Town of Sunderland, MA
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted 4-28-1989 ATM, Art. 19. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
False burglar and fire alarms — See Ch. 57.
Littering — See Ch. 78.
Barking dogs — See Ch. 130.
Nuisances — See Ch. 166.
[Amended 4-27-2007 ATM, Art. 24]
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons occupying, having the charge of or being present in or about any building, structure, premises, shelter, vehicle, boat or conveyance or any part thereof in the Town (other than that section of any establishment licensed under Chapter 138 of the General Laws) at any time to cause, suffer, allow or countenance any unnecessary loud, excessive or unusual noise, including any such noises in the operation of any radio, phonograph or other mechanical sound-making device or instrument or reproducing devices or instrument, or in the playing of any band, orchestra, musician or group of musicians or in the use of any device to amplify the aforesaid or the making of loud and boisterous singing by any person or group of persons or in the use of any device to amplify the aforesaid noise, where such noise is plainly to abutting residential units, also including abutting properties. The fact that the noise is plainly audible to said abutting residential units or abutting properties shall constitute prima facie evidence of a violation of this chapter. Any person shall be deemed in violation of the chapter who shall make or aid and abet or cause or suffer or assist in the making of any such noise.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person who has not attained the age of twenty-one (21) to consume or have in his or her possession alcoholic beverages in public places within the town.
B. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to consume alcoholic beverages on public highways or in public parking places, including vehicles thereon, within the town.
No person, except an officer of the law in performance of his duties, shall enter upon or remain upon the premises of another with the intention of peeking, spying or looking into the window, door or other aperture of a house or other structure, in any manner or upon any person or persons therein.
[Amended 4-24-2009 ATM, Art. 26; 4-27-2012 ATM, Art. 9]
Violations of any of the provisions or requirements of Chapter 89 may be enforced through any lawful means, including, but not limited to, enforcement by criminal indictment or complaint pursuant to MGL c. 41, § 21, or by noncriminal disposition pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, by the Board of Selectmen, their duly authorized agents, or any police officer of the Town. The fine for any violation of this chapter, whether enforced by criminal indictment or complaint, or noncriminal disposition, shall be three hundred dollars ($300.00) for first and subsequent violations, unless otherwise specified. In addition, whoever violates any of the provisions or requirements of the bylaws set forth in §§ 89-1, 89-2, 89-3, 89-6C and 89-6D shall be subject to arrest. All prosecutions of any such violations shall begin within six (6) months from the date of the offense.
[Added 4-24-2009 ATM, Art. 24]
A. 
No person shall smoke, ingest, or otherwise use or consume marijuana or tetrahydrocannabinol (as defined in MGL c. 94C, § 1, as amended) while in or upon any street, sidewalk, public way, footway, passageway, stairs, bridge, park, playground, beach, recreation area, boat landing, public building, schoolhouse, school grounds, cemetery, parking lot, or any area owned by or under the control of the Town; or in or upon any bus or other passenger conveyance operated by a common carrier; or in any place accessible to the public.
B. 
This bylaw may be enforced through any lawful means, including, but not limited to, enforcement by criminal indictment or complaint pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21, or by noncriminal disposition pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 21D, by the Board of Selectmen, their duly authorized agents, or any police officer. The fine for violation of this bylaw shall be one hundred dollars ($100.00) for the first offense, two hundred dollars ($200.00) for the second offense and three hundred dollars ($300.00) for a third or subsequent offense. Any penalty imposed under this bylaw shall be in addition to any civil penalty imposed under MGL c. 94C, § 32L.
[Added 4-27-2012 ATM, Art. 8]
A. 
Purpose. In accordance with the Town of Sunderland's home rule authority and to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town, this bylaw shall permit the Town to impose liability on owners and other responsible persons for the nuisances and harm caused by loud and unruly gatherings on private property and shall discourage the consumption of alcoholic beverages by underage persons at such gatherings.
B. 
Definitions.
ALCOHOL
Means ethyl alcohol, hydrated oxide of ethyl, or spirits of wine, from whatever source or by whatever process produced.
ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGE
All liquids intended for human consumption as a beverage which contain 1/2 of 1% or more of alcohol by volume at 60° F., including malt beverages.
EVICTION
Means actively trying to evict a tenant from a premise by delivery of a notice to quit and subsequent court proceedings if a tenant fails to vacate the premises.
GATHERING
Is a party, gathering, or event where a group of persons has assembled or is assembling for a social occasion or social activity.
LEGAL GUARDIAN
Means a person who, by court order, is the guardian of the person of a minor or a public or private agency with which a minor has been placed by the court.
PARENT
Means a person who is a natural parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, or stepparent of another person.
PREMISES
Means any residence or other private property, place, or location, including any commercial or business property.
PROPERTY OWNER
Means the legal owner of record as listed by the Tax Assessors' records.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Means a gathering of persons on any premises in a manner which constitutes a violation of law or creates a substantial disturbance of the quiet enjoyment of private or public property in a significant segment of a neighborhood. Unlawful conduct includes, but is not limited to, excessive noise, excessive pedestrian and vehicular traffic, obstruction of public streets by crowds or vehicles, illegal parking, public urination, the service of alcohol to underage persons, fights, disturbances of the peace, and litter.
RESPONSE COSTS
Are the costs associated with responses by law enforcement, fire, and other emergency response providers to a gathering as set forth in a schedule of costs established by the Select Board.
UNDERAGE PERSON
Means any person under 21 years of age.
C. 
Consumption of alcohol by underage persons. Except as permitted by state law, it is unlawful for any underage person to:
(1) 
Consume at any public place or any place open to the public any alcoholic beverage; or
(2) 
Consume at any place not open to the public any alcoholic beverage, unless in connection with the consumption of the alcoholic beverage the underage person is being supervised by his or her parent or legal guardian.
D. 
Duties of person hosting, permitting or allowing gathering.
(1) 
It is the duty of any person having control of any premises who knowingly hosts, permits, or allows a gathering at said premises to take all reasonable steps to prevent the consumption of alcoholic beverages by any underage person at the gathering. Reasonable steps include, but are not limited to, controlling access to alcoholic beverages at the gathering; controlling the quantity of alcoholic beverages present at the gathering; verifying the age of persons attending the gathering by inspecting driver's licenses or other government-issued identification cards to ensure that underage persons do not consume alcoholic beverages while at the gathering; and supervising the activities of underage persons at the gathering.
(2) 
A gathering constituting a public nuisance may be abated by all reasonable means, including but not limited to an order by the police requiring the gathering to be disbanded and citation and/or arrest of any persons under any applicable provision of local or state law.
(3) 
It is unlawful for any person having control of any premises to knowingly host, permit, or allow a gathering to take place at said premises where at least one underage person consumes an alcoholic beverage, provided that the person having control of the premises either knows an underage person has consumed an alcoholic beverage or reasonably should have known that an underage person consumed an alcoholic beverage and the person having control of said premises failed to take all reasonable steps to prevent the consumption of an alcoholic beverage by an underage person as set forth in subsection (1) of this section.
(4) 
This section shall not apply to conduct involving the use of alcoholic beverages that occurs exclusively between an underage person and his or her parent or legal guardian.
(5) 
This section shall not apply to any Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission licensee at any premises regulated by the Massachusetts Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission.
E. 
Mailing of notice to property owner. Notice of response by police or other local officials to a gathering shall be mailed to any property owner listed on the Town of Sunderland property tax assessment records and shall advise the property owner that the third such response on the same premises within a one-year period, as measured from the date of the first notice, shall result in liability of the property owner for all penalties associated with such response as more particularly described below.
F. 
Liability for fines and response costs.
(1) 
If the Police Department is required to respond to a gathering constituting a public nuisance on the premises, the following persons shall be jointly and severally liable for fines as set forth below. Response costs may also be assessed.
(a) 
The person or persons residing on or otherwise in control of the property where such gathering took place.
(b) 
The person or persons who organized or sponsored such gathering.
(c) 
All persons attending such gatherings who engage in any activity resulting in the public nuisance.
(2) 
If the Police Department is required to respond to a gathering constituting a public nuisance on the premises more than twice in any one-year period, as measured from the date of the first response, the following persons shall be jointly and severally liable for fines as set forth below. Response costs may also be assessed.
(a) 
The person or persons who own the property where the gathering constituting the public nuisance took place, provided that notice of the first and second responses has been mailed to the owner of the property as set forth herein and the gathering occurs at least 14 days after the mailing of the second such notice. The owners of the property shall not be held responsible for any violation and penalties if they are actively trying to evict a tenant from the property. The one-year time period for violations for a property shall pertain only to the same residents occupying the property who have had the prior violation(s). New residents shall start a new time cycle of one year should they violate the bylaw.
(b) 
The person or persons residing on or otherwise in control of the property where such gathering took place.
(c) 
The person or persons who organized or sponsored such gathering.
(d) 
All persons attending such gatherings who engage in any activity resulting in the public nuisance.
G. 
Regulations. The Select Board is hereby authorized to promulgate regulations to implement this bylaw.
H. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
This bylaw shall be enforced by criminal complaint in the District Court. Violations shall be punishable by a fine of $300. In the alternative it may be enforced by the noncriminal disposition process of MGL c. 40, § 21D. For the purpose of noncriminal enforcement, the enforcing persons shall be any police officer of the Town of Sunderland. If enforced pursuant to noncriminal disposition, the following fine shall apply:
(a) 
First and subsequent violations: $300.
(2) 
The Town of Sunderland may additionally seek administrative costs and response costs associated with enforcement of §§ 89-6C and 89-6D through all remedies or procedures provided by state or local law.
(3) 
Sections 89-6C and 89-6D shall not limit the authority of police officers to make arrests for any criminal offense arising out of conduct regulated by §§ 89-6C and 89-6D, nor shall they limit the ability of the Town of Sunderland or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to initiate and prosecute any criminal offense arising out of the same circumstances necessitating the application of §§ 89-6C and 89-6D.
I. 
Relationship to state and federal law; severability. No provision of this bylaw shall apply where prohibited or preempted by state or federal law. If any provision of this bylaw, or the application thereof to any person or circumstances, is declared invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this bylaw which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application; to this end the provisions of this bylaw are severable.