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Requests for waiver of permitting deadlines

Process for a permit granting authority to apply to the Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development for a waiver.

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Statute and process for applying for a waiver

Section 17 of chapter 53 of the Acts of 2020 (the “Act”), as amended by chapter 201 of the Acts of 2020, sets out certain timeframes and deadlines for permit granting authorities to take certain actions in connection with and application for a permit. Subsection (d) of said section 17 of the Act provides that  

Permit granting authorities that are: (i) unable to conduct meetings and public hearings remotely due to lack of access to broadband or other technical limitations; and (ii) unable to conduct such meetings or hearings in person in accordance with applicable public health orders regulating gatherings during the state of emergency, may apply to the secretary of housing and economic development for relief from the deadlines provided in paragraphs (ii), (iv), (v) and (vii) of subsection (b) for good cause shown. 

To apply to the secretary for a waiver under this subsection, please submit the following information to eohedsecretarywaiver@massgov with a copy to jonathan.cosco@mass.gov

  1. A brief description of the project or activity that requires the permit.  

  1. The name and contact information of the applicant, and whether the applicant has been informed of this request for a waiver.   

  1. A summary of past actions taken on the permit application, if any, including the date and purpose of any meetings or public hearings held after the declaration of the COVID-19 state of emergency. 

  1. Whether relief is being sought from a deadline or deadlines provided in paragraph (ii), (iv), (v) or (vii) of subsection (b) of the Act. 

  1. An explanation as to how the permit granting authority meets either or both of the following standards:

    1. The permit granting authority is “unable to conduct meetings and public hearings remotely due to lack of access to broadband or other technical limitations;” or 

    2. The permit granting authority is “unable to conduct such meetings or hearings in person in accordance with applicable public health orders regulating gatherings during the state of emergency.” 

  2. An explanation for why there is good cause to approve an extension. 

  1. The duration of the extension requested. 

  1. What steps, if any, the permitting granting authority would take to advance its review of the project during the extension of time.

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