Town of Agawam, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Council of the Town of Agawam 12-21-1972 as Ch. 1 of the Code of the Town of Agawam. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
General provisions — See Charter, Article 9.

§ 1-1 Designation and citation of Code.

The ordinances, rules and regulations contained in this chapter and in the chapters following shall constitute and be designated as "The Code of the Town of Agawam," and may be so cited.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The recodification of Town ordinances was approved 7-10-1989 by TO-84-194.

§ 1-2 Definitions and rules of construction.

A. 
In the construction of this Code and of all other ordinances, rules or regulations hereafter enacted, the following interpretations shall be placed on the words and phrases hereinafter mentioned, unless such construction or interpretation shall be manifestly inconsistent with the evident intent of the Town Council or proper authority or the voters, or repugnant to the context or to the evident purport of any ordinance, rule or regulation.
(1) 
Computation of time. In computing time under the Charter, if seven days or less, "days" shall refer to secular days and shall not include Sundays or legal holidays. If more than seven days, every day shall be counted.
(2) 
Gender. Words importing the masculine gender may apply to the feminine or neither gender.
(3) 
Joint authority. Words purporting to give joint authority to three or more officers or other persons shall give such authority to a majority of such officers or persons.
(4) 
Plural; singular. Words importing the singular may apply to the plural number.
(5) 
Preceding; following. The words "preceding" and "following" mean next before and next after, respectively.
(6) 
Time. Words used in the past or present tense include the future as well as the past and present.
B. 
As used in this chapter and in the Code of the Town of Agawam, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MONTH
A calendar month.
OWNER or OCCUPANT
Applied to a building or land, includes any sole owner or occupant and any joint tenant in common of the whole or any part of a building or lot of land.
PERSON
Includes a corporation, firm, partnership, association, organization or any other group acting as a unit as well as a natural person.
PUBLIC WAY
Includes any highway, Town way, road, bridge, street, avenue, boulevard, roadway, parkway, lane, sidewalk or square having been dedicated, accepted and open to public use.
TOWN
Means the Town of Agawam in the County of Hampden and Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

§ 1-3 Catchlines of sections.

The catchlines of the several sections of this Code printed in bold-faced type are intended as mere catchwords to indicate the contents of the section and shall not be deemed or taken to be titles of such sections, nor as any part of the section, nor, unless expressly so provided, shall they be so deemed when any of such sections, including the catchlines, are amended or reenacted.

§ 1-4 Severability.

It is hereby declared to be the intention to the Town that the sections, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this Code are severable, and if any phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this Code shall be declared unconstitutional by the valid judgment or decree of any court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs and sections of this Code, since the same would have been enacted without the incorporation in this Code of any such unconstitutional phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section.

§ 1-5 General penalty; prosecution of violations.

A. 
Any person convicted of a violation of this Code or any other ordinance or any rule or order made hereunder, except as otherwise provided, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $20 for each offense.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See MGL C. 40, § 21, authorizing Town to affix penalty not exceeding $300 for each offense.
B. 
Prosecutions for the breach of any of the provisions of this Code or other ordinances, rules or regulations shall be commenced within one year from such breach.

§ 1-6 Repeal or amendment.

Any or all the provisions of this Code or other ordinances may be repealed or amended or other ordinances may be adopted from time to time as provided in the Charter.

§ 1-7 Failure to pay municipal taxes or charges as grounds for denial, suspension, revocation of license or permit.

[Added 12-2-2002 by TOR-2002-5]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LICENSING AUTHORITY
The board, commission, department, officer, or other Town entity which issues a permit or license.
MUNICIPAL CHARGE
Any charge established, required, or imposed by any board, commission, department, officer, or other entity of the Town of Agawam for services of personnel or equipment, use of facilities, charges for utilities, goods/materials/equipment supplied or used, or other activities performed by the Town, its employees or agents.
OVERDUE OBLIGATION
Any local tax, assessment, betterment, fee, or municipal charge which remains unpaid for 12 months or more after its due date, unless said tax, etc. is the subject of a pending application for abatement or of a pending appeal before the Appellate Tax Board.
B. 
Any licensing authority of the Town may deny, suspend, or revoke any license or permit issued by said licensing authority, including any transfers or renewals of said license or permit, with the exception of those licenses and permits set forth in Subsection G, infra, if the applicant or holder thereof has any outstanding overdue obligation.
C. 
The Town Collector shall annually, in the month of September, for all municipal commitments which are under his control, issue a list of all persons, corporations, or business entities which have an overdue obligation to the Town. Any other official of the Town having control of records of municipal charges not committed to the Town Collector shall annually, in the month of June, issue a similar list of overdue obligations. Said lists shall be supplied to all licensing authorities within the Town.
D. 
A licensing authority may deny, revoke, or suspend any license or permit held by any person, corporation, or business entity appearing on any list of overdue obligations. Prior to taking such action, the licensing authority shall give written notice, as required by the applicable provisions of law, to the party responsible for the overdue obligation and to the tax collector of the intended action and shall give said party a hearing on the proposed action, said hearing to be held not earlier then 14 days after said notice. The list of overdue obligations shall be prima facie evidence for denial, revocation, or suspension of the license or permit. Any findings made by the licensing authority in connection with a denial, revocation, or suspension shall not be relevant to or introduced in any proceeding at law except for an appeal from said denial, revocation, or suspension. The Town Collector may intervene in any hearing held hereunder.
E. 
Any license or permit which is denied, revoked, or suspended under this section shall not be issued, reissued, renewed or reinstated until the licensing authority receives a certificate from the Town Collector stating that the applicant for or holder of said license or permit is in good standing with respect to any and all local taxes, fees, assessments, or other municipal charges payable to the Town as of the date of issuance of said certificate.
F. 
The licensing authority shall give any applicant for or holder of a license or permit who has an overdue obligation the opportunity to enter into a payment agreement as provided by Massachusetts General Laws for satisfaction of said overdue obligation. Prior to entering into a prepayment agreement, the applicant shall also be given the opportunity to meet with the Town Collector to attempt to reach a resolution acceptable to both parties. Upon execution of any such agreement, the licensing authority shall issue a certificate, to be displayed with said license, indicating that said license or permit is conditioned upon satisfactory compliance with the payment agreement. Failure to comply with the payment agreement shall be grounds for the suspension or revocation of the license or permit following notice and hearing, as required by the applicable provisions of law.
G. 
The following licenses and permits shall not be subject to the provisions of this section: (all references are to the Massachusetts General Laws) Chapter 48, Section 13 (open air burning); Chapter 85, Section 11A (bicycle permits); Chapter 101, Section 33 (sales for charitable purposes); Chapter 149, Section 69 (children's work permits); Chapter 140, Section 21E (clubs dispensing food or beverages); Chapter 140, Section 137 (dog licenses); Chapter 131, Section 12 (fishing/hunting/ trapping licenses); Chapter 207, Section 28 (marriage licenses); Chapter 140, Section 181 (public exhibition/theatrical permits).