Application Instructions and Checklist



Revised March 25, 2013

The board strongly recommends that, before making any appeal, you become familiar with the Jackson Zoning Ordinance, and also with the New Hampshire Statutes TITLE LXIV, RSA Chapters 672- 677, covering planning and zoning.

Three types of appeals can be made to the Board of Adjustment:


(A) VARIANCE: A variance is an authorization, which may be granted under special circumstances, to use your property in a way that is not permitted under the strict terms of the zoning ordinance

For a variance to be legally granted, you must show that your proposed use meets all five of the following conditions:

  1. The variance will not be contrary to the public interest,
  2. The spirit of the ordinance is observed;
  3. Substantial justice is done;
  4. Thevalues of the surrounding properties are not diminished;
  5. Literal Enforcement of the provisions of the ordinance would result in an unnecessary hardship.

If you are applying for a variance, you must first have some form of determination that your proposed use is not permitted without a variance. Most often, this determination is a denial of a building permit. A copy of the determination must be attached to your application.

B. APPEAL FROM AN ADMINISTRATIVE DECISION: If you have been denied a building permit or are affected by some other decision regarding the administration of the Jackson Zoning Ordinance, and you believe that the decision was made in error under the provisions of the ordinance, you may appeal the decision to the Board of Adjustment. The appeal will be granted if you can show that the decision was indeed made in error. If you are appealing an administrative decision, a copy of the decision appealed from must be attached to your application.

C. EQUITABLE WAIVER OF DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS: The Board may grant an equitable waiver only for existing dimensional nonconformities provided the applicant can meet the required standards.

  1. The nonconformity was not discovered until after the structure was substantially completed or after a vacant lot in violation had been transferred to a bona fide purchaser;
  2. The nonconformity was not an outcome of ignorance of the law or bad faith but was instead caused by a legitimate mistake;

    If these conditions are satisfied, the Board can move on to the additional findings to grant the waiver:
  3. The nonconformity does not constitute a public or private nuisance nor diminish the value or interfere with future uses of other property in the area; and
  4. The cost of correction would far outweigh any public benefit to be gained.

In lieu of the requirements in paragraphs (a) and (b), the violation has existed for 10 years or more with no enforcement action, including written notice, commenced by the town.

See Jackson Zoning Ordinance that states:

Waivers shall be granted only from physical layout, mathematical or dimensional requirements. An equitable waiver shall not be construed as a Non-Conforming Use, and shall not exempt future use, construction, reconstruction, or additions on the property from full compliance with the Zoning Ordinance. This Section shall not be construed to impose upon municipal officials any duty to guarantee the correctness of plans reviewed by them.


(Revised 8/18/08)

For any appeal, the application form must be properly filled out. The application form is intended to be self-explanatory, but be sure that you show:

  • WHO owns the property? If the applicant is not the owner, this must be explained in a written document signed by the owner.
  • WHERE is the property located? Show area map with surrounding lots and indicate Tax Lot Number.
  • DESCRIBE the property. Give area, frontage, side and rear lines, slopes and natural features, etc.
  • WHAT do you propose to do? Attach sketches, 2 copies of plot plans and construction plans; pictures, or whatever may help explain the proposed use. Include copies of any prior applications concerning the property.
  • WHY does your proposed use require an appeal to the board of adjustment?
  • WHY should the appeal be granted?

Abutters - Prepare a list of all abutting property owners, and attach it to your application. (RSA 672:3) If you have any difficulty, consult the town office staff but the accuracy of the list is your responsibility.


  • Application Form
  • List of Abutters - including addresses and TAX LOT Number. Abutter lists with addresses are to be supplied on labels (3 copies of each abutter) on Avery label form 5160/8160 or equivalent (1" x 2 5/8").
  • Written document from property owner if different from applicant
  • Copy of all correspondence from administrative officer, or board regarding property
  • Minutes of any meeting with administrative officer or board regarding property
  • Copy of all correspondence and information from any state agency pertinent to appeal
  • Copy of Deed
  • 2 Copies of plot plan showing existing and proposed buildings and construction plans, with all dimensions, including building height
  • Copy of any pictures or other documents to help explain proposed use
  • Copy of any prior applications concerning this property
  • FEE – Check made out to Town of Jackson
  • Any Association documents, if applicable.

Mail or deliver the completed application, with all attachments to Chairman, Jackson Board of Adjustment, PO Box 268, Jackson, NH, 03846 or to the office of the Board of Selectmen. A fee is charged sufficient to cover the cost of preparing and mailing the legally-required notices. Make check payable to Town of Jackson~and remit with your application. The application is not accepted until approved as complete by the Board.

Property Stakes and Site Visits – The applicant should stake out pertinent boundary lines and proposed building dimensions so that ZBA members can visit the site and properly review and decide on your application. ZBA members will call applicants before making any site visits.

The board will schedule a public hearing within 30 days of receipt of your properly-completed application. (RSA 676:7 II states- The public hearing shall be held within 30 days of the receipt of the notice of appeal.) Public notice of the hearing will be posted in 2 places and printed in a newspaper, and notice will be mailed to you and to all abutters and to other parties whom the board may deem to have an interest, at least five days before the date of the hearing. You and all other parties will be invited to appear in person or by agent or counsel to state reasons why the appeal should or should not be granted. After the public hearing, the board will reach a decision. You and all other parties to the case will be sent a notice of decision.

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Board of Adjustment By-Laws state that information from the applicant and/or his representatives must be provided to the Board no less than 7 calendar days prior to the date of the public hearing.

REHEARINGS - If you believe a Board of Adjustment  decision is wrong, you have the right to appeal. The Board of Selectmen, any party to the action, or any party affected, have similar rights to appeal the decision in your case. To appeal, you must first ask the Board for a rehearing. The motion for rehearing may be in the form of a letter to the Board and should be sent to: Chairman, Jackson Board of Adjustment, PO Box 268, Jackson, NH, 03846. The motion must be made within 30 days of the decision counted in calendar days beginning with the date following the date upon which the Board voted to approve or disapprove the application. The letter must set forth the grounds on which it is claimed the decision is unlawful or unreasonable.

COURT APPEALS - Whether or not a rehearing is held, you must have requested one before you can appeal to the courts. When a rehearing is held, the same procedure is followed as for the first hearing, including public notice and notice to abutters.

See RSA Chapter 677 for more details on rehearing and appeal procedures.

JACKSON FEE SCHEDULE and LIST OF ABUTTERS – all fees as listed below and discussed in the Jackson Board of Adjustment By-Laws must accompany any application. The Board shall reject any petition/application not properly or completely filled out. An application for appeal shall not be considered filed with or received by the Board unless it is accompanied by the required fee and the list of abutters as defined by RSA 672:3. An application submitted without the list shall be deemed incomplete and no action shall be taken.

Jackson FEES:

  • Pertaining to River Conservation District - $250
  • All other appeals - $75