Who decides how property is subdivided or developed? (12/8/2022)

The property owner, within the guidelines of the Zoning Ordinance (zoning map) and the Subdivision/Site Review Regulations. The Planning Board reviews applications for compliance and considers regulation waivers and the Zoning Board of Adjustment considers zoning ordinance variances/exceptions.

Voters set the Zoning Ordinance which are the guidelines for development activities.  Some such guidelines are residential or commercial (or both) in certain zones, two-acre lots, conservation subdivisions, etc.  

Property owners decide (within the applicable regulations) how a property is developed.

Resident involvement is critical to have a zoning ordinance which reflects the will of the people.  This involvement can be proactive and reactive and both approaches have merit.  In a proactive way, the Planning Board is constantly updating the Master Plan (with resident involvement) and drafting zoning and regulation changes to meet the changing vision for the community.  All types of development cannot be anticipated, so being reactive is valuable as well.  There are a few good examples of reactive zoning changes in Barrington.  When a gravel pit was approved on Greenhill Road, residents changed zoning to prevent additional gravel pits.  When the Applegreen gas station was approved, residents changed zoning to prevent additional gas stations in the stratified drift aquifer.  When the 80 units on Route 9 (behind Irving) were approved, residents changed zoning to prevent such dense residential development

See: Who decides land use rules, how can I get involved?