Town of Falmouth, MA
Barnstable County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted ASTM 4-5-1999, Art. 41, approved 7-23-1999]

§ 180-37 Public health emergency.

Because of high ground water, high density of development, significant numbers of failed septic systems, groundwater contamination, recreational water contamination and the inability of property owners to meet the requirements for Title V septic systems, there presently exists a public health emergency in the area designated by Town Meeting, Article 19, Annual Spring Town Meeting, April, 1997, as the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area.

§ 180-38 Mandatory connection.

The owner of any house, building or property located in the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area which is used for human occupancy, employment, recreation or other purpose is hereby required, at his expense, to install suitable toilet facilities therein, including appliances required by § 180-48, and to connect such facilities directly with the public sewer in accordance with this chapter and the provisions contained herein, within ninety (90) days from the date the sewer shall be declared ready for operation by the Board of Selectmen. Any new construction occurring within the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area after such date shall be properly equipped with suitable toilet facilities and connected with the sewer prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

§ 180-39 Limited treatment capacity.

The treatment plant for the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area is designed with limited capacity. The design capacity is capable of properly treating the effluent of all existing lots in the district and the North Falmouth School provided that each residence is limited to a maximum of three (3) bedrooms plus allowance for residences in existence with more than three bedrooms as reflected in the Assessor's records as of January 1, 1999. A bedroom is defined in 310 CMR 15.002, Title V Regulations, and includes that circumstance where the total number of rooms for single-family dwellings exceeds eight (8), not including bathrooms, hallways, unfinished cellars and unheated storage areas, the number of bedrooms presumed shall be calculated by dividing the total number of rooms by two (2) then rounding down to next lowest whole number.

§ 180-40 Allocation of treatment capacity.

Each single-family residence in the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area is presumed to have three (3) bedrooms. Residences with less than three (3) bedrooms may be expanded to three (3) bedrooms as a matter of right relative to sewer capacity. No residence may be expanded beyond three (3) bedrooms unless the owner shall first obtain a variance pursuant to this part of the chapter. New construction is limited to three (3) bedrooms.

§ 180-41 Existing residences.

Any residence in existence on January 1, 1999, regardless of its number of bedrooms, as determined by the Assessor's records, may maintain that number of bedrooms without regard to the three-bedroom limitation. Further expansion of existing residences beyond three (3) bedrooms as defined herein shall not be allowed unless a variance pursuant to § 180-46 is first obtained.

§ 180-42 Undeveloped parcels.

For the purposes of sewer capacity any existing lot, otherwise qualified, may be permitted for a three-bedroom single residence. Pursuant to MGL c. 41 § 81U, the Board of Health shall disapprove a definitive plan of subdivision of property within the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area unless and until the applicant shall first obtain a variance pursuant to § 180-46. Without an approved variance, any approval by the Planning Board shall be on condition that no building or structure shall be built or placed upon the areas designated without benefit of a variance in accordance with § 180-46.

§ 180-43 Transferability of development rights.

The size of a residence or number of bedrooms on any particular parcel of land cannot be sold, exchanged, transferred or otherwise used to benefit another's right to connection or the number of bedrooms on another lot.

§ 180-44 Multiple-family and nonresidential uses.

Any multiple-family or nonresidential use legally in existence on January 1, 1999, may maintain its current level of activity, as measured by water consumption, as a matter of right. Any expansion of such multiple-family or nonresidential use cannot occur unless the owner or operator shall first obtain a variance pursuant to § 180-46. No new multiple-family or nonresidential use may be commenced unless the owner or operator shall first obtain a variance pursuant to § 180-46.

§ 180-45 Properties outside of the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area.

Because of the limited treatment capacity, properties located outside of the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area, with the exception of the North Falmouth School for which specific capacity was included in the treatment facility, that abut a sewer line may not, as of right, connect to the sewer. In cases of unusual hardship, not owing to the acts or omissions of the property owner, and with the permission of the Board of Selectmen after a public hearing and provided the Board of Selectmen shall first make a specific finding that adequate treatment capacity exists, such owner whose property is outside the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area may connect to the sewer. Any costs associated with such connection are the responsibility of the individual seeking the connection.

§ 180-46 Variances.

In case of unusual and substantial hardship, not the result of acts or omissions of the landowner, the Board of Selectmen, after a public hearing of which notice has been given by publication and posting for a minimum of two (2) weeks, may grant a variance to this part of the bylaw, provided that sufficient capacity exists and such relief may be granted without substantially derogating from the intent of purpose of this bylaw.

§ 180-47 Rebuilding because of fire, flood, storm or other acts of nature.

Relating to this chapter, a property owner may rebuild a structure destroyed by fire, flood, storm or other acts of nature as a matter of right provided that the new structure does not exceed the number of bedrooms of the structure being replaced.

§ 180-48 Mandatory water conservation.

The Board of Selectmen, after public hearing, may adopt mandatory water conservation measures including restricted flow plumbing devices for the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area. Such restrictions may be permanent.

§ 180-49 Termination and elimination of septic systems.

Within thirty (30) days of the property's connection to the public sewer, any septic system, cesspool, privy or other waste disposal system located on the property shall be pumped out and permanently decommissioned in accordance with methods and procedures approved by the Board of Health and the Sewer Division of the Department of Public Works.

§ 180-50 Violations.

A. 
Any person found to be violating any provision of this Part 3 shall be served by the Town with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof.
B. 
Any person who shall continue any violation beyond the period permitted in Subsection A shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine in an amount not exceeding fifty dollars ($50) for each violation. Each day in which such a violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.
C. 
This section shall in no way limit the Town's power and authority to seek other remedies at law that it may have. Any person violating any of the provisions contained herein shall be liable to the Town for any expense, loss or damage occasioned the Town by such violation.
[Added AFTM 11-13-2013, Art. 41, approved 1-27-2014]

§ 180-51 Purpose.

The Town of Falmouth's Wastewater Treatment Facility on Blacksmith Shop Road (WWTF) has limited treatment and disposal capacity as determined by a discharge permit issued by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). In order to comply with the terms and conditions of the discharge permit, to manage present and future wastewater flows, to meet present and future water quality standards, and to support broader community planning objectives, the Town adopts this Flow Neutral Bylaw for Present and Future Sewer Service Areas. This bylaw shall apply to all present sewer service areas of the Town, except for the New Silver Beach Sewer Service Area, governed by §§ 180-37 through 180-50 herein, and it shall apply to any future sewer service areas to be serviced by the Wastewater Treatment Facility on Blacksmith Shop Road. Nothing in this bylaw shall exempt the owner of a property in a present or future sewer service area from all other applicable statutes, bylaws, rules and regulations.

§ 180-52 Mandatory sewer connection; elimination of septic systems in sewer service areas.

A. 
The requirements for mandatory connection in sewer service areas are detailed in § 180-6 of the Code of Falmouth, Sewers and Septic Systems.
B. 
Within thirty (30) days of the property's connection to the public sewer, any septic system or other waste disposal system located on the property shall be decommissioned in accordance with Board of Health regulations.

§ 180-53 Determination of wastewater flow in sewer service areas.

A. 
Wastewater flow to the public sewer shall be determined in accordance with either: 1) the provisions set forth in 310 CMR 15; or 2) water meter data provided by the Department of Public Works as adjusted for seasonal occupancy; or 3) any other method acceptable to the Department of Environmental Protection and the Town of Falmouth. Any structure, legally in existence as of January 1, 2014, regardless of its flow, may by right maintain that flow or number of bedrooms. "Bedroom" is defined in 310 CMR 15.002 (Title 5: Standard requirements specified in 310 CMR 15.000, Massachusetts State Environmental Code), and the number of bedrooms in the Assessor's records as of January 1, 2014, are presumed accurate.
B. 
The flow allocations for present and future sewer service areas as of January 1, 2014, are as follows:
(1) 
Blacksmith Shop Road Wastewater Treatment Plant: 570,000 gallons per day (excluding Little Pond Sewer Service Area).
(2) 
Little Pond Sewer Service Area: 260,000 gallons per day (subject to approved CWMP).
C. 
These flows allocations will be adjusted if additional flow or modifications to sewer service areas are made through (1) approved comprehensive wastewater management plans, (2) approved notice of project change to environmental impact reports for the 2001 West Falmouth Harbor Facilities, or (3) approval from MA Department of Environmental Protection.

§ 180-54 Allocation of available capacity in sewer service areas.

The Wastewater Superintendent shall periodically notify the Board of Selectmen of the available capacity at the Wastewater Treatment Facility. The Selectmen in consultation with the Planning Board may set priorities for the available capacity.

§ 180-55 Modifications to existing parcels or changes in use in sewer service areas.

A. 
Single-family residences.
(1) 
Existing development. Modifications of an existing single-family dwelling on a parcel of 40,000 square feet or less may increase the total number of bedrooms to four (4) by right. Modifications of existing single-family residences on parcels over 40,000 square feet may increase the number of bedrooms to one (1) bedroom per 10,000 square feet of lot area by right.
(2) 
New development. A single-family residence may have four (4) bedrooms by right on parcels of 40,000 square feet or less. On parcels greater than 40,000 square feet, a single-family residence may have one (1) bedroom per 10,000 square feet of lot area by right.
(3) 
Addition of bedrooms, beyond those permitted in Subsection A(1) and (2) above shall require a variance from the Board of Selectmen in accordance with § 180-56.
B. 
Multifamily residences.
(1) 
Existing development. Modifications of an existing multifamily residence may increase the number of bedrooms to one (1) bedroom per 10,000 square feet of lot area by right.
(2) 
New development. A new multifamily dwelling is allowed one bedroom per 10,000 square feet of lot area by right. In Zoning Districts where up to six (6) units per acre are allowed, up to three (3) bedrooms per permitted unit are allowed by right.
(3) 
Addition of bedrooms in multifamily dwellings, beyond which is allowed by right, shall require a variance from the Board of Selectmen in accordance with § 180-56.
C. 
Nonresidential development.
(1) 
Existing development.
(a) 
Modifications or changes of use, including residential to nonresidential, that increase flow to a level that is no more than ten (10) percent above that permitted as of January 1, 2014, by 310 CMR 15 (Title 5) are allowed by right.
(b) 
Modifications or changes of use that increase flow more than that allowed by right in Subsection C(1)(a) require a variance from the Board of Selectmen in accordance with § 180-56.
(2) 
New development.
(a) 
New nonresidential development on a vacant parcel with a wastewater flow up to 110 gallons per day per 10,000 square feet of lot area is allowed by right.
(b) 
New nonresidential development on a vacant parcel with a proposed wastewater flow greater than 110 gallons per day per 10,000 square feet shall require a variance from the Board of Selectmen in accordance with § 180-56.

§ 180-56 Variances in sewer service areas.

A. 
The Board of Selectmen, after a public hearing of which notice has been given by publication 1) in a newspaper of general circulation and 2) posting with the Town Clerk and on the Town website for a period of no less than fourteen (14) days prior to the date of hearing, may grant a variance, provided both Subsection A(1) and (2) below are satisfied:
(1) 
Sufficient capacity exists in the treatment facility, as determined by the Wastewater Superintendent. If sufficient capacity does not exist then no variance shall issue.
(2) 
Should the Wastewater Superintendent determine sufficient capacity exists the applicant must then demonstrate, through a positive referral from the Board of Health, that a septic system for the total number of bedrooms or nonresidential flow requested, meeting the provisions of 310 CMR 15.000 (Title 5) without significant variances, can be sited on the parcel. If the Board of Health does not make a referral within 45 days of receipt of the request, it shall be considered a positive referral.
B. 
The Board of Selectmen may, at its sole and absolute discretion, issue a variance that in its judgment could be granted without substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of this bylaw should the applicant fail to satisfy criteria in § 180-56A(2) above.

§ 180-57 Rebuilding a building because of casualty loss in sewer service areas.

Relating to Article VIII, a property owner may rebuild a structure destroyed by fire, flood, storm or other acts of nature as a matter of right, provided that the new structure does not exceed the wastewater flow and number of bedrooms of the structure being replaced.

§ 180-58 Mandatory water conservation in sewer service areas.

The Board of Selectmen may adopt mandatory water conservation measures, after public hearing, consistent with the purposes of this bylaw.

§ 180-59 Transferability in sewer service areas.

The number of bedrooms or flow on any particular parcel of land cannot be sold, exchanged, transferred, or otherwise used to benefit the number of bedrooms or flow on another parcel or another's right to a sewer connection.

§ 180-60 Severability.

If any provision of this bylaw is declared invalid or unenforceable, the other provisions shall not be affected thereby but shall continue in full force and effect.

§ 180-61 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person found to be violating any provision of Article VIII shall be served by the Town with written notice stating the nature of the violation and providing a reasonable time limit for the satisfactory correction thereof.
B. 
Any person who shall continue any violation beyond the period permitted in Subsection A shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to a fine in an amount not exceeding fifty dollars ($50) for each violation. Each day in which such a violation shall continue shall be deemed a separate offense.
C. 
This section shall in no way limit the Town's power and authority to seek other remedies at law that it may have. Any person violating any of the provisions contained herein shall be liable to the Town for any expense, loss or damage occasioned the Town by such violation.