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Checklist for filing for zoning exemptions

The following checklist is intended to serve as guidance for persons filing petitions for exemption from a municipal zoning ordinance or bylaw pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, § 3, or pursuant to §6 of Chapter 665 of the Acts of 1956.

Department of Public Utilities (DPU)

The Details

What you need

  1. A demonstration that the petitioner is a public service corporation that may seek a zoning exemption pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, § 3, with supporting documentation as necessary.
  2. A list of the sections of the zoning ordinance or bylaw from which the petitioner seeks an exemption, together with a summary of each such section and an explanation of why exemption from that section is needed, with supporting documentation as necessary.
  3. A description of the use of land or structures which are the subject of the exemption request, and an explanation of the purpose of the proposed use.
  4. An explanation of the public benefits to be provided by the proposed use of land or structures, with a supporting analysis and a description of the methods used to develop this analysis.
  5. A description of alternatives to the proposed use of land or structures, including the use of existing structures or facilities.
  6. An analysis of the environmental or other impacts of the use of land or structures, during both construction and operation. This analysis could include, without limitation, impacts on land use at or near the site, on wetlands or water resources at or near the site, visual and noise considerations, traffic and access considerations, public safety considerations, air pollutant emissions, or the use of hazardous substances.
  7. A list of all permits required for the proposed use of land or structures prior to construction, during construction and during operation.



Name Fee Unit
Filling fee $100 each

How to file

DPU Contact info

Next steps

Required attachments

  1. An attested copy of the municipality’s complete zoning ordinance or bylaw, as in effect at the date of filing.
  2. Copies of any zoning decisions or related municipal actions taken with respect to the proposed use of land or structures.
  3. A United States Geological Survey map (1:24,000 or 1:25,000 scale and in color) of the area, showing the locus of the land or structures.
  4. A diagram of the site of the proposed use, showing property boundaries, existing and proposed structures, and other use areas (e.g., roadway, parking, and materials storage/transfer areas) at the site.
  5. Either: (1) a copy of the Environmental Notification Form (“ENF”) for the project and the Certificate of the Secretary of Environmental Affairs on such ENF; or (2) an affidavit from the petitioner stating that the proposed use does not require the filing of an ENF. If an Environmental Impact Report (“EIR”) is required, and has been submitted to the MEPA Office at the time of filing, a copy of the EIR(s) and any related Certificates also should be submitted with the petition.
  6. Draft MEPA Section 61 findings relating to the proposed use of land or structures, if an EIR is required for the proposed use.
  7. A draft hearing notice (hard copy and electronic form in Microsoft Word).
  8. Filing fee: A check for $100.00, made payable to Commonwealth of Massachusetts.


Department of Public Utilities, 1 South Station, 5th floor, Boston, MA 02110
(617) 345-9101


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