Winchester Master Plan: Background

This note contains information about Master Plans and in particular Winchester's Master Planning process.

The last Winchester Master Plan was completed in 1953.

A Master Plan must include:

  • Land Use
  • Housing and Demographics
  • Economic Development
  • Historical and Cultural Resources
  • Open Space, Natural Resources and Recreation
  • Circulation and Transportation
  • Public Facilities and Services

Issues that the Steering Committee has identified include:

  1. Balancing Preservation with Development
    • Tear-downs of existing houses to build larger units
    • Possible redevelopment of the Waterfield parking lot and Swanton St. site
  2. Protecting Historical Resources
    • Preserving neighborhood character; teardown bylaw
  3. Enabling Development of "appropriately scaled" housing options
    • Maintain socio-economic diversity, allow workers to live near businesses
    • Increase rental and multi-family housing
  4. Enhance the business community
    • Attract businesses that serve residents' needs: appropriate business mix
    • Increase commercial tax base
    • Find best use for current downtown and industrial districts
    • Consider mixed-use developments
  5. Improve and better use open space
    • Increase access to parks, forests and recreational areas, especially by non-automobile means
    • Consider conservation areas similar to Wright-Locke Farm
  6. Improve transportation options: Less reliance on cars.
  7. Develop transportation infrastructure to encourage walking and mass transit, and improve traffic safety.
  8. Adequately Fund Capital Costs of Public Facilities.


The Master Plan must include (see Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 41 § 81D):

  1. plans for Winchester’s future growth and development;
  2. an inventory of present land use and the proposed distribution, location and inter-relationship of public and private land uses;
  3. the identification of existing and forecast housing needs and objectives including programs for the preservation, improvement and development of housing;
  4. policies and strategies for the expansion or stabilization of the local economic base and the promotion of employment opportunities;
  5. an inventory of significant natural, cultural and historic resource areas, as well as policies and strategies for the protection and management of such areas;
  6. an identification of recreational resources and open space areas, and policies and strategies for their management and protection;
  7. analyses of existing and forecast needs for facilities and services used by the public;
  8. an inventory of existing and proposed circulation and transportation systems;
  9. the definition and scheduling of specific actions necessary to achieve the objectives of each element of the Master Plan (for example, recommendations for changes to the Zoning By-laws).

Steering Committee

Precinct Representatives

Precinct 1: Denis Collet; Precinct 2: Kerri Layton; Precinct 3: Jay Melkonian; Precinct 4: Robin Wolf; Precinct 5: Joyce Westner; Precinct 6: James Johnson; Precinct 7: Magda Ferrari; Precinct 8: Sherry Winkelman

Board, Commission, and Town Representatives

Conservation Commission: Zeke Sims/David Miller; Design Review Committee: Tracy Burnhams; Historical Commission: John Clemson; Planning Board: Diab Jerius, Elizabeth Cregger, Heather Hannon, Heather von Mering, Maureen Meister; Town Planner: Brian Szekely.