The Hanover 300 Master Plan is laying the groundwork for the town into the next decade and beyond

The project, which is intended to lead the town into 2027 when it will celebrate its 300th anniversary, will guide the future physical and economic development of a town or city based on the community’s vision and goals.

Results from surveys that were two years in the making were released during a public forum for Hanover 300 on Wednesday, Nov. 29.

“It was a great meeting and the MAPC [Metropolitan Area Planning Council] released their finding,” said Town Planner Peter Matchak. “Hanover is on the up-and-up both economically and socially. There were a lot of topics that we covered, such as housing, transportation, economics and open space. We are currently coming out with a new open space plan that when certified by the state’s Department of Conservation and Recreation will allow for Hanover to apply for grant funding, which is something that will be good for the town to grow its open space holdings.”

Some of the large projects that the town will be involved in, according to Matchak, are creating additional sidewalks and further developing its trail network.

Surveys were conducted at different times online, at Forge Pond Park, at the senior center and Hanover Day in 2016, and “Maintaining a quality school system” was ranked the highest of the 10 questions asked on the surveys. This was followed by “Cherish open space and recreational resources,” “Thoughtful development with many local options,” "Ability to get around using different modes of transportation” and “Approachable and responsive local government.”

“I would say as a whole that the population in Massachusetts is changing due to the Baby Boomers, however Hanover has a strong family base,” Matchak said. “Hanover really is a strong community and I would say the major priority of the plan would be to build on our existing infrastructure and to diversify and create more opportunities that would better serve the community.”

The population is currently at 14,360 and has grown steadily since 1970. However, that rise is slowing and is expected to plateau in 2040. Hanover’s population is comparatively younger than Plymouth County as a whole and the state, and has a slightly higher percentage of young adults and professionals at 45 percent.

For more on the Hanover 300 Master Plan, visit the town's website at www.hanover-ma.gov.

Follow Adam Silva on Twitter at @Adamsmariner.