What is a special permit and why would I need one?

A special permit is a form of zoning that allows construction and/or uses on a particular property that are not allowed in general for other properties in the same zoning district. It normally creates a permanent change, and requires a public hearing that requires notice to owners of abutting properties and in the local newspaper. The Planning Board is the special permit granting authority in most instances where new construction is required; the Zoning Board of Appeals generally grants special permits for specific uses in existing property, except for accessory apartments, which are the responsibility of the Planning Board. Special permits are not a waiver of or variance from zoning requirements. All potential uses allowed by special permit are defined in the Town’s Zoning Bylaws, but the issuance of a special permit is discretionary on the part of the granting board, who may place conditions on its approval or deny it.

Special Permit Application (PDF)

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1. What is the schedule of Planning Board meetings?
2. How can I subdivide my land?
3. What is a special permit and why would I need one?
4. What is site plan approval?
5. Is it possible for me to put an accessory apartment in my house?
6. Is my house on a public way (Town-accepted) or a private way?
7. How do I know if I live on a scenic road, and why does that matter to me?
8. How can I find out in which Zoning District my property is located - Residence A or Residence B?
9. What are the required lot frontages, lot area, and building setbacks in my Zoning District?
10. I am interested in putting a wireless facility on my property. What types of facilities are allowed, and what is the application process?
11. I am interested in going solar, and want to know if I may install a solar facility on my property.
12. Can I put a business in my home?