Planning Board


Planning Board Members 

Suzanne Gray, Chair (2025)

Barbara Young, Vice Chair (2026)

Ed Goodell, Secretary (2025)

Josh Joslyn (2027)

Richard Mays (2026)

Kevin Woolley (2027)

Nancy Carney, Selectmen's Representative

Robin Peard Blais, Alternate


Made up of six elected members and a Selectmen’s ex-officio representative, the Planning Board is charged with planning for subdivisions and reviewing site plans for businesses, multi-family residential projects, and some residential projects, depending on the circumstances.  They also review conditional use permit applications for wetlands and excavation. Additionally, the Planning Board is responsible for the Master Plan.

If you want to subdivide your land, contact the Land Use Department to get a copy of the subdivision regulations and application or to make an appointment for a preliminary consultation with the Planning Board (required). The Planning Board will work with you to make your plans work within the town ordinances and applicable regulations.

After your application is completed, notices will be mailed to your neighbors/abutters and a public hearing will be scheduled to begin working on the approval process. You will need to have clear and precise drawings that meet subdivision requirements. In most cases, it will be necessary to have a surveyor and/or engineer help you. Along the way, it may become necessary to refer you to other Boards/Commissions for various permits as circumstances warrant. If you need relief from an ordinance to make your project work, you will be referred to the ZBA. If wetlands are involved, a wetlands hearing and consultation with the Conservation Commission can be scheduled. The state requires various permits as well.

The Planning Board is required by law to accept (not the same as approve) or deny your application within thirty days (30) of receiving your application. If accepted as complete, the Planning Board then has sixty five (65) days to approve or deny your subdivision. If approved, your subdivision will be recorded with the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds and you may begin work on the subdivision.

Sometimes subdivisions are approved with conditions. Conditional approval usually means there are outstanding issues that need to be resolved before work may begin. These conditions are to safeguard the Town’s interests and protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Decisions of the Planning Board can be appealed within 30 days to the ZBA, Superior Court, or the state’s Housing Appeal Board.

Site Plan Review
If you plan to start or expand a business or develop a multi-family residence, you must meet with the Planning Board for a preliminary consultation to determine if a site plan review is necessary. If needed, you will complete an application, develop detailed plans and present your application to the Planning Board in a public hearing.

The Planning Board considers a variety of design aspects, including site preparation, access points, building location, parking, loading and pedestrian safety, outdoor lighting, signage, landscaping, buffers, environmental impact, effect on the neighborhood, water supply and sewage disposal, public service connections, and zoning appropriateness. The application process is the same as for a subdivision application, though construction permits may need to be obtained.

The Town of Fitzwilliam adopted a Wetlands Protection Overlay District (WPOD) in 1991 at the Annual Town Meeting. Simply put, the WPOD safeguards our natural resources by controlling development near wetlands. If your plans call for any development within 75 feet of a wetland or 100 feet of a prime wetland (maps are available in the land use office), you will need to contact the Land Use Department to schedule a preliminary consultation.  The Planning Board will review your plans and determine what permits and/or approvals are needed.

Many times, development within the wetlands buffer requires a Conditional Use Permit from the Planning Board and a Variance from the ZBA. The Planning Board may also refer this to the Conservation Commission for their review.

The Planning Board meets the first and third Tuesday of the month at 7:00pm at the Town Hall. All meetings are open to the public, but if you want to file an application for a subdivision, site plan review, or wetlands, your completed application must be filed with the Land Use Office at least fifteen (15) days before the meeting to allow for legal public noticing. Please feel free to contact the Land Use Department to discuss your needs.