Zoning Board of Appeals

Contact Information
Brandon Toponce, Senior Planner
Town Hall, 4 Boltwood Ave.
Ph: 413-259-3187
toponceb@amherstma.gov
  

Overview


The Zoning Board is a quasi-judicial body that operates under the authority of Chapter 40A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth for the purpose of promoting the health, safety, convenience, and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Amherst. Section 10.38 of the Amherst Zoning Bylaw also outlines the process and specific findings that must be made for all ZBA Special Permit decisions.

The ZBA holds public hearings and acts on applications for Special Permits, Variances, Appeals of actions of the Building Commissioner, and Comprehensive Permits. Most ZBA hearings are for Special Permit applications for residential or business uses not allowed by right. All meetings and public hearings of the ZBA are open to the public. Hearings are advertised in the local paper and abutters are notified at least 2 weeks in advance of the hearing.  

Medical Marijuana in Amherst

(new feature, added May 18, 2016)
ZBA applications for specific Medical Marijuana projects and locations:
 
PUBLIC HEARING, JUNE 9, 2016 (TOWN ROOM, TOWN HALL)

 1. ZBA FY2016-00022 – GTI-Massachusetts NP Corp. – For a Special Permit to establish and operate an Off-Site Medical Marijuana Dispensary (OMMD) under Section 3.360.41 of the Zoning Bylaw.  Said proposal involves the interior renovation of an existing building, with some exterior changes, and all associated site work including but not limited to construction of a new parking area, landscaping, and lighting, at 169 Meadow Street (Map 4B, Parcel 6, Light Industrial (LI) Zoning District)
  
Application Packet (contents summarized as follows): 
      §  PDF pages 16-36 – Introduction, narrative, day to day operations

§  PDF pages 38-52 – Security and operational plan, including CMR citations and responses

§  PDF pages 54-66 - Company overview, Articles of Organization

      §  PDF pages 69-99 – Phase I Department of Health (Application of Intent)

§  PDF pages 102-183 – Phase II Department of Health (Management and Operations Profile)

§  PDF pages 185-217 – Phase III Department of Health (Siting Profile)

      §  PDF pages 219-257 – GIS maps, existing photographs, lighting and security camera specs

§  PDF pages 259-263 – Traffic Impact Statement

§  PDF pages 267-276 – Proposed Zoning Bylaw findings


Site Plans and architectural plans, landscaping plan, lighting, details

Stormwater Management Report
 

PUBLIC HEARING, JUNE 30, 2016 (TOWN ROOM, TOWN HALL)

 

  2. ZBA FY2016-00024 – Mass Alternative Care, Inc. – For a Special Permit to establish and operate an Off-Site Medical Marijuana Dispensary (OMMD) under Section 3.360.41 of the Zoning Bylaw.  Said proposal involves the interior renovation of an existing building, with some exterior changes, and associated site work including but not limited to re-striping of parking spaces, construction new fencing, and parking lot lighting at 55 University Drive (Map 13B, Parcel 21, Limited Business (B-L) and Research and Development (R & D) overlay district) 

Application Packet (contents summarized as follows):
  • PDF pages 11-21, Company overview
  • PDF pages 22-37, Operations Plan (day to day)
  • PDF pages 39-73, Security Plan (overview) & review of CMR
  • PDF pages 74-86, DPH correspondences, management plan
  • PDF pages 88-92, lease agreement/letter of intent
  • PDF pages 93-99, Traffic Generation Report & parking demand summary
  • PDF pages 100-110, Lighting plan

Plan Packet:

  • Existing Conditions survey, prepared by Berkshire Design Group, dated April 22, 2016
  • Demolition Plan, prepared by Berkshire Design Group, dated July 9, 2016
  • Proposed site plan & landscape plan, prepared by Berkshire Design Group, dated July 9, 2016
  • Lighting plan, prepared by Robt Hall, dated May 4, 2016
  • Existing conditions floor plan, existing elevations, demolition plan, proposed floor plan, proposed elevations, prepared by Gillen Collaborative Architects, dated May 9, 2016

Submitted by the Town:

 3. TBD
4. TBD

View upcoming ZBA applications, projects, and plans!

(new feature, added May 17, 2016)
 

The following is application information for upcoming projects.  Typically, this information will be posted approximately two weeks prior to a scheduled public hearing and should correspond with the completion of a required two week abutter notification.  Please note that plans and information are subject to change prior to a public hearing and it is the responsibility of an applicant to furnish any revised plans prior to or during a public hearing.

Public Hearings, June 30, 2016:


   

ZBA FY2016-00023 – Linda S. Muerle – For a Special Permit to construct a new, approximately 4,700 square foot, two story building containing four new condominium Town House units, under Section 3.322 of the Zoning Bylaw, and to convert an existing single family dwelling into two condominium units as a Converted Dwelling, under Section 3.3241, with associated site work including but not limited to grading and drainage, new driveway, parking areas, and landscaping, at 32 North Prospect Street (Map 14A, Parcel 32, General Residence (R-G) Zoning District)

General Project Information Packet
Architectural Plans Packet
Site Plans Packet
Information Submitted by the Town (Building Commissioner's Memo, June 6, 2016)

Public Hearings, June 1, 2016:



ZBA FY2016-00020 – Conara, Inc. d/b/a The Harp – For a Special Permit for the new and/or continued operation of the establishment as a Class II restaurant, with outdoor dining, live entertainment, with exterior site improvements including, but not limited to, trash enclosure, signs, and, marking of site parking, under Sections 3.352.1, 5.041, 5.042, 9.22, and 8.5 of the Zoning Bylaw, at 163 Sunderland Road (Map 5A, Parcel 28, COM Zoning District)

Application Packet

Information Submitted by the Town

ZBA FY2016-00021 – James & Astrid David – For a Special Permit to construct a new, non-owner occupied two family dwelling (duplex), with exterior site improvements including, but not limited to, site clearing and grading, new parking area, landscaping, lighting, and new two story, two unit dwelling, under Section 3.3211 of the Zoning Bylaw, on a vacant parcel between 265 and 239 Stanley Street, (Map 18A, Parcel 33, RN Zoning District)

Application Packet

Other Resources

Recently issued ZBA Special Permits and decisions

(NOTE:  complete copies of all approved plans can be found under the specific property address in GIS)
 Most Recent Decision | All Decisions
 
Rules and Regulations


To view the Zoning Board of Appeals Rules and Regulations (approved 1/23/14), click

here



Special Permit Process


For information on the Special Permit process, click

here

. (This is an excerpt from the 2005 Planning Department newsletter)


General Zoning "Primer"


To view the "Everything You Always Wanted to Know about Zoning But Were Afraid to Ask" document prepared for Town Meeting members, click here.


Citizen Guide to the Permit Process

This document is intended to provide a brief overview of, and links to, the various permit applications, rules & regulations, and fees administered by the Office of Conservation and Development. To view it, click here.


Agendas

Most Recent Agenda | All Agendas **

**In accordance with the Open Meeting Law, all agendas are now posted on the Town's Boards and Committee calendar on the homepage of the website a minimum of 48 hours in advance. Notices for public hearings are posted at Town Hall 2 weeks prior to said hearing date. This posting page is unofficial. 
 
 

Members

* (updated as of July 2015)

Full Members
Year Appointed
Term Expires
Mark Parent (Chair)
2013 2019
Yuri Friman 2016 2019
Keith Langsdale 2015 2018
Associate Members
Year Appointed
Term Expires
Joan O'Meara 2016 2017
Thomas Simpson 2016 2017
Vacant    
Vacant    

*Appointed by the Select Board: 3 Full Members / 3-year terms; 4 Associate Members/ 1-year term