Special Permits

About Special Permits

There are numerous projects that may require special permits under the Lowell Zoning Ordinance. Most special permits are reviewed by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Special permit applications from the Zoning Board of Appeals are administered by the Inspectional Services Department.

Special Permits for Which the Planning Board is the Granting Authority

Applicants requiring special permits from the Planning Board would be applying for one of a few special permits addressed in the zoning ordinance. All of these require public hearings before the Planning Board.

These include:
  • Section 3.3.1 (Lots Over City Boundaries)
  • Section 5.1.10 (Lot Width)
  • Section 5.2.9 (Large SSF Lots With Reduced Frontage)
  • Section 6.6 (Refuse Containers)
  • Section 6.7.2 (Driveway Length)
  • Section 6.7.3 (Driveway Grade)
  • Section 8.1 (Building Conversion)
  • Section 8.1.3 (10) (Waiver of Requirements for Building Conversion)
  • Article 12 (Certain Uses by Special Permit Marked Pb in the Use Table of the Zoning Ordinance)
In most cases, applicants for these special permits would also be applying for a Site Plan or Subdivision approval from the Planning Board.

Application Forms

Applicants requiring a special permit from the Planning Board in addition to a site plan or subdivision approval should use the supplemental form, in addition to the required site plan or subdivision application form. Others should use the special permit application form.



Planned Residential Development

An applicant doing a clustered development under the "Planned Residential Development" ordinance must apply for a special permit as well as a subdivision approval. The application can be filed with a preliminary or definitive subdivision application. The Planned Residential Development Application (PRD) (PDF) special permit requires a public hearing before the Lowell City Council.