Development is out of control. It’s too expensive to live here. Traffic is a nightmare. Taxes are high, and services are lacking.

Those are among the many complaints of disgruntled Plymouth residents, most of whom don’t vote, much less get involved in helping to shape the town’s future. For those who are motivated to do more than upload social media posts, an important process is about to start: A project to create a new master plan for the Plymouth’s next decade, which by any measure will be a crucial period in its more than 400-year history. The existing plan is a dusty 20 years old, written when Plymouth was growing at a more moderate pace.

Town officials urge residents to attend what they are called an “interactive public kickoff meeting” at 6 p.m. on June 20 at Plymouth South Middle School. The meeting will feature a presentation from the Master Plan Committee, along with “activities and small group discussions that will help distinguish which issues are top of mind for Plymouth and the people that make it go,” according to a town press release.

“Plymouth is at an exciting point in its long, proud history,” Master Plan Committee Chair Steve Bolotin said in the release, adding that the committee “looks forward to listening to the people of Plymouth to create a community blueprint to ensure that our town remains the great place it has always been to live, work, and raise a family.”

Others, however, believe the town is at a fraught moment in time. Accelerating growth and a lack of major businesses are putting pressure on services, ramping up the need to raise more tax revenue from residential property owners. Harry Helm, whose term as a Select Board member recently ended, told the Plymouth Independent last month that Plymouth faces an existential crisis. “Overdevelopment will kill this town,” he said. “Because that will drive taxes through the roof.”

In an email, Bolotin described the master plan as “as a blueprint for achieving the long-term growth and development vision of the community.”  Some parts of it are required by the state, such as outlines for economic development, housing, and the use of land, he said, but Plymouth’s also will address “areas that are unique to its concerns such as climate resilience, aquifer protection, and sustainability.”

The Master Plan Committee will address major issues likely to affect Plymouth over the next 10 years. Credit: (Photo by Jim Curran)

In addition to Bolotin, who also serves as chair of the Planning Board, the Master Plan Committee includes vice chair Kevin Canty, who is also a member of the Select Board; School Committee member Robert Morgan; Joseph Hutchinson, of the Committee of Precinct Chairs; Kevin Hood of the Plymouth Regional Economic Development Foundation; and at-large members Kathy Castagna, Arthur Desloges, Tara Killory, and C. Peter Svahn.

Childcare will be provided at the June 20 session – the first in a series of public meetings on the plan – and interpretation services for non-English speakers are available upon request. Email by Friday, June 14, to schedule language assistance.

Mark Pothier can be reached at

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