Special Permits from Zoning Board of Appeals

Both the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board act as a Special Permit Granting Authority (SPGA.)  Section 3.2, “Schedule of Use Regulations” of the Zoning Bylaws details which uses require a Special Permit and which board is the SPGA for a particular use.  Special Permits may be issued only for uses that are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the bylaws and are subject to specific provisions in the bylaw.  Special Permits may impose conditions, safeguards and limitations on time or use.

Uses that require a Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals include:

  • Bed and Breakfast Establishments
  • Accessory Apartments
  • Riding Stables
  • Educational Uses not exempted by Section 3, of MGL Chapter 40A
  • Museums or Art Galleries (in the Singe Residential and Industrial Zones only)
  • Public Utilities, except wireless communication towers
  • Fast food and drive-in restaurants
  • Animal Kennel or Hospital
  • Medical Clinics
  • Free standing vending machines
  • Automobile fuel, services or repair
  • Motion Picture Theaters
  • Building Materials Stores
  • Miscellaneous repair shops
  • Convalescent or nursing Homes
  • Outdoor sales, such as motor vehicles or recreational vehicles
  • Allowed businesses operating between 2AM and 6AM
  • Adult Entertainment
  • Construction contractors
  • Rail freight yards
  • Storage of dumpsters, trash containers & portable toilets not contained in buildings
  • Family day care
  • Home Occupations

The Zoning Board of Appeals may also issue a special permit for the reduction of the minimum residental lot frontage requirements under certain circumstances. (See Section 4.2.C of the Zoning Bylaws.)

File a Special Permit Petition
Please follow the instructions on the Filing a Petition page.  A Special Permit petition requires:

  • 20 Copies of the petition and supplemental information

Completed Petition Application
Form B: Special Permit Findings of Fact
Form C: Abutters and Planning Boards
Instrument plan survey showing all structures and adjacent roadways and lot lines and Form D: Specification of Plan
Copy of the Letter of Denial from the Inspector of Buildings

  • The Filing Fee
  • 2 sets of stamped addressed envelopes of the Abutters and Planning Boards listed on Form C

A Public Hearing is required for a Petition for a Special Permit.  A decision on a Petition for a Special Permit must be made within 90 days of the Public Hearing.