The Newton Planning and Development Board wears a number of hats, including serving as the Community Development Board, the Planning Board, the Board of Survey and as an advisory board to the Newton Community Development Authority (NCDA).
The Planning and Development Board, acting as the Community Development Board, is the citizen body that considers the recommendations made by the citizen advisory committees, other Newton agencies and organizations and citizens related to the CDBG, HOME and ESG Programs, and after a public hearing to allow for open discussion, forwards recommendations to the Mayor for final review and approval. They preside over the public hearings on the five-year Consolidated Plan, the Annual Action Plan and the Consolidated Annual Performance Evaluation Report (CAPER).
Unlike all other Massachusetts communities, the Planning and Development Board acting as the Planning Board does not issue special permits. Instead, special permits are handled through the City Council. The Planning Board does, however, sit with the Zoning and Planning (ZAP) Committee of the City Council when the Committee hears rezoning petitions.
As the Planning Board, the Board discusses such planning issues as garage façades, attached dwellings and traffic/parking problems in the City, and other land use and zoning issues. It also considers and makes recommendations on proposed historic landmark designations.
As the Board of Survey, the Board is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to plans for subdivisions in the City.
The Planning and Development Board also serves as the advisory Board to the Newton Community Development Authority (NCDA), which is the entity that issues loans for the Housing and Community Development Program, including economic development, housing development and rehabilitation loans. The NCDA consists of one member, who is the director of the Planning and Development Department.
The Board is composed of residents of the City of Newton and is comprised of six full-members (one of which is appointed by the state Secretary of Housing and Community Development) and up to five alternate members. Unless their schedule is disrupted by a holiday or inclement weather, the Planning and Development Board meets on the first Monday of every month at Newton City Hall.
On April 5, 2010 Newton’s Planning and Development Board held a public hearing and adopted Scenic Road regulations. These regulations prescribe the process for the designation of a Scenic Road under the provisions of Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40 Section 15C and govern the cutting and removal of trees and stone walls during repair, maintenance, reconstruction or paving of roads by any entity, public or private, on designated Scenic Roads. On June 21, 2010 the Board of Alderman approved an amendment to City of Newton Ordinances relative to regulation of scenic roads.
Click below to access the regulations, ordinance amendment as well as a map and photographs of Newton roads designated as scenic.