The Planning Board is a seven-member public body that reviews land development proposals and helps the Town Council determine land use policy. The seven members of the Planning Board are Richmond residents from a wide variety of professional backgrounds who volunteer their time. They are appointed by the Town Council to three-year terms.
Land Development Projects
The Planning Board adopts and amends the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations and uses those regulations to review and approve land development proposals, including applications for subdivision of land and applications for land development projects.
Comprehensive Community Plan
The Planning Board drafts the Comprehensive Community Plan, the blueprint for the town’s long-range development. The Town Council enacts and amends the Comprehensive Plan based on recommendations by the Planning Board.
Development Plan Review
The Planning Board conducts Development Plan Review for commercial and industrial construction or alteration proposals that are not large enough to require multi-stage land development project approval. The purpose of Development Plan Review is to make sure that the exterior site design for new or altered buildings, including parking, landscaping, and stormwater management, complies with the applicable ordinances.
The Planning Board also hears applications for Comprehensive Permit developments, residential developments in which at least 25 percent of the dwelling units are sold to or occupied by low- or moderate-income families. State law requires every city and town to approve Comprehensive Permit applications. The approval process for these developments is different from the approval process for every other type of development. In exchange for providing the low- or moderate-income units, the developer is allowed to deviate from requirements that apply to all other developments, such as the number of dwellings per acre, yard setbacks, or the location of multi-family buildings. State law gives the Planning Board the authority to approve these deviations, which ordinarily would require approval by the Town Council or the Zoning Board of Review. State law also gives the Planning Board the authority to reduce or waive the town fees charged for these developments, including building permit fees. Comprehensive permit developments are intended to help cities and towns reach the goals established in their affordable housing plans.
Planning Board meetings
The Planning Board usually meets twice a month, on the second and fourth Tuesday, at 6:30 p.m. The first meeting of each month usually is devoted to approval of land development projects and review of development plans. The second meeting of each month usually is reserved for discussion of policy issues such as proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations, or the Comprehensive Community Plan. All meetings are open to the public. The agenda for each meeting is posted on the town website at least 48 hours before the meeting. To see meeting agendas and minutes, please open this link.
Planning Board members
For a list of the names of the current members of the Planning Board, please open this link.
More information about land use and land development
A Citizens’ Guide to the Land Development Process
A Citizens' Guide to Public Hearings before the Planning Board
Spreadsheet of current and previous development projects (Updated periodically)
Land Development and Subdivision Regulations
Shannock Design Guidelines
2021 Comprehensive Community Plan
Information for Applicants
Before filing an application for land development project approval or Development Plan Review, an applicant must schedule a pre-submission meeting with the Town Planner.
The Town Planner must certify that an application is complete before it can be placed on a Planning Board meeting agenda. The certification must take place at least two weeks before the meeting so the Planning Board members can review the application materials before the meeting.
For information about Development Plan Review, see Chapter 18.54 of the Zoning Ordinance. The checklist for items that must be submitted with a Development Plan Review application is in Article 15 of the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations.
The Zoning Board of Review, sitting in its capacity as the Board of Review, hears appeals from Planning Board decisions. The Board of Review also hears appeals from determinations by the Town Planner, acting as the Administrative Officer, concerning interpretation of the requirements of the Land Development and Subdivision Regulations. An appeal application form may be obtained from the Building, Planning and Zoning Clerk.
Application form for Land Development or Subdivision Approval
Owner's Authorization form
Application Notification List
Application form for Development Plan Review
Application form for a Comprehensive Permit
Application for an Amendment to the Zoning Ordinance
Application for an Amendment to the Comprehensive Community Plan