Because none of these things can happen until we find a solution …
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Two years ago, the Westford Planning Commission asked residents “What would you like to see in the Town Center?” and the response was overwhelming. The vast majority of people wanted to see development of and improvements to infrastructure in the Town Center as well as shops and restaurants around the Common that bring activity to our town while maintaining the historical look and feel of Westford. These surveys were the beginning of a listening process that has brought the town a new 5-year Town Plan that was adopted in May of 2015, and new proposed land use regulations. These regulations lay the foundation that could encourage and support a cafe, market, or tavern as well as the modestly priced, diverse housing options that residents want to see built in town.
Map of Town Center Area
However, even with Regulation and Town Plan changes, there will still be one thing holding us back from attracting these businesses and families to town: the lack of wastewater capacity. As they say “Wastewater is king in Vermont. Without it there is nothing”. And the current wastewater situation for existing and new uses in the center of town is dire. For example, the Public Library and Town Offices share an aging leach field located under the Town Office parking lot that could be nearing the end of its useful life. There are VERY few wastewater disposal options if municipal and community wastewater systems fail, just as there are VERY few wastewater disposal options that would support residential and/or commercial development in the Town Center Area.
There is hope though and we’re going to need to work together to get there!