Steve Wallace, Town Planneer
Public Services: Community Development, Plans Reviewed, Land Use/Zoning
Westminster Landscape Inventory
An Abutter's Guide = What you can expect during the Planning Board review process of a project/ plan.
Subdivision Rules & Regulations: Click here
Zoning Bylaw Improvements: Click here
Zoning Map = A color-coded map of Westminster indicating whether parcels are zoned for Residential, Commercial or Industrial use.
Meetings: 2nd and 4th Monday evenings at 7:00 p.m. and as needed (see posted meeting for location)
Marie Auger, Chairman, Andrew Sears, William Taylor II, Michael J. Fortin, M. Donald Barry.
The Planning Board The Planning Board is a five-member board with a term length of three years. The members of the Planning Board are elected.
ANR Handbook click here
Community Development and Other Plans:
The Planning Board completed the Westminster Master Plan in 2000 with the help of consultant Kenneth M. Kreutziger, FAICP. The Master Plan includes chapters on the following items: goals, land use, housing, economic development, natural and cultural resources, open space and recreation, services and facilities, circulation, and implementation.
The Montachusett Regional Planning Council (MRPC) prepared the Community Development Plan for Westminster - June 2004. The Community Development Plan contains information and recommendations on the subjects of: housing, open space and resource protection, economic development, and transportation.
Westminster also has an Open Space and Recreation Plan 1999-2004 and was updated in 2007. The Master Plan 2000, The Community Development Plan (2004), and the Open Space and Recreation Plan are all available and can be viewed on the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) website:
The Planning Board prepared a Stormwater Management Plan under the EPA/DEP Phase II Stormwater Management Requirements. The Planning Board is responsible for implementing certain sections of these long-range plans.
Affordable Housing Status: The Planning Board is proactively addressing the issue of affordable housing through its long-range planning efforts. In accordance with Chapter 40B (the anti-snob-zoning act), each town must provide 10 percent of its housing units as deed-restricted affordable housing. If the town does not meet the 10 percent requirement, then a developer could file a Comprehensive Permit with the towns' Zoning Board of Appeals, overriding all local regulations. Appeals of Comprehensive Permits are heard with the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) instead of in Superior Court or Land Court. The HAC will rule on whether the decision of the local board makes the project uneconomical, and if so, it will rule in favor of the developer. The town has very little control over Comprehensive Permit development. Only state requirements such as wetlands protection and health requirements must be met. The Planning Board is identifying areas where housing should be directed; working with developers to incorporate affordable housing in their development proposals; using town land for affordable housing development; and drafting bylaws to require the inclusion of affordable housing in development proposals. The town has submitted a Planned Production Affordable Housing Plan to the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) the plan was approved by the state in February 2006. The plan can be viewed on the DHCD website:
Types of Plans Reviewed In addition to long-range planning: the Planning Board reviews the following type of plans: Approval Not Required [ANR] Plans – subdivision of land on existing or proposed ways; Preliminary and Definitive Subdivision Plans – divisions of land creating new roads; and, Site Plans – plans of commercial or multi-family residential developments.
Permits, Variances, Regulations: The Planning Board reviews all special permit and variance requests submitted to the Board of Appeals and makes recommendations to the ZBA. The Board also makes recommendations for changes to the Zoning Bylaw based on the long-range plans and planning studies. Changes to the Zoning Bylaw require a 2/3 majority vote at town meeting to be approved. The Board is revising the Subdivision of Land Chapter 231 Town of Westminster April 2000. These regulations set the review procedures and construction standards for subdivision roads. The Planning Board encourages public participation in long range planning and review of development proposals. All meetings are posted on the Town Hall Bulletin Board.