Master Plan Steering Committee

Town of Princeton, Massachusetts Master Plan Steering Committee Charge


The Town of Princeton is in the process of updating its Master Plan. The effort shall be guided by the Town of Master Plan Steering Committee (hereafter "the MPSC"). The MPSC shall convene with the purpose of preparing a plan that meets the requirements of Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 41, Section 81D, which outlines the statutory elements of a Master Plan.


The MSPC shall:

Work with Town staff, Town officials, and a consultant team to update the Town's Master Plan. Updating the Master Plan provides the community with a formal avenue through which to make regularly scheduled assessments of progress, both in terms of reviewing the effectiveness of development decisions and in terms of satisfying the priorities the Town has established for itself.

This "living document" will act as a guiding force for any planning that is to occur within the Town in the future.

Assist with Public Engagement. This will include publicizing regularly scheduled meetings, preparing minutes, attending and assisting with the facilitation of workshops, and advertising meetings and workshops through their personal networks.

Develop goals, objectives and action items as well as review other materials. This will include reviewing feedback from surveys, public meetings and other outreach and synthesizing the feedback into coherent, actionable strategies. The MPSC may also be called upon to review data, drafts of handouts, surveys and other deliverables.


The MPSC is established through and accountable to the body subject to the Open Meeting Law.

Board. It will meet as a deliberative


Membership in the MPSC is based on appointment by the Board. Each member of the MPSC has full voting rights. Ex Officio members may be appointed by the Board as needed, but do not have voting rights. Governance of the MPSC Committee is by a Chair, Vice Chair, and Secretary. The governance positions shall be chosen from and by the voting members of the MPSC.

Term of Service:

Members of the MPSC shall serve for a period deemed appropriate by the Board.

Meeting schedule:

Meetings will be held on a monthly basis through the duration of the project, with calls and email communication in between.


Master Plan Steering Committee Overview


What is a master plan?

Massachusetts General Law Chapter 41A, Section 81D: Master plan; economic development supplement

Section 81D. A planning board established in any city or town under section eighty-one A shall make a master plan of such city or town or such part or parts thereof as said board may deem advisable and from time to time may extend or perfect such plan.

Such plan shall be a statement, through text, maps, illustrations or other forms of communication, that is designed to provide a basis for decision making regarding the long-term physical development of the municipality. The comprehensive plan shall be internally consistent in its policies, forecasts and standards, and shall include the following elements:

(1) Goals and policies statement which identifies the goals and policies of the municipality for its future growth and development. Each community shall conduct an interactive public process, to determine community values, goals and to identify patterns of development that will be consistent with these goals.

(2) Land use plan element which identifies present land use and designates the proposed distribution, location and inter-relationship of public and private land uses. This element shall relate the proposed standards of population density and building intensity to the capacity of land available or planned facilities and services. A land use plan map illustrating the land use policies of the municipality shall be included.

(3) Housing element which identifies and analyzes existing and forecasted housing needs and objectives including programs for the preservation, improvement and development of housing. This element shall identify policies and strategies to provide a balance of local housing opportunities for all citizens.

(4) Economic development element which identifies policies and strategies for the expansion or stabilization of the local economic base and the promotion of employment opportunities.

(5) Natural and cultural resources element which provides an inventory of the significant natural, cultural and historic resource areas of the municipality, and policies and strategies for the protection and management of such areas.

(6) Open space and recreation element which provides an inventory of recreational and resources and open space areas of the municipality, and policies and strategies for the management and protection of such resources and areas.

(7) Services and facilities element which identifies and analyzes existing and forecasted needs for facilities and services used by the public.

(8) Circulation element which provides an inventory of existing and proposed circulation and transportation systems.

(9) Implementation program element which defines and schedules the specific municipal actions necessary to achieve the objectives of each element of the master or study plan. Scheduled expansion or replacement of public facilities or circulation system components and the anticipated costs and revenues associated with accomplishment of such activities shall be detailed in this element. This element shall specify the process by which the municipality's regulatory structures shall be amended so as to be consistent with the master plan.

Such plan shall be made, and may be added to or changed from time to time, by a majority vote of such planning board and shall be public record. The planning board shall, upon completion of any plan or report, or any change or amendment to a plan or report produced under this section, furnish a copy of such plan or report or amendment thereto, to the department of housing and community development.

A city or town which has an established master or study plan under section eighty-one A and applies for a state grant from the commonwealth shall prepare and keep on file within such city or town an economic development supplement; provided, however, that such city or town shall not be required to prepare such supplement if such city or town has a supplement on file. Such supplement shall be at least one page in length and shall contain the goals of the city or town with respect to industrial or commercial development, affordable housing, and preservation of parks and open space.

Why should a town update its Master Plan?

Updating a Master Plan provides a community with a formal avenue through which to make regularly scheduled assessments of its progress, both in terms of reviewing the effectiveness of development decisions and in terms of satisfying the priorities the Town has established for itself.


What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Master Plan Steering Committee Member?

Thank you for agreeing to be a member of the Town’s Master Plan Steering Committee. You will be closely involved in building the shared vision of your town and representing the thoughts and aspirations of your neighbors. Your responsibilities will be:

  1. To review, provide feedback on, propose changes to and formally approve all draft materials related to the project including
    1. Survey language
    2. Outreach materials (e.g. postcards, flyers, etc.)
    3. Agendas for community forums and other public meetings
    4. Draft chapters and recommendations
    5. Goals, objectives, and action items
  2. To provide input/updates from town boards, committees, and stakeholders on:
    1. Progress/updates on action items from the prior master plan
    2. Identifying issues and opportunities the plan should prioritize
  3. Outreach to professional and personal networks in town to recruit survey respondents, forum participants, etc.
  4. Assist with facilitation of public forums/meetings as needed

Karen Rossow


Anne Neuburg

Claire Golding