Variance Requests

In general, full compliance with the provisions of State and Local Regulations is presumed to be necessary for the protection of public health, safety, welfare, and the environment.  In situations where full compliance is not feasible, the Bourne Board of Health may consider requests for relief or variances from these regulations.  If you have a project or permit that needs approval, first check with the Health Agent to see if the case requires a public hearing before the Board of Health.

If your project requires a public hearing, please be sure to read this document carefully and follow all of the instructions.  The Bourne Board of Health typically meets on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of each month at 7:00 PM in the Lower Conference Room of the Bourne Town Hall.  Requests to be heard before the Board of Health must be submitted to the office no later than 4:30 PM a week prior to the tentative meeting date.  Incomplete or late submissions will result in a delay of your scheduled hearing.

  1. Obtain a copy of the applicable Local Regulation from www.townofbourne.com/health or State Regulation from DPH https://www.mass.gov/lists/department-of-public-health-regulations-policies or DEP https://www.mass.gov/septic-systems-title-5 that you need variances from.
  2. Acquire an application for requesting variances from the Health Department and fill out completely.  Reference the specific provisions from the Regulations for which a variance is sought within the application.  Follow the checklist and attach documentation as needed.  The person requesting a variance is obligated to establish:
  • That enforcement of the provision of the Regulations from which a variance is sought would be manifestly unjust;
  • All of the relevant facts and circumstances of the individual case; and
  • That a level of environmental protection that is at least equivalent to that provided under the Regulations can be achieved without strict application of the provision from which a variance is sought.
  1. If abutter notification is required, the applicant must obtain a Certified Abutters List from the Town of Bourne Assessor’s Department.  There is a fee for this request.  Questions on obtaining a certified abutters list may be directed to the Director of Assessing at 508-759-0600 ext. 1510.
  • Sample letters to notify abutters are provided as a template, but must be updated to reference the exact provisions for which a variance is being sought.
  • Mail letters via certified mail to all abutters notifying them of the tentative date, time, location, and reasons for the hearing.  These letters must be sent by the applicant Certified Mail postmarked 10 days prior to the date of the hearing.
  • Receipt of certified mailing, sample letters, and certified abutters list must be submitted to the office of the Board of Health at the time of application to establish that you have met this requirement. 
  1. Submit your completed application with all supplemental documentation and any application fees at least one week prior to the tentative meeting date.  Incomplete applications will not be considered for the Agenda and postponed.