Zoning Board of Appeals

The Zoning Board of Appeals performs the following functions:

  • Hears and decides applications for Special Permits as provided by the Zoning ByLaw
  • Hears and decides applications for Variances from zoning, and
  • Hears and decides appeals of Decisions made by the Building Inspector or other authority regarding Zoning

The Shutesbury Zoning By-Laws set forth the rights and limitations on land usage within the town of Shutesbury. While the by-laws generally either allow or deny particular uses, there are cases where they allow a particular type of use or change in use only after the ZBA finds that the proposed use meets criteria set forth in the by-laws and grants a special permit, often with conditions. The by-laws list the particular uses allowed by special permit.

A variance exempts the applicant from some aspect of the zoning regulations in cases, where the proposed use satisfies the general intent of the by-laws but a literal reading of the regulations would result in a substantial hardship to the applicant. The state severely limits the conditions under which the ZBA may grant a variance. These conditions are listed in the by-laws.

The Zoning Enforcement Officer, in our case the Building Inspector, has among other duties, authority to decide whether uses are allowed, building permits are accepted or rejected, or other orders such as cessation of use. The applicant or land owner may decide to appeal such decision, and the Zoning Board of Appeals hears those appeals.

Announcements of ZBA meetings and hearings are posted on the official Town calendar.
Questions can be brought to the ZBA at any scheduled meeting.  If you have a question, please call the ZBA Secretary or the Chairperson and decide if attendance at a meeting for discussion and information would be valuable.

Applying for a Special Permit or Variance, or Preparing an Appeal

Guidelines for Providing Documentation in Support of an Application

Procedure Following a Complete Application to the ZBA


Zoning Board of Appeals Forms and Documents

Zoning Board of Appeals Special Permit Application

Zoning Board of Appeals Special Permit Checklist

Zoning Board of Appeals Variance Application

Zoning Board of Appeals Site Plan Review Application

Zoning Board of Appeals Ground Mounted Solar Language Interpretation

Fee Schedule

Effective February 16, 2022

Type Fee                          
Special Permit Application $500
Variance Application $400
Appeal from Building Commissioner Determination $400
Site Plan Review $100

Current Cases

70 Cooleyville Rd(plan)(map) September 6th, 2023 

Please click on the case location to see application materials submitted for the hearing.