Comprehensive Plan Implementation

Newton's City Charter and Massachusetts law require the City to have a Comprehensive Plan. Following an inclusive citywide effort, chaired by Newton resident and planner Philip B. Herr, Newton's current Comprehensive Plan was adopted by the Board of Aldermen in November, 2007. The Comprehensive Plan represents a set of "best practices" designed to guide the City of Newton in its development in the ensuing years. However, the Plan is only as useful as we make it. Newton officials must decide how aggressively to integrate the principles and ideas of the Comprehensive Plan into our land use policies and practices and the decisions that are made every day at City Hall.

Summary of Proposed Solution

We will actively integrate the principles and ideas of the Comprehensive Plan into Newton policymaking at every level.

Discussion and Implementation Plan

The Comprehensive Plan makes recommendations on future decisions regarding land use, transportation, housing, and economic development in the city. Its recommendations reflect a broad consensus of ideas on how Newton can grow and develop with a respect for the city's open space, history, and community character. The principles and implementation actions that are outlined in the Plan should serve as benchmarks to guide the city as new projects and plans come forward in proposed development. The Mayor's office will work with the Board of Aldermen and the City Planning Department to advise developers and others so that the recommendations of the Comprehensive Plan may be implemented. Investments in capital funds will support maintenance of our facilities and support new growth in the manner it is envisioned in our Comprehensive Plan. We propose to revise the Zoning Ordinance to incorporate the principles of the Plan.

By January 1, 2011, the Mayor will submit proposed ordinance amendments to the Board of Aldermen that are designed to incorporate the principles of the Comprehensive Plan into our zoning ordinances and other local laws. The Administration will conduct an annual review to measure to what extent Comprehensive Plan ideas and principles are being considered and acted on by City departments.