There shall be a Town Planning Board which shall consist of seven regular members appointed by the Town Council, each for a term of three years and one alternate member appointed for a term of two years. The alternate member shall be eligible to vote in the absence of any regular member. Any vacancy during the unexpired term of an appointed member shall be filled by the Town Council for the remainder of the term. The Town Council may remove a Planning Board member after a public hearing if that member misses three consecutive meetings or 25% of the meetings during the course of one calendar year.
The Town Planning Board shall have such powers and perform such functions as are granted or assigned to it by the laws of the state and ordinances of the Town.
The powers of the Town Planning Board shall include but not be limited to the following:
It shall have made available to it the advice and services of the Public Works Department staff to assist the Town Planning Board in the performance of its functions;
It may request additional assistance for special survey work of the Town Manager or the Superintendent of Schools, who may at their discretion provide services or make departmental staff available to the Town Planning Board for such purposes;
Within its budget appropriation, it may contract with qualified consultants for such services as it may require;
It has the right to require all Town officials and officers, departments, boards and commissions to submit such data as is available and which would assist the Town Planning Board in the performance of its duties.
The duties of the Town Planning Board shall include, but not be limited to, the following:
The Town Planning Board shall serve as the governing body for the Town on all matters pertaining to planning and development of the Town. It shall keep itself informed of the plans of the state, adjoining municipalities and the School Committee that will affect the development of the Town.
The Town Planning Board shall be responsible for the development and improvement of the Town using a Comprehensive Plan. It shall continuously collect and maintain data concerning present and projected land use. It shall continuously review the existing Comprehensive Plan. A public hearing shall be held prior to the adoption of any amendment to the Comprehensive Plan by the Town Planning Board and the Town Council.
The Town Planning Board shall file an opinion with the Town Council on all proposed amendments to the Zoning Ordinance, giving due consideration to the relationship of such amendments to the Comprehensive Plan, and shall recommend to the Town Council amendments to the Zoning Ordinance wherever there is a proposed major change in or extension of land use, transportation routes, public facilities, or public utility systems. At least once every two years the Town Planning Board shall review the Zoning Ordinance and the Comprehensive Plan and make recommendations to the Town Council concerning revisions.
The Town Planning Board shall receive and act upon all applications for platting and subdivision of land within the Town.
The Town Planning Board shall report annually to the Town Council at the end of the fiscal year, summarizing the work of the preceding year and recommending plans for future development of the Town.