Planning and Community Development

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Department of Planning & Community Development
                 413-967-9648 x120
                 Director: Rob Watchilla
      Assistant: Alex Ziter

Address: 126 Main Street, Ware, MA  01082

Contact the PCD Department if you have questions or concerns. 

FEES:  All application fees and fees associated with public records requests must be paid by check or money order. We are unable to accept cash.
Rules and Regulations of the Planning Board

Local Rapid Response Program
Funded by the state, the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission has been working with the Town to understand how the Town has been impacted by Covid and make plans to help the Town recover. 

Water Filtration Plant Information

Opportunity Zone
Please reach out to the PCD Department to learn more about Ware's Opportunity Zone. 

Small Business Grant 
Microenterprise Assistance Grant for businesses adversely impacted by the pandemic. If you businesses has been negatively impacted by the pandemic, you could be eligible for up to $25,000. 

Main Street Improvement Project
This state funded will be completed by Winter 2021. Click here for information on available parking, plans of the project, and timeline of construction.

Housing Rehab Program

Community Development Block Grant funded program to assist low to moderate income homeowners in making necessary repairs to their homes. If you need to make improvements to eliminate building code violations, eliminate unsafe or unhealthy conditions, improve weatherization or undertake other necessary improvements to improve the quality of your living conditions. 

Ware Regional Recovery Center. 
Spearheaded by the Quaboag Hills Substance Use Alliance and using a peer-driven community approach: Learn more about the ongoing project by clicking the link above. WRRC  Planning meetings occur the 1st Wednesday of the month 9:30-11:30am. The Ware Regional Recovery Center (WRRC) is committed to being a safe and welcoming space to cultivate recovery, support families and bring together the growing recovery community in the region. 

Complete Streets
A Complete Street is one that provides safe and accessible travel alternatives for all modes – walking, biking, transit, and motorized vehicles. Complete Streets designs contribute towards safety, health, and economic vitality that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and ability. Having multimodal options to travel between home, work, schools, recreation, and retail destinations are essential in promoting more livable communities.

Duties & Responsibilities:
The Planning and Community Development department is responsible for performing studies and preparing plans related to land use and development of the town, (including the Master Plan); to draft regulations which carry out those plans, and to administer said regulations (see the CD page for more on those efforts). The department includes, among others, the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals. 


         Planning Board Members            
Title   Term Expiration
Josh Kusnierz  Chairman  2022
Richard Starodoj               Vice Chairman                2026
Joseph Knight  Clerk  2023
Ed Murphy, III    2024
Kenneth Crosby    2025
Elizabeth Hancock Alternate  June 30, 2022



Zoning Board of Appeals Members  Title  Term Expiration June 30th 
 Lewis Iadarola  Chairman  2024
 Jodi Chartier                 Vice Chairman                2022
 Chuck Dowd    2023
 Greg Eaton    2023
 Phil Hamel    2023
 David Skoczylas  Alternate  2024
 George Staiti  Alternate  2022

The Planning Board is responsible for the administration of the Subdivision Regulations under the purview of ML ac 41 §81 AK to GG as well as all site plan applications and most of the special permits required under the Zoning Bylaw. The Board is responsible for creating and updating the town’s master plan; and they usually take the lead in updating the zoning bylaw as well. The Board also participates in other planning activities in town, such as the Open Space & Recreation Plan, redevelopment planning, and neighborhood planning. Finally, the Board provides advice on the development of the town or on specific proposals when requested by other boards and commissions. The Planning Board meets on the first and third Thursday starting in 2020 of each month at 7:00 PM in the Selectmen's Meeting Room at Ware Town Hall (please check postings for current dates and cancellations).


The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is a quasi-judicial body which operates under the authority of Chapter 40A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, convenience, and general welfare of the Town of Ware. The ZBA reviews requests for variances submitted by applicants who want an exemption to the local zoning bylaw in order to use their land in a particular way. The ZBA may be asked to review requests submitted by residents or business owners who are aggrieved by a decision made by the Building Commissioner or the Planning Board. The ZBA reviews requests for Comprehensive Permits submitted under Chapter 40B by developers who wish to create affordable housing. The Zoning Board of Appeals meets when necessary on the fourth Wednesday of every month at 7:00 PM in the Selectmen's Meeting Room at Ware Town Hall (please check postings for current dates and cancellations).

Zoning Districts:
R           Rural 
RR        Rural Residential
SR         Suburban Residential
BLR      Beaver Lake Residential
DTR     Downtown Residential
RBI       Residential Business
DC        Downtown Commercial
MY        Mill Yard
HC        Highway Commercial
CIA       Commercial Industrial
I             Industrial