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Priority Growth Strategy

The Merrimack Valley Priority Growth Strategy is the official planning policy for the Merrimack Valley. This forward-thinking plan embraces principles of smart growth and sustainability and articulates a regional vision of promoting growth in areas best able to accommodate growth while protecting the region’s most critical natural resources.

The strategy identifies more than 50 Priority Development Areas (PDAs), which are areas of existing, compact development or suitable for future high-density development. These PDAs are appropriately zoned as commercial, industrial, or mixed-use and have existing infrastructure in place. The Strategy also suggests areas that should not be developed (Priority Protection Areas – PPAs) in order to preserve the character of the region and to protect the region’s natural resources. It evaluates the suitability of the regional transportation network to serve the different land-use patterns and recommends smart mobility improvements that will best serve present and future generations.

In 2013, the MA Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development incorporated MVPC’s Priority Growth Strategy into the statewide development plan entitled Planning Ahead for Growth. The Merrimack Valley Region’s section of Planning Ahead for Growth can be found here: 2013 Merrimack Valley Regional Plan. Please contact our Community and Economic Development Department with any questions.