The Planning Board was established by a vote of Town Meeting in 1939 in accordance with Massachusetts General Laws, and the first Board was elected in 1940. As required by the number of applications, the circumstances of a specific application, or the need to consider specific issues or topics, the Planning Board also holds additional special meetings.
Long Range Planning
The Planning Board initiates planning studies to identify existing and future land use issues and problems and proposes courses of action to address such issues and problems. To implement the recommendations of planning studies, or in response to changes in state or federal law, the Planning Board directs the preparation of proposed amendments to the Zoning Bylaw and Planning Board Rules and Regulations, and conducts the public hearings required or adoption of such amendments.
By State law, the Board is responsible for the exercise of the Subdivision Control Law in Burlington and has, in the absence of superseding Court action, final authority regarding subdivisions and Approval Not Required plans (certification that a land division is not subject to subdivision control law).
Responsibility Authorized by Town Meeting
By authority delegated by Town Meeting through the Zoning Bylaw, the Board is responsible for making decisions on site plans, site plan waivers and special permits. The Planning Board also conducts public hearings and makes recommendations to Town Meeting regarding applications for changes in zoning districts and for amendments to the text of the Zoning Bylaw.