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Call for Planning Board Applicants

Posted on June 25, 2020

The Planning Board Needs You!

There is an open position available on the City of Holyoke Planning Board.

The Planning Board consists of 5 members, and one Associate Member appointed by the Mayor for staggered 5-year terms. A complete description of the role is below.

Qualifications: Applicants must be Holyoke Residents. Ideal applicants will have a demonstrated record of community service. Candidates should recognize and represent the importance of diversity and diverse perspectives in building strong communities. Familiarity with zoning, construction, land-use, architecture or urban planning is a plus but not required.

Interested applicants should send a short statement of interest along with a resume to with the subject line “Planning Board Opening”


The Holyoke Planning Board is responsible for protecting the health and safety of Holyoke residents while balancing the rights of property owners through the consideration of project submittals, public testimony, and city department comments in conjunction with the laws established for regulating such development through the Holyoke Zoning Ordinance, Massachusetts General Law (MGL), Chapter 41, Section 81A, and MGL Chapter 40A.  The establishment of municipal Planning Boards is authorized by MGL, 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: 

  • Adopting a master plan and official map of the city 
  • Conducting studies, and, when necessary, preparing plans of the resources, possibilities and needs of the city for submittal to the City Council for their consideration 
  • Serving as the local authority for the Subdivision Control Act; adopting Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land in the City of Holyoke; reviewing all preliminary and definitive plan submittals. 
  • Drafting and submitting zoning amendments for consideration by the municipality. When a zoning amendment has been put forward, the Planning Board holds a public hearing jointly with the City Council Ordinance Committee and reports its recommendation to the City Council. 
  • Serving, in some instances, as the Special Permit Granting Authority 
  • Serving as Site Plan Review Authority 

Plans are submitted to the Board by applicants who want to develop their land for residential, commercial or other uses. The procedures to follow in reviewing such plans are clearly spelled out in Massachusetts General Laws and in the Holyoke Zoning Ordinance. The project may involve the need for a Site Plan Review, a Special Permit, Subdivision Review, or the signing of an Approval-Not-Required (ANR) plan. Board Members shall come to a meeting or hearing prepared to review applications or to make informed decisions on matters before the Board. 

The Holyoke Planning Board consists of 5 members, and one Associate Member appointed by the Mayor for staggered 5-year terms. Regular meetings/hearings will be held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month at 5:30 p.m. in the 4th Floor Conference Room of the City Hall Annex (currently via Zoom), and at such other times and places as the Planning Board may designate, due to special reasons.  All meetings and hearings shall follow procedures outlined in the Open Meeting Law.


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