Pre-Development Consultation

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What is a Pre-Development Consultation?

Interdepartmental Review Team (IRT) meetings are regularly scheduled pre-development consultations, held virtually, that are offered free of charge. IRT meetings are designed to assist developers and landowners in the pre-development stages of potential and proposed projects with questions relating to permitting processes, zoning compliance, engineering standards and land use policy considerations. Meetings are available by appointment to anyone with a proposed development, large or small, residential, commercial, institutional or industrial at any stage of the development.

To schedule an IRT meeting, you need to have a specific address and proposal, along with at least preliminary site plans.

Note: These informative but informal meetings and are not a substitute for any required administrative reviews or necessary Board/Commission approval.

Meeting Request Summary & FAQs

Have a Question?

  • Common reasons for scheduling an IRT meeting may include, but are not limited to the following:

    1. IRT Meetings are not required, but are encouraged, especially for large or complex projects.
    2. If you or your representatives have questions regarding the City's permitting process.
    3. If your development has specific engineering issues or questions.
    4. If your development requires one or more Board/Commission approvals and you have questions regarding what information staff and/or the Board will require or recommend be submitted.
    1. Zoning compliance of a proposal with respect to use, and dimensional requirements (e.g., setbacks, and off-street parking requirements).
    2. Policies regarding landscaping, open space, lighting, buffers to abutting properties, etc.
    3. Public safety provisions in site design such as Fire Department access to structures, fire hydrants, signage etc.
    4. Stormwater management requirements, wetlands protection and erosion controls.
    5. Proposed curb cuts, parking layout, vehicular and pedestrian circulation on a site.
    6. Sewer, water and drain connections requirements.
    7. ADA compliance.
    8. Zoning district change considerations.
    9. Requirements for developments in local historic districts or those involving historically listed properties.
  • The key review staff members present at the meetings review submitted plans and regularly advise Boards/Commissions (Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Commission, Historic Commission and the License Commission) on issues such as drainage, utility connections, proximity to wetlands, compliance with Zoning Ordinance's dimensional requirements, landscaping, parking requirements and more. Representative generally include staff from Planning, Building & Zoning, Conservation, Historical, Housing, Fire, DPW, Transportation and Engineering. Site search assistance may be available for certain projects/ businesses through the Economic Development Department.

  • Attendees are welcome to bring engineers, architects, attorneys, etc. to discuss the proposal. The more detailed the plans, renderings and project concept, and the more specific the questions, the more responsive and helpful staff can be. Staff recommends including the following in your application:

    1. visual representation of your site, a plot plan, a site plan, rendering or elevations of any existing or proposed buildings, etc;
    2. a description of the proposal;
    3. a list of questions for the staff members with respect to land use considerations and permitting process.
  • To schedule an IRT meeting, contact Planning & Regulatory Services Division (DPRS) at City Hall, 445 Main Street, Room 404 or by calling 508-799-1400 ext. 31440 or emailing

    1. IRT meetings are held virtually on Thursdays between 2 - 4 p.m. and are ±30 minutes in length.
    2. Project representatives are expected to give a brief presentation/description of their proposal, followed by staff review comments.

Contact Information

Planning & Regulatory Services
City Hall Room 404
455 Main Street
Worcester, MA 01608

Accessible via WRTA Bus Line. View Schedules

Phone: 508-799-1400
Fax: 508-799-1406
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Office Hours:
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

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Worcester 311
Monday - Friday
8 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Phone: 311
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