Here’s a handy listing of all town government committees, helping you understand what group does what and where to learn more about how they operate. Meeting agendas aren’t always easy to find, so I’ve also built a handy meeting tracker for some key committees. This is a long list! Remember, I’m always happy to incorporate suggestions to make this listing easier to understand. All data here is derived from the official town website.

Town Boards Indexed By Topic


All Town Boards

Select Board

Select Board Duties

The Select Board is comprised of five residents who are elected for three-year terms. The Board adopts Town policies, and reviews and sets fiscal guidelines for the annual operating budget and capital improvement programs. The Board also determines CDBG money disbursements and issues Town Meeting Warrants. The Select Board holds public hearings on important Town issues, and oversees traffic and parking issues.
The Select Board appoints a Town Manager responsible for the daily management of the Town. The Manager’s powers are specified in the Town Manager Act. The Select Board approves the Town Manager’s appointments of most official boards and commissions.

Parking Sub-Committee

The Select Board oversees traffic and parking issues. The parking sub-committee meets as needed regarding parking issues/requests, then reports recommendations to the Select Board for vote at a meeting. These meetings are posted with regular Select Board meetings. The current members include: Diane M. Mahon, Marie A. Krepelka, Corey Rateau, and Adam Chapdelaine.

Committee members are: Elected for 3 years
Committee appoints: Town Manager, Comptroller, many other town employees and various boards/committees

Redevelopment Board

About the Arlington Redevelopment Board

The Arlington Redevelopment Board (ARB) is the Town’s Planning Board, under M.G.L. Chapter 41 § 81. There are five members of the Board. Four are appointed by the Town Manager and the fifth is a gubernatorial designee appointed by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development.
The Board serves as the Town’s special permit granting authority for projects which require an Environmental Design Review (EDR) as identified in the Zoning Bylaw . The ARB is also the Town’s Urban Renewal Authority under M.G.L. Chapter 121; with Town Meeting approval, the Board may hold land or buildings to improve and rehabilitate them to meet community development goals. The ARB currently manages three properties: the Central School at 20 Academy Street, 23 Maple Street, and the Jefferson Cutter House at 611 Massachusetts Avenue, which includes Whittemore Park. Building tenants include the Senior Center, Town departments, and nonprofit organizations.
The Board typically meets the first and third Monday of each month at 7:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Annex, Second Floor Conference Room. View past ARB Meetings on ACMi .

Remote Operations During COVID-19 Response

In accordance withChapter 53 of the acts of 2020, An Act to Address Challenges Faced by Municipalities and State Authorities Resulting from COVID-19 , signed on April 3, 2020, specifically Section 17 regarding permitting, reviews, and meetings, the Department is transitioning to accepting all applications and application materials electronically. We will continue to process Special Permit applications by email to the Board administrator.
Original Environmental Design Review Special Permit applications with the application fee can be mailed to Town Hall, Arlington Redevelopment Board c/o Department of Planning and Community Development, 730 Massachusetts Avenue, Arlington, MA 02476. A PDF format with a copy of the application fee should be emailed . A confirmation of the application received and a receipt for fees paid will be emailed to the applicant. All applications will be emailed to the Clerk’s Office and posted on the Town’s website. Abutters notices will continue to be mailed. Decisions will also be mailed. Application reviews will also continue, including permits already in progress and under review by the Board.
The Redevelopment Board will continue meeting virtually consistent within orders issued by the Governor regarding permitting, application reviews, and public meetings/ hearings. Zoom software is being used for virtual meetings. The meeting is recorded by Zoom and will also be recorded and run by ACMi at a later date. Meeting rules will be outlined by the chair at the start of each meeting.

2020 Annual Town Meeting

In response to COVID-19, the 2020 Annual Town Meeting will be postponedper the Town Moderator in a statement released March 24, 2020.
Legal Notice appearing in Arlington Advocate on February 13 and 20, 2020
Draft Zoning Bylaw Amendments for 2020 Annual Town Meeting, February 13, 2020 , including those submitted by the ARB and citizen petitioners.
Prior to the Town’s response to the COVID-19 state of emergency, the ARB held a public hearing on March 2 on the following articles:
Article 34: Clarification of Definition of Mixed UseArticle 28: Conversion of Commercial to ResidentialArticle 34: Parking Reductions in the B3 and B5 DistrictsArticle 35: Reduction of Parking Requirements in the B3 or B5 Zoning DistrictsArticle 36: Parking Regulations
Materials are posted to the ARB’s Agendas and Minutes page.

Rules and Regulations

On August 6, 2018, the Board adopted Rules and Regulations intended to provide a source of reference to members of the Board and interested citizens, to assure the orderly conduct at the meetings of the Board, and to provide the most efficient use of the Board and staff’s time by describing filing deadlines and submittal requirements.

Guidance Documents

Committee members are: Appointed by Town Manager

Board of Assessors

The Board of Assessors is composed of three members who are elected for 3-year terms. The mission of the Board of Assessors is to assess all property in the Town of Arlington in a fair, equitable and consistent manner in accordance with the laws, rules, and regulations of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the requirements and guidelines of the Department of Revenue.

  • To assess all property at its full and fair cash value as of January 1 of each year and to employ valuation methods and techniques appropriate for each class of property
  • To maintain public records necessary to administer the taxes of the Town of Arlington and to objectively review the petitions and concerns of aggrieved taxpayers
  • To promote the fair and equal treatment of all taxpayers in the Town of Arlington in the administration of the property tax, motor vehicle excise tax, and all exemptions related to such taxes.

The Board of Assessors meets on an as needed basis, typically once or twice monthly.
Assessors Office

Committee members are: Elected for 3 years

School Committee

The School Committee sets policies for public schools in Arlington. It votes on the school budget (the budget belongs to the school committee), the superintendent manages the budget under the committee’s oversight. The school committee hires, supervises, and evaluates the superintendent.

Subcommittees Within the Arlington School Committee, there are six standing subcommittees that are appointed by the chair and remain in place until mid-May of each year or until new committees are appointed or reappointed. Subcommittees meet 5-8 times per year (generally between October - June.) Subcommittee Chairs report at each Regular School Committee meeting on the subcommittee’s work.


  • Budget - Kirsi Allison-Ampe, (Chair) Len Kardon, Jennifer Susse
  • Policies & Procedures - Paul Schlichtman (Chair), Jane Morgan, Kirsi Allison-Ampe
  • Curriculum, Instruction, Assessment & Accountability - Jane Morgan, (Chair), Paul Schlichtman, Jeff Thielman
  • Community Relations - Jennifer Susse (Chair), Jeff Thielman, Jane Morgan
  • Facilities - Bill Hayner (Chair), Kirsi Allison-Ampe
  • Warrant Committee - Bill Hayner
  • Legal Services - Bill Hayner, Chair, Jeff Thielman

There are also over a dozen community liasons appointed to various other town groups or boards.

Committee members are: Elected for 3 years
Committee appoints: School Superintendent
Committee Budget Information1

Finance Committee

The Arlington Finance Committee (FinCom) is a standing committee of the Town Meeting. Its purpose is to recommend a vote to Town Meeting on the Town budget and all articles that require an appropriation. The FinCom reviews each department’s budget in detail and holds hearings on Town Meeting appropriation articles. In conjunction with the Town Manager, the Budget and Revenue Task Force, and other Town offices, the FinCom integrates revenue and expense projections to present a balanced budget to Town Meeting.
Hearings are usually held in the O’Neill Room, 2nd floor, Community Safety. On Town Meeting nights, they are held in the second-floor hearing room, Town Hall. Agendas, minutes, and upcoming meetings can be found on this page. Only the approved minutes are posted.

Committee members are: Appointed for 3 years by a group consisting of: Chair, Town Moderator, and Chair of the Board of Trust Fund Commissioners
Committee Budget Information1

Capital Planning Committee


This committee assists the Town Manager annually in the preparation of a capital improvement program. The Committee makes recommendations on capital expenditure requests from Town boards and departments. The capital program and recommendations become an integral part of the Finance Committee’s budget report to Town Meeting.


9 Members for 3 year terms

Meeting Times

Generally weekly from October to April and as needed. Meetings are usually held in the Town Hall Annex on the second floor in the Town Manager’s conference room. All agendas are subject to change until the scheduled meeting begins. To find meeting notices and agendas, if any, click on the calendar.

Committee members are: Committee is Town Manager, Superintendent, Treasurer, Comptroller (or designees); plus one member of Finance Committee; plus four to six registered voters appointed by Town Moderator

Bicycle Advisory Committee

Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee

The Arlington Bicycle Advisory Committee (ABAC) was appointed by the Select Board in 1996 to advise the Town on local bicycling conditions. The all-volunteer committee promotes all forms of safe bicycling on town roadways and the Minuteman Bikeway — from recreational riding to using the bicycle for transportation and errands.

ABAC meetings

ABAC meets monthly to discuss bicycle-related topics and issues in Town (usually on the third Wednesday night of the month). ABAC meetings are posted in advance and open to the public. To receive occasional announcements and updates by e-mail, sign up for our mailing list .
ABAC Rules of Governance
ABAC Website

Supported by a Recreational Trails Grant from the State Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Bikeway communities of Arlington, Lexington and Bedford worked to create a new map of the Minuteman Commuter Bikeway, and contracted with Toole Design Group to help plan for the Bikeway’s future as an amenity that preserves its historical and natural characteristics and also enhances its use as a recreational and commuter way. Access the final report and recommendations byclicking here .

Arlington Bicycle Parking Guidelines

The Arlington Bicycle Parking Guidelines is an illustrated handbook that clarifies the Town’s general, short-, and long-term bike parking requirements. The Guidelines illustrate the location and design of bike parking. The Guidelines also include recommendations and best practices for installing safe, secure, and usable bike parking in a variety of circumstances. Selecting good locations and equipment for bicycle parking can help maximize ridership and increase safety and security for riders.

Get Involved

You can get involved with ABAC in a number of ways:

Board of Health

The mission of the Arlington Board of Health is to protect the public health of the Town of Arlington through enforcement of health codes and regulations while promoting a healthy community.

The Board of Health and Health Department, two distinct but inter-connected entities, are charged with protecting and safeguarding the public and environmental health of the Town of Arlington. The Board of Health is a statutory board comprised of three community members at large appointed by the Town Manager for three year terms. One member of the Board of Health must be a physician, and a chairperson is elected annually. The Health Department is a professionally staffed office within the Town of Arlington’s Department of Health and Human Services consisting of a Director, administrative staff, and health inspectors (Health Compliance Officers).
The Board of Health holds monthly public meetings and conducts public hearings as necessary; often times the Board functions in a quasi-judicial manner to adjudicate hearings for health code violations. Generally speaking, the Board adopts Regulations that provide protections beyond the minimum standards outlined in the Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L.)and State Sanitary Code (codified in the Code of Massachusetts Regulations, C.M.R.) and sets town-wide policy related to important health issues, while the Health Department handles day-to-day procedural operations, administrative duties, and executes the various health laws and regulations. The Health Department may also be delegated as the enforcing authority for Town bylaws passed by Town Meeting, the municipal equivalent of the legislature. The Health Department, in broad terms, also works to prevent and control communicable diseases and promote a healthy community, among other things.

The Board, through the Health Department, provides inspectional services aimed at protecting the public and environmental health. Such inspectional service resources are directed at retail food safety, safe and sanitary housing, recreational camps for children, bathing beaches, public and semi-public swimming pools, tanning facilities, bodyart, bodywork, hazardous waste disposal etc. The Board, also through its Health Department, provides various vaccinations to the community, the most popular of which are flu and pneumonia vaccines.

The Board of Health and Health Department are funded primarily by the Town of Arlington’s operating budget, which is comprised mainly of funds obtained from local property taxes, but is augmented by local aid from the State of Massachusetts. The Health Department also periodically receives grant funding, mostly from the Federal government, for specific projects or topics of interest. In addition to the funding sources described above, the Health Department generates revenue by charging permit fees which offset the cost of delivering the aforementioned inspectional services.

Committee members are: Appointed by Town Manager

Board of Youth Services

Board History

The Youth Services Board of Arlington was established by town warrant in the 1970s in response to concerns about the wellbeing of children, youth and family in our community. The original charge of the group was to support and promote activities and projects that ensure healthy youth development, services when needed, and opportunities to celebrate and engage Arlington’s young people. Over the years, the Board of Youth Services (BYS) has been involved in several initiatives that have become town traditions that continue to exist today, such as Town Day, the Arlington High School’s Last Blast, Thanksgiving Basket food drive, and Holiday Help. The BYS has maintained a steadfast commitment to this mission, with an active community presence for the past five decades.

In recent years, the Arlington Y

The BYS is comprised of 11 committed volunteers, each of whom brings unique professional experiences and interests, and who share a passion for and commitment to children and to the Town of Arlington. BYS openings and official notices are posted on the town website. Interested community members are encouraged to apply to be considered for membership. Appointed members are confirmed by the Select Board for renewable,

For more information about AYCC visit Arlington Youth Counseling Center (AYCC)

Budget & Revenue Task Force

The Select Board at a meeting held on May 4, 1981 voted to establish a Budget Revenue Task Force as part of the strategy to deal with the Proposition 2 1/2, to coordinate budget issues and recommendations to improve communications relative to various revenue matters. The Task Force consists of the Chairman of the Select Board or his designee, the Town Treasurer or his designee; the Chairman of the Finance Committee or his designee; the Chairman of the School Committee or his designee; the Superintendent of Schools and the Town Manager or his designee.
The Task Force meets prior to any Budget recommendations to discuss and examine the actual funds available. The intent would be to communicate accurate figures to all Boards and Officers to be used as a basis for financial decisions.

Cable Advisory Committee

Mission Statement

Members appointed by Select Board, pursuant to Federal and State Cable Television Regulations to assist them with Cable Television licensing and renewal negotiations and any other cable television related issues referred by the Select Board.

Current Licensing & Contracts

The Comcast license expires in July 25, 2016, RCN’s expires September 10, 2016, and Verizon’s expires March 26, 2017. The contract withArlington Community Media Inc . (ACMi) was renewed on July 16, 2012 for four years.
Comcast Compliance Audit
Municipal and Licensing information

CDBG Subcommittee

The Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) subcommittee is composed of two members of the Select Board, the Town Manager, the Director of Planning and Community Development, and the Community Development Program Manager. The subcommittee prepares and recommends to the full Select Board a preliminary budget of the Town’s annual Community Development Block Grant allocations for Board approval.

2020-2021 Community Development Block Grant

The CDBG Subcommittee will meet on February 7, 2020, and February 13, 2020, to discuss the submitted applications for the 2020-2021 program year.
View the 2020-2021 CDBG Applications
2020-2021 CDBG Evaluation Criteria and Blank Scoring Sheet

Cemetery Commission

Article 46 of the Town Meeting of 1919 asked the town to accept sections 21 to 25 inclusive chapter 78 of the revised laws of Mass. Relating to the election and establishment of boards of cemetery commissioners. The next article sought the vote of the town in electing a board of commissioners. The next article sought the vote of the town in electing a board of cemetery commissioners consisting of three persons. They set forth the Rules and Regulations for Mt. Pleasant Cemetery and the Old Burying Ground. Cemetery Commission meetings are held in the Mt. Pleasant Cemetery Chapel on the second Wednesday of each month at 9 a.m. The public is welcome. Please check the event calendar to the right for upcoming meetings.
Perhaps the site that offers us the greatest tangible reminder of this past is the Old Burying Ground, tucked away behind the First Parish Unitarian Church in the center of town. It is here that the names and stories of generations past are etched in stone. Early Puritan settlers had been living and working in the village of Menotomy for almost 100 years before a burying place was designated in 1724.
By the 1840s lack of space in the Old Burying Ground forced the town to establish a new cemetery. The new cemetery (named Mount Pleasant in 1846) was dedicated on June 14, 1843 by the Reverend David Damon, pastor of the Congregational Society. Shortly after the dedication, he suffered an attack of apoplexy and died just days later. Ironically, he was the first person interred in the new cemetery he had dedicated.

Monthly Cemetery Statistics

Central School Feasibility Study Committee

The 2014 and 2015 Annual Town Meetings voted to approve the Capital Planning Committee’s funding recommendations withregard to conducting a feasibility/space study at the Central School. Specifically, the goal of the study would be to further informthe Capital Planning Committee of both options and costs associated with renovating the main floor for the purposes of providing21st Century senior and community center space.The Committee will be charged with reviewing proposals and interviewing firms interested in conducting the Feasibility Study forthe main floor of the Central School. The Committee will make a recommendation on which firm to select based on the qualityand relevance of the proposals and interviews. Once a firm is selected, the Committee will work with the firm throughout thefeasibility phase and will be expected to consider the cost/benefits of the options that are presented within the final report. TheCommittee will begin meeting in July and should be prepared to make final recommendations to the Capital Planning Committeein the fall. The expectation is that the Committee will meet twice a month.The Committee should include stakeholders that will have varying degrees of input throughout the initial stages of feasibilitythrough actual design and construction. The composition of the Committee should include individuals with expertise in seniorservices, design and construction and finance. I request that the ARB consider that the Committee’s membership includes thefollowing:• Member of the Arlington Redevelopment Board• Director of Planning & Community Development• Deputy Town Manager• Health & Human Services Director• Director of Facilities• Council on Aging Executive Director• Member of the Council on Aging• Member of the Arlington Senior Association• Member of the Permanent Town Building Committee• 2 Members of the Capital Planning Committee

Clean Energy Future Committee

The Select Board voted on July 16, 2018 to establish a Clean Energy Future Committee (CEFC). The mission of the CEFC is to guide the Town of Arlington to a future where, by 2050, net emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases attributable to all sources in Town are zero. The Committee shall identify short and long-term energy goals; facilitate research studies, projects and collaborations; enlist the support of residents and businesses; recommend changes to laws and regulations; seek state and local funding; and take any other actions necessary for Arlington to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Net Zero Planning

The CEFC is currently developing a Net Zero Plan to guide Arlington to net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. Work began in early 2019 and the final plan is scheduled for completion by December 31, 2020. Arlington is partnering with the City of Melrose, Town of Natick and the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) on a joint project to develop greenhouse gas inventories and net zero plans for all three communities. Further details on this joint planning project are available onMAPC’s website , or by contacting Arlington Energy Manager Ken Pruitt at 781-316-3428 .

Proposed Prohibition on Fossil Fuel Infrastructure in New Construction and Major Renovations

The CEFC supports a prohibition on fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and major renovations because it would help Arlington achieve the Town’s goal of reducing carbon pollution to net zero by 2050. A major focus of the Net Zero Plan being developed by the CEFC (see above on this page) is to reduce or eliminate the combustion of carbon-intensive fossil fuels for heating and transportation. The CEFC, in concert with Sustainable Arlington and Mothers Out Front, is advocating for a new Town bylaw that would prohibit fossil fuel infrastructure in new construction and major renovations. The bylaw is being modeled on a similar measure adopted by Brookline’s Town Meeting in November 2019, and available on theTown of Brookline’s website (it is Article 21)
It is anticipated that this measure will be on the warrant for an upcoming Town Meeting, but the exact timing is unknown due to the COVID-19 pandemic. A public information session on this warrant article was held on Thursday February 27.ACMi recorded the information session, and the recording is now available on their website.
There are effective and affordable alternatives to heating systems fueled by natural gas, oil or propane. Modern cold climate heat pumps provide both heating and cooling without on-site combustion of fossil fuels. They can heat both small and large spaces, as well as domestic hot water. For example, Arlington’s new High School will be heated exclusively with heat pumps. More information on heat pumps and other clean heating technologies is available atArlington’s HeatSmart campaign website .
For more information on the proposed bylaw, contact Ken Pruitt, Energy Manager, at 781-316-3428 .

Commission for Arts & Culture (ACAC) (includes Arlington Cultural Council and Arlington Public Art)

You can visit the Arlington Commission for Arts and Culture at .
Town Meeting established a thirteen-member Cultural Commission which shall consist of Town residents, twelve appointed by the Town Manager, one by the School Committee.
The Commission shall promote and develop arts and culture programs, events, and resources, in order to create a sustainable and vibrant arts scene that engages and attracts artists, residents, businesses and visitors.
You can view the full Town Meeting description of this Commissionhere .

Community Preservation Committee (CPAC)

2021 Final CPA Application

Community Preservation Act Committee

Arlington voters approved adoption of the Community Preservation Act (CPA) in November 2014 with the Act to begin funding in FY2016. The Town of Arlington began collecting surcharge revenue on the August 3, 2015 tax bills and will continue collection on a quarterly basis.The act will raise an estimated $1.5 million in funding annually via a tax surcharge and state funds that are designated for major public investments in open space and outdoor recreational facilities, affordable housing, and historic preservation. The Community Preservation Act Committee, required by the CPA under MGL Chapter 44B, and formed by Town Meeting, is tasked with evaluating Arlington’s needs in those three specific areas and making recommendations to Town Meeting on how CPA funding should be spent.The committee consists of nine volunteers, including four members from the general public and a member from each of the following bodies: the Redevelopment Board, the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, the Parks and Recreation Commission, and the Housing Authority. Committee members serve three-year terms, but initial appointments to the committee have been staggered to (1) one-year term position, two (2) two-year term positions, and one (1) three-year term position.

Community Preservation Act Committee Reports to Town Meeting

2019 Report to Town Meeting (updated 4/24 to include images)2018 Report to Town Meeting 2017 Report to Town Meeting 2016 Report to Special Town Meeting

For more information on CPA Legislation, click here. For more information on Arlington’s CPA Bylaw, click here. To view the Department of Revenue’s CPA Allowable Spending Chart, click here. More information about the CPA surcharge can be found on theAssessor’s CPA page .

Conservation Commission

The Arlington Conservation
Conservation Commissioners work to ensure that all construction and development projects (residential, municipal, and commercial) that may alter any wetlands, floodplains, rivers, streams, ponds and/or lakes are in permitted compliance with state and local wetland regulations. The Conservation Commission also protects and manages the Town’s Conservation Lands.
If you have questions about the environmental resource areas that fall under the Commission’s jurisdiction, please review theLiving in Environmental Resource Areas guide. Any work within 100 feet of a wetland, lake, or pond, within 200 feet of a river or stream, or within the 100-year floodplain must receive prior approval from the Commission. Not sure if your property is within conservation jurisdiction? Refer to the Town’s interactivewetlands and floodplain map to determine if your project needs conservation approval.The Conservation Commission usually meets the first and third Thursdays of each month in the 2nd floor conference room, Town Hall Annex, 730 Massachusetts Avenue, beginning at 7:30 p.m. Meetings are open to the public and agendas for meetings are posted on the Town Website.A description of meeting agenda items as well as corresponding rules is available to assist those attending a Commission meetings. Corresponding Minutes can be viewed along with the Agenda on the Minutes and Agenda section of our webpage. Information for filing an application for such approval (a Request for Determination of Applicability, Notice of Intent/Abbreviated Notice of Intent, or other) can be found here,Filing Instructions . Please review these documents and if you have further questions contact us at 781-316-3012
Powers and Duties

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a wetland?

Legally, the term wetland includes not only what we typically think of as wetlands, such as streams, ponds, and cattail marshes, but also areas such as wet meadows, red maple swamps, and intermittent streams that may be dry for a significant portion of the year. The technical definitions may be found in the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and its accompanying regulations, and for the most part are based on the occurrence of surface water and/or the abundance of specific wetland plants.

What is a floodplain?

A floodplain is an area that experiences surface flooding during storms. Two types of floodplain areas are protected under the state act. The more common areas are those bordering streams or ponds that flood during the 100-year statistical storm, which is the worst storm that can be expected to occur, on average, once every 100 years. The less common areas are isolated depressions that flood at least once a year to an average depth of 6” and to a volume of one-quarter acre-foot (10,890 cubic feet).

What activities are regulated in wetlands and floodplains?

Under the law, no one may “remove, fill, dredge, or alter” any wetland, any floodplain, or any land within 100 feet of a wetland without a permit from the Arlington Conservation Commission. The term “alter” is defined to include any destruction of vegetation, any change in drainage characteristics or flow patterns, or any change in the water table. Examples of activities requiring a permit include construction of a house, garage, shed, patio, or porch, filling to enlarge a backyard, installation of drainage ditches, and vegetation removal.

Why are wetlands and floodplains so important?

Wetlands are afforded legal protection because they play an important role in environmental quality through: (1) protecting the groundwater and the private and public water supply; (2) controlling pollution by acting as a filter for removing sediments, nutrients, and other pollutants from runoff; (3) reducing storm and flood damage by providing areas to retain and store water; and (4) acting as habitat for fish and wildlife.
Floodplains are protected because they provide storage for floodwaters during storms. Any alteration to the land that reduces this storage capacity will displace floodwaters and cause greater flooding elsewhere.

Committee members are: Appointed by Town Manager

Cyrus E. Dallin Museum Trustees

Cyrus E. Dallin Art Museum Mission Statement

The Museum’s mission is to collect, preserve, protect, and exhibit the works of Cyrus E. Dallin and to educate the community about Cyrus E. Dallin. Visit the Cyrus E. Dallin Website

Disability Commission

View Arlington’ Self- Evaluation and Transition Plan (20MB PDF)


The Disability Commission provides information, referral, guidance, and technical assistance to insure that people with physical, sensory, cognitive, and other disabilities have equal access to Town facilities, services, and programs.The Commission consists of nine Commissioners, all volunteers

Statutory Authority

DISABILITY COMMISSION BYLAWS ARTICLE IIThe purpose of this organization is to:
Act as a centralizing force in the Town of Arlington by providing information, referral, guidance, coordination, and technical assistance to public and private agencies, individuals, organizations and institutions engaged in activities and programs intended to eliminate discrimination against persons with disabilities.
Assist the Town and its citizens in bringing about full integration and participation of people with disabilities in the Town of Arlington through the following activities:

Envision Arlington Committee

Welcome to our new page and our new name. Vision 2020 changed its name to Envision Arlington in 2018, but we are still the same volunteers with the same overall mission. Task Groups include: Business, Communication, Community & Citizen Service, Culture & Recreation, Diversity, Education, Environment, Fiscal Resources, and Governance, which include the following Reservoir Committee, Spy Pond Committee, and Sustainable Arlington.

Diversity Task Group

We are a group of Arlington residents who are committed to making our town inclusive, fostering awareness, community, and action, and creating safe spaces where all voices are welcome. (Part of Envision Arlington)

Reservior Committee

The Reservoir Committee of the Vision 2020 Environmental Task Group is a group of concerned citizens working to solve the Reservoir’s problems. The Committee meets on the third Tuesday of the month in the Arlington Town Hall Annex. Anyone with an interest in the Reservoir is welcome to participate. (Part of Envision Arlington)

Sustainable Arlington

Sustainable Arlington acts on a local level to promote climate stabilization and other important environmental goals. Meets monthly. (Part of Envision Arlington)

Spy Pond Committee

As an official Committee of Envision Arlington, the Spy Pond Committee is charged with addressing and helping to solve the problems and challenges faced by Spy Pond. The group has been active since 1994. The goals of the Committee are simple - make Spy Pond a better and healthier place for people and wildlife. (Part of Envision Arlington)

Fiscal Resources Task Group

The Fiscal Resources Task Group (FRTG) is part of Envision Arlington (formerly Vision 2020) and was created in the early 1990’s by an act of Town Meeting and while the group’s membership has changed over the years, the FRTG has been active continuously since then. (Part of Envision Arlington)

Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee

Mission Statement

The Town of Arlington recognizes its legal obligation and moral responsibility to provide Equal Employment Opportunity to its employees and potential employees.The Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee, a volunteer committee appointed by the Town Manager, is committed to the Equal Opportunity program to prevent discriminatory employment practices. The Committee assists the Town in implementing its Equal Opportunity Plan that creates the mechanism and sets the standards by which Equal Opportunity will be assured.The Committee received and reviewed monthly reports from the Director of Personnel/Equal Opportunity Officer regarding the Town’s hires. The principal focus of the Committee is to ensure that people of all races and ethnic backgrounds are given equal opportunity to apply for and receive positions of employment with the Town of Arlington.The Committee continues to try to increase the number of minority and female applicants for positions of employment by posting positions in publications that serve different minority communities in the area. The Committee is always seeking new ways to improve outreach and welcomes input from any party who may have an idea about how to move forward in this goal.The Committee closely monitors all construction projects of over $200,000 to ensure that the Contractor and all sub-contractors are making a good faith effort to be in compliance with minority participation goals of the State and Town. The Committee spearheaded the passage of a five percent female participation goal in town construction projects at the 1999 Annual Town Meeting and continues to be very concerned about the low rate of female participation on past projects.The Equal Opportunity Advisory Committee (EOAC) ordinarily meets at 7:30 P.M. on the second Wednesday of each month in the Town Hall Annex. These meetings are open to the public and attendance is encouraged.Any person interested in the issue of Equal Opportunity Employment is encouraged to contact the Equal Opportunity Officer at (781) 316-3121 .

Human Resources Department Equal Opportunity Brochure Equal Opportunity Plan

Heights Neighborhood Action Plan Implementation Committee

The Arlington Heights Neighborhood Action Plan Implementation Committee will oversee implementation of theArlington Heights Neighborhood Action Plan (AHNAP) , including recommendations related to zoning, design standards, parking, wayfinding, streetscape improvements, placemaking at the MBTA-owned Arlington Heights Busway, and other local regulations.Key recommendations of the AHNAP are as follow:
To support the development of the Implementation Plan, two community forums were held on May 23, 2018 and October 4, 2018. The presentations for both of the Arlington Heights community forums are available to review: May 23, 2018 Presentation and October 4, 2018 Presentation . Additional details and summaries from the forums are documented in the Action Plan.

High School Building Committee

The Town has been accepted into the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) process for the renovation/reconstruction of Arlington High School. Acceptance by the MSBA ensures that the state, via the MSBA, provides significant financial assistance to the project.
View the Arlington High School Building Project website for project history, current status, and future project updates.

Historic Districts Commission


The Historic Districts Act, MGL Chapter 40C was created to protect and preserve the historic resources of the Commonwealth through a local review system that encourages and ensures compatible improvement and development. Over 100 communities across the Commonwealth have enacted local historic districts to protect their historic resources and ensure the preservation of the character of their community.
Arlington has seven established local historic districts that include over 300 properties that the community has recognized as unique resources worthy of protection. The seven districts are: Avon Place, Broadway, Central Street, Jason/Gray, Mount Gilboa/Crescent Hill, Pleasant Street, and Russell. The Arlington Historic District Commissions are required by law to review the architectural appropriateness of most proposed exterior design changes, whether they be a minor alteration, new additions, or removal of trim or structures. The commissions consist of qualified volunteers appointed by the Select Board. Each commission also includes a property owner or resident of each district, an architect, a real estate professional, and a representative from the Arlington Historical Society.
Please note that the AHDC has jurisdiction of all properties located within a designated local historic district. In addition to the seven local historic districts, a number of individual properties outside of the districts have been designated by Arlington as being historically and/or architecturally significant. These individual properties outside the historic districts are overseen by the Arlington Historical Commission, not the Historic Districts Commissions.

Arlington Historic Districts Bylaw Application for Certificate Design Guidelines Historic District Inventory Listing Article 23: Enlargement of the Pleasant Street Historic District (PDF 4.1M) Oak Knoll Final Report (pdf) Arlington Historical Commission

Historical Commission


The Arlington Historical Commission (AHC) was established in 1970 to preserve and protect significant buildings within the Town that constitute or reflect distinctive features of the architectural, cultural, political, economic or social history of the Town. This work is described in the Town of Arlington Bylaws, Title VI, Article 6.
The Commission is an advocate for historic preservation in Arlington, including working for historic preservation in planning and development for the community. The Commission maintains an inventory of historically and/or architecturally significant properties. It also administers the demolition -delay bylaw through formal public hearings and informal meetings with owners of inventoried properties. The Commission works with Town agencies on the maintenance and restoration of various town-owned historical buildings and gardens, including the Whittemore Robbins House and its outbuildings, the Winfield Robbins Memorial Gardens, The Town Hall and grounds, 23 Maple Street, and the Jarvis House at 50 Pleasant Street.
The Commission meets the first Tuesday of each month at the Whittemore Robbins House. All meetings are open to the public.
Only minutes the Historical Commission has approved are posted. All agendas, posted on the calendar, are subject to change until the scheduled meeting begins. The commission has an office in the Whittemore-Robbins House.
Arlington Historical Commission Historic Structures Inventory

Homelessness Task Force

The task force shall conduct its studies and make a recommendation to the Town Manager and all appropriate Town Department Heads and Commissions with the goal of preparing proposals for a town meeting warrant, if appropriate. The task force will work with the Somerville Homeless Coalition to develop feasible tools to balance support of the unsheltered with the health and safety of the community at large.

Housing Plan Implementation Committee

TheHousing Production Plan (HPP) was adopted by the Arlington Redevelopment Board and Select Board in summer of 2016. The Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development approved the HPP on November 7, 2016.
In October 2015, the Town of Arlington engaged the Metropolitan Area Planning Council (MAPC) to facilitate this work in conjunction with a Housing Plan Advisory Committee and the Department of Planning and Community Development (DPCD). The primary purpose of the resulting plan is to position the Town of first and foremost better meet local market-rate and affordable housing needs and demand, and in doing so work towards the Chapter 40B 10% statutory minimum. Towards that end, the Housing Production Plan consists of three major components: a housing needs and demand assessment; an analysis of development constraints, capacity, and opportunities in town; and an implementation plan consisting of housing goals and strategies to achieve them.
The Housing Plan Implementation Committee (HPIC), formerly the Housing Plan Advisory Committee, was created by the Arlington Redevelopment Board on March 6, 2017. The Committee is tasked with implementing the HPP.

2020 Activities

The HPIC is currently working on advancing a Town Bylaw amendment to create a municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund. A warrant article has been submitted for the 2020 Annual Town Meeting. Additional materials will be made available here as the bylaw amendment is developed.A great resource to learn about municipal Affordable Housing Trust Fund’s is the Massachusetts Housing Partnership’s Guidebook on Trusts.
Members of the HPIC are also investigating the possibility of establishing a Real Estate Transfer Fee. There are many details that need to be discussed and the HPIC continues those conversations at their regularly scheduled meetings.

2018 Activities

The HPIC and DPCD thanks Pam Hallett of the Housing Corporation of Arlington, Chris Kluchman of the Massachusetts Housing Choice Initiative, Dana LeWinter of the Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association, and Susan Connelly of the Massachusetts Housing Partnership for being panelists at the Housing Forum held on June 14, 2018, at the Arlington Senior Center. The four panelists presented information on the crucial need to increase housing production in Arlington and the greater Boston area as well as various tools and strategies that Arlington could use to achieve the goals outlined in the Housing Production Plan.View the presentation from June 14 .

Human Rights Commission


The Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC) was created by Town Meeting in 1993 to advance issues related to the fair and equal treatment of individuals and to create a mechanism for addressing complaints arising out of these issues. The mission of the AHRC is to work individually and collaboratively with other groups in our community to celebrate the ever-changing tapestry of our Town, and to emphasize through educational outreach the danger of intolerance at every level.The Commission usually meets on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at the Jefferson Cutter House.AHRC Powers & Duties Discrimination Complaint Form Visit the Human Rights Commission Website

Human Rights Commission, Response Coordination Team

Arlington has as its mission to be a warm and welcoming community to all. Occasionally this mission is tested by human rights violations and/or a hate crime that may be directed at the whole community*. When Town leaders speak in unison, it sends a clear message to those who have been targeted that they are valued members of our community and that hate will not be tolerated. A unified response also helps dissolve confusion and misinformation while reinstituting calm.
In order to provide a unified voice, a Response Coordination Team (RCT) has been formed under the auspices of the Arlington Human Rights Commission (AHRC). The RCT is chaired by the AHRC and is comprised of the Chief of Police, the Superintendent of Schools, the Town Public Information Officer, and representatives of the School Committee, Selectmen, the Diversity Task Group of Vision 2020, and local clergy.
In the event that a human rights violation affects the community at large, the RCT will convene in a timely manner to determine a course of unified action with the goal of preserving civil discourse and behavior in the Arlington community:
The work of the RCT is but one vehicle the Town uses for addressing human rights violations. Many Town-based groups provide an array of services including educational forums, supporting the schools in addressing related issues, and ensure fair housing and employment practices.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of a human rights violation, please refer to the Hate Crimes Resource Guide at, or contact the Arlington Human Rights Commission at 781-316-3250 .

  • Hate Crime: “Hate crime is the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religious, sexual orientation, or disability. The purveyors of hate use explosives, arson, weapons, vandalism, physical violence, and verbal threats of violence to instill fear in their victims, leaving them vulnerable to more attacks and feeling alienated, helpless, suspicious and fearful.” (U.S. Department of Justice Website on Hate Crimes)

  • Human Rights: “Human rights are rights inherent to all human beings, whatever our nationality, place of residence, sex, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, language, or any other status. We are all equally entitled to our human rights without discrimination. These rights are all interrelated, interdependent and indivisible.” (United Nations Human Rights,

Information Technology Advisory Committee (ITAC)

Only minutes the Information Technology Advisory Committee has approved are posted.
Meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month in the second floor conference room, Town Hall annex. If an agenda is provided, it is posted on the calendar under the date.
Information Technology Department Five-Year Plan FY2003-FY2008

Lake Street / Bikeway Intersection Design Review Committee

View 75% Design Plans Select Board requested the formation of a Design Review Committee that will include members of DPW, APD, TAC, Walking in Arlington and ABAC to oversee the engineering design of a coordinate traffic signal for the Lake Street/Bike Path intersection and the Lake Street/Brooks Ave. intersection.The Committee has been tasked to review pertinent issues associated with the implementation of a coordinated traffic signal system for the intersections, including signal phasing/timing, user detection, interconnection requirements and multimodal access requirements. The Committee shall also perform designer selection, provide opportunities for public input and coordinate technical issues associated for the project with a goal of improving the safety, accessibility and level of service improvements for the Lake Street Corridor.

LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission

Visit the Commission website where they post upcoming Pride events and activities.Sign up to receive email notices from the Commission. In 2017, Town Meeting established an LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission to promote equality-affirming policies regarding the full spectrum of sexual orientations and gender identities, and to bring greater visibility and empowerment to the LGBTQIA+ population through education, advocacy, and collaboration with other Town agencies, schools, and community groups. Read Article 15 and subsequent vote.
2018 LGBTQIA+ Rainbow Commission Annual Report

Library Board of Trustees

The Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, shall appoint a Board of Library Trustees to consist of seven suitably qualified persons. One of said persons shall be appointed for a term of one year, two for a term of two years, and four for a term of three years; and annually thereafter there shall be appointed by the Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, a member for a term of three years in the place of the member whose term is to expire. The members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified. If for any reason a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Board of Library Trustees, the vacancy shall be filled forthwith by the Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, for the unexpired term. Upon the appointment and qualification of the members of the Board of Trustees as provided in this section the terms of office of the then existing Board of Library Trustees shall terminate. The Board of Library Trustees appointed hereunder shall organize for the proper conduct of their duties and shall possess all the powers and rights and be subject to the duties and liabilities conferred or imposed by law upon boards of library trustees of towns, but in the performance of their duties they shall be subject to the general supervision and direction of the Town Manager. They shall have administration of all library trust funds. They shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties by the Town Clerk or a Justice of the Peace.

Local Emergency Planning Committee

To better prepare for any disaster, the Town of Arlington has established a Local Emergency Planning Committee consisting of: a citizen chairman; the Director of Emergency Management; (who also serves as Chief of the Arlington Fire Department) the Deputy Chief of the Arlington Fire Department; the Director of the Arlington Board of Health; the Chairman of the Arlington Select Board; the Editor of the local newspaper; the Director of the Department of Public Works; and a Captain from the Arlington Police Department; Auxiliary Fire/Explorer Post; an Elementary School Principal. The Local Emergency Planning Committee meets on a monthly basis to review emergency plans and discuss plans for all-hazard emergencies.term is not on pageWorking diligently over the past two years to become state certified the LEPC has met the requirements for “start-up” certification last year and “provisional” certification this year. The ultimate goal is to receive “full” certification within the next two years.. These certifications entitle local emergency planning committees’ for state funded grants. A grant to begin Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) was received this year.#### New Threats
In recent years, Arlington has been host to many types of disasters including hurricanes, winter blizzards, floods, hazardous material spills, mass casualty incidents as well as terrorism incidents such as the anthrax scare and general terror threats. When disaster strikes whether it be natural or man made, accidental or intentional, the first people to respond are typically the police, fire and emergency medical workers. The new threats of biological, chemical and nuclear terrorism have the emergency personnel within the Town of Arlington training for these new threats.#### News
The LEPC just received its Provisional Certification from the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.

Long Range Planning Committee

The Long Range Planning Committee is an advisory group to the Town Manager that periodically reviews revenue and expenditure forecasts in the Town’s five year Long Range Plan. Its members discuss the financial impacts of annual increases in Town Departments, the School Department, and other expenditure budgets and of revenue forecast assumptions. Its members track the balance and use of the Town’s Override Stabilization Fund and analyze the timing and size of possible future tax override votes. The membership includes representatives from the Select Board, Finance Committee, School Committee, Capital Planning Committee, the Town Manager, School Superintendent, Town Treasurer/Collector, Town Comptroller, and other staff. The presidents of the Town and School unions are invited to all meetings. The Committee was established in 2004 in preparation for an operating override that year. The Committee meets, as needed, when the budget is being developed each fall and winter.

Master Plan Advisory Committee

An eleven-member Master Plan Advisory Committee has been chosen to work with the Redevelopment Board, Planning Department, Selectmen, Arlington residents, property owners and a master plan consultant to develop a long-term visionary blue print of action steps for guiding land use and re-development in Arlington.
The Committee and the community worked for about 2.5 years to develop the Town’s Master Plan, participating in more than 50 public meetings. The Master Plan was accepted by the Arlington Redevelopment Board (ARB) in February 2015, and was endorsed by the Annual Town Meeting in May 2015. The work of the Committee is completed, and the group disbanded on May 28, 2015.
For more information on Arlington’s Master Plan please visit theMaster Plan Webpage

Master Plan Implementation Committee (Residential Study Group, Zoning Bylaw Working Group, Mill Brook Corridor Study Group, and Historic and Cultural Resources Working Group)

Master Plan Implementation Committee

The Master Plan Implementation Committee (MPIC) was formed by the Arlington Redevelopment Board in September, 2015, to implement the recommendations of the , adopted by the Redevelopment Board (Arlington’s Planning Board) on February 4, 2015, and endorsed by Town Meeting on May 11, 2015.
The MPIC meets quarterly to review theImplementation Table . The Implementation Table is organized into actions that are in progress, ongoing activities, annual reporting activities, activities to be assigned or reassessed, actions on hold indefinitely, and completed actions. The Lead Entity and any support is identified, the Approximate Timeline is noted as is whether Town Meeting action is required. Finally, necessary resources and status is noted.
Contact Erin Zwirko for any questions about the Master Plan Implementation Committee at 781-316-3091 or at

Town Meeting Report

MPIC’s 2019 Report to Town Meeting

MPIC Subcommittees

The MPIC has formed a number of subcommittees to advance recommendations in the Master Plan. These are:

Historic and Cultural Resources Working Group

This group will create an action plan and advance the Master Plan strategies related to the Town’s Historic and Cultural Resource Areas.

Mill Brook Corridor Study Group

This group will look at past studies of the Mill Brook Corridor, and take the next steps toward their implementation. The Mill Brook was recognized in the Master Plan as a “hidden gem [with the] potential to spawn transformative change”.#### Residential Study Group
Following a resolution of the 2016 Annual Town Meeting, the Residential Study Group was formed to recommend revisions to the Zoning Bylaw that address concern for neighbor impacts of new residential construction in established neighborhoods.

Zoning Bylaw Working Group

Following the recodification of the Arlington Zoning Bylaw (ZBL), the Zoning Bylaw Working Group will review and propose amendments to the ZBL as identified through the Master Plan and the recodification processes.

Zoning Recodification Group

This group oversaw the completion of a comprehensive zoning update. The recodified Arlington Zoning Bylaw (ZBL) was updated and revised to be clearer, internally consistent, reflective of the Master Plan, and in compliance with M.G.L. Chapter 40A and current case law. The recodified ZBL was adopted by Special Town Meeting on February 12, 2018 and approved by the Attorney General in June 2018.

Minuteman Bikeway 25th Anniversary Committee

The year, 2017, marks the 25th anniversary of the completion of the Donald R. Marquis Minuteman Bikeway. In honor of this special milestone, Arlington’s Select Board established the Minuteman Bikeway 25th Anniversary Committee, which coordinated/created a series of celebratory events and items.

  • Presentation by Alan McClennen, Arlington’s Director of Planning and Community Development from 1974 to 2003. The presentation focused on the development of the bikeway from conception to opening, and then on Mr. McClennen’s related experiences during his final years with the Town.
  • Lecture by Dr. Stuart Brorson, President of the Arlington Historical Society. The lecture was entitled, Before the Bike Path: The Lexington and West Cambridge Railroad.
  • Wild Edibles Bikeway Walk. The walk was led by Pam Kristan, an experienced forager who has led many such walks in the Boston area. Attendees learned how to identify edible species; where, when, and how much to harvest; and how to prepare findings.

  • Minuteman Bikeway 25th Anniversary T-Shirt. To purchase, please contact Nat Strosberg, Senior Planner:
  • Bikeway Photo Share. An online forum for sharing photos of the bikeway. To contribute to the photo share, please send digital photos at the highest possible resolution to, and include your name as you would like to be credited. Photos are displayed here.

Below are links to videos about the bikeway:

  • ACMI Bikeway 25th Series – First Installment
  • History of the Bikeway (from McClennen Lecture)

Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness

In June 2017, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs awarded the Town of Arlington a Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness (MVP) Planning Grant in the amount of $23,000 to complete a community resilience planning process to address the impacts of climate change. The grant allowed the Town to examine its strengths and vulnerabilities, as well as identify priority resilience-building actions. The grant process was coordinated by the Municipal Vulnerability Preparedness core group composed of Town Officials, business leaders, and community members, and was led by Department of Planning and Community Development staff.

Open Space Committee

The Open Space Committee (OSC) is a volunteer committee appointed by the Town Manager, with approval by the Select Board. The OSC is responsible for preparing and monitoring the Town’s Open Space and Recreation Plan, and the updated Plan for 2015-2022 is posted on this page.

Take A Walk

Welcome to Arlington’s Take A Walk project. To encourage residents to get outside and walk to Arlington’s diverse parks and recreational facilities, the Open Space Committee has developed a set of seven suggested and overlapping walking routes across town. The maps indicate safe walking distances linking open spaces, conservation lands, playing fields, playgrounds, and other points of interest.
Atown-wide ma p shows all seven routes, or you can download or print any of theneighborhood maps - East Arlington North, East Arlington South, Arlington Center South, Arlington Heights South, Arlington Heights North, Arlington Center North, and Arlington Center Central.

Mill Brook Rediscovered

In conjunction with the exhibit “A Brook Runs Through It: Arlington’s Mill Brook Legacy”, Arlington resident Glenn Litton wrote, directed, and produced a short video “Mill Brook Rediscovered”. The exhibit was organized by and shown at the Old Schwamb Mill in Arlington Heights between September 2018 and June 2019. The exhibit and video document nearly 400 years of activity along the brook, from the first water-powered grist mill at what is now Cooke’s Hollow through centuries of changing land uses to a look at the corridor today.
An adapted version of the exhibit will be shown in the Town Hall Gallery, second floor, during the spring of 2020. Dates will be announced prior to the opening.

Experiencing Arlington’s Open Spaces

This application presents an interactive inventory of Arlington’s open spaces. It is intended to work in concert with the 2015 - 2022 Open Space and Recreation Plan. Arlington’s natural environment is a precious and limited resource that has been difficult to acquire and maintain, and it needs to be protected ardently. Get acquainted with Arlington’s open spaces through this application so you can go out and explore these places for yourself.

ACMi Interviews Open Space Committee Members

As part of its series, “Million Dollar Gift,” ACMi’s James Milan interviewed three members of the Open Space Committee in a set of half-hour videos. The series celebrates and quantifies the contribution of volunteers on Arlington’s committees and their impact on the community. Milan also interviewed John Ellis of the Tree Committee.View all four videos.
In Part 1 Ann LeRoyer, chair of the Arlington Open Space Committee, describes the work of the committee as one of many groups concerned about local open space and recreational resources. She explains the role of the Open Space and Recreation Plan , currently covering the years 2015-2022, as a policy and planning document for the Town.
Part 2 focuses on John Pickle, a scientist, educator, and member of the Open Space Committee, who founded a unique program called Picture Post, whereby citizens can take pictures at designated locations as a way to track natural changes over time. John has installed several posts, with instructions, at sites around Menotomy Rocks Park and the Arlington Reservoir, and expects to posts at other locations in the future.
Part 3 features Kelsey Cowen and a discussion of the Committee’s Take A Walk project, a relatively new effort to create safe and comfortable walking routes linking open spaces and other interesting sites all around town. The first routes focused on East Arlington, and other routes are being expanded through all neighborhoods. Watch for additional maps to be posted on this website.

Picture Post

Picture Post was founded in 2004 in Arlington by John Pickle and other members of the Friends of Menotomy Rocks Park. Picture Post is now part of Digital Earth Watch (DEW), a citizen science initiative developed with support from NASA to create opportunities for people to collaborate on environmental monitoring projects by sharing digital photographs from Picture Post sites.The database is housed at the University of New Hampshire.
Take your digital camera or phone when you walk around Menotomy Rocks Park and the Arlington Reservoir, find the posts, and follow the instructions attached to them. Watch for announcements of additional locations planned for Spy Pond Park, the Minuteman Bikeway, and other sites. If you want to help with the installation of additional posts, or for more information, contact John Pickle (
Photographing Changes Around Arlington Reservoir , by John Pickle
Picture Post September 2017 Newsletter , featuring Picture Post and Co-founder John Pickle recounts the beginning and how Picture Posts help shape his view of environmental change.

Statutory Authority

Voted at Town Meeting April 22, 1996: That the Open Space Committee be appointed by the Town Manager subject to the approval of the Select Board. Selection of members shall be consistent with the goals and objectives of the Arlington Open Space Committee and Recreation Plan. The Open Space Committee shall recommend to each future Town Meeting the goals and objectives in Section 8 and implement the Action Plans proposed in Section 9 of the Open Space and Recreation Plan as well as such other action plans as the committee shall from time to time propose to Town Meeting.
Committee members include representatives of the Park and Recreation Commission, Conservation Commission, Arlington Redevelopment Board, Vision 2020, and Department of Public Works, as well as several interested citizens. The committee generally meets on the fourth Thursday of the month at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall Annex.
Contact: Emily Sullivan, Environmental Planner/Conservation Agent, Department of Planning & Community Development, 781-316-3012

Park & Recreation Commission


View Current Recreation Projects

Experiencing Arlington’s Open Space and Recreation Areas

This application presents an interactive inventory of Arlington’s open spaces. It is intended to work in concert with the 2015 - 2022 Open Space and Recreation Plan. Arlington’s natural environment is a precious and limited resource that has been difficult to acquire and maintain, and it needs to be protected ardently. Get acquainted with Arlington’s open spaces through this application so you can go out and explore these places for yourself.

Parks Gift and Donation Policy Recreation Department Off-Leash Dog Information Field Use Policy

Statutory Authority

Appointment of a Park and Recreation Commission

The Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, shall appoint a Park and Recreation Commission to consist of five suitably qualified persons. One of said persons shall be appointed for a term of one year, two for a term of two years, and two for a term of three years; and annually thereafter there shall be appointed by the Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, a member for a term of three years in the place of the member whose term is to expire. The members shall serve until their successors are appointed and qualified . If for any reason a vacancy occurs in the membership of the Park and Recreation Commission, the vacancy shall be filled forthwith by the Town Manager, subject to the approval of the Select Board, for the unexpired term. Upon the appointment and qualification of the members of the Park and Recreation Commission as provided in this section the terms of office of the members of the then existing Board of Park Commissioners of the Town shall terminate. The members of the Park and Recreation Commission appointed hereunder shall organize for the proper conduct of their duties and shall possess all the powers and rights and be subject to all the duties and liabilities conferred or imposed by law upon the Board of Park Commissioners of towns, but in the performance of their duties they shall be subject to the general supervision and direction of the Town Manager. They shall be sworn to the faithful performance of their duties by the Town Clerk or by a Justice of the Peace.

Parking Advisory Committee

The Arlington Select Board has established a Parking Advisory Committee (PAC) consisting of representatives from stakeholders throughout Arlington. This group works with appropriate Town staff to make parking policy recommendations for the business and commercial areas within the town, particularly but not exclusively in Arlington Heights, Arlington Center, and East Arlington. The Committee makes recommendations to the Select Board regarding public on-street and off-street parking, freight loading and unloading in the public way, on-street public transit stops, public bicycle and low-speed vehicle parking, and drop-off/pick-up areas for taxis and rideshare services. The Committee works as a governance group to review and report to the Board on the effectiveness of current town parking regulations affecting business and commercial areas, as well as impacts on abutting residential areas. This group also plays an advisory role regarding projects supported with funds from the Arlington Center Parking Benefit District and any future parking benefits districts created, as needed.The Committee is made up of the following representatives:1. Member or designee of the Select Board2. Town Manager or designee3. Member of the Transportation Advisory Committee4. Representative from the Disability Commission5. Representative from the Chamber of Commerce6. Three (3) representatives from businesses or institutions in the above-defined areas of interest7. Three (3) residents from the areas of interest or adjacent neighborhoods8. Treasurer or designee9. Community Safety Traffic Unit of the Arlington Police Department10. Representative from the Department of Public Works11. Representative from the Department of Planning and Community Development (ex officio)
For categories #5 and #6 above, the Town Manager shall make appointments, subject to the approval of the Select Board, seeking to balance geographical representation, experience, and business and institution profiles. Terms for these six individuals shall be for three years, and initial terms of residents and business/institution representatives shall be staggered.The representative of the Department of Planning and Community Development shall serve in an ex officio capacity, with no vote. They shall be responsible for convening and conducting meetings, and for maintaining minutes and agendas, in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.

Poet Laureate Committee

ARTICLE 11POET LAUREATE OF ARLINGTON(ART. 13 – ATM - 4/30/14)Section 1. Establishment of an Honorary Poet Laureate of ArlingtonThere is hereby established for the purposes of advancing the literary arts, enriching the community, and recognizing the literary achievements of Town residents, the honorary position of Poet Laureate of Arlington.Section 2. Selection, Term and CriteriaAppointment of a Poet Laureate shall be for a term of one year, annually renewable for a total of three years based on the recommendation of a screening committee of five persons consisting of one person each designated by:(a) The Library Board of Trustees (by majority vote)(b) The Arlington School Committee (by majority vote)(c) The Arlington Commission on Arts and Culture (by majority vote)(d) Town Meeting Member (appointed by the Town Moderator)(e) The Town Manager (with advice and consent of the Select Board):and confirmed by the Select Board.This honorary position shall be voluntary. Only Arlington residents shall be considered for appointment, and any person appointed as Poet Laureate of Arlington must at all times remain an Arlington resident during their term as Poet Laureate. In the event that a Poet Laureate is no longer a resident of Arlington during their term, the honorary position shall be construed to have been constructively vacated.Section 3. Duties of the Poet LaureateThe duties of the Poet Laureate shall be to present original works of poetry, conduct readings and participate in public events and Town, public school and library programs as appropriate and practicable.

Public Memorial Committee

Section 2. Membership
The Committee shall consist of five registered voters of the Town, to be appointed by the Select Board. Two shall be appointed for a term of three years and two for a term of two years and one for a term of one year; all to serve until their respective successors are duly appointed and qualified. Thereafter, the said appointing authority to appoint annually such number of members as there are terms expiring in such year to serve for a period of three years and until their respective successors shall be duly appointed and qualified; vacancies to be filled by appointment in the same manner as original appointments for the period of the unexpired term; said Committee to choose annually from its members such officers as it shall deem advisable. No member of the Committee shall be an employee of the Town of Arlington or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Section 3. Veterans Subcommittee
The Committee shall be empowered to appoint a veterans’ subcommittee composed of one representative from each of the veterans’ organizations within the Town; said subcommittee to make recommendations of individuals to be considered by the Committee for memorialization as a result of exemplary military service.

Section 4. Other Subcommittees
The Committee shall also be empowered to appoint any other subcommittees which it deems necessary to assist in its work.

Retirement Board

Public employee retirement Administration Commission (PERAC)
Massachusetts pension Reserves Investment Management Board (PRIM)

School Enrollment Task Force

The School Enrollment Task Force was created for Town and School leaders to analyze the issues related to school enrollment space needs and to make recommendations to meet these needs.
January 2016 Public Meeting Presentation andPriority Values Chart
Documents of Interest:HMFH: Gibbs Study for Renovations (April 2016) HMFH: Ottoson Study for Addition (April 2016) HMFH Progress Update: Ottoson Study for Additions and Gibbs Study for Renovations (March 2016) HMFH Proposal - Study at the Ottoson (March 2016) HMFH Proposal - Study at the Gibbs (March 2016) Handling the School Enrollment Challenge at Ottoson (February 2016) December 2015 Update - Population Forecasts December 2015 Update - School Enrollment Forecasts Option to Redistrict 5 of 7 Elementary Schools (January 2016)Thompson-Hardy District Pros-Cons (January 2016)Thompson-Hardy District Chart (January 2016)Cost of Option to Bus One Grade From Thompson to Peirce in 2015-2016 (January 2016)Map - Enrollment Forecasts Revised (January 2016)McKibben’s Modification of the 2015 Population & Enrollment Forecasts (January 2016)Map - Town Owned Parcels Over 3 Acres Need for Elementary Classes Over the Next 5 Years APS Facilities Needs 2015-2021 School Capacity Draft Memo to School Enrollment Task Force 12.8.15 School Space Needs Analysis Draft Memo (November 2015)Enrollment Information 2015 Options for School Enrollment Growth (November 2015)School Enrollment Numbers (November 2015)HMFH Space Study (September 2015)McKibben Population and Enrollment Forecast Report (September 2015)
School Enrollment Task Force agendas will be sent to the Board of Selectmen and School Committee Agendas email lists. If you already subscribe to these lists no action is required to receive them. If you would like to receive these Agendas, please subscribe to either the Selectmen Agendas or School Committee Agendas email list .
If you would like to submit a comment to the task force, please

School Facilities Working Group

That the Town does hereby request that the School Facilities Working Group (hereafter SFWG) to fulfill thoroughly and completely its obligations to develop, maintain and communicate plans to rebuild or renovate the Stratton and Thompson Schools, as previously directed by votes under Articles 74 and 61 of the 2003 and 2004 Annual Town Meetings, respectively. Specifically, that:

  • The SFWG is charged with the duty of diligently exploring the options to complete the rebuilding projects,
  • The SFWG shall report to Town Meeting on a preferred option and at least one alternative option for completing the projects, including plans of action for each, and
  • The SFWG plans shall include timetables and sources of funding, and shall be developed with input from the Principals of the Stratton and Thompson Schools, who shall be added to the membership of the SFWG,
  • Make and clearly state all assumptions necessary to formulate these plans, identifying to the best of its ability the risks associated with each assumption,
  • Update these plans from time to time, as new information becomes available or developments affecting the plans may occur, but in any event not less than once per year, and
  • Report on these plans, including progress against them and updates to them, in writing, annually to Town Meeting beginning in 2007 and continuing until the last project has begun construction, and also to the Stratton and Thompson communities in public meetings held at each school at least once during each school year, beginning with the present 2005-06 school year and continuing at each school until its respective project has begun construction.

Stratton School Building Committee

The charge of the Stratton School Building Committee is to develop a plan for the Stratton building that provides parity with the other elementary schools. The oversight has been transferred to thePermanent Town Building Committee . Please refer to this Committee for future updates on this project.Onsite-Insight Stratton School Final Report

Sustainable Transportation Advisory Committee

Survey and Interactive Map Now Live!

The survey for Connect Arlington, the town’s Sustainable Transportation Plan, is now open! Take the Connect Arlington survey to share your input on various aspects of transportation and mobility in Arlington, including walking, bicycling, public transportation, driving, shared mobility, and micro-mobility.
The Town is also seeking more targeted feedback on locations around Arlington where there are transportation concerns. Please go to this mapping application and tell us where transportation improvements are needed.


The 2019 Annual Town Meeting approved $80,000 to fund the creation of a Sustainable Transportation Plan (STP) for the Town of Arlington: $60,000 from town funds in the DPW budget and $20,000 from the Community Development Block Grant. The STP will provide a vision for the development of the transportation system in Arlington over the next 20 years, building upon the Traffic and Circulation section of the Master Plan and its recommendations. Goals and recommendations will be developed to prioritize next steps for projects, programs, and policies to achieve this vision. It will focus on all aspects of transportation and mobility in Arlington, including walking, bicycling, public transportation, driving, shared mobility, and micro-mobility.
In January 2020, the town contracted with Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates to complete the STP, and a kick off meeting was held on January 13, 2020.Nelson Nygaard’s proposal is available to view.
As part of the development of the STP, the Town will conduct robust public outreach in the form of public forums, surveys, focus groups, and other methods.Read the Public Engagement Strategy for the plan.
Any questions related to the preparation of the Sustainable Transportation Plan can be directed to Daniel Amstutz, Senior Transportation Planner, or at 781-316-3093.

Symmes Neighborhood Advisory Committee

This committee is no longer active.
The Symmes Neighborhood Advisory Committee (SNAC) was formed by the Arlington Redevelopment Board (ARB) on 10/25/04 pursuant to an affirmative vote on a related warrant article in the Special Town Meeting in September 2004.SNAC was established to advise the ARB about neighborhood concerns relating to the Symmes redevelopment project for the duration of the project including: the special permit process, site demolition and new development construction.

Arlington 360 Project Information Site Symmes Neighbors Symmes Project (Planning Department) Communication Log

Thompson School Rebuild Subcommittee

The Thompson School opened for the 2013-2014 school year and this committee is no longer active.
Information on the2017 Thompson School Expansion may be viewed here.

Transportation Advisory Committee


On April 30, 2001, the Town of Arlington’s Select Board voted to form the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC) to assist them in suggesting inventive ways to deal with the myriad of parking, traffic and transportation issues in the Town. In the spring of 2000, Town Meeting voted to support funding for a transportation study. The TAC would also serve in an advisory capacity in conjunction with the study that is now in progress.

Charge of the Transportation Advisory Committee (TAC)

To serve as an advisory committee on matters at the direction of the Select Board.
To establish liaison relationships with the groups listed in the makeup of the committee by regularly attending meetings and communicating with the chairperson of that group. Appointed resident members will assume liaison relationships with:
Shall regularly report to the Select Board in writing and at meetings (upon request), as well as provide copies of agenda and minutes to the Board.
Shall meet first, with a representative of the Select Board present, to have an organizational meeting. At that meeting will be elected a Chairperson and a Secretary. The Chairperson shall ensure that meetings of the group are posted appropriately with the Clerk’s Office and that minutes are kept in accordance with the open meeting law. The Chairperson of the Committee shall break tie votes.
The Chairperson shall serve as the contact person for the TAC and shall communicate to the Select Board via their Chairperson or designee.
To work with the Director of Planning, Director of Public Works and Director of Police Services as an advisory committee on Town Transportation Studies.
TAC Rules for Governance (PDF)

Trust Fund (Board of Commissioners of)

The Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds manages and distributes the income of trust funds under their jurisdiction in accordance with the terms of the respective trusts. They have administration of all trust funds of the Town except those trust funds under the administration of a trustee or trustees appointed, pursuant to the terms of a trust instrument or will or pursuant to the provisions of any special law or Town by-law. The Board of Commissioners of Trust Funds does not have jurisdiction over Cemetery Trust Funds and/or Library Trust Funds. Monies of trusts under the jurisdiction of the commissioners are expended as directed by the commissioners. The board keeps records of its doings, and reports to the Town, showing the total amount of the funds, and their receipts and disbursements, and provides detail of the sources of the receipts and the purposes of any expenditure.

Tourism and Economic Development (A-TED)

The Arlington Committee on Tourism and Economic Development (A-TED), was created by the Select Board in 2010. It annually hosts an event to greet the Lancers as they re-create the rides of Revere and Dawes on Patriots Day and founded the Arlington Alive Arts Block Party, held each summer at Broadway Plaza.A-TED also manages the Visitor Information Center, located at Uncle Sam Plaza in Arlington Center. The center is open seasonally, from spring to fall, contingent upon volunteer availability and weather conditions.For more information about A-TED, tourism in Arlington, or to volunteer at the Visitor Center, please Message line: (781) 316-3366 ext. 2227Twitter: @greetriders, Menotomy’s Waiting

Tree Committee

The Arlington Tree Committee consists of members with three year terms. The Committee’s mission is to promote the protection, planting, and care of trees in Arlington and supports Arlington’s Tree Division. Meetings are held the second Wednesday of each month from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Town Hall in the Lyon’s Hearing Room.
Article 16 Tree Protection & Preservation Bylaw
Tree Construction Guidelines and Sample Plan
Contact for information:
Website for information:

Uncle Sam Committee

Monthly meetings are held on the last Tuesday of each month at 8 p.m. on the second floor of the Arlington Senior Center
The Uncle Sam Committee was created by Town Meeting in 1999 to promote the establishment of an official Uncle Sam Day on September 13 to honor Arlington’s famous native Samuel Wilson. Since that time, the Committee has broadened its scope to increase and facilitate the promotion of Arlington as the birthplace of “Uncle Sam” Wilson by active participation in local and national programs and initiatives and partnering with educational, historical, and business associations and institutions.

Veterans Council

To establish a collaborative council focused on addressing current issues related to veteran memorials, the review and development of policies pertaining to Arlington veterans along with future projects and plans to promote Arlington and their veterans.

Zero Waste Committee

Check out the Zero Waste Arlington Committee

Meet others who share your interests in a zero-waste lifestyle, let the Town know what you’d like to help make happen to reduce waste in our community, and get involved in this essential environmental, public health and local governance issues.

Overview and Mission

Current Initiatives

We’re excited to share some of the initiatives we’re working on:

  • Expanding the committee’s scope and changing our name to encompass efforts aimed at moving Arlington towards a zero-waste community.
  • Exploring ways to reduce single-use plastic waste in Arlington.
  • Supporting town efforts to increase food-scrap diversion through composting activities.
  • Educational programming at key town-wide events (e.g. Earth Day, Town Day, Feast of the East).

We welcome and need your help!

Are you passionate about reducing trash in Arlington? Do you want to learn more about how you can help? We welcome everyone in the community to get more involved, however you are able to do so.

Ways to get involved

Contact the Arlington Recycling Coordinator Charlotte Milan at or 781-316-3108 for more information.
The Town of Arlington Recycling Page contains more information on how, what and when to recycle more materials.

Zoning Board of Appeals

The ZBA hears and decides applications for special permits, petitions for variances from the terms of the zoning bylaws, site plan approvals as mandated by the zoning ordinance, and appeals from decisions of the Zoning Enforcement Officer (Building Commissioner).