Welcome to the webpage of the Town of Westerly’s Planning Board. The Planning Board is established by the Town Charter (Chapter One of Article XII) and assigned powers and duties through the Town’s Code of Ordinances (primarily in sections 18 through 23 of Chapter 5, Article V). The role of the Planning Board, as defined by ordinance, is to “make studies and prepare plans for the utilization of the resources and the satisfaction of the needs of the Town with respect to its physical, economic and social development as affecting the health, safety, morale and general welfare of the people and the economy and efficiency of community life.”
Membership and Officers
The Planning Board is composed of eight members, of whom seven are full members and one is auxiliary. Any person who is a resident of and qualified voter in the Town of Westerly is eligible to serve on the Board, subject to review and appointment by the Town Council. Full members may serve for an indefinite number of five-year terms - though no more than two terms can be consecutive - and the auxiliary member may serve for an indefinite number of two-year terms. The auxiliary member serves in the stead of a full member who recuses or is absent from a meeting and, during this time, has the same voting rights, powers and duties as the full member with the exception of any powers and duties the full member has as an officer of the Board (if applicable). Elections for offices - which include the Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary - are held annually and any full member is eligible to serve in no more than one office at one time. Please click here to see the members currently seated on the Board. Click here to review the current Rules of Procedure for the Planning Board.
Meeting and Minutes
The Planning Board meets regularly at 6:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month in the Council Chambers at Westerly Town Hall and the Board may also meet for special matters and workshops.
Agendas will always be posted online and in Westerly Town Hall and Westerly Police Station at least 48 hours in advance of any meeting and will include the meeting time, date and location. Minutes and Agendas are also posted on the Open Meetings page on the Rhode Island Secretary of State's website - Click here to view.
Minutes (written summaries of the actions taking place during a meeting) are prepared for all meetings to ensure a proper records is kept of decisions and assignments made by the Board. Generally, minutes are approved at the next meeting held by the Board. Once approved, minutes are published digitally on ClerkBase and copies can be provided to any person upon request at Westerly Town Hall. While copies of minutes cannot be disseminated prior to approval, you are welcome to view the draft version at Westerly Town Hall from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. during all non-holiday business days.
News - Fair Housing Month (April)
In April of each year the Town of Westerly recognizes Fair Housing Month. As a participant within several federal and state programs, such as the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Town is required to undertake proactive steps annually towards the perpetual establishment of fair housing within its jurisdiction. This process is known as “affirmatively furthering fair housing.”
During their regular meeting on April 18, 2023, the Planning Board passed a Resolution Recognizing April 2023 as Federal Fair Housing Month and transmitted a request for the Town Council to do the same.
During the April 18, 2023 Regular Planning Board meeting, the Planning Board discussed with Planning staff the measures the Town is taking to create an Affordable Housing Study Ad Hoc Committee and plans to create a revised affordable housing plan.
During the April 5, 2022 Special Planning Board meeting, Melina Lodge, Executive Director of Housing Network of Rhode Island/Community Housing Land Trust of RI, gave a presentation regarding low-and-moderate income housing and the role of monitoring agencies in Rhode Island.
During the March 16, 2021 meeting, Annette Mann Bourne, Research & Policy Director of Housing Works RI at RWU, gave a presentation discussing what fair housing means for Westerly. The slides from this presentation can be viewed at the link below.
News - National Community Planning Month (October)
In October of each year the American Planning Association recognizes National Community Planning Month. To elevate the importance of planning in the Westerly community, and to recognize all our “citizen planners”, and their voluntary commitment to a better Westerly, during their regular meeting on September 21, 2021 the Planning Board passed a Resolution Recognizing October 2021 as Community Planning Month.