[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Appeals of the Town of Middleton 11-20-2003. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following rules are adopted in accordance with MGL c. 40A, § 15.
Public hearings are scheduled for the fourth Thursday of each month at 7:30 p.m. at the Fuller Meadow School, 143 South Main Street, Middleton, MA.
[Amended 3-15-2016; 3-29-2016]
A nonrefundable fee of $150 (residential) or $200 (commercial) payable to the Town of Middleton must be presented to the Town Clerk at the time of filing of each application to cover the costs of the legal notice publication and other expenses associated with the required public hearing. Each petitioner may be subject to additional billing if the expenses incurred for his hearing exceed the deposit paid. The petitioner may receive a refund if the legal notice has not been submitted for publishing.
For a single property, if the petitioner requires a variance and site plan approval (or any combination of both variance, finding, special permit and/or site plan approval), a separate application and fee shall be filed. If more than one variance is required for a single property, only one application is required but each variance shall be separately described.
The last date to file all applications will be 24 days before the scheduled meeting date at 12:00 noon.
All applications for variance, finding, and special permit must include the following information:
Nine copies of the application with the application number included.
One copy of the application supplemental with Assessors' certification.
One copy of the Assessors' Map (scale one inch equals 200 feet).
Nine copies of the plot plan to scale certified by a registered land surveyor.
One copy of the Building Commissioner denial (if needed).
Name and address of applicant.
Name and address of owner of property.
Evidence that the applicant is the owner of the property involved or has the written permission of the owner to make such application.
The street address and a legal description of the premises upon which the requested relief or permit is sought.
Whether or not any application or appeal has previously been filed with the Board of Appeals on these premises and if so, on what date.
Whether it constitutes a variance, a finding, a request for a special permit or a site plan approval.
The use for which a special permit is sought.
A description of each variance sought.
A disclosure as to whether the land to be affected by a variance is contiguous to other land in common ownership.
The plot plan certified by a registered land surveyor must include:
All dimensions of land.
All existing and proposed structures with dimensions.
Distance of all existing and proposed structures, additions or changes from front, side and rear lot lines.
Zoning district classification and any zoning district boundary line that may pass through the property.
All driveways and parking areas and dimensions.
All roadways and properties abutting the lot.
Title indicating lot number, street address, property owner and scale.
Certification by a registered land surveyor of accuracy of plot plan (signed and dated).
A waiver for any of the above conditions may be granted by the Board if requested by the petitioner.
Site plans shall be in accordance with § 235-9.5 and other applicable sections of the Zoning Bylaw. Site plan drawings shall include, at a minimum, all the prerequisites for plot plans listed above. All site plans proposing more than one structure on a lot shall conform to the rules and regulations listed in an attachment titled "Site Plan Requirements for Multi-Structure Projects."
Editor's Note: The attachment is on file at the office of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Editor's Note: The following documents are available from the office of the Zoning Board of Appeals: Application Checklist and Instructions for Filing Zoning Board of Appeals Petitions.
Applications must be signed by the Building Commissioner before being submitted to the Town Clerk.
The Board of Appeals will publish a notice of public hearing on all applications filed in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town of Middleton and will send notices to the petitioner and abutters as certified by the Board of Assessors. The Building Commissioner and any other administrative department whose decision is being appealed or who or which has interest in the matter will also be notified. Between notification of parties of interest and the date of the hearing, there shall be an interval of at least 14 and not more than 31 days.
The Board of Appeals may not make a decision on a site plan approval unless the recommendations have been received from the Building Commissioner and the Planning Board.
The petitioner shall produce at the hearing deeds, plot plans, and other records which have a reasonable bearing upon the lot or lots for which a determination is desired. The Board may retain any record or plot plan which has been introduced as evidence for reference in the consideration of the case.
In any hearing held by the Board of Appeals, the applicant or his duly authorized representative shall present his evidence or any testimony he so desires in support of his application, appeal or petition. Thereafter, evidence or testimony in objection shall be presented.
No person shall speak or give testimony at any hearing before the Board of Appeals until recognized by the Chairman.
No person shall speak or give testimony at any hearing before the Board of Appeals until he has identified himself and no person shall be polled unless said person is a resident of the Town of Middleton or the duly authorized representative of a resident of the Town of Middleton or the owner of land which is affected by the subject matter of the hearing.
Failure to appear in person or by duly authorized representative on the date designated for the hearing on the application may result in dismissal or denial thereof.
The Chairman of the Board of Appeals shall preside at all hearings and meetings. The Chairman may designate any member of the Board to preside and perform the duties of the Chairman, in his absence.
The Chairman, subject to these rules, shall decide all points of order or procedure, unless otherwise directed by a majority of the Board in session at that time.
The Secretary or Clerk of the Board shall keep all accounts and files of the Board in proper order and generally assist the Chairman in the performance of his duties.
At the first regular meeting following the confirmation of the annual appointee, the Board shall elect a Chairman and Clerk. Alternates do not participate in this act.
Purpose. As provided by MGL c. 44, § 53G, and authorized under Section 9.3.5 of the Zoning Bylaws, the Middleton Board of Appeals may impose reasonable fees for the employment of outside consultants, engaged by the Board of Appeals, for specific expert services. Such services shall be deemed necessary by the Board to come to a final decision on an application submitted to the Board of Appeals pursuant to the requirements of the Zoning Bylaw (MGL c. 40A), Comprehensive Permit (MGL c. 40B), or any other state or municipal statute, bylaw or regulation, as they may be amended or enacted from time to time. The Board of Appeals may also impose fees for other consultant services related to application review, or permit conditionings or monitoring, under any of the above-referenced laws or regulations.
Special account. Funds received pursuant to these rules shall be deposited with the Town Treasurer who shall establish a special account for this purpose. Expenditures from this special account may be made at the direction of the Board of Appeals without further appropriation as provided in MGL c. 44, § 53G. Expenditures from this account shall be made only in connection with a specific project or projects for which a consultant fee has been collected from the applicant. Expenditures of accrued interest may also be made for these purposes.
Consultant services. Specific consultant services may include, but are not limited to traffic, drainage, noise. Services may also include on-site monitoring during construction, or other services related to the project deemed necessary by the Board. The consultant shall be chosen by, and report only to the Board and/or its designee.
Notice. The Board of Appeals shall give written notice to the applicant of the selection of an outside consultant. Such notice shall state the identity of the consultant, the amount of the fee to be charged to the applicant, and a request for payment of said fee in its entirety. Such notice shall be deemed to have been given on the date it is mailed or delivered. No such costs or expenses shall be incurred by the applicant if the application or request is withdrawn within five days of the date notice is given.
Fee payment. The fee must be received prior to the initiation of consulting services. The Board may request additional consultant fees if necessary review requires a larger expenditure than originally anticipated or new information requires additional consultant services. Failure by the applicant to pay the consultant fee specified by the Board within 10 business days of the request for payment, or refusal of payment, shall be cause for the Board to deny the application based on lack of sufficient information to evaluate whether the project meets applicable performance standards in the Zoning Bylaw or its regulations. An appeal by the applicant stops the clock on the above deadline; the countdown resumes on the first business day after the appeal is either denied or upheld. A denial for lack of information may be based solely on the lack of the third-party consultant review identified as necessary by the Board. Failure by the applicant to pay the consultant fee specified by the Board within 10 business days of the request for payment shall be cause for the Board to deny the permit application.
Appeals. The applicant may appeal the selection of the outside consultant to the Board of Selectmen, who may only disqualify the outside consultant selected on the grounds that the consultant has a conflict of interest or does not possess the minimum required qualifications. The minimum qualifications shall consist of either an educational degree or three or more years of practice in the field at issue or a related field. Such an appeal must be in writing and received by the Board of Selectmen and a copy received by the Board, so as to be received within 10 days of the date consultant fees were requested by the Board of Appeals. The required time limits for action upon the application shall be extended by the duration of the administrative appeal.
Return of unspent fees. When the Board's review of a project is completed and a permit/decision issued, any balance in the special account attributable to that project shall be returned within 30 days. The excess amount, including interest, shall be repaid to the applicant or the applicant's successor in interest. For the purpose of this regulation, any person or entity claiming to be an applicant's successor in interest shall provide the Board with appropriate documentation. A final report of said account shall be made available to the applicant or applicant's successor in interest.
These rules may be changed at any meeting of the Board of Appeals by a vote of the members thereof.