• 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.