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Granby 2 3 3 3 11

Hadley 3 3 3 2 12

Hatfield 2 3 2 2 1 2

Huntington 12 2 13 1

Middlefield 112 13 1


















2









3




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2



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Hampshire County — Cont.

Pelham 1 1 1 2 3 1 2 2

Plainfield 2 2 113 10 1

Southampton 2 2 3 2 2 1 1 2

South Hadley 2 3 3 2 13 2 2

Ware 2 3 2 113 3 1

Westhampton 1 1223 1 1 1

Williamsburg 2 2 3 2 3 2 3 1

Woithington 2 1113 10 1



Middlesex County

Acton 3 3 2 3 1 2 2 3

Ashby 2 2 2 3 2 111

Ashland 21223333

Ayer 2 2 2 2 2 3 1 2

Bedford 2 3 3 3 1 3 1 3

Billerica 3 2 2 3 2 3 2 3

Boxborough 33232102

Burlington 2 2 13 2 3 13

Carlisle 2 12 3 3 10 2

Chelmsford 2 3 3 3 1 3 2 3

Concord 3 3 2 3 1 3 2 3

Dracut 3 3 3 3 1 3 2 2

Dunstable 3 3 2 3 2 10 2

Groton 3 3 1 2 2 2 3 2

Holliston 32232323

Hopkinton 22122222

Hudson 322323 3 3

Lincoln 2 3 2 2 2 2 3

Littleton 33331233

Maynard 3 2 2 3 13 3 3

North Reading 2 12 3 13 13

Pepperell 3 3 3 3 2 2 3 2

Sherborn 2 2 3 3 2 2 13

Shirley 33222332

Stow 2 3 3 3 12 2 2

Sudbury 2 3 2 3 1 2 3

Tewksbury 2 3 3 3 13 3

Townsend 3 1 1 3 3 2 3 2

Tyngsborough 22232212

Wayland 2 1 2 2 1 3 3

Westford 2 3 2 3 2 2 3 2

Weston 2 1 2 2 3 3 1 3

Wilmington 3 1 1 3 2 3 1 3



Norfolk County

Avon 1 13 3 3 3 2 3

Bellingham 2 13 3 3 3 3 2

Canton 1 1 1 1 2 3 3 3

Cohasset 112 2 2 3 3



LAND USES



41



Table 10. — Relative Position of Towns Below 10,000 Population in
Three Groups for Eight Different Factors — continued

1 — Percentage of land suitable for agriculture, 1941
2 — Percentage of total area in improved land, 1935
3 — Cows per square mile, 1940
4 — Poultry per square mile, 1940
5 — Percentage of total area in woodland, 1941
6 — Population per square mile, 1940
7 — Employees — percentage of total population, 1940
8 — -Value of farm land and buildings per acre, 1935
The towns are divided into three equal groups for each factor: 1 indicates the "low" group;

2, the "medium" group; and 3, the "high" group; in column 7 means that there were no industrial

employees in the town.



Town



2 3 4 5 6 7



Town



12 3 4 5 6 7



Norfolk County — Cont.

Dover 2 2 1 2 2 2 2 3

Foxborough 22133 3 22

Franklin 2 12 3 2 3 3 2

Holbrook 1 12 3 3 3 3 3

Medfield 2 2 12 2 3 12

Medway 2 3 3 3 1 3 2 3

Mniis 23232333

Norfolk 2 2 13 2 2 12

Plainville 22232232

Randolph 112 3 2 3 2 3

Sharon 2 1 1 2 3 3 1 2

Stoughton 2 1 2 3 3 3 3 3

Walpole 12 2 3 2 3 3 3

Westwood 1 3 3 2 1 3 1 3

Wrentham 2 1 1 3 2 3 2 3



Plymouth County

Abington 1 2 2 3

Bridgewater 1 3 2 3

Carver 12 11

Duxbury 1 1 1 2

East Bridgewater ..1233

Halifax 1 2 2 3

Hanover 1 2 2 3

Hanson 1 2 1 3

Hingham 1 2 2 2

Hull 1 1 1 1

Kingston 1 1 2 2

Lakeville 12 13

Marion 1 1 1 2

Marshfield 1 1 1 2

Mattapoisett 1 1 2 2

Middleborough ... 1 2 3 3

Norwell 1 2 1 3

Pembroke 1 1 1 2

Plympton 12 12

Rochester 1113

Rockland 1 1 1 3

Scituate 1 2 1 2

Wareham 1 1 1 1

West Bridgewater .13 3 3

Whitman 1 2 3 3



Worcester County

Ashburnham 1 11 12 13 1

Auburn 22222323

Barre 3 2 3 2 2 2 3 1



1


3


3


3


1


3


2


2


1


1


1


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3


3


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2


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3


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3


9


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2


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3


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3


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3


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3


3



Worcester County — Cont.

Berlin 23332222

Blackstone 3 3 3 3 2 3 1 2

Bolton 33222102

Boylston 21222212

Brookfield . . 2 3 3 13 2 3 2

Charlton 3 3 3 112 3 1

Douglas 2 2 113 2 2 1

Dudley 3 3 3 2 1 3 3 2

East Brookfield.... 3 3 2 3 12 3 2

Grafton 33221332

Hardwick 1 3 3 2 2 1 2 1

Harvard 32223202

Holden 31223222

Hopedale 3 12 3 2 3 3 3

Hubbardston 3 12 2 3 10 1

Lancaster 3 2 2 3 3 2 2 2

Leicester 3 2 3 3 2 3 3 1

Lunenburg 3 3 3 3 2 2 2

Mendon 32332212

Millbury 33332332

Millville 2 2 2 2 2 3 2

New Braintree. ... 3 3 3 3 1 1 1

Northborough 333322 12

North Brookfield .33331332

Oakham 3 2 3 2 3 1 1

Oxford 3 3 3 2 1 3 2 2

Paxton 3 2 3 3 3 1 1

Petersham 1 1 1 1 3 1 1

Phillipston 1 1 1 2 3 1 1

Princeton 32113131

Royalston 11113 111

Rutland 3 2 2 2 2 2 2

Shrewsbury 3 2 3 3 1 3 1 3

Southborough 2332 1333

Spencer 3 3 3 3 1 3 3 2

Sterhng 3 3 3 2 1 1 1 2

Sturbridge 3 2 112 2 2 1

Sutton 33322222

Templeton 2 1 1 1 3 2 2 2

Upton 3 2 12 3 2 11

Uxbridge 3 2 2 2 3 3 3 1

Warren 3 3 3 112 3 1

Westborough 3 3 3 3 13 2 3

West Boylston .... 3332 1203

West Brookfield ... 3 3 3 2 2 2 1 1

Westminster 3 2 2 2 2 2 1 2

Winchendon 3 1113 2 3 1



42 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387

TYPES OF COMMUNITIES AND THE PROBLEMS ARISING
FROM THEIR PATTERNS OF LAND UTILIZATION

In the preceding discussion the classification of towns has been based on several
important factors in land utilization. The extent to which any one of these factors
is present in the community and the manner in which it is combined with other
factors largely determine the pattern of land utilization in that community.
To a certain degree every town in Massachusetts presents a land-utilization
picture where two or more land uses exist in some combination. Considering the
variety of natural conditions in Massachusetts towns and the diversity in the
character of the population present in various localities, it is only natural that
agriculture should be closely associated with other land uses. Whether this associa-
tion has developed in a harmonious and mutually beneficial manner depends on
a good many factors of which historical background, physical basis, and activities
of individuals are important. Where all these influences have not worked out
favorably the town has a definite land-utilization problem. Some of the difficulties
in these towns can be removed only over a very long period of time, but in the
main a considerable amount of work can be done in the elimination of some of the
maladjustments. This presents a real challenge to the various public agencies
working in rural areas and to local planning organizations. A great deal can be
accomplished towards general improvement by getting v/ell acquainted with the
fundamental assets and deficiencies of the community and the important forces
which tend to influence the type of land utilization in existence. The interrela-
tionship of various land uses should be thoroughly understood before any plan of
action is undertaken. In many communities, for example, with a combination
of various land uses, the position of agriculture may be considerably improved by
applying assessment and taxation based on an adequate system of land classi-
fication. Agricultural land should be taxed according to its productive capacity,
thus placing the existing farming on a more stable and permanent basis. This
must be clearly recognized because, in many communities where other uses are
also important, farming still remains the most basic and fundamental factor in
the proper utilization of local natural resources.

Under diverse influences each community in the course of time has developed
its own pattern of land utilization, and in order to give an adequate appraisal
of local conditions it is necessary to study each town in detail. There are, how-
ever, some outstanding characteristics which distinguish the types of communities
associated with the existing patterns of land utilization. On this basis, five differ-
ent types of communities are considered in the light of prevailing combinations
of land uses, their problems and needed adjustments.



A. Towns with a low level of agricultural land utilization and lacking other
more intensive land uses.

In the general decline of agricultural land utilization in the State, a considerable
number of towns that lost in farming never succeeded in regaining their balance
and former importance by evolving other land uses and compensating lines of
activity. These towns generally have a low density of population which in many
cases is scattered over wide areas. The land areas are predominantly under
wooded cover with some of them used for extensive recreational purposes. There
is only a limited amount of good land available for agriculture and even this
includes much that is either stony or sandy or too wet. The topography is mostly
rough, except in a few level sandy or marshy areas. Because of the absence of
any appreciable development of more intensive land uses, the. values of



LAND USES



43



land are at a low level and the rate of taxation is high. It is not difficult to
identify these towns b}' observing the above characteristics in the series
of maps classifying the major factors in land utilization. The main problems
in these towns are either connected with fiscal difficulties arising from the nec-
essity of maintaining local institutions, or related to the field of conservation of
natural resources. The difficulty in maintaining local institutions follows from
the insufficient aniount of productive taxable property and from large overhead
expenses in servicing a small local population. Examination of the town maps
prepared in connection with the land-use survey indicates that in many of these
towns there is a considerable amount of scattered settlement. That means high
costs for the maintenance of roads and for supplying all the necessary public
facilities. (Map 15)



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Map 15. Towns with Smaller Population in 1940 than in 1880 (Black areas)



One of the most valuable contributions which can be made to some of these
towns by land-use planning committees is to work out the procedure for the
gradual elimination of scattered settlements and for the consolidation of public
services. By closing some roads which now service only a few isolated farms
and relocating the people involved, it will be possible to effect considerable
savings. Another possible means of" cutting expenditures will be found in co-
operative ownership or joint leasing by several adjoining towns of the equip-
ment needed for servicing roads and for other important town activities. In
some western states, effective use is being made of rural zoning, whereby' isolated
areas or those unfit for agricultural cultivatio.i are being gradually closed to agri-
cultural settlement. The application of this measure may be of great advantage
also in some rural areas in Massachusetts. It must be recognized, however, that
with variations in soil and other natural conditions even over ver^' small areas
and with diversity in the types of farming practiced side by side it may be difficult
to draw definite lines, except in a few well-determined sections. Any other
measures that may be adopted by the towns to reduce their expenditures will
relieve the pressure of heavy taxation on agricultural land in the better areas of
these towns.



44 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387

On the positive side, to increase local sources of revenue, attention should be
drawn to the possibilities of new types of land utilization, primarily in the field
of recreation, for which these towns possess a fairly attractive background.
Something can be accomplished also through the promotion of inherited skills
of the local population, such as the handicraft industries which were so prominent
in the past and which have great promise, judging by the experience of certain
communities in Massachusetts and other New England states.

In some towns it is evident that even very thorough measures of economy
and search for new opportunities will not alleviate to any appreciable extent the
condition of the local farming population nor reduce the contribution from the
Treasury- of the Commonwealth to local needs. In such cases it may be to the
benefit of all concerned to discontinue the independent existence of the town
as a political unit, by merging or some other rearrangement.

Inasmuch as the predominant type of land use in the entire group of towns
under consideration is woodland, it is essential to secure the best results from the
utilization of local forest areas. In the past these woodlands provided substantial
returns both to the farmers by supplying their home needs and to the community
as a whole through the maintenance of local wood-working industries. At present
comparatively little is obtained in either of these directions and the forests in
these towns are generally neglected. In the interest of the conservation of natural
resources a managed system of forest practices is of primary significance for these
areas. Through public ownership some of the wooded areas in these towns have
become a part of the State forests and are receiving the benefit of better manage-
ment and protection. This is also being realized through the establishment of
town or community forests. A new hope for better conservation methods in the
extensive forest areas remaining in private own(;rship is a forest taxation bill
recently passed by the Legislature. Under this bill the taxation of timber is
postponed until actual harvesting, thus preventing the destructive practice of
premature cutting.

B. Communilies with favorable agricultural background but experiencing
difficulties in maintaining balanced conditions because of recent removal
of industrial or other enterprises. ,

The type of towns to be considered in this classification has retained a con-
siderable amount of its agricultural land utilization and, moreover, has been in a
rather prosperous condition until very recent years because of the presence of
industries or other supplementary enterprises. Most of the difficulties in these
towns have arisen within the last fifteen or twenty years and were caused largely
by a decline in industrial activity or by the disappearance of the industrial enter-
prises which were an integral part of their economy.

Communities of this type will be found mostly in the central part of the State.
From the standpoint of the adopted classification, they occupy an intermediate
position in their land suitability and the proportion of improved land, and have
a high position in the tax rate division. The most important factor, however,
that singles them out is the decline of population that has recently occurred,
mostly since the early twenties. In a way this type of town is undergoing the
same process as the first group in the early stage of their decline. Because of this
early historical start in the decline of the latter some important adjustments
have already taken place. For one thing, because of an early realization of the
dwindling resources, local expenditures if not radically curtailed at least were
not expanded, as was the case in towns more favorably situated.

The towns of this second group have yet to undergo the painful process of
readjustment unless new sources of income are found to help restore the former



LAND USES 45

balance. Failure to take decisive measures before the situation becomes critical
has a most distressing effect on local agriculture. With the decline of other
sources of taxable income and a dwindling population, local agriculture is called
upon to carry a heavier burden of taxation. As a result some farming is driven
out, thus placing the remaining farmers in a still less advantageous position. To
relieve the situation and restore the r.ecessary balance, careful and active planning
by all local interests is of vital importance. If new industries can be brought in
Vb use the existing facilities, the solution may be near at hand. These industries,
however, must be stable in character and blend well with local resources and
conditions. The situation will only be aggravated by attracting a type of business
which after a short period of activity' folds up and leaves in its wake greater
maladjustments than existed prior to its appearance. In addition to industrial
opportunities, attention should be turned to possible new land uses which will
supplement and fit into the local pattern of land utilization. These may include
part-time farming, residential, and recreational projects in conformity with the
local natural background.

C. Communities predominantly agricultural in character with favorable physical
background and fairly high utilization of agricultural resources.

In a number of towns with good soil and generally favorable physical conditions
agriculture has alwaj's been a primary activity, and even in the period of transi-
tion there has been no important diminution in the use of land for agricultural
enterprises. The only vital change that has occurred from time to time has
been in the character and type of farming adjusted to newly developed conditions.
On the maps presenting the classification of towns on the basis of several factors,
the communities under consideration will be found in the groups having a high
proportion of improved land and of land suitable for agriculture, while land
values will be found primarily in the intermediate group.

Industrial activity, if present at all in these towns, has never acquired a dom-
inant position in the local economy and whatever fluctuations have occurred
have not been potent enough to disturb seriously the predominantly agricultural
character of the communities. There has not been much increase in the local
population for a long time, nor has there been any appreciable decline. The
whole trend is characterized b}^ comparative constancy and stability.

With the main reliance on agricultural land utilization as a source of income,
local institutions have been generally maintained on a steady basis in conformity
with the productive capacity of the towns. Inasmuch as farming remains the
primary type of land utilization in these comm.unities, the kind of problem that
arises is in connection with the successful conduct of the farming business. This
involves efiiicient organization and operation of farming enterprises and con-
servation practices intended to preserve the productive capacity of the soil.
W hile the first has been given considerable attention over a period of years through
the educational activities of the agricultural extension service, soil conservation
as a systematic practice has come into prominence only recently. With wider
application of soil conservation practices these towns will have better assurance
of the continued existence and stability of their farming to the extent that it
depends on healthy conditions of local natural resources.



46 MASS. EXPERIMENT STATION BULLETIN 387

D. Communities with a high or fair proportion of good land, but with declining

agricultural land utilization due primarily to high land values caused by
more intensive land uses, present or expected.

This group of towns is concentrated largely in the eastern densely settled
section of the State or in proximit\' to the coast where recreational land uses are
an important factor. At one time a considerable amount of profitable farming
was carried on in these towns in relation to the amount of land of suitable quality.
With the growth of large industrial centers and especially of the Boston Met-
ropolitan Area, there has been an increasing demand for land for residential
purposes in the nearby rural towns. This demand has been greatly accelerated
with the construction of new roads and the perfecting of automotive traffic.
While much of the land in these towns has alread}' been developed for residential
or recreational purposes, a considerable amount is being held as a potential area
for more intensive uses. Some of this land is still in farming, but a great deal
has gone out of farming and is now under predominantly wooded cover. As a
result of all this, whatever farming remains in these communities is under constant
pressure from high land values, high taxes, and the additional disadvantage of
the high cost of local labor. Much farming in these areas is waging a losing
battle against all these odds. It is true that these high-priced agricultural land
areas have some advantages. For onelhing, the market is near at hand, with
possibilities of higher prices and lower costs of transportation. But to take full
advantage of his location the producer must sell his output at retail. The most
logical and almost imperative channels for sale are routes of regular customers,
roadside stands, or similar direct approaches to the consumer. If advantage of
these possibilities is not taken or can not well be taken, the results are mostly
disastrous to the producer. It means that additional commer,,ial farming units
will be compelled to go out of business and former agricultural areas will either
be employed in more intensive types of land utilization or added to already large
sections of woodland. In general, fundamental econoniic and social forces are
working definitely against the feasibility of continuing commercial farming in
these areas. If agriculture here is preserved and continued it will be largely
on a part-time farming basis.

In the meantime, some of these towns face very difficult problems in agricultural
land use adjustments. Measures must be taken at once to alleviate the critical
position of the producers and at the same time to prevent waste in the utiliza-
tion of local natural resourcea. It is questionable in many cases whether the good
land withdrawn from agriculture and allowed to grow into brush will ever be
used for the more intensive purposes for which it is ordinarily held. A partial
solution of the problems in agricultural land utilization for these areas could be
achieved by a judicious classification of land, whereby the land actually used for
agriculture would have the benefit of lower assessment and taxation. This
would be an important step in alleviating the condition of local farmers and would
enable them to keep the land in agricultural production.

E. Communities with a fairly balanced system of land utilization, where decline

in agricultural land use has been accompanied by the development of
other land uses with favorable effects on local farming.

This type of community is found in various sections of the State and represents
a combination of agriculture with one or several other uses of land, such as recrea-
tional, part-time farming, industrial, and residential. As distinguished from the
preceding group, the more intensive use of land in these communities has pro-



LAND USES 47

ceeded in an orderly way favorable for agriculture and the entire system of local
land utilization. It provides a desirable supplement to local agriculture and has
added to rather than detracted from the stability of local farming and better
utilization of natural resources.

On the basis of the fundamental factors, the communities in this group will
be found largely in the intermediate class, where various characteristics are
present in a moderate degree rather than in extremes.

In the Berkshire region and the sections adjoining it on the east, the combina-
tion is largely agriculture, forestry, and water areas with various recreational uses.
In the central part of the State, it is mostly agriculture with part-time farming,
industrial, and residential land uses. In the eastern part of the State all these
combinations are repeated, strongly influenced by land uses other than agri-
cultural, with especial intensity of recreational factors in the vicinity of the
coast.

The presence of more intensive types of land utilization in these towns tends
to raise land values somewhat, but not to an extent that is definitely detrimental
or prohibitive to agriculture. On the other hand, the town benefits from the
existence of diversified sources of assessment which allows a more equitable
distribution of the taxes necessary to cover the expense of local government.
Without the necessity of paying too high taxes, local agriculture is provided with
superior services which are made possible by the economic conditions arising
from a high level of utilization of local natural resources. Additional advantages
accrue also to the farming population from better local markets provided by the
presence of the varied elements in the town population.



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