BRPC provides a range of services to its constituent communities and organizations. These services may be obtained in numerous ways. BRPC has a wide range of contracts that can provide services to benefit the entire region. BRPC can use local assessment revenue to provide limited technical assistance to local officials. BRPC works with local officials to identify and obtain grant funds which can then be used to conduct larger planning projects. BRPC is also available to provide services on a fee-for-service basis.

The following is a list of some of the most requested services:


BRPC’s staff of planning professionals can provide direct planning assistance on a wide range of items, including:

  • Assist municipalities with planning issues and regulatory affairs.
  • Assist in the preparation of master plans, comprehensive development plans, community development strategies, open space and recreation plans, local economic development strategies, etc.
  • Review development plans (subdivisions, industrial, large commercial or residential projects, municipal facilities, etc.)
  • Draft proposed bylaws, performance standards, etc.  Prepare and circulate model bylaws, design guidelines, procedures, checklists, and other materials to assist members of local boards.
  • Formulate and advocate positions based on the Regional Sustainability Plan and technical analysis which balance the natural and cultural resources of the Berkshires with a vital, sustainable economy.
  • Prepare and update Comprehensive Regional Plans, such as the Berkshire County Outdoor Recreation Plan, and the Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for Berkshire County (CEDS).
  • Prepare studies, reports, and documents as required by Mass. General Laws, Chapter 40B 5., and other enabling federal and state laws.
  • Research, analyze, and disseminate information about innovative and progressive methods of land use planning, zoning, conservation, and economic development that are consistent with regional policy and priorities.
  • Prepare advisory comments for the Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs and local permitting boards/commissions to projects subject to Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) review.


BRPC’s staff of planning professionals can provide specialized planning assistance on transportation items, including:

  • Conduct pavement management assessments and planning for municipalities.  This pavement management program starts with interviews of Town officials about past problems, future goals and the current issues affecting Town roads.  A report is prepared which summarizes the Town’s needs and objectives, budget for road repairs, preferred road treatments and a five-year outline for road improvements.
  • Conduct intersection analyses and safety studies to help communities deal with problematic locations.
  • Conduct speed studies to properly and legally regulate speeds on locally owned roads and prepare required reports to submit to MassDOT to obtain the required approval.
  • Conduct traffic counts under the annual regional traffic counting program.
  • Prepare and update Comprehensive Regional Plans, such as the Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).

Mapping and Data

BRPC maintains a Geographic Information System (GIS) in-house and works in partnership with the MassGIS system. GIS database and maps include county-wide zoning and land use, wetlands, water supplies, transportation systems, public/private open space areas, prime agricultural lands, etc. BRPC also collects and analyzes socio-economic and demographic data for the region.  BRPC provides GIS and Data Services including:

  • Provides maps to municipal officials as requested.
  • Provides maps to the public as requested on a fee basis.
  • Produces customized GIS database queries with maps, charts, and graphs.
  • Provides socioeconomic and demographic data and analysis to organizations as requested, and to local officials and the public through, a comprehensive data source for Berkshire County.

To find out more about the Mapping and Data services that BRPC provides, contact


BRPC’s staff is involved with numerous outreach and educational activities, including;

  • Provide training and support for members of municipal Planning Boards, Boards of Appeals, Boards of Selectmen, Boards of Health, Conservation Commissions, etc.
  • Prepare and periodically update Technical Reports and Manuals to support and inform local boards about relevant current and pending Laws, Regulations, Case Law, Municipal Bylaws, Master Plans, etc.
  • Host, sponsor, coordinate, conduct, and present training/info sessions, seminars, meetings, lectures, etc. for municipal board members about methods of improving land use planning, making land use decisions, and other topics of interest to the member communities.  An example of this includes ongoing Citizen Planner Collaborative Training programs.
  • Prepare a monthly e-newsletter, Common Ground, highlighting significant regional issues and timely updates on BRPC projects, written in non-technical language for wide circulation to the populace of Berkshire County.

Other Services

Some other services BRPC can provide include:

  • Identify sources of potential grants and provide training to increase local grant-management capacity through Berkshire Funding Focus, an online clearinghouse of state and federal grants supported by staffing to help vet, apply for, and manage grant opportunities.
  • Prepare grant applications and perform coordination and administration of grants, including data compilation and processing, seeking endorsements, public participation programs, project management, and other administrative processes required by the granting agency.
  • Prepare feasibility studies (i.e. for industrial parks, public recreational facilities, parking lots, municipal or regional facilities, etc.).

Forum for Discussion

In addition to direct planning assistance, BRPC also serves as a forum for discussion.  In this capacity, BRPC:

  • Initiates discussion and seeks to develop consensus on issues of regional significance, primarily through BRPC’s Regional Issues Committee.
  • Identifies and encourages measures to mitigate potential adverse impacts of projects on the proposed locality and region.
  • Acts as a liaison between municipalities and other governmental agencies.


Commissioners and citizens should look to the offices and staff of BRPC as resources for information and technical assistance.

  • Planner’s Advisory Service:  The BRPC pays annual dues to maintain a membership in the Planner’s Advisory Service.  This branch of the American Planning Association will research land use questions from member agencies around the country.  They can provide examples from other communities, and will often provide copies of relevant studies, model bylaws, ordinances, or other publications.  Contact BRPC staff who will forward your request to the service.