The Architectural Access Board (AAB) meets every other week, but for people involved with the Board for the first time
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How do AAB Meetings Work?
Table of Contents
Incoming Cases & Administrative Review
When the Board receives a new request for variance, it is first heard as an Incoming Case. This is a type of administrative review where the Executive Director makes a presentation to the Board summarizing the facts and arguments presented in the application and attached document and takes questions from the Board members. Then once the Board has made a determination as to impracticability they vote to approve or deny the requests in the variance. If the Board feels there is insufficient information to make a determination they will either continue the case and request additional information be provided by the Applicant or vote to schedule a hearing.
In instances where the case is sufficiently complex that it is difficult to summarize, the Board will order the documents be included in their packet for the next meeting. This is a fairly standard practice for applications requesting more than between 5-7 variances from the Board.
In all cases right to hearing of all parties is preserved, as all decisions made at the Incoming Case Review stage can be appealed to a full hearing of the Board by any member of the public within the first 30 days after the decision has been issued.
Key Actions for Incoming Cases & Administrative Review
At each meeting, the Board conducts between 2-4 hearings. These are informal adjudicatory hearings as defined by MGL c. 30A and 801 CMR 1.02, and typically last for between 45 minutes to an hour.
Hearings allow participants to give testimony to the Board and provide additional information on specific cases. Hearings come in several varieties:
- Variance Hearings: In cases where the request is sufficiently complex, or one of the parties has appealed the outcome of the Board's Administrative Review Process, the Board conducts a hearing to determine whether or not the Applicant has met his or her burden of showing that compliance with the Board's regulations is impracticable as defined in 521 CMR 5.
- Complaint Hearings: In cases where the target of a complaint alleging violations of 521 CMR fails to respond to notices or violates a Stipulated Order, a hearing is called to determine both the validity of the complaint and what appropriate action is needed to correct the violation if the complaint is found to be valid.
- Fine Hearings: In cases where a party has willfully failed to comply with an order originating from a previous hearing, the Board may schedule a fine hearing to determine whether a fine should be issued and how much. In such hearings it is the burden of the petitioner to show their behavior was not without justification.
In any type of hearing, if someone wishing to participate is unable to physically attend, they may request to participate via telephone as a reasonable accommodation. Such requests must be received in writing prior to the hearing, and should include the telephone number at which the person can be reached at the time of the hearing. Please note, due to technological limitations, the Board can support only one person participating via telephone at a time.