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Zoning Board of Adjustment

The Sandwich Zoning Board of Adjustment is made up of five (5) voting members and several alternate members who have been chosen by the Selectboard of the town. All members must be residents of Sandwich. The Zoning Board acts as a quasi-judicial board and has powers granted under the Revised Statutes Annotated (RSAs) to act on specific matters: 

Variances – A variance may be granted for relief from the strict terms of the zoning ordinance to use property or place structures in a manner that would otherwise violate the ordinance. For a variance to be granted, you must show that your request meets ALL FIVE of the criteria specified in the application for a variance. 

Special Exception - A special exception is an allowed use that must meet specified criteria. 

You must have some form of determination that your proposed use is not permitted without a Special Exception. A copy of the determination shall be attached to your Application. 

If, by granting a special exception as defined in paragraph 150-102 A, a violation of the Zoning Ordinance is created, an application for a variance from the appropriate section of the ordinance must be filed concurrently with the application for the special exception. 

Appeals of Administrative Decisions – An Appeal from an Administrative Decision is a claim that an administrative officer has incorrectly interpreted the terms of the Zoning Ordinance. An administrative officer is any official or board who has responsibility for issuing permits or certificates under the ordinance or for enforcing the ordinance, and may include, but is not limited to, the Board of Selectmen and the Compliance Officer. 

Appeals from Administrative Decisions must be filed with the Board within thirty (30) calendar days of the decision made by the administrative officer.  A copy of the decision being appealed and all related documents must be attached. 

Equitable Waivers – When a lot or other division of land, or structure on the property, is discovered to be in violation of a physical layout of dimensional requirement imposed by a zoning ordinance, RSA 674:33-a provides two alternatives to grant an equitable waiver from the zoning requirement. 

Equitable waivers may be granted only from physical layout, mathematical or dimensional requirements and may not be granted from use restrictions. 

If your appeal is denied by the Zoning Board you may appeal for a rehearing on the board’s decision. No form is supplied for an appeal for a rehearing. The Selectmen, or any aggrieved party affected, have similar rights to appeal the board’s decision. To appeal the decision, you must first ask the Zoning Board for a rehearing. The Motion for Rehearing may be in the form of a letter to the Board attached to the application. This motion must be made within thirty (30) calendar days from the day of the board’s decision, and must set forth fully and in detail all the grounds on which it is claimed the decision is unlawful or unreasonable. The Board may grant such a rehearing only if in its opinion, good reason is stated and substantiated in the motion. "Good Reason" is limited to a claim by the petitioner that a technical error has been made or if new evidence can be produced which was not available at the time of the first hearing. The Board will not re-open a case based on the same set of facts unless it is convinced that an injustice would be created by not doing so. When a rehearing is held, the same procedure as in the first hearing will be followed, including public notice and notice to abutters. 

Following the Board's final decision after a Rehearing or if the Motion for Rehearing is denied, you have thirty (30) days in which to appeal to the Superior Court. However, no such Appeal may be taken unless you have first applied for a Rehearing to the Zoning Board. The only grounds for appeal the Court will hear are those set forth in your Motion for Rehearing.  

The Zoning Board application and Rules of Procedure can be found online or at the Selectmen’s Office during regular business hours. 

Zoning Board Application Fees can be found here.
Zoning Board of Adjustment Members:

Mary Cove, Chair
Chris Grant, Vice Chair
Jim Gaisser
Tim Miner
Kurt Olafsen
Jim Bullitt (alternate)
Jon Greenawalt (alternate)
Chase Rozelle (alternate)
Susan MacLeod, Land Use Secretary

ZBA 2024 Meeting Dates and Application Deadlines

Applications are heard on the second Thursday of the month. Meetings are scheduled as needed based on application submissions and Board business. Meeting dates and time subject to change.

Meeting Date  Application Deadline (17 days before)
January 11, 2024  December 26, 2023
February 8, 2024 January 15, 2024
March 14, 2024 February 19, 2024
April 11, 2024 March 18, 2024
May 9, 2024 April 15, 2024
June 13, 2024 May 20, 2024
July 11, 2024 June 17, 2024
August 8, 2024  July 22, 2024
September 12, 2024 August 19, 2024
October 10, 2024 September 16, 2024
November 14, 2024 October 21, 2024
December 12, 2024 November 18, 2024
January 9, 2025 December 23, 2024