Office of Planning and Community Development

Denise M. Gaffey

Director and City Planner
(781) 979-4190
dgaffey@cityofmelrose.org

It is the mission of the Office of Planning and Community Development (OPCD) to protect and enhance the quality of life in Melrose. To accomplish this mission OPCD provides long range planning, manages the capital improvement program, reviews and recommends changes in zoning, applies for and administers grants and community development programs and implements special projects. Additionally, OPCD supports the work of several Boards and Commissions in the City and reviews all major land use proposals, including subdivision plans and significant residential and commercial development proposals.

Master Plan 2004 Downtown Parking Study
Open Space Plan 2015  Main Street Corridor Study
Commuter Rail Corridor Plan   Zoning
 Melrose Census Profile  Melrose GIS Map
 FEMA Flood Maps  Forms & Applications

Proposed Zoning Amendment for Marijuana Uses

The Planning Board and the Board of Aldermen held a joint public hearing on marijuana uses, both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, on June 1, 2017. During the public hearing, OPCD gave a presentation on marijuana uses and the proposed zoning amendments. The Planning Board proposes to regulate Registered Marijuana Dispensaries through the creation of a Special Permit process as described in the proposed amendments. The Planning Board also proposes to implement a  temporary moratorium  on recreational marijuana establishments through December 31, 2018.

The Planning Board met again on June 26, 2017 and sent a revised proposed amendment regarding Registered Marijuana Dispensaries and a report regarding recreational marijuana establishments to the Board of Aldermen for their consideration.

Subdivision Regulations

The Planning Board is the body responsible for administering the subdivision regulations. Any party considering subdividing land into lots which do not have adequate frontage must apply to the Planning Board for approval. The Planning Board, with assistance from OPCD staff, review subdivision proposals to ensure they meet the City and State requirements and fit well with the character of Melrose. A copy of the Subdivision Regulations may be purchased at the Office of Planning and Community Development in City Hall.

Download the Melrose Subdivision Regulations

Community Development

Sign and Façade Grant Program – OPCD provides grants to business applicants for up to 50% of the cost of attractive business signs and façade improvement. The maximum grant is $1,000 for a sign and $500 for a façade improvement. In fiscal year 2015, OPCD approved 8 sign and façade grants. Applications for a sign and façade improvement grant can be picked-up at OPCD. Applications must be received and approved before any work on the project begins.


OPCD provides staff support to the following Boards and Commissions:

Planning Board 
Historic District Commission 
Community Development Council