Planning & Development Board

The City of Newton Planning and Development Board wears a number of hats, including serving as the Community Development Board, the Planning Board, the Board of Survey, the designator of Scenic Roads, and as an advisory board to the Newton Community Development Authority (NCDA).

The Board is composed of residents of the City of Newton including seven full members and up to five alternate members. Current members are listed below.

The Planning and Development Board meets on the first Monday of every month at Newton City Hall starting at 7:00 p.m., unless the schedule is disrupted by a holiday of inclement weather. The Board also meets occasionally in joint session with other bodies, including the Zoning and Planning (ZAP) Committee of the City Council. Full meeting agendas and supporting materials are listed on the Board's meetings web page. The next meeting of the Board is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020.

The Planning and Development Board was established by the City Charter and is governed by City Ordinances Chapter 22 as well as its own Bylaws.

Role as the Community Development Board

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).

Role as the Planning Board

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.

Role as the Board of Survey

As the Board of Survey, the Board is responsible for reviewing and making recommendations to plans for subdivisions in the City.

Role for Scenic Roads

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.

Role for the NCDA

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.

Board Members

The Board is composed of residents of the City of Newton including seven full members and up to five alternate members. Five of the full members and all of the alternate members are appointed by the Mayor. One of the members is appointed by the state Secretary of Housing and Economic Development. The city's Director of Planning & Development also serves ex-oficio as a member of the Board.

  • Chair: Peter Doeringer
  • Vice Chair: Sonia Parisca
  • Kelley Brown
  • Barney Heath, ex-oficio
  • Sudha Maheshwari
  • Kevin McCormick, alternate member
  • Jennifer Molinsky, state appointee
  • James Robertson, alternate member
  • Chris Steele

Staff Contact

Gabriel Holbrow Community Planner – Engagement Specialist
Department of Planning & Development
(617) 796-1140
gholbrow@newtonma.gov

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