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40B Consultants and AFHMP and PEL Assistance

Janet Carter Bernardo, P.E., LEED AP, from Horsley
Witten Group recommends that developers provide
the following information to the ZBA:
Existing Conditions Plan, drawn to scale, including
all of the following, where applicable:
• Property lines with approximate dimensions
• Easements within and immediately adjacent to
• Topography at 2-foot contours
• Mapping of soils from USDA soil surveys
• Subsurface soil and groundwater conditions
• Wetland Protection Act, Regulated Resource
Areas with buffer zones
• Perennial and intermittent streams
• Depiction of existing vegetation (limits of
woodlands, grasslands, etc.)
• NHESP Priority and Estimated Habitats
• Limits of 100-year Flood Plain
• Surface Water Protection Areas
• Existing roadways and structures including
those within 100 feet of property boundaries
• Utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric)
Proposed Conditions Plan, drawn to scale, including
where applicable:
• Building footprints
• Parking spaces (delineated), including accessible
• Access roadway and/or driveway
• Profile of roadway
• Sidewalks, walkways, and curbing
• Retaining walls
• Tabulation of proposed buildings, impervious
area, and open space
• Proposed topography at 2-foot contours
• Limit of work
• Landscaped areas
• Open space and recreation area(s)
• Storm water management including culverts,
conveyance system, and treatment facilities
• Pre-development and post-development
watershed catchment areas
• Utilities (water, sewer, gas, electric)
• Subsurface Wastewater Disposal in compliance
with Title 5
• Regulated Resource Area mitigation
• Erosion and sedimentation controls
• Snow storage areas
• Preliminary architectural drawings to scale:
locations and outlines of proposed buildings
• Applicable construction details developed with
sufficient clarity to describe the activityNarrative, including:
• Description of project
• Storm water Management Report (in
compliance with the Massachusetts Stormwater
Handbook, at minimum)
• Soil Evaluation Report
• Verification that appropriate infrastructure is
available or obtainable (specifically water and
sewer), with sufficient capacity to support the
• Traffic study, where applicable
Joe Peznola, Director of Engineering at Hancock
Associates, Inc., adds the following guidance. Joe has
taught Chapter 40B training courses for MHP.
• The ZBA, city/town staff, and potential
opponents should identify and focus on real
project issues and impacts as early in the review
process as possible. They should try to resolve
each issue in a logical, efficient manner that
recognizes the “critical path” nature of steps in
the housing development process.
• The ZBA should delay commissioning peer
reviews or requesting additional or more
detailed information if larger issues that may
affect the configuration of the project are
• Once the larger “project changing” issues are
defined, the ZBA should request additional
information from the developer, e.g., more
complete preliminary plans that will give the
ZBA sufficient information to make an informed
decision and properly condition an approval on
matters that fall within the ZBA’s jurisdiction.
This could include preliminary drainage
calculations demonstrating the developer’s
approach to complying with MassDEP storm
water regulations, grading plans on sites with
challenging topography, and more advanced
preliminary plans that address challenging utility
design such as shared septic systems.
• At this point in the process, the developer
should be working from a complete existing
conditions survey showing all site details,
regulatory resource areas, and available utility
• The ZBA should not hesitate to ask for graphics
that help to clarify height, massing, setbacks, and
overall relationship to neighbors.