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Town of Northborough Master Plan Unanimously
Approved by the Town Planning Board!

UPDATE: The Town of Northborough has completed a year's long planning process to update the town-wide Master Plan. The Town engaged with residents, businesses owners and local stakeholders to help shape the ideas and recommendations in the Plan. The 2020 Master Plan was unanimously approved by the Northborough Town Planning Board in March of 2020.

 View the Master Plan documents here »

A Master Plan:

  • Documents and illustrates what a community looks like today and what direction it has decided it wants to go for the future; it includes assessments of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs, and consideration of collective goals and desires.
  • Is a policy guide and provides a framework for future land use decision-making and the physical development of the municipality. It will not only address buildings and infrastructure, it will also include the important social, natural resource and economic values of the community. The Master Plan is a method of translating the community's values into specific actions.
  • Covers an approximate time frame of 20 years; it is assumed that shorter-term reviews will keep it current with the changing needs of the community.
  • Is closely integrated with other municipal documents and initiatives.

The Master Plan is NOT a zoning ordinance, a subdivision regulation, a budget, a capital improvement program or other regulatory document. It is meant to provide the framework for the development of these implementation tools.

What is involved in preparing a Master Plan?

  • The Steering Committee will be overseeing the Master Planning process
  • Public outreach and meetings
  • Data collection and analysis that will ultimately be rolled into the Master Plan document
  • Preparation of the chapters of the plan (sometimes called plan elements)
  • New implementation plan

Information and data are gathered from the prior planning studies, while current views and opinions are being collected through community events where residents are invited to provide inputs. Other sources include data provided from government-level census and mapping data provided by one of the consulting teams.

Master Plan News

2020 Master Plan

The Final Town of Northborough 2020 Master Plan Documents Now Available

 View the Master Plan files here »

Presentation of the Master Plan/Planning Board Public Hearing

December 10, 2019 at 7:00 PM
Northborough Free Library

 View past and upcoming meeting information »

Final Community Survey is Closed

A summary of responses to our Third (and final) Community Survey is now available. Thank you for your participation!

Northborough Master Plan Sections

The Master Plan will include a range of chapters that will address the Town's needs over the next 15-20 years.

Vision, Goals and Policies

The Vision Statement will articulate the long-term vision for Northborough and will highlight some of the major issues and opportunities that will need to be addressed in the next 20+ years.

Land Use

This chapter provides an overview of the Town's current land use patterns and will include recommendations and guidance on how the Town might preserve, grow and change land uses in the future.

Transportation, Circulation and Parking

This chapter will summarize Northborough's existing traffic network and will assess the various transportation modes the Town offers now and in the future. Walking, biking and transit will be explored, in addition to understanding vehicular traffic opportunities and constraints.


This chapter will provide a summary of the Town's housing stock and will assess the need to supplement that inventory with future housing choices. Key to this chapter is understanding demographic changes, household incomes, and employment.

Economic Development

This chapter will provide a summary of the Town's economic profile and seek to understand how the Town might strengthen its economic base by looking at jobs, income, and local and regional employment opportunities.


This chapter will address Northborough's natural, cultural, and historic resources, identifying goals and strategies to preserve and leverage these important town-wide systems.

Public Facilities and Services

This chapter will outline goals and actions related to Northborough's public facilities, such as the Town Hall and Library. The recommendations will look at ways the Town could maintain or expand services that are provided to the community.

Implementation/Action Plan

The final chapter will provide a summary of the goals, actions and recommendations so that the Town will be in the position to advance the Master Plan over time. Timelines, priorities and champions will be identified for each recommendation.

Your involvement is important!

View upcoming workshops »