Planning Board

Name and Contact Info
Planning Board - General Email
planningboard@townofmtwashington.com
Keith Torrico - Chair
keithtorrico@townofmtwashington.com
Term: 2025
Liam Dugan
Term: 2027
Eric Mendelsohn
ericmendelsohn@townofmtwashington.com
Term: 2023
Nancy Wright
Term: 2025
Sheila Parekh
Term: 2024
Vacant - Associate Member
Term: 2024

Special Permit Notice

The Planning Board voted to on August 31, 2022 to set a fee of $300.00 for Special Permits.

Vacancy on Planning Board - Step right up and make a difference!

After 37 years as a valued member of the Mount Washington Planning Board, Morgan Bulkeley has decided to step down from the board. We are sorry to see him go, and will always be grateful for his contributions to our town over the years. Our town is better because of his efforts, wisdom, and commitment. When you see Morgan, please join us in thanking him for his service to our community!

Morgan’s departure leaves a vacancy on our Planning Board. Any town resident who is a registered voter and who has an interest in this position should, by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, November 21st, email Keith Torrico, Chairman of the Planning Board (keithtorrico@townofmtwashington.com) as well as to all three members of the Selectboard, Jim Lovejoy (jimlovejoy@townofmtwashington.com), Brian Tobin (briantobin@townofmtwashington.com), and Eric Mendelsohn (ericmendelsohn@townofmtwashington.com).

The planning board meets roughly once a month and all members are expected to attend all meetings either in person or remotely. Please note this appointment will fill the role on the board until our next election. At that time the appointee may fill out nomination papers and run for the duration of Morgan’s term or any other interested community member could run for a full term. More information on the role of the board is below.

Role of the Planning Board

The establishment of municipal Planning Boards is authorized by Massachusetts General Law, chapter 41, section 81A. Among its many diverse roles, the Planning Board is charged with the following duties, paraphrased here from the Mass. General Law:

  • Drafting and submitting zoning amendments when there is interest by townspeople to do so or when there is necessity.
  • Adopting a master plan (If deemed necessary) and official map of the city or town.
  • Conducting studies, and, when necessary, preparing plans of the resources, possibilities and needs of the city or town for submission to the Selectmen for their consideration.
  • Serving as the special permit granting authority (i.e. Special Permit).
  • Serving as Site Plan Review Authority (When applicable).
  • Is always the “party of interest” in administrative appeals, special permit applications, and variance petitions within the municipality and in adjacent cities and towns.
  • Under Massachusetts General Law Chapter 40, 15C, the Scenic Roads Act, the Planning Board is enabled to recommend roads for municipal consideration, and empowers the planning board to oversee specified activities.
  • Serving as the local authority for the Subdivision Control Act; adopting Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land; reviewing all preliminary and definitive plan submittals.

Roles on the Board

Chair – The Chair of the Board is appointed on an annual basis by members of the Planning Board.

The Chair person is expected to prepare the meeting agenda for the Planning Board and share it with their board for comment before it must be posted (48 hours before a meeting). The Chair is expected to lead the meeting; keeping the board discussion to posted agenda items, facilitating civil conversation between board members, and being mindful of time.

Clerk – The Planning Board Clerk is appointed by members of the Board on an annual basis. Any member of the Board can hold the position as Board Clerk. The Clerk can hold a dual role within the Board, for example the Board Chair or Secretary can also serve as the Board Clerk.

The Clerk is expected to take meeting minutes during the meeting and send a draft to all members of the Board for review ahead of the next meeting. The Clerk is also responsible for filing a hard copy of the approved minutes at the Town Hall and a digital copy for the Town’s website, including all other materials entered into record for the corresponding meeting.

Secretary – The Secretary of the Board is appointed on an annual basis by members of the Planning Board.

The secretary is expected to handle all document requests, filings, mailings, postings, and coordination with the Town Clerk and Town Secretary in regards to Special Permit Applications and Public Hearings.

General Board Member – General Planning Board members are elected for terms of five (5) years, and so arranged that the term of at least one (1) member will expire each year.

General Board Members are expected to attend each Planning Board meeting, notify the chair of an absence if unable to attend, review agenda items and corresponding materials ahead of each meeting, and participate in civil conversation with other board members in regards to each agenda item.

Associate – The Planning Board associate member is appointed for a three (3) year term pursuant to M.G.L. c. 40A §9.

According to §215-13E.1.a. Of our town zoning bylaw, the Chair person of the Planning Board may designate the associate member to sit on the Planning Board for the purposes of acting on a special permit or site plan review application, or any other matter for which a quorum is required, in case of absence, inability to act or conflict of interest on the part of any member of the Board, or in the event of a vacancy on the Board. For special permit reviews and general matters, a quorum is defined by the Open Meeting Law as a simple majority of the members of a public body. In this case, if two (2) Planning Board members are absent or inable to vote for reasons listed above, the Associate may vote in their place. For site plan reviews, a decision must be made by a super majority. In this case, if one (1) Planning Board member is absent or inable to vote for reasons listed above, the Associate may vote in their place.

Statement on Rolling Board Responsibilities

In order to ensure all Board members are equitably sharing the responsibilities, educational development, and workload associated with the Chair, Clerk, and Secretary roles of the Board, it is expected these roles will rotate annually among Board members.

If any General Board Member is unable to fill one of the roles listed above due to accessibility considerations, current life circumstances, etc., they may opt out of rotation.

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