Ashland’s New Town Planner: Peter Matchak

Cynthia Whitty
Issue Date: 
August, 2019
Article Body: 

Peter Matchak was hired in May 2019 as Ashland’s town planner. Previously, Matchak was Cohasset’s town planner. He lives in Boston with his wife Molly and newborn, Macy, born May 27, 2019. Recently, he answered some questions for Ashland Local Town Pages.

What brings you to Ashland as town planner?
My background is in regional planning and geographical information systems (GIS). I studied regional planning at Westfield State College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst and GIS at Salem State University. I was first drawn to the planning field as an undergraduate after taking a class on land use and zoning. I was motivated to become a planner to help develop clear land use goals and priorities at the local, state, regional and community levels.

What attracted you to this job in this town?
The Town of Ashland is an attractive place to work in large part because of the ongoing development and investments that are being made by the community and state. Additionally, I was excited to work with the existing team in Ashland Town Hall.

What projects are you working on here in the short term?
In the short term, I will be working on the MassDOT (Massachusetts Department of Transportation) Route 126 (Pond Street) project and the Main Street corridor project. Additionally, the town received a grant from the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to study the current zoning in the downtown area.

What do you hope to
accomplish as Ashland’s
town planner?
As a long-term goal, I hope to continue the growth of the planning department here in Ashland. Planning at the local and regional level starts with the community residents and the local Planning Board. Therefore, I hope to collect the goals and objectives through meeting and listening to community members and help create planning documents that reflect the community’s future vision.