Zoning Board of Appeals
UPCOMING ZBA MEETINGS*
12/14/23 - 6:30 pm (Regular Monthly Meeting, The Hall at Memorial Hall Library, 2 N. Main St.)
*Meeting dates & filing deadlines for the entire year can be found in the 'ZBA Filing Fees & Filing Deadlines 2023' under 'Resources' in the lower right side of this page.
Public meeting notices are posted here: Official Public Meeting Notices and at the Town Clerk's Office at least 48 hours in advance of a meeting.
Please refer to the official public meeting notice for the date, time and location of each meeting, as they are subject to change.
REGULAR MONTHLY MEETINGS
- 1st Thursday of every month*
- 6:30 p.m.
- * Date, Time and Location are subject to change
- Verify the date, time & location of the Official Public Meeting Notice or by contacting the Town Clerk's Office
- Watch Archived ZBA Meetings
MEETING PARTICIPATION GUIDELINES
- You must state your name and address as part of the public hearing process.
- During a pubic hearing, the Chair will invite the public to ask questions, make comments & voice concern, opposition or support. If another member of the public has asked the same question or made the same comment, we respectfully request that you assist the ZBA in running an efficient meeting by refraining from repeating what has already been said.
HOW TO WATCH A ZBA MEETING (if you do not attend the in-person meeting)
- VIEW LIVE on Andover TV's live stream: ANDOVER TV LIVE STREAM
- Watch on Comcast Channel 22* or Verizon Channel 45*
- *Channels are subject to change based on the broadcasters' schedule. Please verify on the broadcasters' channel the night of the meeting for the most accurate information.
- Check Andover TV, Verizon & Comcast schedules for replay days & times
- Watch Archived ZBA Meetings
Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
View ZBA Agendas and Minutes
BASIC INFORMATION ABOUT THE ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
9 members are appointed by the Select Board to three-year terms; 5 regular members and 4 associate members serve without pay.
The Andover Zoning Board of Appeals is authorized to function under the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts General Laws Chapter40A, Section14 and Chapter 40B, as well as the Andover Zoning Bylaw (Article VIII).
Public hearings are held as the result of applications for relief in the following areas:
- As a party aggrieved by a decision of the Building Inspector or other administrative officer (M.G.L. Chapter40A, Section13).
- For a Comprehensive Permit pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40B to construct affordable housing within the Town of Andover.
- For a special permit under the Zoning Bylaw.
- For a variance from the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw.
- For an extension or modification of a decision issued by the Zoning Board.
Prior to the public hearings, the applications, plans and drawings are reviewed, legal advertisements are published and abutters are notified as required by M.G.L. Chapter40A Section11. The public hearings are conducted by the Chair in conformity with the Zoning Board Rules & Regulations. The Board may conduct a site view when necessary. A site view is an extension of the public hearing and posted according to the Open Meeting Law.
Once a public hearing is closed, a duly posted public deliberation meeting is conducted. During deliberation meetings, the Board discusses the petitions and, based on any site views, the evidence and testimony presented at the hearing, a vote is taken and a member volunteers to draft a decision. The draft decision is voted on at the following month's meeting, signed by the Chair and filed with the Town Clerk.
Once the decision is filed with the Town Clerk, the statutory 20-day appeal period commences, the applicant / petitioner receives a copy of the decision and the abutters are notified of the decision by mail. Following the conclusion of the appeal period, or any appeal made pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter40A, Section17, Zoning Board decisions are recorded at the Northern Essex Registry of Deeds and can be found here: Northern Essex Registry of Deeds
- How do I get a zoning verification letter?
Zoning Verification letters are ONLY issued for a business that is physically based in Andover (either in the business owner's home or a non-residential location in Andover). The zoning verification application is filed prior to applying for a Business Certificate (d/b/a or Doing Business As) from the Town Clerk's Office.
APPLY ONLINE FOR A ZONING VERIFICATION HERE: ZONING VERIFICATION APPLICATION
Zoning Verifications are NOT used to verify the zoning district for any property in town, nor as a means to determine if there are any zoning code violations, site plans, zoning decisions, etc.
In order to obtain copies of public records, please use the procedure to submit public records requests listed separately in FAQs.
- Do I need a certified plot plan?
Yes, it is imperative. The majority of applications to appear before the Zoning Board deal with dimensional requirements as set forth in Section 4.1.2 (Table of Dimensional Requirements). Therefore, it is essential to submit a certified plot plan as required in No. 3 of the General Filing Requirements. Failure to submit an accurate and complete plan may disable the Board from granting appropriate relief.
- What are the setbacks for my zoning district?
Generally, minimum setbacks and other dimensional restrictions can be found in Appendix A, Table 2, Section 4.1.2 (Table of Dimensional Requirements) of the Zoning By-Law. Setbacks are not quoted over the telephone because each lot/project is unique. Please bring a plot plan into the office, where we’ll be happy to answer your questions.
- Are fences subject to setback requirements?
Only if the fence is to be erected on the intersection of streets is there a setback requirement, as set forth in Section 220.127.116.11.g of the Zoning By-Law.
- How long does the process take for a Zoning Board application?
It takes approximately a minimum of 3 months from the time the application is filed with the Zoning Board to the end of the statutory appeal period (see explanation in General Filing Requirements of when the appeal period starts). MGL Chapter 40A allows the ZBA 100 days from the date of filing a petition for a variance and 90 days from the close of the public hearing for a special permit to file a written decision with the Town Clerk.
- When does the appeal period start/finish?
The appeal period starts when the written decision is filed with the Town Clerk’s office. It does not start after the vote on the night of the hearing or at the deliberation meeting after site views (see No. 9 of the General Filing Requirements).
- Can I file for a building permit before the appeal period expires?
You may apply for a building permit prior to the expiration of the appeal period. The Building Inspectors may review your permit application prior to the appeal period expiration. However, you will not be issued a building permit until after it expires.