It’s generally best that the building or business owner appear before the HARB, optionally with the contractor. The HARB will have questions which can often only be answered by the owner. Also, the HARB might present various alternatives which only the owner can, or will, agree to.
If there is no one present who can effectively present the owner’s case, the HARB might have to make assumptions leading to a decision the owner might be unhappy with.
Buildings in B Zone
In certain routine cases, for buildings in the B zone, the preservation consultant in the Code Enforcement Office (where you get the permit) after visiting the building, might issue an “administrative approval.” This means that the permit can be issued preemptively, before the HARB meeting, and that the consultant will represent the owner at the HARB meeting. In these cases, neither the owner nor the contractor need appear.