Town of Wilton, NH

Zoning Board of Adjustment

How to Apply to the ZBA

Since you’ve reached this page, you probably already know that you need to submit an application to the Wilton Zoning Board, and now you are looking for details. If you aren’t at that stage yet, you might want to start with the About Zoning and the ZBA page.

If you still need help after reading this page, you should call or visit the Town Land Use Administrator.


Kinds of Applications

Common Application

Almost all applications to the Zoning Board are made because you want to do something and need Zoning Board approval for it. There are five such applications, all of which are made using a common application package:

A variance waives or modifies a requirement of the Ordinance which would be unreasonable due to special conditions of your property.
Special Exception
A special exception is a use which is allowed by the Ordinance, but only if the Zoning Board finds that the proposal satisfies a list of requirements.
Equitable Waiver
An equitable waiver is a “no harm, no foul” ruling that forgives some past error regarding “dimensional requirements” (area, setbacks, etc.) as applied to a lot or structure.
Administrative Appeal
An administrative appeal is a challenge to some other Town board’s or official’s interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance as it pertains to their decision restricting your use of your property.
Extension of a Prior Decision
Variances and special exceptions expire if they aren’t used within two years, but can be extended for an additional two years at the discretion of the Zoning Board.

Third-Party Appeal

A third-party appeal of an administrative decision, like an ordinary administrative appeal, challenges some other Town board or official’s interpretation of the Zoning Ordinance, but as it pertains to a decision allowing someone else’s use of their property in a way that you do not think should be allowed.

Request for Rehearing

A request for a rehearing asks the Zoning Board to hold a new hearing to reconsider a decision that it has made. (You can’t appeal a Zoning Board decision to Superior Court if you haven’t first requested a rehearing from the Zoning Board.)


Common Application to the Zoning Board of Adjustment Instructions Form (PDF)
Third-Party Appeal of Administrative Decision Instructions Form (PDF)
Request for Rehearing Instructions Form (PDF)

Application Procedure

  1. Complete the appropriate form. Your case cannot be scheduled for a hearing if the application is not filled out completely and correctly. (On the common application form, you only need to fill out the General Information section and the appropriate application kind sections.)
  2. Prepare an abutter list..
  3. Attach a check for the $125 application fee, plus $10 for each name on the abutter list, made out to “Town of Wilton, NH”.

The Zoning Board usually meets on the second Tuesday of every month, and the deadline for applications is usually the last Tuesday of the preceeding month. Both of these are subject to change, so check the actual deadline on the web site or in the Town Office.

If your complete application, including the application form with all required information, the abutter list, and the application fee, is in the Town Office by the deadline, then your case will be scheduled for a hearing at the next Zoning Board meeting. If not, it will be delayed to the next month.

If you submit your application a week before the deadline, we will attempt to review it and give you a chance to correct any errors or omissions before the deadline.

After You Apply

  1. Your case will be placed on the agenda for the next ZBA meeting. A public notice of the hearing will be posted, printed in a newspaper, and mailed to the property owner and the abutters.
  2. At the public hearing, you, or any agent or counsel of your choice, will be asked to describe your proposed use and why you believe your application should be approved; and any abutters and other interested parties who may be present will be allowed (in person, or by agent or counsel) to present evidence and speak for or against your application.
  3. Following the public hearing, the ZBA will make a decision on your application. You and any other parties to the case will be sent a notice of the Board's decision.
  4. You, the selectmen, or any party directly affected by the decision may appeal a decision of the ZBA. A request for a rehearing of a ZBA decision must be filed in writing in the Town Office no later than twenty-nine days after the date on which the decision was made, and must fully specify all grounds on which the rehearing is requested.