Planning Board:

Nine members, appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the city council. Must not city councilors or city officers or employees, other than school committee. Five-year terms. Unpaid.

MGL Ch. 41, Sec. 70: [The Planning Board] “shall make careful studies of the resources, possibilities and needs of the town, particularly with respect to conditions injurious to the public health or otherwise in and about rented dwellings, and make plans for the development of the municipality, with special reference to proper housing of its inhabitants.”

Some of the responsibilities include adoption and amendment of the comprehensive plan (MGL Ch. 41, Sec. 81D), adoption and application of subdivision regulations (MGL Ch. 41, Secs. 81K—81GG), review and reporting on the seven-year capital improvements program, approval of urban renewal plans (MGL Ch. 121A), reporting on certain type of zoning appeals, and holding hearings and issuing recommendations on amendments to the zoning ordinances (MGL, Ch. 40A).

City Ordinances: 

Sec. 30-30: In addition to the duties prescribed by statute, it shall be the duty of the planning board to study and from time to time point out to the city council such physical improvements as may be deemed desirable, such as the changing of grades and lines of existing streets, the laying out of new streets, ways and squares; the preservation of historical landmarks; the location of statuary, monuments or other works of art; the improvement of the harbor and waterfront; and in general to point out to the city council such recommendations for the industrial, commercial and civic development of the city as may seem for the best interests of the city and its citizens. 

Sec. 30-31: In addition to any other duties set forth, the planning board shall cooperate with the planning director and shall act in an advisory manner as provided for in this chapter. 

Sec. 30-33: The planning board shall annually, on or before October 1, file a report showing what the board has done since its last report, what suggestions it has to make and such other information it deems of sufficient public interest.