Planning Board Function

The Planning Board has two basic functions: (i) Long range planning and (ii) reviewing, deciding and making recommendations on development proposals.

The Planning Board is an elected board of five-members. The establishment of municipal Planning Boards is authorized by Massachusetts General Law, chapter 41, section 81A. Among its many diverse roles, the Planning Board’s statutory authority embraces the following more specific functions, paraphrased here from the Mass. General Law:

  • Adopting a master plan and official map of the town;
  • Conducting studies, and, when necessary, preparing plans of the resources, possibilities and needs of the town for submittal to the Selectmen for their consideration;
  • Serving as the local authority for the Subdivision Control Act; adopting Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land in the Town of Swampscott; reviewing all preliminary and definitive plan submittals;
  • Drafting and submitting zoning amendments for consideration by the municipality. When a zoning amendment has been put forward, the Planning Board holds the public hearing and may also report its recommendation to the local legislature;
  • Serving as Site Plan Review authority;
  • To report annually to the Town regarding the condition of the Town;
  • Under Mass. Gen. L. ch. 40, 15C, the Scenic Roads Act, the Planning Board is enabled to recommend roads for municipal consideration, and empowers the Planning Board to oversee specified activities.

The Planning Board endeavors to ensure that development in Swampscott reflects the needs, desires and concerns of town residents and complies with applicable laws and regulations.

All Planning Board meetings are open to the public (unless otherwise posted), and we invite you to attend and express your opinions on matters before the board. In addition, many of the matters that come before this board require Public Hearings to solicit the comments of members of the public who may be affected. If you would like to schedule an appointment to appear before the Planning Board, please contact the Planning Department.