Town of Middleton, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
9.1.1. 
Building Commissioner. The provisions of these bylaws shall be administered and enforced by the Building Commissioner appointed by the Selectmen under the provisions of the State Building Code as well as Massachusetts General Laws and bylaws of the Town of Middleton.
9.1.2. 
Interpretation. On any interpretation question, the Building Commissioner or any other officer or officers administering these provisions shall consult the Planning Board and, in interpretations involving the Watershed Protection District, the Conservation Commission. The Board of Health shall be consulted when interpretations involve Watershed Protection Districts. These boards shall be notified of any interpretation in writing and within five days of that interpretation. It shall be the duty and obligation of the person or entity seeking the interpretation and owner of the land in question to ensure that the above-referenced boards have been so notified.
[Amended 5-12-2015 ATM by Art. 38]
9.1.3. 
Building permit required. It shall be unlawful to erect, alter, reconstruct or relocate any structure, or to institute a new or altered use of land or structure, without first obtaining a building permit from the Building Commissioner.
1. 
Application. Any application for a new or altered use of land or structure shall be accompanied by a specific reference to the subject lot or group of lots in the same ownership as recorded in the Registry of Deeds, or by copies of a plan of the proposed lot, drawn to scale, showing the entire recorded ownership, all existing structures, all abutting streets, and the exact area and boundaries of the parcel to be assigned to the subject use. Said application shall not be considered complete unless all information and approvals required by the Building Department and the State Building Code have been provided.
2. 
Approval. The Building Commissioner shall approve no applications of any kind or plans or specifications or intended uses which are not in all respects in conformity with these bylaws, unless the applicant has secured a special permit, variance, or comprehensive permit from the Board of Appeals.
9.1.4. 
Occupancy permit. No building erected, altered, or in any way changed as to construction or use, under a permit or otherwise, shall be occupied or used without an occupancy permit, signed by the Building Commissioner. Such permit shall not be issued until the building and its uses, and the use incident thereto, comply in all respects with these bylaws or with a decision of the Board of Appeals taken thereunder.
9.1.5. 
Fees. A fee for services shall be charged. All fees shall be set by the jurisdiction and schedules shall be available at the office of the Building Commissioner.
9.1.6. 
Appeals. Any person aggrieved by his inability to obtain a permit, by the refusal of the Building Commissioner to issue a permit, or by any order, decision or failure to act of the Building Commissioner, or any officer or board of the Town, may appeal to the Board of Appeals in the manner provided by G.L. c. 40A, §§ 7, 8 and 15.
9.2.1. 
Building Commissioner. The Building Commissioner shall institute proceedings to enforce these bylaws and to enjoin the construction, alteration, enlargement, reconstruction or use of any building or the use of any premises in violation of these bylaws. The Chief of Police upon application of the Building Commissioner, shall cause a complaint to be made before the proper court for any violation of these bylaws. The use of one remedy shall not preclude a resort to another remedy for the same violation.
9.2.2. 
Criminal complaint. Whoever violates any provision of these Zoning bylaws may be penalized by complaint brought in a District Court of competent jurisdiction. Except as may be provided by law and as the District Court may see fit to impose, the maximum penalty for each violation, or offense, brought in such manner shall be $300. Each day, or portion of a day, that any violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate offense, beginning with the date of the receipt of the notice and order issued pursuant to these Zoning bylaws.
9.2.3. 
Noncriminal disposition. In addition to the procedures for enforcement as described above, the provisions of these Zoning bylaws may also be enforced by noncriminal complaint pursuant to the provisions of G.L. c. 40, § 21D.
1. 
The Building Commissioner or Assistant Building Commissioner, as an alternative to initiating criminal proceedings, may give to the offender a written notice to appear before the Clerk of the Salem District Court at any time during office hours, not later than 21 days after the date of such notice. Such notice shall be in triplicate and shall contain the name and address, if known, of the offender, the specific offense charged, and the time and place for his required appearance. Such notice should be signed by the Building Commissioner or Assistant Building Commissioner and shall be signed by the offender whenever practicable in acknowledgment that such notice has been received. The notice shall be served and all the procedures followed as set out in said G.L. c. 40, § 21D, as amended. Each day, or portion of a day, that any violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate offense, beginning with the date of receipt of the notice and order issued pursuant to these Zoning bylaws.
2. 
In noncriminal dispositions, the penalty for violation of any provision of these Zoning bylaws shall be as follows:
First offense: written warning.
Second offense: $100.
Third offense: $200.
Fourth offense and subsequent offenses: $300.
9.3.1. 
Establishment. There shall be a Board of Appeals under these bylaws which shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
9.3.2. 
Powers. The Board of Appeals shall have and exercise all the powers granted to it by Chapters 40A, 40B, and 41 of the General Laws and by this bylaw. The Board's powers are as follows:
1. 
To hear and decide applications for special permits. Unless otherwise specified herein, the Board of Appeals shall serve as the special permit granting authority.
2. 
To hear and decide appeals or petitions for variances from the terms of this bylaw, with respect to particular land or structures, as set forth in G.L. c. 40A, § 10. The Board of Appeals may grant use variances.
3. 
To hear and decide appeals taken by any person aggrieved by reason of his inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer under the provisions of G.L. c. 40A, §§ 8 and 15.
4. 
To hear and decide comprehensive permits for construction of low- or moderate-income housing by a public agency or limited dividend or nonprofit corporation, as set forth in G.L. c. 40B, §§ 20 - 23.
9.3.3. 
Regulations. The Board of Appeals may adopt rules and regulations for the administration of its powers.
9.3.4. 
Conditions. The Board of Appeals may impose reasonable conditions, safeguards, or limitations on time or use, including performance guarantees, as it may deem necessary to serve the purposes of this bylaw.
9.3.5. 
Fees. The Board of Appeals may adopt reasonable administrative fees and technical review fees for petitions for variances, administrative appeals, and applications for comprehensive permits.
9.4.1. 
Special permit granting authority. Unless specifically designated otherwise, the Board of Appeals shall act as the special permit granting authority.
9.4.2. 
Criteria. Special permits shall be granted by the special permit granting authority, unless otherwise specified herein, only upon its written determination that the adverse effects of the proposed use will not outweigh its beneficial impacts to the Town or the neighborhood, in view of the particular characteristics of the site, and of the proposal in relation to that site. In addition to any specific factors that may be set forth in this bylaw, the determination shall include consideration of each of the following:
1. 
Community needs which are served by the proposal;
2. 
Traffic and pedestrian flow and safety, including parking and loading;
3. 
Adequacy of utilities and other public services;
4. 
Neighborhood character;
5. 
Impacts on the natural environment; and
6. 
Potential economic and fiscal impact, including impact on Town services, tax base, and employment.
9.4.3. 
Procedures. An application for a special permit shall be filed in accordance with the rules and regulations of the special permit granting authority.
9.4.4. 
Conditions. Special permits may be granted with such reasonable conditions, safeguards, or limitations on time or use, including performance guarantees, as the special permit granting authority may deem necessary to serve the purposes of this bylaw.
9.4.5. 
Plans. Unless otherwise provided by the rule or regulation of the special permit granting authority, an applicant for a special permit shall submit a plan in substantial conformance with the requirements of Section 9.5, herein.
9.4.6. 
Regulations. The special permit granting authority may adopt rules and regulations for the administration of this section.
9.4.7. 
Fees. The special permit granting authority may adopt reasonable administrative fees and technical review fees for applications for special permits.
9.4.8. 
Lapse. Special permits shall lapse if a substantial use thereof or construction thereunder has not begun, except for good cause, within 24 months following the filing of the special permit approval (plus such time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal referred to in G.L. c. 40A, § 17, from the grant thereof) with the Town Clerk.
9.5.1. 
Purpose. For the purpose of administering the provisions of these bylaws relating to parking and loading spaces, to ensure the most advantageous use of all properties within the same district, and for the reasonable protection of the legitimate interests of adjoining property owners, no permit shall be issued until a site plan, prepared by a professional architect, engineer or landscape architect, has been submitted to the Board of Appeals for a public hearing and approved thereafter.
9.5.2. 
Applicability. The following types of activities and uses require site plan review by the Zoning Board of Appeals:
1. 
Garden apartments in a residence district;
2. 
Any new buildings or structures in a Business District, Light Industrial District, Institutional Overlay District, or Interstate Highway Business District; or
3. 
An addition to or alteration of an existing building for commercial use.
9.5.3. 
Modification; merger.
1. 
Any substantial modification of an approved site plan shall require the approval of the Board of Appeals after public hearing.
2. 
Where a use subject to site plan approval also requires the grant of a special permit by the Board of Appeals, the provisions of this Section 9.5 shall be construed to require the submittal of the information set forth below. The special permit shall govern the decision of the Board. No separate application shall be filed for site plan approval.
9.5.4. 
Preparation of plans. Site plans shall be submitted in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Board of Appeals. Site plans shall be submitted on twenty-four-inch-by-thirty-six-inch sheets. Plans shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer, registered land surveyor, architect, or landscape architect, as appropriate. Dimensions and scales shall be adequate to determine that all requirements are met and to make a complete analysis and evaluation of the proposal. All plans shall have a minimum scale of 1 inch = 20 feet.
1. 
Applicants are invited to submit a pre-application sketch of the proposed project to the Board and to schedule a comment period at a regular meeting of the Board.
9.5.5. 
Contents of plan. The contents of the site plan are as follows:
1. 
Five separate plans prepared at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet or such other scale as may be approved by the Board. The plans are as follows:
a. 
Site layout, which shall contain the boundaries of the lot(s) in the proposed development, proposed structures, drives, parking, fences, walls, walks, outdoor lighting, loading facilities, and areas for snow storage after plowing. The first sheet in this plan shall be a locus plan, at a scale of one inch equals 100 feet, showing the entire project and its relation to existing areas, buildings and roads for a distance of 1,000 feet from the project boundaries or such other distance as may be approved or required by the Board.
b. 
Topography and drainage plan, which shall contain the existing and proposed final topography at two-foot intervals and plans for handling stormwater drainage.
c. 
Utility and landscaping plan, which shall include all facilities for refuse and sewage disposal or storage of all wastes, the location of all hydrants, fire alarm and firefighting facilities on and adjacent to the site, all proposed recreational facilities and open space areas, and all wetlands including floodplain areas.
d. 
Architectural plan, which shall include the ground floor plan and architectural elevations of all proposed buildings and a color rendering.
e. 
Landscaping plan, showing the limits of work, existing tree lines, and all proposed landscape features and improvements including screening, planting areas with size and type of stock for each shrub or tree, and including proposed erosion control measures.
2. 
The site plan shall be accompanied by a written statement indicating the estimated time required to complete the proposed project and any and all phases thereof. There shall be submitted a written estimate, showing in detail the costs of all site improvements planned.
3. 
A written summary of the contemplated projects shall be submitted with the site plan indicating, where appropriate, the number of dwelling units to be built and the acreage in residential use, the evidence of compliance with parking and off-street loading requirements, the forms of ownership contemplated for the property and a summary of the provisions of any ownership or maintenance thereof, identification of all land that will become common or public land, and any other evidence necessary to indicate compliance with this bylaw.
4. 
The site plan shall be accompanied by drainage calculations by a registered professional engineer. Storm drainage design must conform to Town's subdivision regulations.
5. 
The Board may require narrative assessments of the on-site and off-site impacts of the proposed development.
6. 
Certification that the proposal is fully compliant with the provisions, if applicable, of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Massachusetts Architectural Barriers Board.
9.5.6. 
Waiver of technical compliance. The Board may, upon written request of the applicant, waive any of the technical requirements of this section where the project involves relatively simple development plans or constitutes a minor site plan.
9.5.7. 
Procedures; constructive approval. The Board of Appeals shall hold a public hearing in conjunction with the application for site plan approval, in accordance with the procedures of G.L. c. 40A, §§ 9 and 11. The failure of the Board of Appeals to file its decision with the Town Clerk within 90 days after the close of the public hearing shall constitute approval of such use or construction.
1. 
Extension of time. The applicant may request, and the Board may grant by majority vote, an extension of the time limits set forth herein.
2. 
The Board shall prepare and file a written decision regarding site plan approval with the Town Clerk.
9.5.8. 
Review by other boards. The Board of Appeals shall refer all site plans to the Planning Board and to the Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee for their advisory review and recommendations. The Planning Board and the Design Review Committee shall have 45 days to render such recommendations. Failure to respond within such period shall be deemed a lack of opposition thereto.
1. 
The Planning Board shall make recommendations with regard to the provision of water, wastewater disposal, stormwater management, roadway and access design and construction, and the provision of other utilities.
2. 
The Design Review Committee shall make recommendations in accordance with Section 9.6, herein.
9.5.9. 
Regulations. The Board of Appeals may from time to time adopt rules prescribing reasonable regulations under this section.
9.5.10. 
Fee. An application for site plan approval shall be accompanied by a fee, as set forth in the Board's Rules and Regulations.
9.5.11. 
Approval. Site plan approval shall be granted upon determination by the Board that the plan meets the following objectives. The Board may impose reasonable conditions at the expense of the applicant, including performance guarantees, to promote these objectives.
1. 
Compliance with the requirements for parking and loading spaces, for lot size, frontage, yards and heights and coverage of buildings, and all other provisions of these bylaws;
2. 
Convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement on the site and for the location of driveway openings in relation to street traffic;
3. 
Adequacy as to the arrangement and, where not herein specified, the number of parking and loading spaces in relation to the proposed uses of the premises;
4. 
Arrangement and appearance of proposed buildings, structures, freestanding and attached signs, screening and landscaping;
5. 
Adequacy of the methods on the site for waste disposal, surface and subsurface drainage, and lighting.
9.5.12. 
Lapse. Site plan approval shall lapse after two years from the grant thereof if a substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced except for good cause. Such approval may, for good cause, be extended in writing by the Board upon the written request of the applicant.
[Amended 5-12-2009 ATM by Art. 34]
9.5.13. 
Appeal. Any decision of the Board pursuant to this section shall be appealed in accordance with G.L. c. 40A, § 17 to a court of competent jurisdiction.
9.6.1. 
Establishment. In order to promote harmony in architectural, landscape and sign treatment and design; avoid incongruous or inappropriate architectural and landscape treatment and design; and to avoid arrangement of buildings detrimental to the property values of adjoining owners and the community an Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee is established.
1. 
The Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen and shall consist of three members and two alternate members. One member shall be a registered architect or landscape architect, if available. The other members must be residents of the Town of Middleton. One member shall be initially appointed for a one-year term, one member shall be initially appointed for a two-year term, and one member shall be initially appointed for a three-year term. After the third year, all members shall be appointed for three-year terms, with one member to be appointed or reappointed each year.
[Amended 5-13-2014 ATM by Art. 7]
9.6.2. 
Duties; powers.
1. 
The duties of the Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee are to review all plans for new commercial and industrial development prior to consideration by the Board of Appeals and to review all plans for exterior and site changes of existing commercial and industrial buildings that require action by the Board of Appeals.
2. 
The Board of Appeals shall have the discretion to accept and/or reject, in part or in whole, the recommendations of the Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee. The powers of the Committee are advisory only.
9.6.3. 
Subject matter jurisdiction. The following subjects shall be considered by the Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee in its review of plans and preparation of recommendations for change, acceptance or rejection:
1. 
General appearance of the proposed buildings.
2. 
General appearance of the proposed site landscaping.
3. 
Walkways and pedestrian and bicycle circulation.
4. 
Building massing: the relation between the building size and siting, and the lot size.
9.6.4. 
Attendance. At least one member of the Industrial and Commercial Design Review Committee is encouraged to represent the Committee at regular meetings of the Board of Appeals when a commercial or industrial development is under consideration.