Urban Design Commission

Members  Department Contact  Mailing Address

Michael Kaufman, Chair

Jim Doolin

John Downie

William Winkler

Robert Linsky

Carol Todreas

Visda Saeyan

Shubee Sikka


617-796-1139 (Direct)


617-796-1142 (Fax)

Planning & Development Department

1000 Commonwealth Ave

Newton, MA 02459

Sign Administration

All signs must be reviewed before they are installed on any building in the City. The City's sign regulations can be found in Section 5.2 Signs of the City's Zoning Ordinance (Chapter 30). The maximum allowable sign are depends on the type of sign, establishment use, and underlying zoning district.

Complete Sign Application Package available here (please note: all of the forms are fillable online and can be printed).

Applications for signs should be submitted to the Planning and Development Department (City Hall, Basement, Room B10) with the following information:

  • Ten (10) copies of a completed Sign Permit Application form as well as the supporting materials, which are outlined on the second page of the Sign Permit Application form

Sign Permit Application Instructions Checklist

The proposed sign is then reviewed by the Urban Design Commission, usually within two weeks, which issues advisory comments to the Planning and Development Department. A recommendation is then sent to the Commissioner of Inspectional Services who then may issue the building permit for the sign. For information regarding pre-application reviews of potential sign permit applications or fence appeals, please contact the staff liaison listed above.

Meeting Date & Application Deadlines

The Urban Design Commission meets on the 2nd Wednesday of each month (subject to change) at 7:00 p.m. in Newton City Hall (Applicants will be notified via email as to the room location prior to the meeting).  In order to be included on an upcoming meeting agenda, a complete application must be submitted by noon on the deadline date specified below to the Planning and Development Department (City Hall, Basement, Room B10)

See below information regarding upcoming meetings.


 Deadline  Meeting Date  Agenda  Staff Memo
 December 24  January 8 Agenda Staff Memo
 January 29  February 12 Agenda Staff Memo
 February 26  March 11 Agenda Staff Memo 
 April 1  April 15 Agenda Staff Memo
April 29   May 13 Agenda Staff Memo
 May 27  June 10 Agenda Staff Memo
 June 24  July 8 Agenda Staff Memo
July 29   August 12 Agenda Staff Memo
August 26   September 9 Agenda

Staff Memo

Packet Docs

 September 30  October 14 Agenda Staff Memo
November 4   November 18 Agenda Staff Memo
 December 2  December 16 Agenda Staff Memo


 Meeting Date  Agenda  Staff Memo
January 16 Agenda

Staff Memo

February 20 Agenda

Staff Memo

March 13  Agenda

Staff Memo

April 10 Agenda

Staff Memo

May 13

*Note: New Date*


Staff Memo

May 20

*Note: New Date*

Agenda Staff Memo
June 12  Agenda

Staff Memo

July 10  Agenda

Staff Memo

August 14 Agenda

Staff Memo

September 11  Agenda

Staff Memo

October 16 Agenda

Staff Memo

November 13 Agenda

Staff Memo

December 11  Agenda Staff Memo


Mission & Activities

The Urban Design Commission is committed to the preservation, improvement, and development of the City's physical environment, and implements this by:

  • Conducting studies of urban design or beautification programs, techniques and methods currently used in Newton and elsewhere and making recommendations to responsible city agencies on the implementation of such programs;
  • Conducting periodic meetings and seminars for interested private and public groups;
  • Giving advice, upon request of the mayor, director of planning and development, the board of aldermen, the planning and development board, or the school committee, upon specific matters affecting urban design and beautification;
  • Advising the parks and recreation commissioner and the public works commissioner in the carrying out of their responsibilities;
  • Studying the availability of public and private sources of funding for urban design and beautification programs and projects; and 
  • Performing other such functions as may be delegated to it by ordinance.

Rules & Regulations

The Urban Design Commission is an appointed body with members from throughout the City, and when possible has members from the eight wards of the City. While the primary responsibility of the Commission is in an advisory capacity, it also acts is a judicial capacity in its review of fence permit appeals. As such, the Commission has adopted the following Rules & Regulations to guide and inform their interpretation and decision-making duties.

·         Urban Design Commission Rules & Regulations, adopted September 17, 2014

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