RG_080 – Planning Board

Planning Board

Collection Information

Creator : Town of Douglas, Massachusetts

Title : Town of Douglas Planning Board

Abstract :  Collection includes plans and studies regarding the Town of Douglas. These plans have either been conducted by or with the cooperation of the Town of Douglas Planning Board. Items include final reports, drafts, maps, plans and proposals. 

Dates : Bulk 1979 to 2008

Quantity :  12 Folders with 1 Bound Book

Repository : Simon Fairfield Public Library, Town of Douglas Municipal Records & Archive.

Finding Aid : Finding Aid in print form is available in the Repository.

Preferred Citation : [Box #, Item identification], Planning Board, Simon Fairfield Public Library, Town of Douglas Municipal Records & Archive.

Provenance : Found in the Simon Fairfield Public Library Archival Cabinet in 2016. No further accession information is available.  

Processing Information :  This collection was processed by RLD Lavallee on May 4, 2016.

Administrative History

The Douglas Planning Board is an elected board of 7 individuals. The primary duty of the planning board is to handle the planning, construction or completion of subdivisions. The goal is to ensure that the subdivisions built in Douglas meet the standards set forth in the regulations.

The board also acts as a special permit granting authority and holds public hearings and approves special permits. The aim is to strike a fair and reasonable balance between the special character of the town and the ability for the townspeople to have use of their own property in a way that is beneficial to the property owner.

The board is involved in zoning changes. A public hearing is held before the changes can be presented at a town meeting, allowing citizens an opportunity to give their opinions and observations on how the proposed bylaws may affect the use of personal property. The board also has the responsibility of issuing Special Permits in accordance with the State Zoning Act (MGL Ch.40A) for projects requiring such as defined in the Town Zoning Bylaws.

The board is also responsible for reviewing and approving the subdivision of lands. 

Generally speaking, the role of the Planning Board is to guide the growth and development of the Town of Douglas by issuing permits to applicants that have projects that are consistent with Federal, State and Local laws, bylaws and regulations. At the same, it is imperative that the Public Health, Safety and general welfare for the residents of Douglas is maintained.

The Zoning Board of Appeals : has three duties in Douglas:

  1. Hear appeals taken from decisions of any administrative official or board of the Town acting under the provisions of the Law
  2. Grant variances from terms of the zoning Bylaw
  3. Grant special permits as provided by the Zoning Bylaw and Review Comprehensive Permit Applications

A Master Plan’s primary purpose is to present the most current picture of a community and determine what direction the community is to take for the future. Master Plans include “…assessments of existing resources and issues, projections of future conditions and needs and consideration of goals and desires.”  The Master Plan provides a framework that is used when making decisions regarding future land use and the physical development of a community. The Master Plan takes into consideration the importance of a community’s natural resources, as well as the social and economic values.  A Corridor Study is used to identify existing travel demands and determine the best way to serve those existing demands as well as any future demands that may arise. The study is usually initiated to respond to a specific problem, although it often deals with an area as a whole, by identifying existing and future deficiencies and evaluate alternative solutions. These solutions usually involve facility descriptions including environmental, operational and other impacts to the area.

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of the 1994 and 1997/1998 Master Plans for the Town of Douglas. The 1997/1998 Plan includes drafts, the official plan and the final report. Also included in this collection is Corridor Planning Studies for the town. 

Record Group Description

Record Group RG_080 : Planning Board

Sub-Record Group RG_088 : Town of Douglas Master Plans
Sub-Record Description : Drafts, maps, official plans, and final reports regarding the current status of the Town of Douglas and an assessment of the town’s needs, desires and concerns, including a set of goals and policies to meet the goals and policies set by the assessment. 

Sub-Record Group RG_089 : Corridor Planning Studies
Sub-Record Description : The Douglas Corridor Planning Study from November 1979, regarding the traffic problems in the area. 

Record Group: RG_080, Planning Board
Sub-Record Group: RG_088, Town of Douglas Master Plans

Box#Folder#Collection# Description
51RG_088.01University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Department of Landscape Architecture and Regional Planning, BSLA Studio VI, Landscape Planning Studio. Our rural heritage and the future: a master plan for the town of Douglas, Massachusetts. Spring 1994.
52RG_088.021997-98 Master Plan Draft Elements Douglas;  Submitted to: The Town Of Douglas Planning Board; Submitted by: Whiteman & Traintor, Planning, Policy & Development Consultants (Draft 10/7/1997)
53RG_088.03Douglas Master Plan, V. Economic Development (Draft 11/7/1997)
54RG_088.04Douglas Master Plan, VI. Natural, Cultural & Historic Resources, VII. Open Space & Recreation (Draft 12/8/1997)
55RG_088.05Douglas Master Plan, VIII. Services & Facilities (Draft 1/9/1998)
56RG_088.06Douglas Master Plan, IX. Circulation (Draft 2/17/1998)
57RG_088.07Douglas Master Plan, Appendix A: Review of Zoning Bylaw
58RG_088.08Town of Douglas Massachusetts, 1998 Master Plan Map – Existing Zoning
58RG_088.09Town of Douglas Massachusetts, 1998 Master Plan Map – Potential Open Space Acquisition
58RG_088.10Town of Douglas Massachusetts, 1998 Master Plan Map – Proposed Zoning
59RG_088.11Douglas Master Plan, Update #1: The Master Plan’s Goals & Policies; Douglas Master Plan, Project Timeline (12/22/1997)
59RG_088.12Douglas Master Plan, Update #2: Land Use (12/22/1997)
59RG_088.13Douglas Master Plan, Update #3: Housing (12/22/1997)
59RG_088.14Douglas Master Plan, Update #4: Economic Development (12/22/1997)
59RG_088.15Douglas Master Plan, Update #5: Natural , Cultural & Historic Resources (12/29/1997)
59RG_088.16Douglas Master Plan, Update #6: Open Space & Recreation (12/29/1997)
59RG_088.17Douglas Master Plan, Update #7: Services & Facilities (3/3/1998)
59RG_088.18Douglas Master Plan, Update #8: Circulation (3/3/1998)
59RG_088.19Douglas Master Plan – Pie Charts & Grafts (re: Existing Land Use, Vacant & Open Land, Buildout by Zoning District, Housing Growth, Cost/Revenue Analysis) (n.d.)
510RG_088.20Douglas Master Plan Summary, April 1998 (Douglas Planning Board; Consulting Assistance By: Whiteman & Taintor; In Association With: Mark Bobrowski, Esquire)
511RG_088.21Douglas Master Plan Implementation Committee, Final Report, April 2007 (This report is in regards to the Douglas Master Plan Summary of April 1998)

Record Group: RG_080, Planning Board
Sub-Record Group: RG_089, Corridor Planning Studies

51RG_089.01Douglas Corridor Planning Study, November 1979 (Massachusetts Department of Public Works and with the Cooperation of the Federal Highway Administration)