In addition, comprehensive permits often trigger more opposition than other types of development applications, so the public hearing process can be very challenging. Any ZBA that has received a comprehensive permit application is eligible to request help from MHP’s Chapter 40B Technical Assistance Program. MHP has a pre-qualified list of consultants who work with ZBAs around the state at the request of cities and towns. Communities can select a consultant from the list or ask MHP to choose a consultant for them. This program is paid for with Project Eligibility application fees from all four of the subsidizing agencies, so communities do not have to pay the consultants (except when a community seeks an unusually high level of participation from them. MHP contracts with the consultant, up to $15,000 for a ZBA participating in the program for the first time and $10,000 for a ZBA that previously participated.
The consultant can help the ZBA with a range of tasks, depending on the ZBA’s needs, such as: Procuring peer review consultants;
Advising the ZBA, other municipal boards and committees, city or town staff, and the public on Chapter 40B requirements and policies;
Researching technical questions at the ZBA’s request;
Coordinating the project review schedule;
Gathering comments from city or town staff;
Attending work sessions;
Drafting the ZBA’s decision, and so forth