RESPONSIBILITIES OF THE PLANNING BOARD
The Planning Board is an elected board comprised of five members and one alternate member, each with a three year term. It is responsible for planning the future physical development of the town and approving new development. The meetings of the Planning Board are open to the public and are usually held at 7:30 p.m. on the second and fourth Thursday of each month in the Selectmen’s Hearing Room. The public is invited to comment on applications before the Board. Meeting agendas are posted at Town Hall and on this web site's Calendar. If you are interested in a particular item, you may want to call the office to confirm that a discussion or Public Hearing is expected to go forward.
If you have other questions or need additional information, please call the Planning Board office at 781-545-8730 during Town Hall business hours.
In 1999 – 2002, a Master Plan was developed by the Planning Board with the help of consultants, McGregor & Associates. The Master Plan is a written document describing a shared vision for Scituate’s future. The plan contains nine elements which address Natural Resources, Economic Development, Infrastructure, Transportation, Historic and Cultural Resources, Open Space and Recreation, Land Use, Housing and Implementation.
These were approved by Town Meetings in 2002, 2003 and 2004.
Complete Master Plan Documents - PDF 12.5MB
ZONING BYLAW CHANGES
Local zoning governs many aspects of what can be built, and where it is built, in the Town of Scituate. The Zoning Bylaws are a very important part of the legal framework for approving new development. The Planning Board, a group of ten interested citizens and several other town boards are authorized by state law to initiate changes to the Zoning Bylaw. All zoning changes are subject to approval by Town Meeting.
For information on the steps to take to change the Zoning Bylaws, please click here. If you are interested in changing the Zoning Bylaws, it is important to follow the process correctly so the changes become law.
APPROVAL OF NEW DEVELOPMENT
The Planning Board is responsible for approval of many types of new development. These include divisions of land to create new buildable lots and site plans for new commercial and multi-family development. State and local laws which govern the process for these approvals are Massachusetts General Laws (MGL) Chapter 40A (the Zoning Act); MGL Chapter 41, Sections 81K – 81GG (the Subdivision Control Law); the Town of Scituate Subdivision Rules and Regulations and the Town of Scituate Zoning Bylaws.
Applications are scheduled for Public Hearings or Planning Board approval when completed application forms, plans and required fees are received at the Planning Board office. All material received by the Planning Board in connection with applications is considered public information and can be seen during normal business hours.
DESIGN REVIEW PROCESS
In 2006, Town Meeting adopted Section 950 of the Zoning Bylaw, which made design review part of the town’s evaluation of commercial and large residential projects. This section requires a Design Review Committee to make recommendations to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals on building and site design. These recommendations typically address scale, height, proportion and rhythm of solids and voids in the façade, roof shapes, façade materials, preservation of historic architecture and compatibility of site features such as landscaping and parking with the building and its neighbors.
The Design Review Committee meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month, depending on the number of projects that need review. Meetings are usually held in the Planning Board office. Members of the Design Review Committee are:
Michael McGowan, AIA
For more in formation about the Design Review process, please contact Laura Harbottle, Town Planner at 781-545-8730.
APPLICATIONS AND OTHER FORMS:
Application for Accessory Dwelling Special Permit - PDF 111k
Application for Approval Not Required - PDF 81k
Application for Common Driveway Special Permit - PDF 82k
Application for Definitive Plan Approval - PDF 85k
Application for Flexible Open Space Special Permit - PDF 110k
Application for Flood Plain Special Permit - PDF 73k
Application for Mixed Use Special Permit - PDF 93k
Application for Preliminary Plan Approval - PDF 79k
Application for Site Plan Administrative Review - PDF 74k
Application for Site Plan Special Permit - PDF 71k
Planning Board Covenant - PDF 54k
Request for Site Plan Waiver - PDF 68k
Request for a Certified Abutters List - PDF 108k
Stormwater Permit Application - PDF
OTHER USEFUL INFORMATION:
FEE SCHEDULE - PDF 10K
REQUEST FOR ABUTTERS LIST - PDF 91k
THE ANR HANDBOOK
DPW’s PRE-CONSTRUCTION CONFERENCE CHECKLIST
LIST AND MAP OF DESIGNATED SCENIC ROADS IN SCITUATE
The Planning Board has completed studies on the future development of Scituate Harbor, Greenbush and North Scituate, Powerpoint presentations for the Mixed Use (Village Business) Overlay District, and Coastal Access. Click these links for more information.
Open Space & Recreation Plan - PDF
Thank you for visiting the Planning Board Home Page. If you need more information, please call Laura Harbottle, Town Planner at 781-545-8730 or e-mail email@example.com .