Zoning Board of Appeals FAQ's

Commonly asked questions about variances and findings:

When can I go for a finding?
  1. When you have a non-conforming use, it may be enlarged or extended for the same purpose if the ZBA finds that the extension or enlargement is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood.
  2. When you have an existing non-conforming single-family or two-family structure with respect to setbacks or density, they may be enlarged or extended if the ZBA finds that the proposed nonconformity is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood and is appropriate in scale and mass for the neighborhood.
When is a variance necessary?
When a use or structure is conforming, applicants must demonstrate that:
  1. There are circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography of the land of structures for which they seek a variance.
  2. Such circumstances especially affect such land or structures but do not generally affect the zoning district in which the land or structures are located.
  3. Owing to such circumstances, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the by-law would involve substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the applicant.
  4. The desired relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without detracting from the purpose and intent of the Zoning By-law of the district in which the variance is being sought.
How may I appeal to the Permit Granting Authority?
An administrative appeal shall be taken within thirty (30) days from the date of the order of decision that is being appealed. Please detail the specific relief requested.