Development Review

The Development Review Division of the Planning and Development Department helps guide petitioners and citizens through the Special Permit, Comprehensive Permit (40B), Variance, and Administrative Site Plan Review process.


Zoning is the principal means of regulating real estate and land development. Newton's zoning ordinance is a city law outlining the size and shape of buildings that can be built in different parts of the city, how buildings can be remodeled over time, and what types of activities can take place in which buildings.

Click here for the Interactive Zoning Map (search by address or village)

City staff is available to consult with residents, business owners, project developers and other city agencies to discuss zoning regulations or to review proposed development projects. 

Newton's Current Zoning Ordinance: Chapter 30
Newton's Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance
Sustainable Development Design Zoning Amendment
Building Efficiency Zoning Amendment


For current special permits click here.

For high interest projects click here.

City's Comprehensive Plan click here.






The City of Newton is embarking on a comprehensive zoning redesign project. The goal is to enhance the city’s high quality of life and quality of place. In 2011, a Zoning Reform Group was tasked by the Mayor and Board of Alderman to develop a plan for reforming Newton's zoning ordinance. Phase One of the zoning reform project was completed in 2015, which successfully reorganized the existing ordinance making it easier to understand, but it did not alter the content of the ordinance.

Phase Two of the Zoning Redesign Project started in October 2016. This phase will create a new, context-based zoning ordinance that provides guidance and rules for the development and redevelopment of land in Newton. Context-based means the new zoning will aim to be in keeping with the city's existing development forms, reflect the building patterns of Newton's different neighborhoods and village centers, and allow new growth to occur in appropriate places and at appropriate scales.


 In 2016-2017 City Council passed a new Accessory Apartment ordinance. Below you will find information about the new current ordinance.


Staff Contacts

Jennifer Caira Jane Santosuosso

Deputy Director                      Chief Zoning Code Official

617.796.1121 617.796.1128  


Neil Cronin Michael Gleba                       Katie Whewell

Chief Planner Senior Planner                       Senior Planner 

617.796.1141 617.796.1123 617.796.1132




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