The purpose of zoning is to ensure balanced communities. Zoning allows the government to control the development of the land and ensure the public is satisfied with their community. For example, by ensuring industrial zones are a safe distance from residential areas, the negative impact of industrial zones is limited for residents. Also, zoning allows for the proper use of the land, enables the community to develop infrastructure adequately, and protects existing property from destruction or devaluation.
The Planning Board is charged with broad statutory responsibilities to guide the physical growth and development of Needham in a coordinated and comprehensive manner. Specifically, the Planning Board is legally mandated to carry out certain provisions of the Subdivision Control Law (M.G.L, Chapter 41, Section 81-K to 81-GG) and of the Zoning Act (M.G.L, Chapter 40A). These legal responsibilities are reflected locally in the Subdivision Rules and Regulations and Procedural Rules of the Planning Board and in the Town’s Zoning By-Law.