Brewster's Vision: developing a plan for our town

What is special about Brewster to you? What is important to protect or improve in Brewster? How do the Town government and community groups plan and carry out these ideas? Answering these questions is the goal of “Brewster’s Vision”, a planning process that the Brewster Vision Advisory Group (BVAG) is starting to put in place. The advisory group is a committee of citizens appointed by the Board of Selectmen. But we need your help.

The Plan will lay out a broad vision for the town, identify main goals that the community wants to achieve and action steps that Town government and other groups can take toward those goals. Brewster’s Vision Plan will provide a framework for a more detailed Comprehensive Plan that could be developed as a future step.

The process for creating Brewster’s Vision Plan is as important as the plan itself. The process is designed to engage citizens, build on the community’s wisdom and values, and look comprehensively at key issues and how they are related. This process is very different from the traditional consultant-based plan. The Vision Plan will provide direction for actions by the Town and community groups which are consistent with the community’s vision. In other words, the vision plan will be driven by citizens and what they think is important.

The BVAG will use a variety of techniques to facilitate community participation, including surveys, background papers, and a series of three workshops.

  • The first workshop(s) will ask participants to describe their vision for the town and identify key challenges and opportunities in town. From this, the advisory group will draft a vision statement, describe the key issues workshop participants identified, and recommend goals related to the issues for the plan. The first workshop is scheduled for late June, 2017.
  • Then, community experts or specialists will prepare summary papers - concise statements of trends and conditions - on the key issues identified in the first workshop with the goal of providing objective data to all participants. The summary papers will be available to everyone.
  • The second workshop(s) will ask participants to review the vision and goals and to start to identify actions under each goal.
  • From this, the Advisory group will draft the Vision Plan which it will present at a third community workshop. At this workshop, participants will prioritize the actions. With this final input from the community, the group will present the Vision Plan to the Board of Selectmen for approval.

Developing Brewster’s Vision Plan cannot succeed without broad involvement from the community. The BVAG encourages all citizens and seasonal residents to participate. More details about how to participate will be available on the Town website and through other public announcements. You can follow the BVAG and read all materials on the Town website or sign-up for the Town email list.

The process will also rely on community volunteers to facilitate the workshops, record discussions, and help with community outreach. If you or anyone you know would like to help with community outreach or logistics or if you know anyone who has facilitation skills, survey design and analysis experience, or graphic arts expertise, please contact:

Lynn St. Cyr, Brewster Planning Department
508-896-3701, ext. 1233 or lstcyr@brewster-ma.gov