The Department of Planning and Development is responsible for coordinating all of the planning and development-related activities of the City including land use and master planning, economic development, open space conservation and historic preservation. The Department oversees the work of the Conservation Commission, Design Review Board, Economic and Community Development Council, Historic District Commission, Open Space and Recreation Committee, Parking and Traffic Commission, Community Preservation Committee and Planning Board.

Please email Cynthia McPherson at to receive electronic copies of the agendas.  Your email should specify the committee you would like an agenda for.  The Department also includes the Community Development Office which administers grant funds for housing rehabilitation, and programming to support affordable housing.

A summary of current and recent planning efforts can be found below:


A set of zoning amendments to regulate marijuana establishments has been proposed to the City Council.  A public hearing to review and discuss the proposed amendments was held on November 5th, 2018.  At their regular meeting on November 21st, 2018, the Planning Board reviewed the proposed amendments and voted to recommend that City Council approve the amendments as revised by the Planning Department.  City Council will review the Planning Board’s recommendation and the revised set of amendments at their regular meeting on December 3rd, 2018, at 7:00 PM.

The proposed amendments can be seen here.  Please note that the revisions are red-lined in the document, and are solely to for purposes of clarification and to correct scrivener’s errors. The accompanying memorandum to City Council can be seen here.

A map describing the proposed zoning for marijuana establishments can be seen here.  Please note that this map is for informational purposes only and is not an official City zoning map. This map and other maps showing zoomed-in portions of the city can be viewed at City Hall, Conference Room A (third floor, next to the Planning Department).

On September 18th, the City held a public meeting to discuss the need to develop zoning that will regulate marijuana establishments. The PowerPoint presentation from the public meeting on September 18th can be seen here. The video recording of the public meeting on September 18th can be seen here.


Recently, the City has worked proactively to encourage appropriate development along the Beverly harbor front that allows mixed-uses while supporting water dependent uses, and improved public access while respecting the character of surrounding neighborhoods.  The creation of a Harbor/Waterfront plan is the next step in taking a comprehensive look at how the Beverly harbor and Bass River should be developed.  The plan  will adopt a cohesive approach resulting in a clear vision for development that creates a vibrant and active waterfront while providing improved public access and enjoyment of both the harbor and Bass River.   Please click here for additional information regarding this planning process.

Flier regarding November 15, 2018 Open House

Flier regarding May 17, 2018 Open House and May 22 Public Meeting

Public Meeting PowerPoint Presentation 3-22-18

Public Meeting Responses to Group Exercise 3-22-18

Public Meeting Powerpoint Presentation 5-22-2018

Public Meeting-Responses to Group Exercise May 22-2018


Chapter 91 Existing Conditions and Example of Allowable Bldg Size

Presentation to Beverly Harbor-Waterfront Plan Advisory Committee 9-20-18

Materials presented at Open House on November 15, 2018:

Overview of Project

Description/Illustration of Chapter 91 Impact on Any Future Development

Illustration of Public Input Identifying Priorities





The City of Beverly Planning Department is in the process of revising the draft zoning amendment that seeks to create a path to preserve historic structures, and, in the process, offer additional housing options in the City.  The Planning Department is taking into account discussion points brought up at the public meeting in March, and anticipates having a revised draft ordinance ready for additional review in October, 2018.

The primary goal of the amendment is to establish regulations that would help preserve historic residential buildings, structures and where possible historic landscape features that are part of a historic estate. The draft regulations also contemplate a process that allows adaptive reuse of historic non-residential buildings as well. Consistent with the City of Beverly Comprehensive Plan, the draft regulations will also create additional opportunities to provide much needed housing units that maintain the character of the City’s neighborhoods

Please follow this link to review a summary narrative of the proposed zoning amendment:

Cultural Properties Summary


The City of Beverly worked with the transportation planning firm Nelson/Nygaard to develop a comprehensive downtown parking strategy. Through data collection, statistical analysis, and information gathered through public meetings and stakeholder interviews Nelson/Nygaard has prepared a draft set of recommendations to assist the City in improving access to parking in downtown Beverly.

The City hosted a public meeting February 2nd at the City Hall Council Chambers. Follow this link to review the presentation. The final Beverly Parking Strategy is now available.

Join the City as it holds a public meeting September 28, 2017 at 6:00 PM to review the Downtown Parking Strategy and present the implementation plan and timeline. The meeting, held at the Briscoe Middle School Auditorium, is an opportunity for all stakeholders utilizing public parking spaces downtown (business/ property owners, employees working downtown, residents, and commuters) to learn more about the Beverly Parking Strategy and how its implementation will help improve management of, and access, to public parking spaces.


The Beverly Planning Department has recently updated our Historic Surveys page, making them more accessible to the public.  The surveys, completed in 2016, describe approximately 125 properties, including municipally-owned buildings, landscapes, churches and institutional buildings, parks, and neighborhoods.  These documents expand our understanding of Beverly’s history and help us preserve and enhance the quality of our neighborhoods and commercial areas.

Please click here to access the surveys.


The City of Beverly received a $89,981 grant from the Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management (CZM) to identify potential impacts of sea level rise due to climate change and sea level rise and develop a resiliency strategy to begin address these potential impacts, particularly on critical infrastructure.

The final public meeting was held on June 10, 2017 and the final plan has been completed and is available to view. The Planning Department would like to thank all of the volunteers and community members who participated in this process.

Visit this page for more information about the planning process, review all three public presentations, and the final plan document.


In 2016-17, the City engaged a housing consultant to create a Community Housing Plan to help us better understand Beverly’s current and future housing needs. The plan provides up-to-date information on local housing issues, identifies priority housing needs, articulates a vision, and develops a strategy to provide a range of housing types that meet the needs of a wide variety of households.

The Community Housing Plan has been finalized and can be found at this link, in as wells as presentations and other materials related to the plan.


The City of Beverly held a meeting on April 7 for a traffic calming study around the area of Henry’s intersection. Following is a link to the power point presentation:  Traffic Calming Study: Dodge/Cabot/County


Click here for more information on the completed rezoning process for the Beverly Harbor Area.


In 2015, the Massachusetts Cultural Council approved the establishment of a cultural district in Beverly – named the Beverly Arts District. The report leading up to this designation can be found at this link: Beverly Cultural District Report July 2013.


Trash and Recycle pick up is ON SCHEDULE this week- NO DELAY