Due to the threat of COVID-19 the Town Offices are open by appointment. The Planning Department apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause but would like to make you aware of the best ways to reach the Department. Please email, or call 508-881-0100 extension 7927 to reach a Planning Department staff member. If you need to submit an application to the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals, please reach out via email or phone so we can discuss the best way to submit. 


One of the Planning Department’s primary responsibilities is to coordinate the Planning Board’s development review processes (e.g., site plan review, special permit, subdivision), through which the Board evaluates and ultimately approves or denies development proposals using local and state regulatory frameworks.  Coordination includes several facets, ranging from the receipt and processing of development applications to the arrangement of application peer reviews by third-party engineers to meeting scheduling.  The Department is also responsible for ensuring that developments are constructed and that occupancy is granted according to applicable local and state regulations.

Revising and updating Ashland’s Zoning Bylaw – a vital guiding document in the Planning Board’s development review processes - is a critical responsibility of the Planning Department.  The Department works closely with members of the Board, Town Counsel, and others to develop appropriate Bylaw update/revision proposals and to steer the proposals through the approval process.  Additionally, the Department works to update other guiding documents, such as the local Subdivision Regulations and the Design Review Guidelines, which also guide the Board’s development review processes.

Current Projects

Fall 2019 Town Meeting: Proposed Use Change; Proposed BOS Change

Fall 2018 Town Meeting - Proposed Zoning Amendments Information

Spring 2018 Town Meeting - Proposed zoning amendments for April 12, 2018 Public Hearing

  • Proposed Amended Language  - The first proposed amendment changes the zoning map reference to the most current map on file with the Town Clerk.  The second a proposed amendment adds a project narrative to the Site Plan Review requirements.   

Spring 2018 Town Meeting - Proposed zoning amendments for March 22, 2018 Public Hearing

Info regarding proposed zoning changes at Fall Town Meeting - 2017

Information regarding proposed zoning changes 2016

Downtown Planning Initiative

Ashland Upper Charles Trail Project

Strategic Planning

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