What is the process for changing the zoning classification of a piece of property?

This process is governed by Massachusetts General Law, Chapter 40A. Since South Hadley has a representative Town Meeting form of government, the process is as follows:

  1. Owner (or authorized representative) submits a request to the Selectboard to amend the zoning map. This request needs to specify the existing zoning classification(s) and the proposed zoning classification(s). It must identify the parcel in question. This identification is frequently done by street address and assessor's map parcel numbers.
  2. Selectboard refers the request to the Planning Board for a Public Hearing and recommendation.
  3. Planning Board schedules and advertises a public hearing. Though not required by statute, this practice has been used to notify the abutters of the proposed hearing by certified mail. Applicants are to pay for the legal advertisement and the abutter notification.
  4. Planning Board holds public hearing and applicant is to provide a presentation of their request.
  5. Planning Board votes to make a recommendation to town meeting.
  6. Selectboard places request on town meeting warrant.
  7. Town meeting votes to approve or deny request. Approval requires at least 2/3 affirmative vote of town meeting members present and there must a quorum.
  8. If town meeting approves the request, the Town Planner and Town Clerk submit amendment information to State Attorney General's Office for approval.
  9. Within 90 days of receipt of complete information from the town, the Attorney General will approve or deny the town meeting action.