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Appealing a Decision

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The procedures for the Town of Dedham Zoning Board of Appeals are solely governed by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in M.G.L. c. 40 ("The Zoning Act").  Other than following the Town of Dedham Zoning Bylaw, all steps are taken in accordance with the State regulations.

It is the Zoning Board of Appeals' goal to treat all individuals fairly and courteously. Each appeal is heard and decided on its own merit.  The Zoning Board of Appeals may, however, be limited in their authority, if any, to grant a special permit or variance from the Zoning Bylaw.

Every attempt possible is made to get decisions completed as soon as possible. However, the Administrative Assistant is allowed 100 days, by State law, to complete the decisions. In addition, she also works for the Planning Board, Design Review Advisory Board, Master Plan Implementation Committee, and the Open Space and Recreation Committee, and duties for any of these may temporarily supersede work on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Rest assured that your decisions will be completed as quickly as possible.


1. Determine if the project needs relief from zoning limitations.

Meet with the Building Department to determine if filing is necessary.

2. Preliminary Review

The Applicant is encouraged to meet with the Building Commissioner, Planning Director, neighbors, or applicable staff for review of the draft application.
3. Zoning Application The Applicant completes the final application and submits 7 hard copies it to the ZBA administrative assistant or Town Clerk along with the application fee.
4. Review The application is reviewed by the Building Commissioner and the Planning Director to ensure that the proper relief is requested.
5. Advertisement Legal notices of the hearing are mailed to the Applicant, the Agent, abutters, and surrounding towns. Legal notices are also published in the Dedham Times for two consecutive weeks.
6. ZBA Hearing The Applicant attends and presents the petition at a public hearing. The ZBA votes to grant, deny, or continue the hearing.
7. After the Hearing The Administrative Assistant transcribes minutes for each hearing. A decision is prepared and sent to the ZBA members for approval.
8. Submission to Town Clerk After approval is received, the decision is filed with the Town Clerk. Copies are mailed to the Applicant. A 21-day appeal period begins.
9. Abutter Notification After filing with the Town Clerk, abutters and the surrounding towns that the decision has been rendered. Anyone wishing to appeal the decision must file the appeal, at his/her own expense, with the District Court, Land Court, or Superior Court, 649 High Street, Dedham, MA.
10. Certification of No Appeal If there are no appeals, the Applicant obtains a certificate from the Town Clerk.
11. Recording the Decision The Applicant must record the decision at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds, 649 High Street, Dedham, MA.Copies of the stamped recording are brought to the Planning and Zoning Office and the Building Department.
12. Permits The Applicant may now apply for the appropriate building, wiring, and plumbing permits from the Building Department.