The Town needs Zoning Board of Appeals members

by beth on June 12, 2019

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The Zoning Board of Appeals will have two vacancies as of the end of June. Selectmen are looking for volunteers to step up to interview for the post.

Selectmen discussed the vacancies at last week’s meeting.* They were told that current member (and former Chair) Andrew Dennington is choosing not to be reappointed. Additionally, the ZBA already had a vacant “Alternate Member” seat.

Traditionally, selectmen have promoted alternate members to the full time seats when they become vacant. Michael Robbins is already serving as an alternate with his term to expire this month. Selectmen will consider promoting him, but not without first re-interviewing him. As selectmen discussed, the board is a fairly powerful one and a full membership term lasts five years.

Selectmen planned to invite Robbins to their meeting planned for next Tuesday night, June 18th. (Agenda is still to be posted.)

If they do promote Robbins, that will leave two alternate seats to be filled. Alternate Members have one year terms.

Below is a description of the ZBA’s responsibilities from the Town’s website:

The Zoning Department is responsible for the administration of appeals taken to the Southborough Board of Appeals. This Board is made up to five members appointed by the Selectmen to consider zoning decisions. The Board acts under the authority of MGL 40A, the State Zoning Act and Section 174 of the Southborough Code, the Town’s zoning regulations. It is authorized to grant variances, special permits and appeals of decisions involving the zoning regulations of the Town.

The Board holds hearings on an as needed basis subject to the time limitations specified in the enabling legislation. As a rule of thumb a time frame of 10 to 12 weeks from the date of filing should be anticipated for the entire appeal procedure.

To volunteer for a position on the ZBA or another vacancy, click here.

Selectmen discussed the challenge of getting residents to step up. They agreed that the Town has many residents that are fully qualified. Vice Chair Marty Healey opined that many residents who weren’t raised in New England aren’t accustomed to the idea of serving on Town Committees.

*For those of you aware of a conversation that preceded it – about issues around Historical Commission members up for re-appointment – I’m not ignoring it. I do plan to cover that in a separate post. (Hopefully, tomorrow.)

(image from Town website)

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Michael Robbins June 12, 2019 at 8:55 PM

Calling all Townies!! Do you want to give back to our little town? Please apply to fill many of our open boards! I have a small little family and a hectic schedule full of work / kids / wife commitments but make the time to sit on the ZBA. We need your help to fill these seats! Please go on-line find an area that you care about and sign up! Thank you- Mike

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