Framingham Zoning Board of Appeal Moving Its Meetings To Wednesdays

FRAMINGHAM – Starting April 10, the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) will move its meeting to Wednesdays.

The ZBA will meet on the second Wednesday of the month in the Memorial Building, now.

The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) is the Special Permit Granting Authority for projects as required under the Zoning Bylaw. The ZBA also hears appeals by parties aggrieved by a decision of the Building Commissioner, and may issue Variances where the criteria set forth in the Zoning Bylaw have been met.

The chair of the Framingham Zoning Board of Appeals is Phil Ottaviani Jr.

Eight months ago, the 11-member Framingham City Council voted 8-3 to reject Mayor Yvonne Spicer’s nominees for the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Since that rejection of her nominees, the Mayor has met with Councilors, and the current Zoning Board chair, but has yet to submit a new slate of names to the City Council for approval.

With no new names submitted to the City Council, the current Zoning Board of Appeals remains, as it was when the City began on January 1, 2018.

And the Board continues to rules on cases.

Terms ended for some members on June 30, 2017, and for its current chair on June 30, 2018.

Until the Mayor’s nominees are approved, members have voluntarily agreed to serve, from when they were appointed by the Board of Selectmen, including Susan Craighead, who had planned to leave the board, and did not seek re-appointment.

With no new mayoral nominees, Associate Zoning Board of Appeals member Joseph Norton, is now serving on two major boards. Mayor Spicer nominated him for the 5-member Planning Board, and he was confirmed by the Council in 2018.

In August, Framingham Planning Board Chair Christine Long asked Norton to recuse himself from a vote before the Planning Board as he had sat on the same matter when it came before the Zoning Board.

But a week later, Norton said the City’s Solicitor rendered an opinion that “I
may sit on cases that are before the ZBA and the Planning Board, as long
as I do not have any conflict of interest relative to Section 23B of the
Conflict of Interest law.”

Norton said he is allowed to sit on both boards on the same issue, as he is “representing the interests of the City of Framingham.”

Mayor’s Nominees in 2018

On July 31, Mayor Spicer nominated seven individuals for the three full-time members and four associate members on the board.

The Mayor’s office said in its announcement, it conducts a “complete review of applications” and conducted interviews before making its decision.

There were nine male and two female applicants. Applicants came from Precincts 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7.

Although current chair Ottaviani Jr. applied for re-appointment, Spicer chose not to appoint him. Today, April 6, he is still chair of the Board, sets the agenda and oversees the meetings.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: Phone: 508-315-7176

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