The Planning Board consists of five members:


·        Michael A. Podolski, Esq., Chairman Term expires 2014

·        John R. Bethoney, Vice Chairman, Term expires 2015

·        Robert D. Aldous, Clerk, Term expires 2017

·        Ralph I. Steeves, Term expires 2018

·        James E. O’Brien IV, Term expires 2016


Richard J. McCarthy, Jr., is the Planning Director and Susan Webster is the Administrative Assistant for the department.


The Planning Board holds its regular monthly meetings on the second and fourth Thursday of every month unless otherwise posted.  Other special meetings are held when deemed necessary.  All meetings are posted and open to the public.


The Planning Board is charged with broad statutory responsibilities to guide development 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 State Law (Chapter 40A and 41), the Town Charter, and Town Bylaws prescribe the functions of the Planning Board in considerable detail.



Approval-Not-Required (ANR) Plans
Preliminary Subdivision Plans
Definitive Subdivision Plans, including ongoing administration
Minor Site Plans for smaller developments

Major Site Plan for larger developments

Major Non-Residential Project for developments over 25,000 square feet

In some instances, the special permit granting authority (i.e., Special Permit for Major Non-Residential Project)



  • 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 (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.
  • Provision of information on planning, zoning and development matters to the public (including residents, developers, and other government agencies)




·        To make sure the Board fulfills its charge from the Town Charter

·        Continue to work with the Master Plan Implementation Committee on the implementation of the Master Plan. This involves many different Boards, Commissions, Town Departments, and the general public.

·        Ongoing review of the zoning bylaws and zoning for possible changes

·        Continue to comprehensively and thoroughly review projects in an expeditious fashion

·        Evaluate ways to improve the permitting process

·        Evaluate housing needs and demands for the Town


The Planning Board has continued to participate in regional planning activities through the Three Rivers Inter-Local Council, the Neponset River Watershed Association, and the Neponset Valley Transportation Management Association. The Board Members proudly serve on the Mitigation, Open Space and Recreation, Master Plan Implementation, Transportation Advisory, Capital Expenditures, Building Planning and Construction, and Jersey Barrier Committees.