Sam Cleaves, AICP

Principal Planner

Department: Environment
Phone: 617-933-0748


Sam Cleaves, AICP, Senior Regional Planner at MAPC, has been with MAPC since 2000. He works in projects involving both land use and environmental planning. Mr. Cleaves acts as a lead project planner in MAPC’s Hazard Mitigation Program and is currently working with the communities of Chelsea, Everett and Malden to update their Natural Hazard Mitigation Plans. Also as an environmental planner, he has been actively engaged in helping communities plan and implement clean energy options. His current area of focus has been in the area of climate adaptation, particularly sea level rise mitigation strategies. Mr. Cleaves currently serves on the Gloucester Clean Energy Commission, is member of the Great Marsh Coalition and serves on the Board of Commissioners for the Essex National Heritage Commission.

He also coordinates the activities of the North Shore Task Force, providing planning and technical assistance to sixteen cities and towns north of Boston. His other current projects include acting as the lead project planner for the Salem Bridge Street Neck Rezoning effort and as the lead planner for the Swampscott Downtown Visioning project.

Mr. Cleaves has extensive and wide-ranging experience in helping communities plan effectively. Environmental projects have included drafting open space and residential design ordinances, stormwater management bylaws and regulations, water conservation plans, and conducting low impact development analysis for many communities. During his first three years at MAPC, he also served as the Boston area Stormwater Coordinator for the Massachusetts Bays Program.

He was also one of the principal authors of MAPC’s Low Impact Development Toolkit, focusing primarily on water reuse in the region and also led a ten community effort to look at the opportunities for siting municipally-owned wind turbines in the North Shore area. In land use projects, Mr. Cleaves’ most recent projects include being project lead for the Boston and Main Streets Salem/Peabody Corridor as well as serving as the project lead in the town of Danvers’ effort to create mixed use neighborhoods in former industrially zoned areas.

Prior to coming to MAPC, Mr. Cleaves served as the Planning Director for the City of Gloucester and as its Environmental Planner previous to that. He began his planning career in the Massachusetts Bays Program, serving as Program Coordinator for Salem 2000, now Salem Sound Coastwatch.

Mr. Cleaves has a Master of Science in Resource Management and Administration from Antioch New England Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Thought and Political Economy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Areas of Expertise: Water resources and stormwater remediation; energy and resource management planning; natural hazard planning, sustainable community development and climate adaptation.