An image of someone presenting with Dunstable citizens sitting in chairs facing the presentation. The photo shows the back of peoples' heads and the screen.

There’s a lot happening in Dunstable! Serving as the Town Engineer since October 2021, we’ve assisted with over 30 projects spanning from peer review for land subdivision to engineering design for a culvert replacement. Here is a sampling of the municipal engineering efforts we’ve assisted with.

Helping Communities Through Peer ReviewThis picture is of the inside of the renovated antique shop that got converted to a cozy bookstore. The inside features high ceilings, books, decorations, and lots of warm toned colors.

Through the peer review process, we act on behalf of the Planning Board to review residential and commercial permit applications for conformance with the Town’s Bylaws, Rules & Regulations, and other relevant specifications.

Over the past three years, these have included Approvals Not Required (ANRs) for the subdivision of property, Special Permits to install residential ground mounted solar arrays, Land Disturbance Permits which are tied to the stormwater bylaws and Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) program, and review of proposed land acquisitions to add to their extensive network of open space properties. All against the backdrop of maintaining the quiet and historic nature of the community.

To that end, some of the most interesting reviews have come as part of projects within the Town Center District. The existing buildings within Dunstable’s town center are a key visual feature in showcasing the history of the region, however the Town also recognizes the advantages of commercial growth.

The District designation allows for restoration of the exterior of existing principal or accessory buildings while converting the interior into residential, commercial, or a mix of both spaces.

Approved projects have included:
  • The re-opening of an antique shop as a bookstore.
  • Replacement of a barn with two residential units and a commercial space in a structure having the appearance of the barn it replaced (currently under construction).
  • Also in the works is an application to convert a barn into an imported wine and cheese shop.

Stormwater: Public Outreach & FundingA woman and a man are pictured placing dots on poster board. This is part of stormwater public outreach and is showing community engagement. Both people are smiling.

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) awarded the Town of Dunstable a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant in 2023. Included with the award were funds for the Town to develop a Hazard Mitigation Plan (HMP), as they had previously been part of a now defunct regional plan. As a Certified MVP Provider, we partnered with a Provider from another consulting firm to assist the Town with administering the grant.

The MVP/HMP process involved developing a core team of Town officials and stakeholders who could speak to the Town’s resiliency and vulnerability with regards to environmental impacts such as hurricanes, precipitation flooding, and drought, to name a few. The consultant team then collected a list of the community’s physical assets and grouped them into the five categories of People, Structures, Systems, Historic/Natural/Cultural Resources, and Economy & Activities with Value to the Community for review by the core team.

Through public outreach, we expanded the list of stakeholders and interested parties and facilitated two 4-hour Community Resilience Building workshops. In the first workshop, we facilitated the Town’s evaluation of assets against extreme weather events to determine which assets are considered strengths and which are considered vulnerabilities. In the second, we facilitated in guiding the stakeholders to developing mitigation strategies to address the vulnerabilities. Information from the workshops was then incorporated into the HMP, which underwent further review and revision by the core team and consultants before being presented for public comment.

With the plan complete, the Town is now designated as an MVP Community, with the ability to apply for Action Grants to fund the mitigation strategies developed.

Steady Progress leads to a Resilient Future

The Town of Dunstable has seen steady development through various municipal engineering efforts since we began serving as the Town Engineer in October 2021. From comprehensive peer reviews ensuring compliance with town regulations to innovative projects within the Town Center District, we have supported Dunstable in maintaining its historic charm while fostering growth and modernization. Our partnership in securing and administering the MVP/HMP Planning Grant has been pivotal in enhancing the town’s resilience against environmental challenges. As the town moves forward, these efforts will not only preserve its unique identity but also pave the way for continued community enrichment and resilience.

A woman is sitting at a table with plan sets spread out. Other people sit around the table but you can't see their faces. The woman in the forefront of the photo is speaking and her hands are raised.