Welcome to the Town of Dartmouth's Master Planning Process!

We need to hear from you – Dartmouth residents, business owners, and workforce members – in order to write the community’s next Master Plan. It is your plan, and will reflect as many local voices on the direction of future community development as possible. The input from the Master Plan Discovery Workshop gave us an initial idea of community priorities. Join us for the next public workshop on Wednesday, January 29, 2020, from 6:30 - 8:30 PM at the Dartmouth Town Hall. 

What is a Master Plan?

A Master Plan can be many things. It is a narrative document describing the story of Dartmouth’s history and the experience of living in town today. It is a technical document that considers population trends and land use changes over time to chart where we are now and where these trends may be taking us tomorrow. It is a policy document that lays out an optimal vision for Dartmouth, and articulates the strategies, actions, and decisions that will assist the town in arriving at that future. For more detail see Elements of a Master Plan. As a coastal community, Dartmouth also intends to create a supplemental Climate Change and Resiliency chapter.

How to use this website

This webpage is the online hub of the Master Plan process. We keep this site up to date with new information and events - please check in regularly and view the project subpages: 


Get involved and stay informed

·         Join us at an upcoming public event.

·         "Like" the Master Plan page on Facebook.

·         Sign up for our Mailing List to be notified of all events that support the project.

·         Provide your thoughts at your convenience using our Public Comment Form or by contacting Christine O'Grady, AICP, Dartmouth's Director of Planning at 508-910-1817.

Project Roles

Dartmouth’s last Master Plan was adopted in 2007. In the 12 years since, there have been local population and land use shifts, as well as changes in the surrounding regional, state, national, and even global context. The Town is working with Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District (SRPEDD) to develop its next community Master Plan. The project will take place from May 2019 to December 2020. SRPEDD does not have an agenda for the future of Dartmouth or its Master Plan. Our role is to facilitate a proactive and transparent civic engagement process that gathers and integrates your views on community needs and aspirations. Your input is the essential ingredient – along with current, accurate data – that builds Dartmouth’s Master Plan.

Upcoming Events

Tuesday June 4, 2019 - SRPEDD staff will have a table at Spring Town Meeting to provide more information about the process and to answer any questions. 

Thursday June 13, 2019 - Master Plan Discovery Workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM in Room 304 at Town Hall. 

Wednesday October 30, 2019 - Master Plan Land Use, Housing, and Economic Development Workshop will be held from 6:30 to 8:30 PM at the North Dartmouth Library (211 Cross Road).

Wednesday January 29, 2020 - Master Plan Open Space, Recreation & Natural and Cultural Resources Workshop will be help from 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM at the Dartmouth Town Hall (400 Slocum Road).



Interactive Map Gallery


Elements of a Master Plan

According to Massachusetts General Law, a Master Plan has nine required "elements" (or "chapters"). We post drafts of each element here as they are created, and welcome comments on any section.

1. The Statement of Goals and Policies sets out Dartmouth's vision for the future. It presents community values, goals, and the land use objectives that will meet these goals.

2. The Land Use Element describes Dartmouth’s current and future land use patterns, including proposed locations for various types of activity, such as residences, businesses, and recreation, and the preferred relative intensity of development across the town’s diverse built landscapes.

3. The Housing Element creates a plan to meet the town's housing needs, which are identified using demographic and market information.

4. The Economic Development Element identifies strategies for growing the town's economy by building upon local strengths and bringing new and compatible opportunities to Dartmouth.

5. The Natural and Cultural Resources Element is an opportunity for Dartmouth to highlight and take stock of its natural, cultural, and historic resources.

6. The Open Space and Recreation Element describes existing open space and recreational facilities in town and aligns plans for future recreation and open space with project population needs.

7. The Services and Facilities Element identifies existing and anticipated needs for public infrastructure and services.

8. The Circulation Element provides an inventory of existing and proposed transportation infrastructure and services across all modes including private cars, public transit, and bicycle and pedestrian routes.

9. The Implementation section provides a blueprint and schedule for making the master plan a reality.

In addition to the required elements, the Dartmouth Master Plan will have a Climate Change and Resiliency chapter that will inform the goals and recommendations in other plan elements. 


Document Library

Ways to Participate

Public Comment Form

Join the Mailing List

Workshop Schedule 

Workshop 1: Discovery

"Discovery" Public Workshop Presentation

"Discovery" Public Workshop Demographic Data

Southcoast Today Newspaper Article

Dartmouth Week Newspaper Article

"Discovery" Public Workshop Summary Report - DRAFT

Workshop 1: Discovery

Land Use, Housing, and Economic Development Workshop Summary Report

Plans and Reports

Dartmouth Master Plan, 2007

Economic Impact of Agriculture Study Dartmouth, MA, 2009

Local Multi-Hazard Plan, 2015 Update

Dartmouth Open Space and Recreation Plan, 2015

Sustainability Report, 2017

Apponagansett Climate Vulnerability Assessment, 2018

Dartmouth Housing Production Plan, 2018

Padanaram Harbor Management Plan, 2019 - Coming Soon

Project Maps - Coming Soon




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