City of Chicopee, MA
Hampden County
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§ 275-5 Enforcement authority.

It shall be the duty of the Building Department to enforce the provisions of this chapter. The Building Commissioner shall refuse to grant a permit for the construction or alteration of any building if the building as constructed or altered would be in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and shall assess and collect all fines.

§ 275-6 Site plan review.

[Amended 4-20-1999 by Ord. No. 99-22; 12-21-2004 by Ord. No. 04-110]
A. 
Statement of purpose. The purpose of this section is to provide for an orderly and comprehensive review process for development projects; to promote safe vehicular and pedestrian traffic movements within the site and in relation to the site; to protect the capacity of state and local roads to conduct traffic smoothly and efficiently; to promote attractive and viable commercial, business and industrial districts; to protect abutting and nearby property from disturbances from noise, dust, vibrations and light; to protect the natural environment; to protect historical resources; to maintain the value of abutting and nearby property in the project area; to identify and ensure compliance with all applicable local, state and federal regulations; and to generally provide for the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Chicopee. To accomplish this, new construction projects have been categorized by building footprint size and impact and will be reviewed and approved by Building Department Checklist, Site Plan Review Advisory Committee, or Planning Board. The procedures for each category of review are listed below.
B. 
Building Department Checklist review.
(1) 
Projects subject to review by Building Department Checklist:
(a) 
Development projects with footprints of 1,000 square feet or less in Commercial A, Commercial A-1, Central Business District, Business A, Business B, Business C, and Industrial, Commercial Center and Mill Conversion Overlay Zones. This also applies to property in IPUD and IPUD II Zones that are not operated by an established nonprofit development organization.
(b) 
Additions with footprints less than 1,000 square feet to existing buildings in any zone.
(c) 
One-, two- and three-family dwellings on individual lots (accessory buildings and lots in residential subdivisions approved after January 4, 2005, are excluded.)
(2) 
Submission requirements:
(a) 
Building Department Checklist. Building Department Checklists are obtained in the Building Department.
(b) 
A plot plan certified by a person registered under the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to practice land surveying. The following information must be shown on the plot plan:
[1] 
All property corners, with type of monumentation (identified as set or found);
[2] 
Existing and proposed grading, proposed grading at house corners and garage doors;
[3] 
Proposed location of the building(s) and driveway;
[4] 
Utilities;
[5] 
Elevation of top of foundation wall F.F., benchmark and datum;
[6] 
Direction of stormwater runoff; the proposed grading shall not direct runoff toward abutting properties;
[7] 
Location and dimensions of existing and proposed easements;
[8] 
North arrow, street name(s), zoning district, setbacks, side yards, lot area, and Chicopee Assessor Map and parcel ID number.
[9] 
Scale: 1:20.
C. 
Site Plan Review Advisory Committee review.
(1) 
The following projects shall be submitted to the Site Plan Review Advisory Committee:
(a) 
Development projects with footprints from 1,000 square feet up to 7,500 square feet in Commercial A, Commercial A-1, Central Business District, Business A, Business B, Business, C and Industrial, Commercial Center and Mill Conversion Overlay Zones. This also applies to property in IPUD and IPUD II Zones that are not operated by an established nonprofit development organization and projects developed in phases from January 4, 2005, that cumulatively trip any construction and/or paving plan review criteria.
(b) 
Paving projects, that may or may not be associated with building construction, that include 4,000 square feet or more of impervious surface in any zone.
(c) 
Paving projects of less than 4,000 square feet when added to existing pavement that together totals 4,000 square feet or more of impervious surface in any zone.
(d) 
All municipal projects, including new construction of 1,000 square feet and over, new pavement or reconstruction of exiting paved areas.
(2) 
Submission requirements:
(a) 
Site Plan Review Advisory Committee application. The application is available in the Department of Planning and Development.
(b) 
Plans are to be submitted in accordance with the Chicopee Planning Board Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations, Section II, Site Plans, available from the Department of Planning and Development.
D. 
Planning Board review.
(1) 
The following projects shall be submitted to the Planning Board:
(a) 
Development projects with a footprint of 1,000 square feet or more in Residential A, Residential B, and Residential C Zones (excluding one-, two- and three-family dwellings and accessory uses thereto on individual lots).
(b) 
Development projects with a footprint of 7,500 square feet or more in Commercial A, Commercial A-1, Central Business District, Business A, Business B, Business C, Industrial, and Commercial Center and Mill Conversion Overlay Zones. This also applies to property in IPUD and IPUD II Zones that are not operated by an established nonprofit development organization and projects developed in phases from January 4, 2005, that cumulatively trip any construction and/or paving plan review criteria.
(c) 
Development projects with a footprint of 1,000 square feet or more in Commercial A, Commercial A-1, Central Business District, Business A, Business B, Business C, Industrial, and Commercial Center and Mill Conversion Overlay Zones where the subject property abuts or is within 100 feet of any residential zone.
(2) 
Submission requirements:
(a) 
Planning Board site plan review preliminary, definitive and plan modification applications are available from the Department of Planning and Development.
(b) 
Plans are to be submitted in accordance with the Chicopee Planning Board Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations, Section II, Site Plans, available from the Department of Planning and Development.
E. 
Other plan review.
(1) 
Projects requiring special permits must also submit a plan in accordance with Chicopee City Code § 275-9.
(2) 
Projects in Mixed Use Districts, IPUD and IPUD II Districts shall submit site plans in accordance with the criteria set forth in the district regulations. Where there are conflicting requirements, the requirements of this section shall prevail.
F. 
Stormwater management. All projects must be in compliance Chicopee City Code Chapter 231.
G. 
Unsewered lots. Plan submissions for projects with no sewer available shall be subject to Health Department approval of on-site waste disposal plan prior to construction.
H. 
Traffic control. The Site Plan Review Advisory Committee reserves the authority to require traffic studies when the proposed project may impact traffic volume and circulation or require changes to adjacent roadways and/or intersections.
I. 
Review process. Site plans shall be submitted to the Planning Department and will be distributed by the Planning Department representative for review by the following departments: Building, Public Works, Planning, Conservation, Water, Wastewater Treatment, Health, Fire, Engineering, Electric Light and any other department deemed necessary by the Building Commissioner. Department heads or their designees shall make up the Site Plan Review Advisory Committee. The Planning Department representative shall meet with the various departments to review the site plan and solicit written comments. The site plan shall be fully reviewed within 60 days of the filing of the application. The Planning Department representative shall issue a written report to the applicant of the findings of the review. This review process does not excuse the applicant from compliance with any other applicable local, state or federal regulations. No building permits shall be issued for development projects until all applicable regulations have been met. The Building Department will require project sign-off from each Site Plan Review Committee member prior to the issuance of a building permit and prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy. The sign-off cards are available in the Building Department.
J. 
Approval/disapproval. Should the plan be approved, either in total or with revisions or conditions, it shall serve as the agreed document for purposes of issuing a building permit, inspections, and certificate of occupancy. In the event the site plan is not approved, the applicant may appeal to the Board of Appeals under the provisions hereinafter contained.
K. 
Performance guarantee. If the developer seeks a certificate of occupancy for a building prior to the completion of the approved site improvements, the City of Chicopee shall require the posting of a performance guarantee to cover the cost of the remaining work.
L. 
City Council review. The Planning Board shall submit current copies of its Subdivision and Site Plan Review Regulations to the Zoning Committee of the City Council every March for review.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
M. 
Priority development.
[Added 5-19-2009 by Ord. No. 09-87]
(1) 
Purpose. The Chicopee City Council has adopted the provisions of MGL Chapter 43D and established priority development sites which are shown on a map entitled "City of Chicopee Priority Development Sites Map," available for view in the City Clerk's office and the Department of Planning and Development. The purpose of these districts is to promote economic development as encouraged by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Smart Growth initiative.
(2) 
Applicability. The provisions of this section apply only to those officially designated locations shown a map entitled "City of Chicopee Priority Development Sites Map." Unless specifically noted in this section, all provisions of Chicopee City Code Chapter 275 (Zoning) apply to projects located within a priority development site.
(3) 
Process, review and decisions. For priority development site projects, all special permit, variance, and/or site plan review decisions by their respective approving authorities shall be issued within 180 calendar days after the filing of a complete application with the appropriate body as specified in Chicopee City Code Chapter 275 (Zoning). Decisions may include approval, approval with conditions, or denial of the proposed project in accordance with Chicopee City Code Chapter 275 (Zoning) and MGL Chapter 43D.
(4) 
Concurrent filings. Concurrent filings are allowed for priority development site projects that require permits from more than one approving authority.

§ 275-7 Certificate of occupancy required.

No land shall be used or occupied until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Building Commissioner stating that the proposed use complies with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 275-8 Board of Appeals.

A. 
Appointment of members. There shall be a Board of Appeals to hear appeals as provided for in the provisions of MGL c. 40A, § 12, and it shall consist of five regular and three associate members who shall be appointed by the Mayor, subject to confirmation by the City Council.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
B. 
In the month of March of each year, the Mayor shall appoint two citizens, one as a regular member of said Board and the other as an associate member of said Board, the regular member to hold office for a term of five years and the associate member three years, from the first Monday of April next.
C. 
Any vacancy shall be filled for the unexpired term, and any member may be removed for cause by the Mayor.
D. 
Powers.
(1) 
The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers:
(a) 
To hear and decide appeals where it is alleged by the applicant for a permit that there is an error in any order or decision made by the Building Commissioner in the enforcement of this chapter or the General Laws. Such appeals shall be taken within a period of not more than 30 days from the date the Building Commissioner gave notice of his decision by filing with the Building Commissioner and the City Clerk a notice of appeal specifying the grounds for said appeal. The City Clerk shall forthwith transmit copies of the appeal to the Board of Appeals. The Building Commissioner shall transmit to the Board all papers constituting the record upon which the appeal was taken. Appeals to said Board may be taken by any person aggrieved by reason of his or her inability to obtain a building or occupancy permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer under the provisions of this chapter, by the Lower Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission, by any person, including an officer or board of the City or of any abutting City or town, aggrieved by any order or decision of the Building Commissioner or other administrative official, in violation of any provision of MGL c. 40 or this Zoning Ordinance.
(b) 
To authorize, upon petition, variances by a party of interest from the provisions of this chapter. All of the following conditions must apply to each case. The Board of Appeals is authorized to grant a variance where, owing to conditions especially affecting such parcels or buildings but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located, a literal enforcement of provisions of the law would involve substantial hardship, financial and otherwise, to the appellant; the desirable relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good; such a variance may be granted without deviating from the intent or purpose of this chapter; the special conditions affecting the land which causes the hardship is related to soil conditions, shape or topography of the land or structures; and such variance does not authorize any use or activity which is not otherwise permitted in the district in which the land or structure is located. The Zoning Board of Appeals for the City of Chicopee further defines "hardship" to include lot size, frontage and side, rear and front setback requirements for cases which, in the opinion of the Board of Appeals, result in a lot which is not in conformance with the neighborhood in which it is located if the variance from zoning requirements is not granted.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D(1)(c), which immediately followed this subsection and provided for the granting of special permits, was repealed 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-89.
(2) 
In exercising the above-mentioned powers, the Board of Appeals may impose limitations both of time and of use, and continuation of any use permitted may be conditioned upon compliance with regulations to be made and amended from time to time thereafter. The Board of Appeals may reverse, affirm or modify any order or decision and may make such order or decision as ought to be made. In the case of an appeal, the Board shall have all the powers of the Building Commissioner or official from whom the appeal is taken and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit. A vote of four members of the Board shall be necessary to reverse any order or decision of the Building Commissioner. At least four members of the Board shall be required to vote in favor of a variance in order to pass such an action. Notice of intent to file for an appeal or a variance shall be filed with City Clerk.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-89]
(3) 
If the rights authorized by a variance are not exercised within one year from the date of grant of such variance, they shall lapse and may be reestablished only after notice and a new hearing.
E. 
Hearings. The Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing on any appeal transmitted to it by the City Clerk or an officer acting on his behalf within 65 days from transmittal to the Board of Appeals. Applications for a variance shall be made to the Board of Appeals, and a public hearing shall be held as provided for in § 275-9. Notification for all public hearings shall be in accordance with § 275-10. The Chairman or, in his absence, the Acting Chairman may administer oaths, summon witnesses and call for the production of papers. All hearings of the Board of Appeals shall be open to the public. At the hearings, any party may appear in person or by agent or attorney. The decision of the Board shall be made within 75 days from the date of filing of the appeal, application or petition. Failure by the Board to act within these limits shall be deemed to be the grant of relief, application or petition. The Board of Appeals shall follow all procedures in § 275-12.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-89]

§ 275-9 Special permits.

[Amended 9-23-1980; 3-19-1991 by Ord. No. 91-11; 7-6-1999 by Ord. No. 99-78; 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-94]
A. 
Special permits shall be authorized by the City Council for uses specifically within the Zoning Ordinance. Special permits shall be issued only for uses that are in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter and shall be subject to general and specific terms set forth therein, and such permits shall also impose conditions, safeguards and limitations on time or use.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
(1) 
No new special permit granted under this chapter shall be issued to any applicant who is in default on the payment of taxes, license fees or other monies due to the City concerning licensed property, property under a special permit or prospective licensed property or property under special permit request.
(2) 
No new special permit granted under this chapter shall be issued to any applicant for property for which the owner is in default on the payment of taxes, license fees or other monies due to the City concerning licensed property, property under a special permit or prospective licensed property or property under special permit request.
(3) 
The applicant will attest in writing prior to the granting of a permit that the conditions set forth in this section relative to all payments and monies owed the City are fulfilled on the permitted premises.
(4) 
At any time it is found that the conditions listed in this section are not fulfilled, a special permit may be revoked, suspended, altered. (See § 275-13.)
B. 
A special permit may be revoked or altered by the official granting authority or a fine of $200 or both be levied if it is determined after a public hearing that there has been an abuse and/or misuse of the special permit.
C. 
Application. Each application for a special permit shall be filed with the City Clerk. The special permit granting authority shall receive a copy of the application, including the date and time of filing certified by the City Clerk. Applications shall include the following:
(1) 
The application form, completed in full with signatures from the Building Commissioner and the Department of Planning and Development indicating the application is complete.
(2) 
Seven plot plans with North point, date and scale (one inch equals 20 feet), showing:
(a) 
Existing and proposed lines of streets, ways, easements, and public areas.
(b) 
A system of drainage which shall meet the minimum requirements as stated in Chicopee City Code § 275-6 when new construction, building additions and/or parking lots are proposed.
(c) 
Lot lines with dimensions.
(d) 
The location of existing and proposed buildings, parking and points of access, signs and lighting and refuse disposal areas.
(e) 
Zoning, ownership and use of immediately abutting property.
(f) 
Any additional information that may be required by the Building Commissioner.
D. 
Twenty days prior to the public hearing, copies of the application for a special permit shall be submitted by the permit granting authority to and reviewed by the Board of Health, Department of Planning and Development, City Engineer, Building Commissioner, Fire Department, Conservation Administrator and any other board or department designated by the special permit granting authority. Recommendations from departments or boards shall be sent to the special permit granting authority; provided, however, that the failure of any such board or agency to make recommendations within the twenty-day period shall be deemed lack of opposition thereto.
E. 
Hearings. Special permits shall only be issued following a public hearing to be held in accordance with § 275-10, held within 65 days after filing of an application with the City Clerk. The special permit granting authority shall act within 90 days following the public hearing for which notice has been given by publication or posting. The required time limits for a public hearing and said action may be extended by written agreement between the petitioner and the special permit granting authority. A copy of such agreement shall be filed in the office of the City Clerk. Failure by the special permit granting authority to take final action upon an application for a special permit within 90 days following the date of the public hearing shall be deemed to be a grant of the special permit. The petitioner who seeks such approval by reason of the failure of the special permit granting authority to act within such time prescribed, shall notify the City Clerk, in writing within 14 days from the expiration of said 90 days or extended time, if applicable, of such approval and that notice has been sent by the petitioner to parties in interest. The petitioner shall send such notice to parties in interest by mail and each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 17, and shall be filed within 20 days after the date the City Clerk received such written notice from the petitioner that the special permit granting authority failed to act within the time prescribed. After the expiration of 20 days without notice of appeal pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 17, or, if appeal has been taken, after receipt of certified records of the court in which such appeal is adjudicated, indicating that such approval has been final, the City Clerk shall issue a certificate stating the date of approval, the fact that the special permit granting authority failed to take final action and that the approval resulting from such failure has become final, and such certificate shall be forwarded to the petitioner. The special permit granting authority shall cause to be made a detailed record of its proceedings, indicating the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and setting forth clearly the reason for its decision and of its official actions, copies of all of which shall be filed within 14 days in the office of the City Clerk and shall be deemed a public record, and notice of the decision shall be mailed forthwith to the petitioner, applicant or appellant, to the parties in interest designated in MGL c. 40A § 11, and to every person present at the hearing who requested that notice be sent to him and stated the address to which such notice was to be sent. Each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to MGL c. 40A § 17 and shall be filed within 20 days after the date of filing of such notice in the office of the City Clerk.
F. 
Special permits issued shall require a two-thirds vote by the City Council. The special permit granted under this section shall lapse in a period of one year, including such time required to pursue or wait termination of any appeal from the grant, if a substantial use has not sooner commenced, except for good cause or, in the case of a permit for construction, if construction has not begun by such date, except for good cause. Following such lapse, the rights for the special permit may be reestablished only after a notice and a new hearing, as specified in § 275-10, have been undertaken.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
G. 
Where a permit or license is required from the City Council in addition to the special permit, the City Council may hold a single public hearing for the issuance of both.
[Amended 9-1-2009 by Ord. No. 09-17]
H. 
No special permit shall take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the City Clerk that, if such an appeal has been filed, it has been dismissed or denied is recorded in the Registry of Deeds in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted in the owner's certificate of title. Notice of the decision shall be sent to the Building Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development, City Engineer, Board of Health, Conservation Administrator, and Fire Department.
I. 
Fees for recording and registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant. No building permits shall be issued without proof that the special permit has been filed with the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.
J. 
Time limitation. There shall be no limitations imposed on special permits, however special permits will be monitored for performance and may be subject to revocation, suspension, alteration or fines in accordance with § 275-13.
K. 
Permit holder and transferability.
(1) 
Special permits that involve the construction of permanent structures shall be granted to run with the land and may be transferred to a new holder without further action by the special permit granting authority.
(2) 
Special permits that involve capital improvements of 50% or more of the assessed value of a structure at the time of application shall be granted to run with the land and may be transferred to a new holder without further action by the special permit granting authority.
(3) 
Special permits that govern the use of an existing structure or site shall be granted to the applicant and may be transferred to a new holder only in accordance with the terms of § 275-9L(2).
L. 
Renewal, transfers, modifications and extensions.
(1) 
Transfers of special permits to a new holder are subject to the same application and public hearing procedure as new issues.
(2) 
Modification of an existing special permit is subject to the same application and public hearing procedure as new issues.
(3) 
Extension of special permits that are not exercised within a year of issue shall be subject to the same application and public hearing procedure as new issues.
M. 
The special permit granting authority shall consider the following in its evaluation of the special permit application:
(1) 
Conformance of the plan/proposal to zoning ordinances, other applicable requirements of the Chicopee City Code and all other applicable regulations.
(2) 
Compatibility with existing uses and other uses permitted by right in the same zoning district.
(3) 
Potential for creating a nuisance due to air and water pollution, flood, noise, dust, vibration, lights or visually offensive structures and accessories.
(4) 
Potential for creating a substantial inconvenience or hazard to abutters, vehicles or pedestrians.
(5) 
Adequacy of protection offered adjoining premises against any possible detrimental or offensive uses on the site.
(6) 
Provision of convenient and safe vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and in relation to adjacent streets, property or improvements.
(7) 
Provision of adequate space for off-street loading and unloading incidental to the normal operation of the establishment or use.
(8) 
Provision of adequate methods of disposal and/or storage of sewage, refuse, and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted or permissible on the site.
(9) 
Adequacy of the stormwater management system.
(10) 
Adequacy of erosion and sedimentation control for construction projects.
(11) 
Appearance of building, accessory uses and grounds and compatibility with the appearance of the neighborhood. This includes scale, building materials, architectural style, and landscaping.
(12) 
The proposal is in general harmony with the purpose and intent of the Zoning Ordinance.
N. 
The special permit granting authority shall adopt rules and regulations for the submission of special permit applications in addition to the rules set down in this section. Such rules shall be filed with the City Clerk.

§ 275-10 Notice of hearing.

A. 
Notice of a public hearing is required for all appeals, applications for variances and special permits and for amendments to the Zoning Ordinance or Map. Notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the City of Chicopee once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than 14 days before the day of the hearing, and by posting such notice in a conspicuous place for a period of not less than 14 days before the day of such hearing. Notice shall be sent to the petitioner, abutters, owners of land directly opposite on any public or private street or way and owners of land within 300 feet of the property line, as they appear on the most recent applicable tax list, notwithstanding that the land of any such owner is located in another City or town. Notice shall also be sent to the Chicopee Planning Board and, for zoning amendments, to the Planning Boards of every abutting City or town, which may forward recommendations with respect to said matter for the consideration of the permit granting authority.
B. 
The Assessors maintaining the tax list shall certify to the permit granting authority the names and addresses of parties in interest. The permit granting authority or special permit granting authority may accept a waiver of notice from or an affidavit of actual notice to any party in interest or, in his stead, any successor owner of record who may not have received a notice by mail and may order special notice to any such person, giving not less than five nor more than 10 additional days to reply.
C. 
Publications and notices required shall contain the name of the petitioner, a description of the area of premises, the street address, if any, or other adequate identification of the location of the area or premises which is the subject of the petition, the date and place of the public hearing, the subject matter of the hearing and the nature of the action or relief requested, if any. No such hearing shall be held on any Sunday or legal holiday or on the day on which a federal, state or municipal election, caucus or primary is held in the City of Chicopee.

§ 275-10.1 Filing of decisions for variances and special permits.

[Added 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-91]
The special permit or variance granting authority shall cause to be made a detailed record of its proceedings, including the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact, and setting forth clearly the reason for its decision and of its official actions, copies of all of which shall be filed within 14 days in the office of the City Clerk and shall be deemed a public record and notice of the decision shall be mailed forthwith to the petitioner, applicant or appellant, to the parties in interest designated in MGL c. 40A, § 11, and to every person present at the hearing who requested that notice be sent to him and stated the address to which such notice was to be sent. Each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 17, and shall be filed within 20 days after the date of filing of such notice in the office of the City Clerk.

§ 275-11 Approved applications.

A. 
Upon the granting of a variance or special permit or any extension, or modification thereof, the special permit granting authority shall issue to the owner or to the applicant, if other than the owner, a certified copy of its decision, containing the name and the address of the owner, identifying the land affected, setting forth compliance with the statutory requirements for the issuance of such variance or permit and certifying that copies of the decisions and all plans referred to in the decision have been filed with the granting authority and the City Clerk. No variance or special permit or any extension, or modification thereof shall take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the City Clerk that 20 days have elapsed and no appeals have been filed or that, if such appeal has been filed, it is dismissed or denied is recorded at the Registry of Deeds, indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner's certificate of title.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-92; 2-19-2002 by Ord. No. 02-04]
B. 
Fees for recording and registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant. No building permits shall be issued without proof that the special permit has been filed with the Registry of Deeds.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-90]

§ 275-12 Reconsideration of action.

[Amended 2-19-2002 by Ord. No. 02-05; 9-1-2009]
No appeal, variance or special permit or any extension or modification thereof which has been unfavorable and finally acted upon by a special permit or permit granting authority shall be acted favorably upon within two years after the date of final unfavorable action unless said special permit or permit granting authority finds, by a vote of four members of the Board of Appeals or Planning Board or by a two-thirds vote of the City Council, that specific and material changes in the conditions upon which the previous unfavorable action was based have occurred, describing such changes in the record of its proceedings, and unless all but one of the members of the Planning Board consents thereto and after a notice has been given to parties in interest, containing the time and place of the proceedings when the question of consent will be considered. Any petition for a variance or application for a special permit which has been transmitted to the permit or special permit granting authority may be withdrawn, without prejudice, by the petitioner prior to the publication of the notice of the public hearing thereon, but may thereafter be withdrawn without prejudice only with the approval of the special permit or permit granting authority by a majority vote of the full Board.

§ 275-13 Revocation suspension and alteration of special permits.

A. 
A special permit may be revoked or altered by the official granting authority or a fine of $200 or both be levied if it is determined after a public hearing that there has been an abuse and/or misuse of the special permit.
[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-22]
B. 
Copies of the notice of application for revocation, suspension or alteration of special permits shall be submitted to and reviewed by the Board of Health, Department of Planning and Development, Planning Board, City Engineer, Building Commissioner and any other board required by the permit granting authority at least 35 days prior to the public hearing. Recommendations from said Departments or Boards shall be sent to the permit granting authority; provided, however, that failure of any such board or agency to make recommendations within 35 days from receipt shall be deemed lack of opposition thereto.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-93]
C. 
The special permit granting authority shall act within 90 days following the public hearing. Failure by the special permit granting authority to take final action within 90 days of the public hearing shall be deemed to be a denial of said application for revocation, suspension or alteration of the special permit. Revocation or alteration of special permits shall require a two-thirds vote by the City Council. Notice of the decision shall be sent to the Building Commissioner, Department of Planning and Development, City Engineer and Board of Health.
[Amended 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-93; 9-1-2009]
D. 
A special permit which governs the use of an existing structure or site and is granted to the applicant may be revoked, suspended or altered after public hearing if it is determined that the holder of said permit is in default of any taxes or fees owned to the City of Chicopee. Said public hearing shall follow the procedure outlined in Subsections B and C of this section.
[Added 11-20-2001 by Ord. No. 01-93]

§ 275-14 Adoption or amendment of Zoning Ordinance.

[Amended 9-1-2009]
A. 
Adoption or amendment of the Zoning Ordinance may be initiated by the submission to the City Council of a proposed Zoning Ordinance or amendment by the City Council, Board of Appeals, an individual owning land affected by an amendment or adoption, 10 registered voters in the City, the Planning Board and the Lower Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission. The City Clerk shall forward the Zoning Ordinance amendment to the City Council, which shall, within 14 days of the receipt of such Zoning Ordinance amendment, submit it to the Planning Board for review and public hearings.
B. 
No Zoning Ordinance or amendment shall be adopted until after the Planning Board and the Zoning Committee of the City Council have held public hearings thereon, at which time interested persons shall be given an opportunity to be heard. These public hearings both shall be held within 65 days after the proposed Zoning Ordinance amendment has been submitted to the Planning Board. Notice of the time and place of such public hearings shall follow the regulations prescribed in this chapter (§ 275-10) and include the place of where text and maps may be inspected. Notice of said hearings shall be sent by mail, postage prepaid, to the Department of Community Affairs, to the Lower Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission, to the abutting communities and to other parties as prescribed in § 275-10.
C. 
The Planning Board shall submit to the City Council, within 21 days following the Planning Board hearing, a report with recommendations on the proposed zone change or Zoning Ordinance amendment. The Zoning Committee of the City Council shall submit its recommendations after receipt of such report or after 21 days have elapsed from the Planning Board hearing. If the City Council fails to hold a final vote on any proposed ordinance or amendment within 90 days after the Planning Board hearing, no action shall be taken thereon until subsequent public hearings are held with notice and report as above provided.
D. 
No Zoning Ordinance shall be adopted or changed except by a two-thirds vote of all members of the City Council. If there is filed with the Clerk prior to final action by the City Council a written protest against such change, stating the reasons for such protest, duly signed by owners of 20% or more of the area of land proposed to be included in such change or the area of the land immediately adjacent extending 300 feet therefrom, no such change of any ordinance shall be adopted except by three-fourths vote of all members.
E. 
No proposed Zoning Ordinance or amendment which has been unfavorably acted upon by the City Council shall be considered by the City Council within two years of the date of unfavorable action unless the adoption of such a proposed ordinance is recommended in the final report of the Planning Board. Notice requirement for all hearings shall be the same as those enumerated in § 275-10.

§ 275-15 Petition for leave to withdraw.

[Added 11-20-1984; amended 9-1-2009]
After the Planning Board hearing, any petitioner seeking a leave to withdraw must notify the City Council Secretary at least but not less than three working days prior to the Zoning Committee public hearing. The petitioner shall pay for certified mailing to abutters notifying them of the petition for a leave to withdraw. Said mail shall be delivered to abutters not less than 24 hours prior to the hearing. If these procedures are not followed, the petition for a leave to withdraw will be at the discretion of the City Council.

§ 275-16 Copies of Zoning Map on file.

A. 
A Zoning Map, which shows the districts in a manner sufficient for identification, shall be kept in the City Clerk's office or a place of his designation. Zoning shall be shown on a set of Assessor's Maps. An index map showing districts in outline form shall be a part of the Zoning Map.
B. 
A copy of the Zoning Map shall be kept in the office of the Building Commissioner. Any alterations in the Zoning Map shall be made on the original map and any copies of the map by the Department of Planning and Development.

§ 275-17 Interpretation.

In interpreting and applying provisions of this chapter, they shall be held to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the health, safety, comfort and convenience and for the general welfare of the people of Chicopee. This chapter shall not repeal, abrogate nor in any other way impair or interfere with any existing provision of law or ordinance or any rules or regulations previously adopted or issued first of all relating to the use of buildings or premises; provided that, where this chapter imposes a greater restriction upon the use of buildings or premises or upon the height of buildings or requires larger lots or yards than are imposed or required by such existing provisions or regulations, the provisions of this chapter shall control.

§ 275-18 Validity.

A. 
The effective date of this Zoning Ordinance or any amendment shall be the date on which such adoption or amendment was voted upon by the City Council, subject to it being signed by the Mayor.
[Amended 9-1-2009]
B. 
Severability. If any section, paragraph, subdivision, clause, phrase or provision of this chapter shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional, the same shall not affect the validity of this chapter as a whole or part thereof other than the part so decided to be invalid.
C. 
No claim of invalidity of any zoning ordinance or bylaw arising out of any possible defect in the procedure of adoption or amendment shall be made in any legal proceeding, and no state, regional, county or municipal office will refuse, deny or revoke any permit, approval or certification because of any such claims of invalidity unless, within 120 days after adoption of an ordinance, legal action is commenced and notice specifying the court, parties, invalidity claimed and date of filing is filed, together with the copy of the petition, with the City Clerk within seven days after the commencement of the actions.

§ 275-19 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 4-15-1997 by Ord. No. 97-25A]
Any person or corporation violating any provision of the Zoning Ordinance may be fined a penalty of up to but not more than $200 for each violation. Such fine shall be levied by the Building Commissioner and may be appealed according to procedures set forth in § 275-8.

§ 275-20 Filing fees.

[Amended 11-7-1985; 4-17-2007 by Ord. No. 07-36; 9-1-2009]
Applications for a variance or special permit shall be accompanied by a filing fee as set by the City Council.[1] Applications for a change in the Zoning Map or the Zoning Ordinance shall be accompanied by a filing fee as set by the City Council.[2] Filing fees shall be waived for agencies of the City of Chicopee. Requests from the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals for changes in filing fees shall be submitted to the City Council as follows:
A. 
A letter from the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman to the City Council identifying the amount and reasons for the filing fee change.
B. 
A copy of the Planning Board or Zoning Board of Appeals legal notice and meeting minutes indicating the fee change has been advertised, discussed, and voted favorably upon by a majority of the Board.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The current fees are on file in the office of the City Clerk.
[2]:
Editor's Note: The current fees are on file in the office of the City Clerk.