Q: What needs to be submitted in order to formally request a variance?

A: Information on the variance procedure can be found here . The cost of filing for a variance is $50.00, which must be paid by a $50.00 check or money order made payable to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. At a minimum, it is necessary to submit the official request for variance , a letter describing what is being requested and the reasoning why strict compliance is not feasible, written cost estimates on how much strict compliance would cost, building and/or site plans in a format no larger than 11x17, and, if applicable, color photographs depicting existing conditions in the specific areas of the building for which you are requesting a variance. A total of four (4) packages must be submitted: an original plus three copies of the application and attachments (five packages if the variance is in response to a complaint). Additionally, all documents should be submitted to all parties concerned in an electronic format, preferably on a compact disc.

Q: What happens once a variance has been requested?

A: Once the Board receives the application for variance, the variance process then begins. (See The Variance Process , Fact Sheet #3). The Board first hears the variance at an incoming case review. Generally, the Board will make a decision at the review whether to grant the variance (sometimes with conditions), deny the variance, request further materials from the variance applicant, or to schedule the case for a full hearing. It is possible that the Board will take the case under advisement and make a decision later in the day or at its next meeting. A Notice of Action, i.e., the Board's decision, is mailed to all parties the day following the incoming case review.

Q: Should I attend the incoming case review?

A: Incoming cases are not scheduled for a set time during which they will be heard. The case may be presented by the AAB's Executive Director at any time during the day of the Board meeting. Further, the Board does not take testimony from the applicant or any other member of the public during incoming case reviews.

Q: What should I do if I am aggrieved by the Board's decision?

A: Any person aggrieved by the Notice of Action may request an adjudicatory hearing. The form to request an adjudicatory hearing needs to be filled out and returned to our office within thirty (30) days of receipt of the Notice of Action.