Community Development & Planning

The Department of Community Development and Planning has several offices that support the Department’s role in creating a vision for the City through various long range plans and implementing those plans and programs. As noted in the Comprehensive Plan: 

“Watertown envisions a vibrant and diverse future for its community that builds upon its rich foundation of neighborhoods, culture, commercial districts, town squares, diverse street corridors, civic assets, and proximity to the Charles River and Boston. Watertown will continue to foster and strengthen community, ensuring a built environment with diverse institutions, supported schools, celebrated cultural amenities and recreational facilities that provide the cultural cohesiveness so important to the community.”, an excerpt of the approved Watertown Comprehensive Plan, adopted June 23, 2015 by Town Council.

The department implements these long range goals through Building/Inspectional Services Office, the Conservation and Preservation Office, the Planning Office, and the Zoning and Code Enforcement Office. The Department also includes the operation and maintenance of the Commanders Mansion, a historic event venue. The Department also staff’s many boards, commissions, and committees, including the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Historical Commission, Conservation Commission, Historic District Commission, the Community Preservation Commission, the Bicycle and Pedestrian Committee, and Watertown Housing Partnership. These boards and commissions have support services and staffing by department staff.


The Department Staff also serves as a representative for the city on multiple local and regional efforts including the Watertown Transportation Management Association (WTMA), Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC), Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Association of Planning Directors, the Mystic River Watershed Municipal Subcommittee, the regional HOME Consortium, and Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO), and other efforts as necessary. In addition, the Director serves as a member of the School Building Committee which is focused on renovations/rebuilding of the elementary schools and high school.

DCDP Divisions / Offices

DCDP Boards & Commissions

Plans, Projects & Studies