PlanBeverly: Comprehensive Master Plan

Plan Beverly - Our City - Our FuturePlanBeverly was an initiative from April 2019 - December 2020 (with a small COVID-19 related break) that engaged the community in creating a framework to guide the stewardship and responsible growth of our city. The comprehensive master plan situates Beverly in the context of the region and helps Beverly residents articulate a shared vision for the coming decades. The final Master Plan was adopted by the Beverly Planning Board in December 2020 (link below).

What is a Comprehensive Master Plan?

A comprehensive plan, also known as a master plan, general plan, or land-use plan, is a document that provides a roadmap for the future of a city. A comprehensive plan includes an analysis of existing conditions, a community vision for the future, and set of policy recommendations to guide public policy. Most comprehensive plans address the physical, social, and cultural aspects of a community across a range of topics. These plans generally explore the following categories:2020-12-15 Master Plan Engagement Summary 

  • Land Use
  • Economic Development
  • Housing
  • Mobility
  • Cultural & Historical Resources
  • Natural Resources, Open Space & Recreation
  • Services & Facilities

In addition to these topics, PlanBeverly incorporates sustainability as an overriding theme, woven throughout the plan and used as a lens through which the plan is implemented and evaluated. We also took a second-look at the plan in fall 2020 to examine and adjust the recommendations to better address equity and diversity in our commuinity.

The former PlanBeverly external website is no longer managed. You may still follow the PlanBeverly Facebook page; it may be updated from time to time.

Final Plan Adopted

PlanBeverly Comprehensive Master Plan  Effective January 1, 2021 (this is a large file)

Measuring Progress

The City is currently working on the following initiatives [last updated April 2023]:


  • Adopt the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) loan statute.
  • Completed the Historic Preservation Plan and established an Action Plan to preserve historic resources.
  • Promote Beverly’s strengths as an employment hub with multiple educational anchors and a rich downtown arts and entertainment district that also serves to highlight resources for minority-owned businesses [through a new Economic Development brocure]
  • Provide EV charging stations at public parking facilities including on- and off-street locations.
  • Additional tree planting in areas of the city that have the lowest existing tree cover and register highest on the urban heat index. [also ongoing]
  • Adopt community choice aggregation to provide residents and businesses with an option for energy sourcing from a higher proportion of renewable energy facilities.
  • Implement a permit tracking system to streamline and enhance project oversight of permitting processes across all boards and departments.
  • Expand and promote free public arts and cultural programming in public spaces [Painting Outdoor Dining Barriers; Artist in Residence]
  • Provide bike parking throughout Downtown, collaborating with businesses and private institutions and utilizing curb bump-outs along Rantoul and Cabot Streets. 
  • Redevelop the former McDonald’s site on the waterfront in a manner that increases public access, with uses that include a publicly accessible restaurant. 
  • Conduct a Racial Equity Audit.

In Progress / Ongoing

  • Promote transit-oriented development rezoning in the Bass River Area, and related sub-strategies through an ongoing public engagement process. - on-hold due to Hall-Whitaker bridge closure
  • Expand the City's Accessory Dwelling Unit Ordinance by eliminating the restriction to family members, reducing parking requirements, and explore other dimensional and locational criteria. in progress 2022-23 
  • Explore a Net Zero Energy target for all new buildings.
  • Explore requiring renewable energy facilities such as solar installations and energy storage for new commercial and multifamily residential construction.
  • Update dimensional and design standards for the downtown (CC Zoning District), including removing the Tall Building Overlay District, as well as other zoning districts - in progress 2022-23
  • Review the role, authority, and composition of the Design Review Board so that it has the expertise, capacity, and regulatory tools to ensure that projects are of the highest-quality design possible. 
  • Leverage City funds to create new affordable units or subsidize construction of new units; the City continually allocates public funds for affordable housing through the CPC, BAHT, and North Shore HOME Consortium. - ongoing
  • Monitor the expiration of existing affordable units and intervene when necessary. 
  • Revist Phase II of the Brimbal Avenue / Exit 19 (formerly) infrastructure and intersection improvements. - ongoing 
  • Support existing incubator spaces and facilitate partnerships among educational institutions and businesses to strengthen key emerging business sectors like life sciences, clean technology, and advanced manufacturing.
  • Explore opportunities to foster waterfront excursion/charter businesses (fishing tours, whale watch, historic tours, etc.) at the waterfront area and at Bass River.
  • Identify strategies to incentivize sustainable business practices for businesses throughout Beverly, including participation in certification programs. - ongoing  
  • Identify requirements and incentives to reduce solid waste disposal and increase recycling and composting in commercial buildings and multifamily residential buildings.
  • Provide bike parking at all public parks and all public schools. - ongoing   
  • Update zoning regulations to establish minimum bicycle parking requirements and require new commercial and residential developments to provide indoor/covered bike parking for tenants and outdoor bike parking for visitors.
  • Advocate to increase transit service between Beverly, Salem, and Peabody, including regional shopping, healthcare, and job centers (e.g. Northshore Mall, Centennial Drive, etc.). - ongoing   
  • Update pavement management plan annually and track progress. - ongoing   
  • Explore opportunities to implement hybrid, fully electric, or other alternative fuel vehicles for City-managed or -operated transportation fleets (School buses, Council-on-Aging Fleet, Beverly Shuttle, and North Shore Wave, and etc.). - ongoing   
  • Advocate for electrification of the MBTA commuter rail consistent with recommendations made in the MBTA’s RailVision plan for “Full Transformation” of the system. - ongoing   
  • Make targeted investments to ensure all Beverly Public Schools are accessible by foot and bicycle (see specific sub-strategies within the plan).
  • Work with private landowners and prioritize use of public funds for easements and acquisitions to expand the citywide trail network. - ongoing   
  • Improve accessibility to the waterfront by upgrading existing access points, adding access points where possible, and improving signage. 
  • Coordinate with local land conservation organizations to encourage their investment in additional at-risk properties in Beverly. - ongoing   
  • Work with the Open Space and Recreation Committee, nonprofits, and civic groups to sponsor volunteer events and public programming that draws attention to the Beverly’s natural resource areas. - ongoing   
  • Continue to invest and maintain the City’s school buildings in order to continue to provide state of-the art and world-class education to the Beverly’s youth. - ongoing   
  • Use a variety of traditional and social media outlets to raise awareness of City initiatives, disseminate information about public services, and make the City more accessible to residents. - ongoing   
  • Use public events such as festivals, markets, and school events as an opportunity for public participation and/or dissemination of information.
  • Increase capacity to conduct ongoing racial equity analyses of new and existing policies, programs, services, procurement practices, and community engagement.
  • Expand City efforts to ensure diverse representation on City boards, commissions, and advisory committees, including targeted outreach and recruitment. - ongoing  
  • Partner with institutions to make payments in lieu of taxes (PILOT) and/or in-kind contributions such as permanent public open space easements on privately held land.
  • Pursue opportunities to lease City property for clean energy and/or broadband infrastructure.
  • Partner with local arts and culture organizations to program festivals, concerts, and performances.

Public Presentations

PlanBeverly Public Presentation Meeting 1: May 2019

PlanBeverly Public Presentation Meeting 2: July 2019

PlanBeverly Neighborhood Meetings Presentation: Fall 2019

PlanBeverly Public Presentation Meeting 3: December 2019

2020-12-15 Master Plan Project Schedule