Processes & Procedures

The Hanover Zoning Board of Appeals holds public hearings to review applications for Variances, Special Permits and Comprehensive Permits. Variances are necessary when a lot/structure cannot meet the requirements of the Zoning By-law.  Special Permits are necessary for such uses as home occupation, family apartments, stores, business, etc.  Comprehensive Permits are issued for developments in which a portion of the lots are to be marketed as affordable housing.

Public hearings are generally scheduled on the second and fourth Monday evenings of each month.  Hearings begin at 7:30 p.m. and are held at the Hanover Town Hall, 550 Hanover Street, in the Second Floor Hearing Room.  All meetings are recorded for the Board’s records and are open to the public.

An Associate Member will take the place of any Regular Member who is unable to act due to absence, conflict of interest, or for any other reason.

Applications are processed by the Office of the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with the legal requirements and timetables established under the Massachusetts Zoning Act, the Town By-law and Rules and Regulations.

All hearings must be published in a local newspaper at least 14 days before the hearing.  Notice of the hearing is sent to all property owners within a 300 feet locus of the subject property, the notice is sent via certified return receipt mail.

The Zoning Board of Appeals must vote its decision on a Variance no later than 100 days from the application filing date and no later than 90 days for a Special Permit.  Once a decision has been voted on, the Board must file the decision in writing with the Town Clerk within 14 days. 

Copies of the written decision will be mailed to the applicant, and property owner, if other than the applicant, as well as all property owners within a 300 feet locus of the subject property.  After a decision is written, signed and filed with the Town Clerk, parties aggrieved by the Board’s decision have 20 days in which to appeal the decision.

After the appeal period has expired with no suits brought, a certified copy of the Board’s decision must be filed with the Registry of Deeds or Land Court.  The Building Commissioner will ask to see evidence of that filing when you apply for a Building Permit.

Any Variance or Special Permit granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals shall lapse one (1) year from the grant thereof if a substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced except for good cause or, in the case of a permit for construction, if construction has not begun by such date except for good cause as determined by the Board.  The Zoning Board of Appeals is authorized to make an extension of a Variance or Special Permit for good cause.

Applications are available at Town Hall outside the second floor Zoning Board of Appeals office.  An application may also be downloaded from the link below and printed.  Please file the entire package as noted on the application instructions with the Town Clerk.  The filing fee is due at that time.  The filing fee for a Variance, Appeal or Special Permit is $250.00.  Applicants are also responsible for reimbursing the Board for the cost of legal notice in The Hanover Mariner and the cost of postage to all abutters of the subject property.  Checks should be made payable to the Town of Hanover.