To the editor:
Michael Rauseo, the new owner of the Cape Ann Tool Company property, recently appeared before the Board of Selectmen, seeking support of his new proposals to develop the property.
Mr. Rauseo need not fear. While no town board can either overtly promote nor obstruct any legal development, all the evidence over the last two years suggests his current, or any other future proposals for that matter, will be a slam dunk in the current board’s eyes.
As he forges ahead with his plans, however, he may find others who are not quite as agreeable; not so much of him or his visions, really, but as a result of Board of Selectmen decisions which made his bargain basement acquisition of the property so possible.
Section 81D of the Massachusetts general laws states in part: “A Planning Board established in any city or town under Section 81A shall make a master plan of such city or town or such part or parts there of a said board may deem advisable and from time to time may extend or perfect such a plan. Such plan shall be a statement, through text, maps, illustrations or other forms of communications, that is designed to provide a basis of decision making regarding the long-term physical development of the municipality. The comprehensive plan shall be internally consistent with its policies, forecasts and standards, and shall include the following element:
“Goals and policies statement which identifies the goals and policies of the municipality for its future growth and development. Each community shall conduct an interactive public process, to determine community values and goals, and to identify patterns of development that will be consistent with these goals.”
Rockport’s latest undertaking to fulfill those requirements resulted in a downtown master plan prepared over the course of two years, 2010-2011, and released in 2011. The report’s executive summary states the intention of the Planning Board to continue the planning process by rolling other reports and the newly completed downtown master plan into a town-wide master plan.