Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning (MCP)


Community Planning and Area Development


This Master Plan is an update of planning related information for the Marshfield Planning Board. The first stage of any planning study is the gathering of background information and data on which proposals are based. Throughout the past year, information was collected and anaylzed concerning the following: population, employment, natural features, land use, vacant land, schools, recreation, water and sewer systems, traffic circulation, administrative services and the town's fiscal status. This information was collected in order to assist the Town and its citizens in their decisions regarding the future growth of Marshfield.

The purpose of this Master Plan is to establish an updated guide for the continuing development of Marshfield. Thus this document is for everyone in Marshfield who is concerned with their community and its future. Marshfield is again at a crossroads, as the Town is facing difficult decisions concerning its future character. A debate has been going on over the last few years between those who advocate preservation of the Town's rural character and those who favor growth to strengthen the Town ' s economic base.

In addition the need to create more housing opportunities has become apparent to the Town's officials. Marshfield has a housing affordability problem and under the present federal administration, economic factors will dictate that the Town has to work on solutions with little help. One of the methods which Marshfield itself can employ at little cost is changing portions of the Town ' s Zoning By-Laws. However, this is only a single facet to the problem, which requires a multi-faceted approach.

This document promotes a balanced growth approach to the Town ' s future. Such an approach would provide the Town with the means to accommodate growth and development, while providing for the preservation of the Town ' s natural environment.

The benefits of such an approach are many; it will provide the Town's officials a rational framework on which to base their decisions regarding development as opposed to a case-by-case response to each development proposal. Developers would be given a clear indication of public policy on how the development should proceed, enabling the developer to save time and money. Thus local growth can occur in a rational and orderly fashion thereby minimizing the fiscal impacts sometimes associated with poorly planned developments. The Town and its various departments, boards and citizens groups must work together and forge a common approach to Marshfield's future development. It is hoped that this plan is used as a guide in that effort.

Essentially the Master Plan consists of the following sections; Natural Features, History, Land Use/Zoning, Demographics, Housing, Transportation, Economic Analysis, Financial Analysis, Public Services, Recreation, Conservation and a Public Policy Outline.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.