Planning Division

PLANNING BOARD NEWS

Posted: June 3, 2022

The Planning Board is providing the public with information and guidance on how it will conduct its upcoming meetings.

The Planning Board has scheduled a hearing at 7:20pm on June 7th on an application from Bulfinch for its proposed redevelopment of 557 Highland Avenue, the former Muzi property.  This will be the first of several hearings on the application.  We anticipate the first hearing will provide a thorough overview of Bulfinch’s plan and requested special permits with details on the site plan, engineering, architecture, and landscaping.

This meeting will be the Planning Board’s first hybrid meeting.  The Board will be meeting in person in Powers Hall.  The meeting will also be accessible remotely via Zoom as previous Planning Board meetings have been and will also be recorded on the Needham Channel.  A copy of the Notice of Hearing is here: Public Hearing Notice - Planning Board hearing on proposal, June 7, 2022

We anticipate the applicant’s initial presentation on June 7th will take approximately one hour, with approximately 30-40 minutes of comments and questions from Board members and town departments. The Board will then open the hearing to public comment.  We anticipate moving onto other meeting agenda items at 10pm and adjourning by 10:30pm.

The Planning Board has established basic rules for the public comment period in order to hear from as many members of the public as possible. 

Members of the public are invited to offer comment of up to 3 minutes each. Each person should clearly state their name and address and address remarks to the Chair.  If there is time remaining, we will come back to you to speak again after we’ve heard from anyone else wishing to speak.  In general, the Board won’t answer questions from the public as they come up in the public comment period, but we will note them and ask staff or others to respond to the questions that have been asked once everyone has had a chance to speak.

The Planning Board anticipates conducting a second hearing July 7, 2022, (and will be over Zoom only), that will focus on traffic and parking.  If there is sufficient time remaining, the Board will continue discussion on open elements from the first hearing (including, for example, the site plan, engineering, architecture and landscaping).   The Planning Board will continue to provide updates here on the substantive elements to be discussed as we get closer to each hearing on this application. 

All application materials and comments from related town departments and town peer reviewers are available here: https://www.needhamma.gov/5180/557-Highland-Ave-former-Muzi-site 


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Link to: 

Planning Board Agendas

Planning Board Minutes 

Planning Board Agenda Packets

Planning Board Legal Notices

Planning Board Application Materials

Planning Board Decisions


Mission

The mission of the Needham Planning Department is to provide technical and administrative support to the Needham Planning Board and various Boards and Commissions to implement the community’s long-term vision for Needham. The Planning Department is responsible for advance planning, development review, public information, and development compliance as permitted and conditioned by the Planning Board.

The Planning Department strives to inform, educate and assist decision-making bodies and the public in all elements of land use planning and permitting. The Department recognizes the diverse and competing interests within the community and the necessity to consider and incorporate these interests within the planning process by encouraging and facilitating participation. The Planning Department acknowledges land use planning as a community-driven process and the continuing need to promote open communication with the community. The Department strives to actively promote community participation, interaction and dialogue throughout the planning and permitting process.