PLEASE NOTE that the Zoning Board of Appeals, in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020 has adopted the following procedures. The Board will accept applications by electronic email addressed to the Town Clerk (email@example.com). All applications must be electronic scans of the original applications that have been properly completed and signed in accordance with the requirements of the particular application. The electronic email must also include full copies of all required attachments. The Town Clerk will confirm receipt of the application. The required filing fee must be mailed to Town Hall or placed in the lockbox at Town Hall. Notewithstanding a confirming email from the Town Clerk, an application will not be deemed filed until the application fee has been recieved. In accordance with Chapter 53, the Board will not schedule public hearings or other meetings regarding any application and all required hearing dates shall be suspended until the Termination of the State of Emergency in accordance with the provisions of Section 17 of Chapter 53.
Members of the Zoning Board of Appeals are appointed by the Selectmen. They are responsible for issuing variances and special permits in accordance with Massachusetts General Law and the By-Laws of Topsfield. Major areas of concern are variances from the: Table of Uses and Density and Dimensional Regulations in the Topsfield Zoning By-Law; the Subdivision Control By-Law.
The Zoning Board of Appeals is also responsible for 40B ComprehensivePermits, which authorize the construction of multi-unit developments, at least 25% of which are affordable under Massachusetts General Law 40B.
The Zoning Board of Appeals also hears appeals of decisions made by the Building Inspector.