Planning Assistance

Municipal Planning Boards Resources Page

Southeastern Massachusetts is one of the fastest growing areas in the United States. Unfortunately, this growth is leading to unplanned development and sprawl, which is quickly overrunning our cities and towns. Because development will be so widely dispersed, new development can have devastating impacts on natural resources if not properly managed.

Open Space Plan Development Assistance from the BBP

For twenty years, the Buzzards Bay NEP has assisted Buzzards Bay municipalities prepare municipal open space plans. Our goal is to assist towns better protect water quality, wetlands, and habitat through the acquisition or protection of open space. In the first decade of the program, we even provided computers, GIS software, and training to enable municipalities to better manage geographic information. More information is on our Open Space Protection fact sheet page. This page has links of acres protected in each town.

Related BBP pages and some past efforts

Open Space Protection Information for the Buzzards Bay watershed

Low Impact Development Strategies

Buzzards Bay NEP Grants. The Buzzards Bay offers grants, GIS mapping, and other planning assistance to municipalities and our non-profit partners. Check our grant program each spring.

Links to other Sites

Important external link:Massachusetts Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Important external link:The American Planning Association.

Important external link:Southeastern Regional Planning & Economic Development District.

Important external link:Cape Cod Commission.

Important external link:Smart Growth America.

“Smart Growth America” is a coalition of hundreds of advocacy organizations that have a stake in how metropolitan expansion affects our environment, quality of life and economic sustainability. Our diverse coalition partners include national, state and local groups working on behalf of the environment, historic preservation, social equity, land conservation, neighborhood redevelopment, farmland protection, labor, town planning, and we’re growing all the time.

Important external link:Massachusetts APA page on the Massachusetts Land Use Reform Act



Important external link:“Paving the Way to Water Shortages: How Sprawl Aggravates Drought”
According to this August 28, 2002 report (pdf file), sprawl development is making the nation’s drought even more painful by impairing the landscape’s ability to recharge aquifers and surface waters, according to a new report released today by American Rivers, the Natural Resources Defense Council, and Smart Growth America. Nationwide, paved-over land sends billions of gallons of water into streams and rivers as polluted runoff, rather than into the soil to replenish groundwater. This report urges communities to adopt “smart growth” policies to protect water supplies and watersheds.

Zoning and Land Use Publications from the Zoning Guidebook from the Massachusetts Planning and Appeals Board