The Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals both serve different functions in Brookline. The Planning Board is a 7 member board that consists of design professionals. The Planning Board reviews and offers recommendations to the ZBA on all zoning cases. It also guides the physical growth and development of the Town through the adoption and implementation of a master plan, consideration of zoning bylaw amendments, and evaluation and recommendation on land use changes, development projects and the siting of wireless telecommunication facilities. The Planning Board also approves commercial signage and facades and appoints Design Advisory Team to review Major Impact Projects.
The Board of Appeals is the Town’s permit granting authority that is responsible for reviewing and approving applications for relief by special permit and by variance from the requirements of the Zoning By-Law, in accordance with the “Massachusetts Zoning Act” - Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A. 3 board members sit for each hearing and a unanimous vote is required for zoning relief to be granted. The ZBA also hears administrative appeals of Building Commissioner decisions or of ZBA decisions.