The Hearing Process
This section focuses on the ZBA’s public hearing and decision procedures of Chapter 40B. While the procedures are similar to those associated with special permits, there are significant timeline differences (see Critical Deadlines, next page). For example, failing to hold the public hearing within 30 days of receiving a comprehensive permit or filing the ZBA’s decision with the city or town clerk from the close of the public hearing are both grounds for constructive approval. In such cases, the developer may ask the HAC to approve the application as submitted. The HAC may do so or approve the permit with conditions. In addition, comprehensive permits require plan review tasks that ZBAs may not do very often. As a result, ZBAs usually work more closely with municipal staff and consultants on comprehensive permits than other types of applications.