Zoning Board of Appeals


If your business does not conform to the City’s Zoning Ordinance, the Zoning Board of Appeals has the following powers in accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A and this ordinance:

  1. To hear and decide an appeal taken by any person aggrieved by reason of his/her inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from the building inspector under the provisions of MGL, Chapter 40A and this ordinance or by any person including an officer or board of the City of Peabody or of an abutting municipality aggrieved by an order or decision of the building inspector in violation of any provision of MGL, Chapter 40A or of this ordinance.
  2. To hear and decide a petition with respect to particular land or structures for a variance from terms of this ordinance, where the board specifically finds that owing to circumstances relating to soil conditions, shape or topography of such land or structures and especially affecting such land or structures but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located, a literal enforcement of the provisions of this ordinance would involve substantial hardship consistent with the provisions of MGL Chapter 40A to the petitioner or appellant, and that desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of this ordinance. The board of appeals may impose conditions, safeguards and limitations in respect to both time and any permitted use, including the continued existence of any particular structures but excluding any condition, safeguard or limitation based upon the continued ownership of the land or structure to which the variance pertains by the applicant, petitioner or any owner. If the rights authorized by a variance are not exercised within one year of the date of authorization, they shall lapse and may be reestablished only after a new notice and hearing. No variance may authorize a use or activity not otherwise permitted in the district in which the land or structure is located.

To determine if the petitioner will need relief from the Board of Appeals a business owner (“petitioner”) should meet with a Building Inspector and review a current (within six months) plot plan (provided by petitioner). The Board of Appeals meets Mondays monthly in the Wiggin Auditorium at 7:00 p.m.

Submit to Board of Appeals Clerk

  • Application for variance filled out completely, no blanks, along with nine copies (for board members)
  • Certified plot plan 8½ x 11 inches
  • Certified List of Abutters from Assessor’s Office (978.538.5716)
  • Denial letter from Building Inspector
  • Check made payable to City of Peabody for Filing Fee (Commercial: $225)
  • Check for legal ad – Newspaper to be determined when legal ad application is filed

Please see Rules of the Zoning Board of Appeals for additional information

Before applying for a building permit variance decision must be recorded at the Registry of Deeds (45 Congress Street, Suite 4100, Salem MA 01970).  The current Recording Fee is $75.00 but may change at the discretion of the Registry.

Zoning Board of Appeals Contact Information