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Chapter 40B Handbook and Consultants and Experts

CHAPTER 40B HANDBOOK FOR ZONING BOARDS OF APPEAL Chapter 2. What Makes a Difference? ZBAs should not be advocates for affordable housing any matter that comes before them, and they also should not be categorically opposed to comprehensive permits. However, they do need to understand that Chapter 40B puts the regional need for low- or moderate-income housing ahead of other concerns unless there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary. 4. Hire peer review consultants to advise the ZBA on technical matters, and coordinate with the Conservation Commission or Board of Health to share peer reviewers as appropriate. The ZBA will probably need help to evaluate the technical issues associated with each comprehensive permit application. This is usually accomplished by hiring peer review consultants unless the community has qualified staff to review the developer’s plans and the staff have time to participate. Even in communities that have qualified and available staff, it often makes sense to engage peer review consultants and have the consultants coordinate their reviews with municipal staff, as necessary. It can be particularly important for the ZBA to have consultants on board in the event that the developer or other interested parties appeal the comprehensive permit decision. (See Chapter 4, Hiring Consultants for additional guidance.)