Variance Application Process and Form
Please complete and submit the Variance Application Process and Form for all zoning variance requests to be considered by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
- The ZBA application is designed to assist you in providing all the information necessary for the Board to readily access what relief you are seeking from the Blackstone Zoning By-Laws.
- In order for the ZBA to conduct an accurate review of your request, it is essential that you, the Applicant, provide the most complete and accurate description of what exists on the property and what is proposed for the property. All questions on the Application are to be answered completely and all required supporting materials shall be provided with the Application.
- Applications submitted to the ZBA which are deemed incomplete will not be approved.
- A copy of the Building Inspector/Zoning Agent’s opinion on the proposed activity that is the subject of the Application must be provided with the Application.
- A certified list of Abutters must be obtained from the Assessor’s Office and submitted with the Application. Please allow time for your request to be processed by the Assessor’s Office.
- Two sets of mailing labels of the Abutters list must be provided with the Application.
- A check, payable to the Town of Blackstone, in the amount indicated on the Application must be submitted with the Application.
- Application is submitted to the Blackstone Town Clerk’s office for certification and stamping of the date of submission.
- The ZBA will hold a public hearing within sixty-five (65) days of the filing with the Town Clerk.
- The ZBA will submit a notice of hearing in the newspaper to be published twice. The first published notice of hearing shall be a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the public hearing. The second notice of hearing will be published not earlier than seven (7) days prior to the public hearing.
- The Notice of Public Hearing will be prepared and mailed to the Applicant and all Abutters of the Applicant’s property by the ZBA. The Notice of Public Hearing shall be sent a minimum of fourteen (14) days prior to the public hearing.
- The ZBA has one hundred (100) days from the date of filing with the Town Clerk to make a decision. The decision of the ZBA will be filed with the Town Clerk within fourteen (14) business days of the decision. The date of this filing with the Town Clerk is the official date of the Decision.
There is a twenty (20) day appeal period that starts with the decision filing. The appeal must elapse before the Town Clerk can certify the decision. During the appeal period, the ZBA’s decision may be appealed to the appropriate appellate body. If an appeal is made, the Town Clerk cannot certify the decision until the appeal has been fully adjudicated.
Once the ZBA’s approval of variance has been certified by the Town Clerk, the Applicant must have this approval recorded at the Worcester County Registry of Deeds. Until this recording occurs, the Variance will not take effect. Documentation of recording must be submitted to the Building Department and ZBA.
All required documents (and photos) must include ten (10) copies for distribution. Applications must be signed by the Applicant. If the applicant is not the owner, the owner must also sign the application and documentation to confirm Applicant’s standing to apply for a variance.
Plans submitted shall be stamped and signed, as appropriate, by a Massachusetts Registered Engineer, land surveyor, etc. All plans and representations must be consistent with plans and representations provided to other Boards for the same project.
Current, certified plot plans must be provided with at least the following shown:
- Existing and proposed conditions on the property, including location, size and description of all structures on the property;
- Well and septic location (if applicable);
- Property/building plan with square footage and dimensions;
- Setbacks required by the Blackstone Zoning By-Law;
- Setback distances of all structures from all property lines;
APPLICANT BURDEN OF PROOF:
Applicants for a Variance are advised that their application submission and presentation in the public hearing must specifically address the following requirements (reference Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A, Part I, Title VII, Section 10);
- Unique/peculiar soil conditions, shape, or topography of the land and structures especially affecting only the land and structures in question but do not affect generally the zoning district in which it is located;
- A literal enforcement of the Blackstone Zoning By-Law would involve a substantial hardship to the Applicant and that relief may be granted without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of the Blackstone Zoning By-Law.
CHECKLIST FOR APPLICATION SUBMISSION:
❑ A check for $300.00 made payable to the Town of Blackstone
❑ A list of Abutters from the Assessor’s Office
❑ Two sets of labels with addresses of Abutters
❑ Minimum of five (5) copies of the submission package including the following:
❑ Completed variance application form;
❑ Building Inspector/Zoning Agent’s opinion related to the Application;
❑ The deed, land court certificate (if registered land), showing all easements, right of way or other encumbrances;
❑ Certified plot plan as described above;
❑ Building plans, if applicable, including dimensions, square footage, elevations, etc.
❑ Photographs of the subject premise/property, illustrating the proposed project area;
❑ The signed site access agreement form;
❑ All pertinent information that will provide the ZBA necessary information about the application