Planning Board

About the Planning Board

The Planning Board is charged with broad statutory responsi­bilities to guide the physical growth and development of Needham in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. Specifically, the Planning Board is legally mandated to carry out certain provisions of the Subdivision Control Law (M.G.L, Chapter 41, Section 81-K to 81-GG) and of the Zoning Act (M.G.L, Chapter 40A). These legal responsibilities are reflected locally in the Subdivision Rules and Regulations and Procedural Rules of the Planning Board and in the Town’s Zoning By-Law.

The specific services that the Planning Board provides are as follows:

  • Review and Approval/Disapproval of:
    • Approval-Not-Required (ANR) Plans
    • Preliminary Subdivision Plans
    • Definitive Subdivision Plans, including ongoing administration
    • Site Plans of certain larger developments (major projects)*
    • Residential Compounds (RC’s) (This includes Special Permit Decisions, with legal notices, public hearings, and written decisions; similar statutory procedures are followed for Definitive Subdivision Plans.)
    • Scenic Road Applications
  • Review and Advisory Reports on:
    • Site Plans of certain smaller developments (minor projects)
    • Applications to the Board of Appeals for variances and special permits
    • Petitions for acceptance / discontinuance of public ways.
  • Initiation, Development, and Presentation of Proposed Zoning Amendments to Town Meeting
  • Preparation and Maintenance of a Master Plan and related planning studies to guide future physical growth and development in Needham (including studies referred to the Board by Town Meeting)
  • Revisions to "Subdivision Regulations and Procedural Rules of the Planning Board" and printing of the same
  • Reprinting of Town Zoning By-Laws and Zoning Map
  • Provision of Information on Planning, Zoning and Development matters to the public (including residents, developers, and other government agencies)

It is important to note that if these services are not performed, the Town of Needham would be without the administration of land use planning and zoning regulations, and may be subject to lawsuits from private developers and citizens alike.

Planning Board Materials

Planning Board Agendas, Minutes, Packets, Legal Notices, Applications, Decisions

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  • 7:00 p.m.
  • First and Third Tuesday of each month, generally. For specific schedule, check with Department.
  • Open to public
  • Charles River Meeting Room
    First Floor, Public Services Administration Building
    500 Dedham Avenue 


The Planning Board consists of five elected members for terms of such length and so arranged that the term of at least one member will expire each year and their successors shall be elected for terms of five years each.

Current Membership:  Adam Block (Chair), Natasha Espada (Vice Chair), Paul S. Alpert, Artie Crocker, Jeanne S. McKnight.

Planning Board 9.5.23
Adam Block
April 2028
Jeanne S. McKnightApril 2024
Paul S. Alpert 
April 2025
Artie Crocker
April 2027
Natasha Espada 
April 2026