The LCP Committee and planning staff conducted a public workshop on Saturday, October 27, 2018 from 10 until Noon. Despite a nor’easter that brought heavy rain and wind that morning, more than 40 people participated.
Each participant marked their home location on this map that shows the attendees came from all parts of the town.
After opening remarks by Planning Board Chairman Elmer Clegg and LCP Committee Chairman Steve Strojny, a slide show of the SWOT workshop results was shown. A lively discussion followed a coffee break, and many useful suggestions and ideas came out.
Participants then ranked a list of issues facing Bourne, using colored dots to indicate which issues they believed to be the highest priority, secondary priority, third, and fourth. For this exercise each participant was given four each of four different colors of sticky vinyl dots to place next to the major issues facing Bourne listed on poster boards. The orange dots were for the issues of highest importance; blue dots for secondary importance; green for third; and yellow for fourth.
The results were scored by giving each orange dot a value of four; blue dots three; green dots two; and yellow dots one. Then scores were totaled for each of the 31 issues listed, plus three that were added by participants. The final tally, shown below, shows a ranking that will guide the LCP Committee in its revision of the plan.
Water Quality – 84
Traffic Congestion – 71
Canal Bridge Replacement – 66
MacArthur Boulevard – 63
Economic Development – 63
Bike Trail Extension – 60
Downtown Buzzards Bay – 58
(Other) Bourne Rotary/Upper MacArthur Blvd. – 51
Public Transportation – 48
Commuter Rail Service – 46
Walkability – 44
Affordable Housing – 42
Sewer Service Area Expansion – 42
Shortage of Supermarkets – 39
Future of Joint Base Cape Cod – 38
Rising Sea Levels – 36
Zoning – 36
Increasing Storm Intensity & Frequency – 35
Community Identity – 30
Workforce Housing – 29
Aging Population – 28
Town Services – 26
Mass Maritime Academy Expansion – 24
Beach Parking – 23
Beach Access – 21
Opioids – 20
Boat Moorings – 19
Marijuana Production & Sales – 19
Pilgrim Power Plant – 19
Employment Opportunities – 17
Low-income Housing – 16
(Other) Private Road Acceptance – 16
Medical Facilities – 13
(Other) Housing Diversity – 9
Water Quality came out clearly as the most important issue. We did not separate this issue into its components because, whether it’s coastal water or groundwater, they are closely related. Expansion of wastewater treatment is also closely related and crucial to water quality, but did not score as high in the ranking. This may be because Bourne is actively working to expand wastewater capacity, but more likely because such expansion is very expensive.
Traffic and transportation issues appeared in eight of the next ten issue areas. All of these issues were addressed in the original LCP, and all have received attention in the ensuing years. Unfortunately, most of these issues are controlled by State or Federal agencies that move very slowly, and over which the Town has little control.
Downtown Buzzards Bay and Economic Development remained high on the list as two of the top ten issues. Employment Opportunities and Medical Facilities scored surprisingly low, however, with unemployment levels at record lows, and a broad variety of medical services now available in the Five Corners neighborhood of Bourne Village.
While these rankings give the Committee a clear indication of community concerns, they are the opinions of a core group of active citizens who regularly participate in workshops and town meetings. There were few young adults in the audience, though, as this 20- to 50-year old age group tends to be too busy with work and family obligations to get involved in town affairs.
In an effort to capture the opinions of residents in this group, the Committee is developing a questionnaire that can be filled in on-line or on paper. We hope to have this survey available by the end of November.