The Planning Department was established in 1973 when the Town Council created the position of Town Planner to assist the Planning Board in the review of subdivision and development proposals. Since that time, the Town has had a professional planning staff on a continuous basis. As the Town has grown, the complexity of planning issues has developed to the point where planning decisions are involved in a wide range of topics and initiatives other than the traditional review of subdivisions. The Planning Department’s role has grown to include the development and management of the Comprehensive Plan, review and recommendations on amendments to the Zoning Ordinance and Map, the administration of the CDBG Program, Open Space acquisition recommendations as well as policy development and support services for the Town Council, Town Manager Planning Board, Historic District Commission, Conservation Commission, Economic Development Committee and Affordable Housing Collaborative Committee. In 1997 the Department established a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide accurate geographic information about the town to the Town government and its citizens. The Planning Department now has three full-time professional planners and a full-time GIS administrator plus one full-time and one part-time secretary.
The Planning Department is located on the first floor of Town Hall, 180 High Street, Wakefield, RI. The public is encouraged to call or visit the Department to research issues or to ask questions on any relevant topic. All current development proposals are available for public review during office hours. Copies of plans and reports can be made upon request. Please refer to the GIS web page for a list of services as well as GIS maps and data that are available for purchase.
For a more detailed discussion please call for an appointment to speak to any of the Planning Department staff. Please call 789-9331 Ext. 1244 to speak to the Department‘s Planning Associate.