Master Plan Background

What is a Master Plan?

  • Long-range guide for future development
  • Develops goals & policies
  • Reflects a vision of what residents would like their town to be in the future, developed through surveys, interview, inventories and public participation/visioning sessions
  • Includes an implementation schedule
  • Includes a capital improvement plan to coordinate large-scale expenditures with the goals
  • An Action document, not an end of process document never to be looked at
  • A guide to decision making, although it is NOT a zoning by-law, a subdivision regulation, or a capital improvement plans, but should be used to prepare said documents

What is included in a Master Plan?

According to Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 41, Section 81D, a Master Plan shall include the following elements:

  • Goals
  • Land Use Element
  • Housing Element
  • Economic Development
  • Natural & Cultural Resources Element (Includes Historic Resources, Environmental Protection)
  • Open Space & Recreation Element
  • Services & Facilities Element
  • Circulation Element (Transportation)
  • Implementation Element (Capital Improvements Programs, Costs, revenues associated with capital improvements, changes to regulations)
  • A Master Plan includes text, maps, illustrations and other forms of communication