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Zoning Reform


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. If you have any questions or comments about the Zoning Reform Project, please contact James Freas, Acting Director of Planning and Development,

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

News and Updates
  • The Zoning and Planning Committee  will meet on Monday, May 11th, 2015 at 7:45 p.m., Newton City Hall to discuss the latest updates of the zoning ordinance (Clean Copy) (Redline Version).
  • The Zoning and Planning Committee and the Planning & Development Board will meet on Monday, April 13th, 2015 at 7:45 p.m., Room 205, Newton City Hall to discuss the latest updates of the draft Zoning Ordinance
  • The Look-Up Table below is a cross referencing tool for the Zoning Reform - Phase I project to look up content from the City’s existing Zoning Ordinance and see where it can be found in the proposed Phase 1 Zoning Ordinance.


Meeting Notes, Handouts, and Resources

Use Table for Proposed Updates to Zoning Ordinance

Zoning Reform Phase 2