Dighton, Mass., Master Plan

Master Plan Process

Public Participation Component

Public forums and community meetings are planned (View the Events/Schedule page for the dates and times for these meetings). The first one will be held on January 29th at the John Van Gyzen Hall, which will allow residents to describe the Dighton they envision in twenty years. Participants will meet in break out groups to discuss community character.

An important product of this task is the Vision Statement that identifies the Dighton of the future. The Vision Statement is distilled from lots of input from the community gathered during interviews and the public forum where residents and business owners are invited to supply their own personal visions for the future of Dighton.

Existing Conditions and Trends Analysis

In this phase we identify where we are today; what is our current state of the Town - existing projects, finances, infrastructure, etc.; what do the current trends, economic conditions, and demographics tell us about our town and where it might be headed.

VHB will work with the Planning Board, Town officials and other key stakeholders to conduct an initial inventory of existing conditions in Dighton. This inventory will establish a baseline to help frame the analysis of the various Master Plan elements. Work will include performing a reconnaissance of the Town and its surrounding environs, collecting data and assessing base information (building on recent planning efforts already completed), and reviewing and summarizing existing and any recently completed planning studies. As part of this task, the consultant will undertake the following:

  1. Conduct site reconnaissance fieldwork including identification of Town land and building use, protected and unprotected natural resource areas, recently approved developments (or areas proposed/being considered for development), wetlands and water resource areas, and an overall assessment of general physical conditions in the Town, including utilities and infrastructure.
  2. Assemble available base data (reports, plans, mapping, GIS databases, etc.) from Town staff and/or the Planning Board, and confirm that necessary data is available for study of the various plan elements.
  3. Review and evaluate existing relevant studies, including the update of the Housing Production Plan, and capital improvement plans for facilities and services.
  4. Evaluate existing land use and development patterns in Town and assess uses to determine whether the existing inventory meets community goals. Consideration will also be given to regional development trends that may impact future Town development. Constraints to future development such as wetlands and other natural resources are evaluated, and the current zoning regulations are evaluated in order to predict the location and intensity of potential future development. Changes to the zoning by-laws may be considered as a means to achieve the future land use vision for the Town.

In this phase, the consultants dig into the details of each plan element (or topic) and develop specific plans that will lead to the vision for that particular element. Based on the data collected and analyzed, and using the community vision as a guide, a plan will be developed for each master plan topic. A concrete set of recommendations will be made to implement plan goals and objectives. There will be continued community involvement during this phase.

Draft Master Plan and Implementation Strategies

During this phase, VHB, with the participation of the Planning Board, will prepare the elements for the Draft Master Plan for review and comment. The consultant will also be preparing Geographic Information System (GIS) maps to identify the location of important resources and land use areas of Dighton.

One important aspect of the Plan will be the Implementation element, which will be a straightforward, step-by-step guide for the Town to implement the Master Plan through specific policies and other steps. This plan will include both short- and long-term action strategies.

The Implementation element will include an action plan that summarizes the actions that each party (e.g. Planning Board, Conservation Commission, Board of Selectmen, etc.) will be responsible for completing within various timeframes. VHB will also develop an Action Plan Map that illustrates the key points of the implementation plan. The map will incorporate any proposed zoning changes.

Final Master Plan

This last segment of the project will see the compilation of all pertinent data, information, maps, etc. into the final documents. The Implementation Plan will be finalized. VHB will prepare draft documents for review by the Planning Board, stakeholders, and any other interested parties. There will be ample time to review and incorporate any relevant changes.

The Living Master Plan

Remember, the Dighton Master Plan will be a living document. It will need to be reviewed and updated at least once a year. A committee will be charged with overseeing the Implementation Plan and coordinating the efforts of the parties identified as having responsibilities for implementing the plan. As conditions change, and as various sections of the plan are implemented, the Town may find additional projects and/or strategies with which to achieve our goals and objectives.

Master Plan Community Events

Dighton residents are invited to participate in the master planning process. Their input is vital to a successful master plan project.

There are a series of Milestone Events where the entire community is invited to participate and contribute directly to the data and information gathering process.

In addition to the Milestone Events, there are monthly meetings (usually) of the Planning Board during which the consultant will provide updates on the planís status. These meetings will be posted and are open to the public.

Master Plan Contents

As prepared and submitted to the Planning Board, Master Plan documents will be posted here for your review. Dighton residents and stakeholders will have a few weeks to review them and make comments.

Of course, they will be continually reviewed and updated as necessary as part of the on-going Master Planning process.

  • Goals and Policies Statement
  • Land Use and Zoning
  • Housing
  • Economic Development
  • Natural, Cultural and Historic Resources
  • Open Space and Recreation
  • Services and Facilities
  • Transportation and Circulation
  • Implementation/Action Plan

Learn about the Master Plan Elements »

Dighton, Mass.