Variance Information and Application Form

A variance would allow a use that is ordinarily prohibited or a structure to be constructed, expanded, or altered where the bylaw would otherwise prohibit such expansion or alteration.

Variance Petition

Reasons for Granted Variance

The Board may grant variances in accordance with provision in Section 10 of Chapter 40A of the General Laws, as amended, from the terms and conditions as stated in the Zoning Protection Bylaw.

The Board may grant variances under specific circumstances where a literal interpretation of the bylaw would pose a substantial financial or other hardship upon the petitioner/applicant. Download the (PDF) and please see Filing & Deadline Dates

  Required Criteria

In making this determination, the Board shall apply the flowing criteria:

  • Soil conditions, shape, or topography affects the land or structure in a special way, but not the zoning district in general.
  • A literal enforcement would impose substantial hardship, financial, or otherwise, to the applicant. Any financial hardship must be somehow related to the land or soil conditions.
  • When relief may be granted to the applicant without substantial detriment to the public good.
  • When relief may be granted to the applicant without substantial detriment to the intent and purpose of the Ipswich Zoning Bylaw.

  All of these conditions must be met for a Variance to be granted. Conditions may be added to address safety and time limitations.

For more information about the Board or about information on this page, please contact Administrative Assistant, Marie Rodgers at or 978-356-6672.  

Be sure to discuss your project with the Building Commissioner/Zoning Enforcement Officer and provide his comments to the ZBA.