amendments. In addition, Abington received another
recognition of its planning efforts in receiving the Governor's Award for
Smart Growth Leadership. Governor Mitt Romney presented the Town with
the Award Certificate at a ceremony held at the State House on November 23,
2004 in recognizing Abington as a community "who demonstrated through
specific actions the achievement of Smart Growth sustainable development
principles." Only ten communities in the Commonwealth received the
Governor's award.

The 2004 Annual Town Meeting approved a Charter change that moved the
direction and supervision of Town Planner Daniel M. Crane, AICP from the
Planning Board to the Town Manager. But the Town Planner will continue to
assist the Board along with Planning Board Secretary Elizabeth Shea in
carrying out its goals, objectives and responsibilities. Through the efforts of
the Planning Staff and the Planning Board, the Town of Abington achieved
Housing Re-Certification under Executive Order 418.

The Smart Growth recognition and Housing Re-certification accomplishments
make the Town of Abington eligible for a number of state grant programs.
These achievements also put the Town in a position to receive priority
consideration for funding under these same state grant programs. Toward
this end, the Planning Staff assisted the Abington Council on Aging in
preparing a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application for a
planning grant for the proposed Senior Center. Although the CDBG applica-
tion for funding the architectural design plans for a Abington Senior Center
was not approved in the last round of funding, it is planned to re-submit an
application for the 2005 round of funding. The Council on Aging has
continued its intensive fund raising efforts to raise funds for the Center. It is
anticipated that a CDBG application will be submitted to the State
Department of Housing and Community Development in March 2005.

The Planning Board reviewed eleven development proposals during 2004
including the Town's first Condo Conversion application in many years.

In 2004 the Planning Board approved two subdivision projects that included
Dudley Settlement and Monahan Way and considered many surety bond
reductions for on-going subdivisions.

The Planning Board is available to respond to any questions or concerns
regarding development in the community and is appreciative of any input the
townspeople may offer. The townspeople are invited to contact the Board
through the Town Planner at 781-982-0069, in writing to the Board at the
Town Offices or by attending a meeting of the Board. The Board meets at
Town Hall in the Susan Meir Room on the first Monday of the month and at
other times when needed. The Board would like to give thanks to the other
Town Boards for their input and for the help from Town Planner Dan Crane
and Liz Shea. Please feel free to attend our meetings, which are open to the
public, and to observe what is discussed and accomplished.

Respectfully submitted,
Wayne P. Smith, Chairman
Timothy P. Barry, Vice Chairman
Bruce G. Hughes, Clerk
Jeffrey M. Rangel, Member
Robert Soper, Member
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