Planning Department

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.


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and per Governor Baker’s emergency order regarding the submission and process of permit applications, the Planning Department and the respective boards and commissions overseen by the department have established revised permit application procedures.

Please click here to download the revised procedures for submitting applications.


Affordable Home Ownership – 40 Heather Street #112 Flyer

Affordable and Workforce Housing Units Available at Holmes Beverly (110 Rantoul Street) – 80% AMI @ $1,719 and 110% AMI @ $2,897 – Click Here for Holmes Beverly Flyer

Affordable Housing Lottery for 268B Cabot Street – Click here for more information. Click here for flyer

Holcroft Park Homes Two – 23 & 35 Mill Street. Click here for additional information and  lottery application. (undated – not certain when this expires)

The state Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) lists other affordable units here.


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



In April 2019, the City began the process of developing a new Comprehensive Master Plan for Beverly. This is expected to be a year-long process with ample opportunities for public input and engagement.


UPDATE NOVEMBER 12, 2020: Click below to download the full version of the PlanBeverly – Comprehensive Master Plan

Stay up to date at: or by following the Facebook page.


The Cities of Beverly and Salem have officially kicked off their first phase of Resilient Together, their collective plan to address climate change.

The Climate Action and Resilience Plan will aim to reduce the cities’ contribution to greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions, and improve resiliency in seven areas: energy, buildings and development, natural resources, public health and safety, solid waste, mobility, and infrastructure. The Cities strive to exceed Massachusetts’ commitment to carbon neutrality by 2050.

In the plan’s initial phase, Beverly and Salem are inviting residents and business owners to participate in an online survey where they can share their perceptions, concerns, and priorities as they relate to the environment and community resiliency. The online survey takes approximately five minutes to complete and will be active through October. It is also offered in Spanish and Portuguese online, as well as a print-out version in Albanian.

Beverly and Salem’s newly launched website also provides an overview of the plan timeline, focus areas, core principles, and ways to engage. The Cities will continuously update the website to keep the community informed on their progress.

Check out our press release!


Beverly’s Planning Department is preparing a Historic Preservation Plan, which will supplement PlanBeverly, the City’s comprehensive plan, and establish specific strategies, actions, and priorities to preserve, celebrate, and protect Beverly’s historic and cultural resources and character.

A public forum was held on September 22, 2020, at 7:00 PM, virtually through Zoom, to review proposed Recommendations for Beverly’s historic preservation program. The public forum was recorded and is available through BevCam’s YouTube channel.

Please visit the Historic Commission’s web page to learn more about the plan.


Mobility Hubs are more than your typical transit stations or park & rides. They are welcoming, well-designed places where multiple modes of transportation converge to make transit service more attractive and inviting rather than a last resort. The City received a Housing Choice Capital Grant to conduct preliminary design of a Mobility Hub at the Beverly Depot train station with the primary goals of improving safety and access for all those coming to this area of the City whether by train, foot, bicycle, or automobile.

Public Meeting Concept Boards (11-21-19)

Public Meeting Presentation (11-21-19)

News Articles:

Beverly to Develop Plans for Train Station Area


In summer 2019, the City of Beverly issued an Request for Proposals for the redevelopment of Briscoe Middle School. In fall 2019, the City of Beverly selected Harborlight Community Partners and Beacon Properties’ “Briscoe Village” proposal for the school’s redevelopment. Please click here to go to the City’s page on the Briscoe Middle School redevelopment and view additional information about the project.


On January 9, 2019, zoning regulations for marijuana establishments were finalized in the City of Beverly.  The final set of amendments can be seen here.

The City of Beverly is now accepting proposals for marijuana establishments.  Any persons and/or entities seeking to enter into a Host Community Agreement (HCA) with the City of Beverly should first complete this screening form and submit the screening form and proposals to the Beverly Planning Department.

The City of Beverly has limited the number of retail marijuana licenses to 20% of the number of liquor stores within the City (four licenses). The City has currently signed two HCAs for retail marijuana establishments.  The proposed locations of these facilities are at 350-354 Rantoul Street and 13 Enon Street.

If you have completed the HCA process with the City of Beverly and received a provisional license from the Cannabis Control Commission, you may be ready to apply for a Special Permit with the Zoning Board of Appeals.  Please use this checklist when to ensure your application is complete prior to submitting it to the Building Department.


Since launching the Beverly Arts District in 2015, downtown Cabot Street has continued to grow as a hub of creative activity in Beverly and achieved many of the goals in its original plan. In 2018, the three partners in the Beverly Arts District – Beverly Main Streets, Montserrat College of Art, and the City of Beverly – came together to identify the next steps for the Cultural District and arts and culture throughout in the City. Technical support was provided by the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s Arts & Culture Division.

This plan recognizes that along with consistent support and coordination among partners and cultural enterprises, identifying a sustained funding stream, which may come from multiple sources, will be necessary to build successfully on recent progress. This progress includes promotion of the Beverly Arts District and cultural enterprises throughout Beverly as well as growth among creative activities, public art, placemaking efforts, and a growing value placed on arts and culture throughout the City. The first year of implementation will focus on identifying a successful administrative structure and partner roles, prioritizing core activities to administer and carry out the plan, identifying funding streams, and determining how to best utilize those funds to support actions.

The final plan can be found here: Beverly Arts District Implementation Plan


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 presents a cohesive concept that creates a vibrant and active waterfront while providing improved public access and enjoyment of both the Harbor and Bass River.

Additional materials, including the Final Plan, may be found here.


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.

On September 28, 2017, at the Briscoe Middle School Auditorium, City staff reviewed the Downtown Parking Strategy and presented the implementation plan and timeline. This was 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 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.