The Old Colony Planning Council (OCPC) is a governmental entity that was established under state statute in 1967 as a comprehensive regional agency to "prepare plans for the physical, social and economic development of the District". The Council was formed in response to a growing need of local communities to be able to address the multitude of problems that cross over local boundaries such as air and water pollution, transportation deficiencies and economic distress. Such problems require cooperative action by affected local governments and the Old Colony Planning Council is the governmental mechanism available at the local level to effect municipal cooperation and coordination. Old Colony Planning Council is one of thirteen regional planning agencies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Click here to read the Act which established the Old Colony Planning Council.
The plans and recommendations of the Old Colony Planning Council are advisory only and non-binding upon the seventeen member communities that form the planning district. The effectiveness of the Council is therefore largely dependent upon its ability to engage a qualified professional staff that conducts in-depth research, compiles relevant factual data, and prepares plans for addressing specific problems that have the general acceptance and support of its member municipalities.
The Old Colony Planning Council does not have the authority to regulate or mandate actions on the part of its member communities nor does it have the power to levy taxes. It is not another layer of government, but it is a formal entity by which local governments can work together to address problems. The Council provides a forum for local officials to identify area-wide problems, develop alternative solutions and make recommendations to local communities on a regional strategy to deal with regional problems.
The Old Colony Planning Council provides the staff for the Metropolitan Planning Organization, which conducts transportation and transit planning for the area; a designated Economic Development District by the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration and the Area Agency on Aging which administers and plans for elder service needs and requirements in a twenty-three community area of Southeastern Massachusetts. The Council is also the designated Regional Clearinghouse for the review of federal and state program applications to assure consistency with regional plans, programs and policies and to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort in community development program activity.
Old Colony Planning Council is located in downtown Brockton, in the historic Brockton Edison Electric Illuminating Company Power Station. It was here that Thomas Edison created the first underground, three-wire, central power plant. The Edison building at 70 School Street is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.