Community Open House Recap
To view a summary of engagement takeaways from the in-person open house, virtual open house and community survey, click here.
On July 11th, over 100 members of the Mansfield community came together for an engaging and informative event, the Mansfield Tomorrow Open House, held in Town Council Chambers at the Audrey P. Beck Municipal Building. The event involved residents in shaping the future of the community by discussing the three current planning projects and seeking valuable feedback on the key challenges the projects aim to solve.
The Open House commenced with an introduction of Mansfield Tomorrow, the banner under which the Town of Mansfield conducts all planning and community engagement projects. Mansfield Tomorrow is designed to enhance the effectiveness and efficiency of community planning efforts in our town. Recognizing the interconnected nature of different planning initiatives and organizations, Mansfield Tomorrow brings them together, breaking down silos and fostering collaboration.
Next, attendees were treated to a series of short presentations on three current planning projects that will play a pivotal role in the town’s development:
Parks and Recreation Master Plan:
The Parks and Recreation Master Plan will develop a financial sustainability strategy and master plan for the Town’s Parks and Recreation department in order to create a vibrant future for the department and ultimately, the greater Mansfield community.
Northwest Mansfield Vision and Strategy Plan (NW Neighborhood Plan):
The Northwest Mansfield Vision and Strategy Plan (NW Neighborhood Plan) will establish a roadmap to assist in managing growth and guide development in the NW corner of Mansfield.
Facilities Master Plan:
The Facilities Master Plan will examine various options for updating Town facilities and prioritize projects, tradeoffs and scenarios, and surface public engagement data around which options are most favorable and would be supported by the public.
Following the presentations, the event shifted to a series of interactive stations thoughtfully designed to encourage attendee participation. The interactive format allowed residents to actively share their thoughts, ideas, and feedback on challenges faced by the aforementioned plans.
Participants engaged in constructive discussions with city officials and the consultant team, fostering a collaborative atmosphere. The feedback collected during these interactive stations will play a significant role in developing the three plans, ensuring they truly reflect the desires and needs of the Mansfield community and build a shared vision for the future.
At the station for the Parks & Rec Master Plan, participants were asked to identify the two things they prioritize most for the future of their parks & rec system out of three options: add more services, offer a high level of services, or stabilize taxes and fees.
At the station for the Facilities Master Plan, participants were asked to provide comments on the proposed facilities grading criteria by indicating whether additional items should be added to the list or weighted more than others. They were also asked to identify any facilities projects they personally would support.
At the station for the Northwest Mansfield Vision and Strategy Plan, attendees were asked to identify on a map of the study area things they like or dislike in Northwest Mansfield. Participants were also asked to provide comments about what they like and what they do not like in the neighborhood, as well as what they would like to see more of in Northwest Mansfield. To get an understanding of how much change residents believe is appropriate for the area, the station also asked participants to provide feedback on whether they think Northwest Mansfield should, (1) remain as it is, (2) continue to grow and change, but incrementally, or (3) be open to significant growth and change.
Several participants were concerned that the NW Neighborhood Plan would promote increased development in the area, specifically for UConn student housing. It was explained that the role of the plan is to create a vision and guide for the Town to plan for and manage future growth with input from town residents. Participants walked away enthusiastic about planning and change in order to improve many issues facing the NW area of town.