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June 23, 2024 Clouds | 86°F
The 193rd General Court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts

Section 100: Building code appeals board

Section 100. There shall be in the division of occupational licensure a building code appeals board, hereinafter called the appeals board, to consist of the board established under the provisions of section ninety-three.

Whoever is aggrieved by an interpretation, order, requirement, direction or failure to act by any state or local agency or any person or state or local agency charged with the administration or enforcement of the state building code or any of its rules and regulations, except any specialized codes as described in section 96, other than the specialized stretch energy code developed and promulgated by the department of energy resources, may within forty-five days after the service of notice thereof appeal from such interpretation, order, requirement, direction, or failure to act to the appeals board. Appeals hereunder shall be on forms provided by the appeals board and shall be accompanied by such fee as said appeals board may determine.

The state, city or town officer in charge of the records and all other papers and documents relative to an appeal shall forthwith, upon receipt of a request of the appeals board, transmit such papers and documents constituting such record to the appeals board.

An appeal shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action or failure to act appealed from unless the state or local agency or any person charged with the administration or enforcement of the state building code or any of its rules and regulations presents evidence that a stay would involve imminent peril of life or property.

The chairman of the appeals board may designate any three members of the appeals board to hold any public hearing under this section, and to hear testimony and take evidence.

The appeals board in hearings conducted under this section shall not be bound by strict rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity.

Decisions on appeal shall be made by the three members of the appeals board conducting the public hearing. Every decision shall require the concurrence of at least two of the three members holding the public hearing and the appeals board shall state in writing its findings of fact, its conclusions, reasons for its decision and indicate the vote of each member of the appeals board upon the decision.

The chairman shall fix a convenient time and place for a public hearing before said three members. Said hearing shall be held not later than thirty days after the filing of such appeal unless such time is extended by agreement with the appellant. The chairman shall give at least ten days notice of the time and place of said hearing to all interested parties. Any such party may appear in person or by agent or attorney at such hearing. The appeals board shall issue a decision or order reversing, affirming or modifying in whole or in part such interpretation, order or requirement, or postponing the application thereof, within thirty days after such hearing, unless such time is extended by agreement with the appellant.

The appeals board may grant a variance from any provision of this code in any particular case, may determine the suitability of alternate materials and methods of construction, and may provide reasonable interpretations of the provisions of this code; provided, however, that appeals board decisions shall not conflict with the general objectives set forth in section ninety-five.

In exercising its powers under this section, the appeals board may impose limitations both as to time and use, and a continuation of any use permitted may be conditioned upon compliance with regulations made and amended from time to time thereafter. A copy of such order or decision of the appeals board shall be sent forthwith by certified mail to all interested parties.

A record of all appeals board decisions and of votes thereunder, properly indexed, shall be maintained in the office of the appeals board and shall be open to public inspection at all times during regular business hours.

The appeals board may establish a local board of appeals in a city or town or a regional board of appeal for more than two or more cities or towns consisting of not less than three nor more than five members. The appeals board may require as a condition precedent to appeal to the appeals board that said appeal be first heard by such local or regional board of appeals. Such local or regional board of appeals may establish rules for its own procedure and shall have the same powers and duties relative to appeals as the building code appeals board. A copy of any decision by a local board of appeal shall be transmitted to the board within ten days after the rendering of such decision.