FAQ – Variances

1. What if I want to build closer to my lot line than permitted?

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In that case a variance is required from the Zoning Board of Appeals. A petition for a variance must demonstrate in what manner with respect to particular land or structures or to an existing building thereon a variance from the terms of the ordinance, owing to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape or topography of such land or structures and owing to conditions especially affecting such parcel or such building but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located, a literal enforcement of the provisions of the zoning ordinace would involve substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the appellant, and where desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the ordinance. In other words, there must be a condition relating to the soil conditions, shape of the lot or the slope of a lot that preclude the erection or construction of a structure in compliance with the zoning ordinances.

2. If approved, when can I apply for a building permit?

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Applications for building permits may be accepted only after the expiration of a 20 day appeal period, and proof that the variance has been filed with the Registry of Deeds is submitted.