No time for Rindge survey

The planning and development survey Rindge residents asked to be sent out a second time will most likely not be distributed, according to Select Board and Planning Board ex-officio member Roberta Oeser.

The survey, which was originally sent out in 2011 and was returned by 27 percent of Rindge residents, is in part what the Planning Board has been basing its development plans for the town on. Over the past few months, several residents have raised questions about the town’s use of federal and state grant money to carry out the next steps of Rindge’s Master Plan, which calls for the creation of a town center through mixed use zoning in the area of the intersection of routes 202 and 119.

Residents have recently asked the Planning and Select boards to send out another survey now that more people are interested in the issue. Oeser said Wednesday that, though she tried to bring up the idea at Tuesday’s Planning Board meeting, they ran out of time.

“I had hoped to bring it up last night, but it was after 11 p.m.,” she said. Oeser then added, “Because of the timing of the hearings, there’s not time to get [the survey] out and back before we have our next meeting.” The Planning Board’s next public listening session on the proposed development plans, on Dec. 17 at 7 p.m., is too close to send out the surveys, receive them back, and analyze the data by that time, Oeser said. And there is a timeline, because the Planning Board is planning to propose some zoning changes for the village districts to support the town’s Master Plan on the town warrant.

Rindge resident Pat Martin had asked the Select Board on Nov. 20 to send out the survey. After hearing Wednesday that this isn’t going to be likely, Martin said that it was too bad.

“People have really been upset that they missed that survey somehow, and even if there weren’t paying attention [in 2011], they are now,” she said. Martin indicated that she would be happy to volunteer her time to send out the survey, if that’s what it takes.

Larry Cleveland, who has been vocal in questioning Rindge’s development plans, also said he would volunteer, and has friends who would, too. Survey or no survey, though, Cleveland said the Planning Board’s new zoning recommendations would probably be voted down in March anyway. “They have very little support for this plan,” he said.

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