Planning Board

***Meetings of the Planning Board are held remotely until further notice, as is permissible under State Law.***

Links to the virtual meetings are included with each meeting agenda. 

For the meeting agendas please use this link:

For more information on Open Meeting Law please visit this link:


West Newbury Planning Board Mission Statement

  1. Execute responsibilities under Massachusetts General Laws.
  2. Manage growth to best preserve the rural character of West Newbury.
  3. Maintain and improve roadway aesthetics.
  4. Protect tracts of open space, link these by greenways, and support the development of an interconnected multi-use trail system.
  5. Support a range of housing options for people of varying age and income levels.
  6. Encourage development which minimizes sprawl.

Programmatic Goals

  1. Incorporate principles above during review, permitting and administration of projects and while analyzing existing bylaws.
  2. Recommend updates and improvements to zoning bylaws and subdivision regulations.  Continue discussions regarding future Zoning Amendments to the Open Space Preservation Development and Inclusionary Housing Bylaws.  Explore options for alternative housing arrangements.
  3. Pursue long-term planning efforts.  Continue to discuss and review improvements in the Business District.
  4. Work with Town boards to coordinate, simplify, and clarify procedures and regulations.
  5. Pursue Grant Opportunities.
  6. Identify additional resources to consult with in town planning matters and bylaw updates.
  7. Continue to develop efficiencies in the office to respond to increasingly more complex projects, applications, and bylaw/zoning issues. 

General Overview

The Planning Board is responsible for reviewing development plans submitted by applicants who apply to develop a parcel of land for residential, commercial, or other uses. Procedures and requirements outlined in state laws, the Zoning Bylaw, and Subdivision Rules and Regulations are followed. A project may involve the need for a Site Plan Review, a Special Permit, a Definitive Subdivision Plan, or endorsing of an Approval-Not-Required plan. Applications are available in the Office of the Town Clerk, and from the Planning Board Office. The Town Clerk's office has the Zoning Bylaw available for $15 and Subdivision Rules and Regulations available for $20.00 each. These documents are also posted on the Town’s website.

The Planning Board meets on the first and third Tuesday of each month in the Planning Board Office on the second floor of the Town Office Building. The public is welcome to attend. Email subsciptions are available for the Planning Board Meeting Agendas by subscribing to "News" on the West Newbury homepage.

The Planning Board is responsible for creating and updating the Comprehensive Plan.

The Planning Board, certain other town officials, or residents can initiate the process of amending the Zoning Bylaw. Zoning amendments must follow detailed procedures dictated by M.G.L. Chapter 40A, §5, to ensure that the public is aware of proposed revisions and has sufficient opportunity to provide input. The final changes must be voted on by Town Meeting and receive approval from the office of the Attorney General.

Staff Contacts

Name Title Phone
Katelyn Barker, MCPPO Administrative Assistant to the Town Planner/Planning Board 978-363-1100 ext 135
Sue Brown Town Planner 978-363-1100 ext 125

Board Members

Brian R. Murphey




Deborah R. Hamilton


Raymond A. Cook


Tim Cronin

CPC Representative


Ian K James

Associate Member