Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does the Planning Board do?
The Littleton Planning Board reviews applications for commercial and residential development and redevelopment. The Planning Board is responsible for developing and reviewing zoning proposals, reviewing land development applications, and the Local Comprehensive Plan (Master Plan). The Littleton Planning Board holds public hearings on land subdivision and certain development applications as well as zoning changes. For zoning changes, the Planning Board makes recommendations to Town Meeting.
The Littleton Planning Board also schedules “informal discussions” regarding development plans at Planning Board meetings, to provide input and advice to potential applicants, prior to formal application process. There is no charge for an “informal discussion”; please contact the Planning Board office to schedule this on an upcoming Planning Board agenda.
2. How many Planning Board members are there and how long do they serve?
The Planning Board is comprised of five members who are elected for five-year terms.
3. When are Planning Board meetings?
The Planning Board typically meets at 7:00 PM on the first Thursday evening every month. Due to holidays or other circumstances, these dates are subject to change. For a current schedule please call the Planning Board office at 978/540-2425.
4. What is the purpose of the Subdivision Control Law?
The Subdivision control Law serves to protect the safety, convenience and welfare of the town’s inhabitants by regulating the laying out and construction of ways in subdivisions providing access to the lots therein, but which have not become public ways and ensuring sanitary conditions.
5. Where can I get a copy of the Subdivision of Land Regulations?
A copy of the Town of Littleton Subdivision of Land Regulations can be purchased for $15.00 at the Building Department office. It is posted at the Littleton website under the Town Code tab; Section 249.
6. Where can I get a copy of the Littleton Zoning Bylaws?
The Littleton Zoning Bylaws can be viewed or downloaded from the Littleton website: the Town Code tab; Section 173. Printed copies can be purchased for $15.00 at the Building Department Office.
7. What is the difference between a subdivision and an ANR (approval not required)?
A subdivision is a division of land into two or more lots and typically involves the creation of a new road. An ANR is the division of land into lots with frontage on existing roads, whether public or private. The Planning Board endorses ANR’s certifying that approval under the Subdivision Control Law is not required.
8. How can I determine what Zoning District I live in?
A zoning map is viewable on the Town’s GIS map. Zoning is also shown on the Assessors maps, with some exceptions. You may also call or come into the Planning Board office for assistance in determining your zoning district.
9. What does it cost to file an application with the Planning Board?
The application fee is determined by several factors: type of project, square footage, number of lots, etc. Please consult our fee schedule on the website or in our office.
10. What uses are allowed on my property?
You may come into the Planning Department and discuss potential uses with the Planning Administrator/Permit Coordinator any time. Zoning District and Zoning Bylaw Use Codes will be considered, but the Building Commissioner is the definitive authority on zoning.
11. What are the minimum lot requirements, yard setbacks and total site coverage for my property?
This information is contained in the Intensity of Use Schedule printed on the last page of the Littleton Zoning Bylaws (either online or at our office).
12. Once a Special permit is granted, how long does it take to obtain my building permit?
Chapter 40A Section 9 provides us with up to 65 days from the close of the hearing to record a Special permit with the Town Clerk. Typically, it takes up to 14 days from the date the Board approves the permit to write up the Final Decision and have it stamped in with the Clerk’s Office. A 20-day appeal period follows after which time, if no appeals are filed, the applicant should contact the Town Clerk for a certified copy of the Final Decision. The applicant must then have that document recorded at the South Middlesex County Registry of Deeds. They are then free to pursue their building permit (which may take up to an additional 30 days).
13. I have several questions before proceeding with filing my application. Who can help?
You may call and set up an appointment to meet with the Planning Administrator/Permit Coordinator, or drop by the Planning Office. If you have any relevant plans to your project bring them with you. We will be happy to answer any of your questions and discuss potential pitfalls or possibilities related to your project. If you would like to meet with several department heads in one meeting, please call the Planning Office two weeks ahead and schedule a Staff Review. There is no charge for this service.