About the Board

The Board hears and decides four types of petitions in a reasonable, objective, honest manner in the best interest of the Town.

Special Permits

Uses allowed by special permit where community input and a review of the specific project is desired. The uses must be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the Bylaw, and may be subject to general or specific conditions set forth therein.


The Board's authority to grant a variance is limited to cases where the Board finds that owing to the circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape, or topography of the land or structures and especially affecting such, but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the Bylaw would involve substantial hardship; also desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Bylaw.


The Board acts as a quasi-judicial body and determines whether the decision or order of the Building Commissioner is legally correct. Persons aggrieved by inability to obtain a building permit or enforcement action from the Building Commissioner may appeal to the Board of Appeals within thirty (30) days of the Building Commissioner's action.

Comprehensive Permits (40B)

M.G.L. Chapter 40B enables the local Zoning Board of Appeals, in consultation with other local boards and officials, to grant a single permit to an eligible developer proposing state or federally subsidized low or moderate income housing at a density greater than allowed by local zoning. The Board may override local requirements and regulations that are inconsistent with affordable housing needs if environmental and planning concerns have been addressed.