Planning Board

2020 Annual Town Meeting Downtown Zoning District -
Draft Bylaw subject to Town Meeting Vote

If you have any comments on the proposed Bylaw please contact the Planning Board at

Important Information

If you are planning on beginning a project on/in a property you currently own or one you are going to purchase the best way to determine exactly what path you may be required to follow in order to have the proper permits/approvals is to consult the Building Inspector's Department early in your planning process. The Building Inspector's Office is open Monday Mornings 7:30 AM - 9 AM and Wednesday Evenings 5 PM - 7PM.
Most Applications and handouts/explanations on what is required may be found on this web page, or in the Town of Essex Bylaw Chapter VI (on home page of this web site) or in the Rules and Regulations Relative to Subdivision Control (a copy is posted on the web page).
All Applications for the Planning Board must be complete and date stamped by the Town Clerk prior to submission to the Planning Board. (There is more info about applications below)
The Scenic Roads: Belcher, Choate, Apple, Story. Inquire with Building Inspector and/or Tree Warden if you are unsure the proposed work will require a Special Permit Application. 
There are three Zoning Districts in Essex: the Central Conomo Point Zoning District, a Southern Conomo Point Zoning District and the rest of the Town is considered to be a Residential Zoning District.
The Assessor’s Office will classify a property by a Land Use Code for Tax Classification. A Classification by the Assessor does not indicate the current use is an acceptable Zoning Use. Do not assume a use may be continued when a property transfers to a new owner.
There are three Overlay Districts: the Wetlands Overlay District, the Flood Plain Overlay District, and a Water Resource Protection Overlay District. You may find more information about these Overlay Districts in Chapter VI of the Town of Essex Bylaws found on the Home Page of the Town Web Site.
If you have questions about the use of a property please contact the Building Inspector’s Department. You may also contact the Planning Board Office and/or the Assessor’s Office for more information regarding zoning and the use of a property.
For Form A/ANR Applications & Site Plan Review Applications: please submit Three (3) Copies of the Plan and One (1) Copy of  the Application Form to the Town Clerk as well as a Mylar Plan if you will need to record the plan at the Essex South Registry of Deeds.
For Special Permit Applications, Preliminary or Definitive Subdivision Plan Applications: Ten (10) Copies of the Plan and One (1) Copy of the Application Form and the Mylar to be recorded by the applicant are required.
FEES: The application fees may be found in the document to the left side of this web page and either personal checks, bank checks or money orders will be accepted; no cash or credit cards please.
QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS: If you have a question or a concern that you wish to have the Planning Board review, please submit a letter and send it to the Planning Board either via regular mail or email. The Planning Board will review the letter at the next public meeting and will respond promptly.
REQUEST TO BE ON AN AGENDA: To request to be on an agenda, please contact the Administrative Assistant.

Staff Contacts

Name Title
Mary Heeney Planning Board Administrative Assistant

Board Members

NamePositionTerm Expires
Kim Drake

Chair, and Volunteer Member of the Conomo Point Planning Committee, Chair Community Preservation Committee

May, 2024

Westley Burnham

Vice Chair, Volunteer Member of the Town Building Committee, Economic Development Committee


Samuel Sturgis Crocker V

Vice Clerk

May, 2023

Dexter Doane

Board Member

May, 2020

William French

Board Member

May, 2021

Matthew Greco

Board Member

May, 2022

Michael McConnell


May, 2023