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Doing Business in Westwood

The Town has prepared a Development Guide to outline the various types of permits a project may require. Copies of the Development Guide are available at Town Hall (580 High Street) and in the Department of Community & Economic Development (50 Carby Street) or by calling 781-767-6344. Copies of Westwood's Zoning Bylaw and  the town's General Bylaw and Charter and are also available at these locations.

A commercial development or redevelopment project often involves a number of different permits or approvals.  Staff of the Economic Development Division, Nora Loughnane and Karyn Flynn can assist business and property owners in navigating the approval permitting process and working with the individual permitting divisions.

Below are several examples of the types of permits and approvals that might be required:

  • A change of use, building addition, exterior alteration (excluding signs), or parking lot expansion usually requires site plan review by the Planning Board. Contact Town Planner Abigail McCabe for more information.  
  • Most of the University Avenue and High Street commercial properties fall within the town's Water Resource Protection Overlay District. Any development within this area must comply with the WRPOD section of the Zoning Bylaw and with Zoning Board of Appeals special permit requirements.  Contact Zoning Agent Sarah Bouchard for more information.
  • Board of Health permit is required for any food service or cafeteria use, septic or other wastewater disposal system. Board of Health approval is also required for the use and/or storage of hazardous materials. Contact Health Director Linda Shea for more information.
  • The Building Division should be contacted regarding any interior or exterior construction or renovation project, including electrical, mechanical and plumbing.  Any change in use of a commercial space, even without renovation, requires an occupancy permit from the Building Commissioner.   Contact Building Assistant Susanne Hogan for more information.
  • Westwood's Zoning Bylaw  regulates the size, location, design, and number of signs allowed for each business establishment. Contact Building Commissioner Joe Doyle for further information.
  • The Fire Department requires an inspection of sprinklers and fire alarm upon change of occupants. All new businesses should contact Deputy Chief Rich Cerullo for more information.
  • The Conservation Commission regulates all work within 100 feet of a wetland as defined by the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and the town's Wetlands Protection Bylaw. Many types of development are prohibited in those areas, and those that are allowed will require an Order of Conditions from the Conservation Commission. Contact Conservation Agent Karon Catrone for further information.
  • Any work within a public way owned and maintained by the Town, including utility work and temporary occupation during construction, requires a permit from the Department of Public Works.  Telephone: 781-320-1037.
  • The Dedham Westwood Water District provides water to the town. New development projects will need a water connection permit. Telephone: 781-329-7090.
  • New businesses are required to register with the Town Clerk. Contact town Clerk Dottie Powers for more information.