Take Action


Is there a problem or issue you feel strongly about? Write your Town Councilors, the Planning Board, and the Zoning Board:
Contact information follows.

The purpose of the town's zoning ordinances are declared to be the promotion of the public health, safety, convenience and welfare by:
  1. encouraging the most appropriate use of land;
  2. preventing overcrowding of land;
  3. conserving the value of land and buildings, including the conserving of natural resources and the preventing of blight and polluting of the environment;
  4. lessening congestion of traffic including, but not limited to, providing adequate operating area for bicycles and secure bicycle parking;
  5. preventing undue concentration of population;
  6. providing for adequate light and air;
  7. reducing hazards from fire and other dangers;
  8. assisting in the economical provisions of transportation, water, sewerage, schools, parks and other public facilities;
  9. encouraging housing for persons of all income levels;
  10. preserving and increasing the amenities of the Town; and
  11. giving effect to policies of the Watertown Master/Comprehensive Plan or other adopted land use plans that currently apply and may from time to time be amended, and to applicable policies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts that currently apply and may from time to time be amended.

Here are the criteria that they must use in making the decision to grant a special permit:

The Board of Appeals shall not approve any such application unless it finds that in its judgment all of the following conditions are met:

  1. The specific site is an appropriate location for such a use, structure or condition;
  2. The use as developed will not adversely affect the neighborhood;
  3. There will be no nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians;
  4. Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use.

When calling, writing, or emailing, please try to address these points.  Here are some of our thoughts around these conditions.  Feel free to use them.

Zoning Board of Appeals

  • Melissa Santucci, Chairman
    3 Melville Terrace
    Watertown, MA  02472-2550
  • Deborah Elliott, Clerk
    591 Main Street
    Watertown, MA  02472-2120
  • David Ferris, Full Member
    19 Hillcrest Circle
    Watertown, MA  02472-1473
  • Suneeth John, Full Member
    3 Reption Circle, Apt 3410
    Watertown, MA  02472-2445
  • Christopher H. Heep, Alternate Member
    39 Pearl Street
    Watertown, MA  02472-3829

Planning Board

While the Zoning Board makes the official decision about special permits, the Planning Board makes recommendations about whether or not special permits should be granted.  The planning board can also consider the bigger picture - like how a proposed project fits in with the long-range plan.  You may want to reference the town's Strategic Framework for Economic Development (pdf) when writing to the Planning Board.

The members of the planning board are:

  • John B. Hawes Jr., Chairman
  • Jeffrey W. Brown
  • Linda Tuttle-Barletta
  • Fergal Brennock
  • Neal Corbett

The following people are listed as contacts for the planning board on the town's website:

Planning Board
Town Hall Administration Building
149 Main Street
Watertown, MA 02472
PH (617) 972-6417
Fx  (617) 972-6484

Watertown Town Councilors

We are striving to get a position statement on Walmart from each of the councilors and will keep you posted on any action you can take based on that information. There's also an article in the Watertown Tab that tries to find out where they stand.

Meanwhile, we strongly urge you to contact the Planning Board and your own district town councilor, all at-large councilors and Council President Mark Sideris to ask them to do whatever they can to oppose Walmart in Watertown.

Their email addresses are:


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