Zoning Reform

Phase 1


Homes and businesses, streets and parks, public and private spaces; these are the elements that define the physical character of a city. While the City of Newton directly controls the improvement of these public elements, it is mostly through the zoning ordinance that the City has influence on the use and design of private property. The City of Newton last conducted a significant review and update of its zoning ordinance in 1987. In December, 2011, the Zoning Reform Group released a report recommending that changes to the Zoning Ordinance be considered to enhance its usability and bring the regulations into compliance with the Comprehensive Plan. This report described a three phase process with Phase 1 focusing on enhancing the usability of the existing ordinance. The City kicked-off Phase 1 on February 11, 2013 with lead consultant, Code Studio. If you have any questions or comments about the Zoning Reform Project, please contact James Freas, Chief Planner for Long-Range Planning, zoningreform@newtonma.gov.

Comments and Questions

Interested in zoning reform? Have comments on the existing ordinance of the reform efforts you would like to share? Have questions? Email us at zoningreform@newtonma.gov

News and Updates
  • March 7, 2014- Draft Ordinance (See Below)
  • March 24, 2014 -On March 24th, the City’s Zoning Consultant, Code Studio, will be returning to present the draft reformatted Newton Zoning Ordinance. The primary purpose of Phase 1 of Zoning Reform is to reorganize and clarify the existing ordinance so as to make it a more useable, more easily understood document. The citizen-based Zoning Reform Advisory Group and the Aldermanic Zoning and Planning Committee will both be discussing the draft ordinance on the 24th, at 5:30 and 7:45 respectively in room 202. Public comments and questions will be accepted at both meetings. The draft ordinance can be downloaded below and is available as a “marked-up” draft showing changes and in a “clean” draft showing how the ordinance would potentially look once finalized.
Meeting Notes, Handouts, and Resources
Zoning Reform Phase 1
Section UL
 Draft Zoning Ordinance 3-7-14 Clean (4.93 MB)
 Marked-up Draft Ordinance 3-7-14 (4.72 MB)
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 Memo (409 KB)
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 Memo (167.9 KB)
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 Memo (158.4 KB)
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 Memo (262.6 KB)
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 Agenda (111.6 KB)
 Memo (125.1 KB)
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 Agenda (91.2 KB)
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 Agenda (114.9 KB)
 Meeting Notes (172.1 KB)
 Working Session Memo (151.1 KB)
 Zoning Assessment Memo (4.61 MB)
Section UL
 Handout - Sample Book (8.17 MB)
 Meeting Notes (173 KB)