Master Plan

What is the Master Plan? 

A Master Plan is a planning document that serves to guide the overall character, physical form and development of a community (RSA 674:2). It describes how, why, where, and when to build or rebuild a city or town. It provides guidance to local officials making decisions on budgets, ordnances, capital improvements, zoning and subdivision matters, and other development related issues.  

While the Master Plan is not a legal document, it does provide the legal basis for zoning and other land use regulations. Specifically, in order to adopt a zoning ordinance (RSA 674:18), the Planning Board must have adopted a masterplan with, a minimum, vision, and land use sections (RSA 674:2). In addition, certain there are certain types of ordinances that cannot be legally adopted, or certain grants may not be feasible unless an up-to-date masterplan is place.   

Who is Responsible for the Master Plan? 

The Planning Board is responsible for preparing, amending, and adopting the Town’s Master Plan RSA 674:3) The Town of Barrington utilizes committees that include volunteers along with organizations such as Strafford Regional Planning during the update process. The Planning Board established a process of updating the Master Plan one section/chapter at a time in 2016.  The Board currently plans on updating the Future Land Use Chapter in 2022.  

The Master Plan helps to shape the community and plan for future development while recognizing the need to protect the Towns most valuable resources.