File a Petition

How to Petition

An individual may petition the City Council on a wide range of topics including the condition of streets and sidewalks, street lighting, public safety, housing, zoning, taxation, traffic, parking and many others. The deadline for filing a petition is 4:15 p.m. on the Thursday preceding each Tuesday Council meeting.

Online Petition Form

Alternatively, you may continue to use the following PDF form. Include your contact information and send along to the email address, mailing address or fax number on this page.

How do I complete the Petition Form? - View Example

Zoning Petitions

Petitions relative to zone changes are subject to General Law - Part I, Title VII, Chapter 40A, Section 5, which may be amended from time to time. As a result, the process petitions of that nature follow may vary slightly from more traditional requests.

To file a zoning petition, the petition must be submitted through any of the following means:

  1. City Council - City Council may bring forth a zone change request, should they determine the appropriateness of such a request at any time.
  2. Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and Planning Board (PB) - The ZBA and PB are both permitted to submit petitions relative to zone changes.
  3. Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC) - This entity may submit a request.
  4. Owner and Registered Voter Petition - The landowner(s) of any property affected by the proposed change, or ten (10) registered voters in the City are allowed to petition for such a zone change.

There is no fee associated with filing a zoning petition, and petitions must be submitted within the traditional deadline for all petitions, which is 4:15 p.m. on the Thursday preceding each Tuesday Council meeting.

Once submitted to the City Clerk's Office, the petition is subject to the following timelines and processes:

  1. City Council, upon receipt of a zone change petition, refers the item to PB for a public hearing.
  2. Once received, PB has sixty-five (65) days to hold a public hearing relative to the petition.
  3. Upon the completion of PB’s hearing, the board is allotted twenty-one (21) days to submit their recommendation to City Council, which may be to support, oppose or amend the petition. After the twenty-one (21) period passed, if the PB has not reported to the City Council, the City Council has the authority to proceed without the PB's report.
  4. City Council's assigned Standing Committee for zoning amendments, which in most cases is its Economic Development Committee, is also required to hold a hearing to listen to testimony from all interested parties. At the conclusion of its hearing, the Standing Committee, similarly to the PB, provides City Council with its recommendation on the petition.
  5. Once all previous actions are completed, the City Council must vote on the final recommendation within ninety (90) days, or a new hearing must take place. There is an advertisement period of at least ten (10) days before final ordination of the item, should it be acted upon favorably.

Persons submitting zone change requests are encouraged to work directly with the Department of Planning and Regulatory Services on their petition prior to its submission to ensure the requested actions are consistent with their desired outcomes, either by visiting their office located in Room 404 of City Hall at 455 Main Street, calling their office at 508-799-1400 or emailing planning@worcesterma.gov.

Types of Zoning Amendments

The City of Worcester Zoning Ordinances are divided into both maps and text, both of which are and can be amended from time to time.

  1. Map Amendments are petitioned to change the boundaries of a zoning district, the zoning designation of a district or create a new overlay district or planned unit development district.
  2. Text Amendments change the language in one or more articles of the Zoning Ordinance. This could include adding new regulations, removing existing regulations or modifying existing regulations.

Honorary Street Naming Petitions

According to Section 11A of Chapter 12 of the Revised Ordinances of 2008, any petition for an Honorary Street Name Designation is also completed through the City Council. In order to begin the process for designating a street name in honor of a person or group, please review and complete the below PDF and submit the form to the City Clerk's Office for processing.

Application Ordinance

Meeting Schedule

Generally, the City Council meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 6:30 p.m. in the Council Chamber on the third floor of City Hall. During the summer months of July and August, the City Council generally meets three times.

Meeting Schedule

How will I know what is going on? Can I make a comment?

City Council, School Committee and City of Worcester Boards and Commission meetings are generally all open to the public and interested individuals are encouraged to attend. The following guide will help you participate.

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Contact Information

City Clerk
City Hall Room 206
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-1121
Fax: 508-799-1194
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8:45 a.m. - 5 p.m.
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8:45 a.m. - 4:15 p.m.

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