City Moving Forward With Pa’Lante Master Planning Process

The city is issuing a request for proposals for a consultant to support the development of a new Chelsea comprehensive plan.

It’s been almost half a century since Chelsea completed a comprehensive master plan. Undertaking a master planning process that will address myriad issues in the city has been stated as a major goal by both the new city council and new City Manager Fidel Maltez.

“The proposed two-year planning effort will be an opportunity to engage our residents in work that Chelsea has not done on a citywide basis in over 50 years,” said Maltez.

The master plan will be known as Chelsea Pa’Lante, Chelsea Onward, and Maltez said one of the major goals of the process is to include the voices of Chelsea residents in the process and the completed plan.

“Chelsea Pa’Lante is more than just a plan; it’s a commitment to forward motion, upward mobility, and progress,” the RFP developed by Deputy City Manager Devon Fields stated. “It embodies the spirit of the community, the resilience of the residents, and the determination to create a future that leaves no one behind.”

Maltez said the plan will incorporate community voices, from neighborhood meetings to a steering committee, to ensure the document will drive resident priorities and serve as a blueprint for city employees to implement a strong path forward for the community.

“Chelsea Pa’Lante will seek to address the pressing issues that affect the daily lives of residents, business owners, and community stakeholders,” the RFP states. “From housing shortages to traffic congestion, from lack of parking, to providing economic opportunities for all residents, the City will tackle all these challenges with creativity, with innovation, and with a deep commitment to equity and inclusivity.”

The city’s first comprehensive plan was completed in 1955 and the second was completed in 1970.

“While this is a technical document for practitioners shaping the future of multifaceted development in the city, we know this process will be an opportunity for enhanced civic engagement so all of the voices of Chelsea residents are heard,” said Maltez. “We will center the council’s input every step of the way.”

The goal is to issue the RFP this month and have a consultant onboard ready to start the two-year process at the end of summer or beginning of the fall, Maltez said.

Maltez added that the title of the master plan, Chelsea Pa’Lante, Chelsea Onward, speaks to the inclusivity and vision city leaders want to see.

“What we are doing is we are leaning into the Latino heritage of the community, the Latino makeup of the community,” said Maltez. “We’re trying to create a mantra around the word Pa’Lante. Pa’Lante is a colloquialism, it is more like a saying and what it means is basically forward, a continuation of progress.”

Councilor-at-Large Roberto Jimenez-Rivera praised the city manager’s office for moving forward with the comprehensive RFP, and said the master planning process is something that should be taking place every 15 years, not every 50 years.

“This was one of our 10 council priorities, and this is just a huge undertaking we are going to be doing,” he said.

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