Fairhaven, a coastal community in southern Massachusetts on Buzzards Bay with over 29 miles of shoreline, has a unique historic and natural setting characterized by traditional neighborhood development patterns, rural farmlands, a diverse mix of land uses and open spaces, and an active working waterfront. The Town of Fairhaven embarked on an important planning initiative that will guide future investments and development within the Town over the next 15-20 years.
VHB worked with the Town to develop its Master Plan that integrates and leverages the community’s existing assets and resources into an implementable plan for a sustainable future. The Master Plan addresses future recommendations for land use, housing, economic development, public facilities and services, open space and recreation, transportation, and historic and cultural resources. Beyond promoting smart growth principles, the Master Plan focuses on a wide range of sustainability issues, requiring the Town to think more holistically about the social, economic, and environmental effects of its operations and infrastructure, as well as opportunities to reduce its energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels. Further, like many similar waterfront communities, Fairhaven must consider issues such as sea-level rise as they look toward the future.