Guidelines for Applicants


For Prospective Applicants
Please review SOSNA's Zoning Protocols. After you have done so, feel free to contact SOSNA staff for any additional information or to request to be placed on the next Zoning Committee Meeting. Please plan ahead; SOSNA is an active community organization run primarily by volunteers. The monthly Zoning Committee Meeting calendar often fills in advance. To present your project at our Zoning Committee Meeting, you will need complete SOSNA's application.

The SOSNA Zoning Committee meets the third Wednesday of every month, normally at the SOSNA Office (1901 Christian Street).  To appear before the Committee:

  • At least 13 Days Prior to the Meeting:  Submit design documentation (outlined in Zoning Protocol).
  • On the first Wednesday or second Tuesday of the month, meet with SOSNA's Architectural Review Committee (ARC)
  • 7 Days Prior to the Meeting:  Pick up an orange SOSNA Zoning Poster and post on property. Distribute flyers to near neighbors (on a list you will have received from the planning commission) reminding them of the date, time ad location of the SOSNA Zoning Committee Meeting
  • Day of the Meeting:  Bring final presentation design plans and photos on on 11x17 paper (4 copies), and email all documents to the SOSNA Programs Coordinator.

To aid in the predictability and consistency of the SOSNA Zoning Committee, please find here some common reactions or requests for residential construction (the file is available for download at the bottom of the page).

Residential Best Practices - Questions Frequently Asked
The following questions for residential development are intended to focus developers on issues of reoccurring significance to our neighborhood. While not mandatory, there guidelines incorporate concerns regularly expressed during public meetings of the Zoning Committee. Each applicant, however, must remember that each project is unique and compliance with these guidelines does not guarantee support, just as non-compliance will not necessarily result in opposition from our neighborhood


  • How high are neighboring properties?
  • Is the block predominantly uniform?
  • Are there cornices on adjacent buildings?
  • Would this create an adverse light blockage?

Rear Yard Depth/Open Space:

  • How deep are adjacent structures?
  • Would this impact light/air on neighboring property?
  • Can the structure be stepped-back above the 2nd floor?
  • Do projecting bays or balconies impact open space, light or air?

Roof Decks:

  • Is deck set-back from edge of roof sufficiently to hide from street view?
  • Is pilot house located to hide it from street view?
  • Is pilot house configured to minimize adverse light/air blockage? (orientation & slope)

Exterior / Façade:

  • Are steps configured to minimize impact on sidewalk passageway?
  • Are window sill/head heights in context with the adjacent structures?
  • Is there a continuation of the cornice between adjacent structures? (if present)
  • Is a street tree included?
  • Is pedestrian lighting included?
  • Do projecting bays conform to Streets Dept. requirements?
  • Are all materials identified on the drawings?

Curb Cut:

  • Is there legal parking at the location of the curb cut?
  • Are there utility poles or fire hydrants that may be affected?
  • Is there a transit stop near by?
  • Are there other nearby curb cuts which could prevent parking adjacent to proposed cut?


  • Will the units be sold or rented?
  • Is the lot currently zoned for multi-family dwellings?
  • Is rear yard accessible to all units?
  • Is basement accessible to all units?
  • Is roof deck (if included) accessible to all units?
  • Is trash storage provided?


  • Where are the lot lines of adjacent properties?
  • Are the resultant lots conforming & buildable?

The Zoning Committee generally does not look favorably on exclusively residential development on commercially zoned properties.

The Zoning Committee generally does not look favorably on multi-family developments on properties zoned for single-family dwellings (RSA-5).

Files & Links