The intent of this procedure is to fulfill the action plan noted in the Growth Management Plan for the Town of Lunenburg and to facilitate the recommendation of the Executive Office of Communities and Development for defining permitting processes.
The purpose of this document is twofold: to serve the Town and the applicant (who by virtue of landownership is also the Town) by simplifying the permitting process through coordinating and centralizing the review of an applicant's permit in a timely fashion and to aid all departments by means of an information flow that will promote the facets of review and permitting that are in relationship to each other. A secondary purpose is to accommodate the community's interest so a citizen can view all materials in a project review and construction.
Reviewing and permitting boards, commissions and departments request submittals at the same time and communicate with each other to ensure one requirement is not in conflict with another (e.g., if the Wetlands Regulations or the septic placement conflicts with a dimensional regulation, relief to accommodate wetland or septic borings can be granted by variances or waivers).
Reviewing boards, commissions and departments act as reviewing teams whenever possible to streamline the process. Each discipline would preside over its own jurisdiction. In many cases, in areas of the development plan and subdivision reviews, the applicant can be working with the Planning Board, Building Commissioner and the Fire Chief. When an applicant submits a development plan review or a subdivision to the Planning Board, copies are submitted to the Board of Health, Conservation Commission, Building Commissioner, Fire Department, Highway and Police (when applicable). The applicant can also be encouraged to submit formally at the same time to the Board of Health or Sewer Commission and the Conservation Commission.
Work review, tech or work project meetings can be held with reviewing teams or all reviewing and permitting boards, commissions and departments to facilitate the process and ensure proper compliance for the Town. This saves the applicant time and money (e.g., most developers bring engineers and other expertise to the review process; Town utilizes the statutes to ensure expertise peer personnel's aid with the review. It is cost effective to consolidate time and efforts.).
Where a special permit is granted by a permitting authority other than the Planning Board, the Planning Board shall submit the development plan review with its advisory directives and conditions to that authority, both in status reports and review entirety to aid that authority.
The community should benefit from a local permitting process by seeking the status of reviews or ongoing projects in a central place. Each discipline should keep its own records, but reciprocal copies of approval or permits can be included in the files of projects that are subject to a development plan review, subdivision submittal or special permit (e.g., copy of a building permit, septic permit, order of conditions could be placed in the file along with other data of a named project at the Planning Office).
The purpose of a pre-application meeting is for the Planning Director (and/or the Chair of the Board) to meet with property owners, developers and their consultants to discuss the development concept, potential issues and concerns. This promotes better communication between the Town and the owner/applicants without determining any substance issues to be determined later in the official review by the Planning Board and other permitting boards.
Benefits are that the applicant receives a data sheet that identifies all permits necessary in the process of review to gain approval. The pre-application meeting is an opportunity to explain the permit processes, requirements, timetables and the sequence of all boards' approvals. It also determines any additional needed information and/or studies that may be required. It clarifies the fee process for administration, peer review and monitoring process for the project.
The next step in the preliminary stages is an initial technical peer review meeting that involves all land use and service departments and appropriate reviewing agencies and consultant representatives. This procedure defines the concerns that need to be addressed, such as traffic, fire service accessibility, wetland problems, drainage issues and roadway concerns. It familiarizes the applicant/developer with the Protective Bylaw of the Town of Lunenburg, Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land and other regulations. It determines the completeness of a submittal before the official filing of a proper plan.
This procedure is considered "best practice" and helps the permitting body and the tech team, through this process, to meet the needs of multiple boards and commissions without conflict. It further assists the owner/applicant in time saving and monies as the submittal presented by them will be in compliance with the procedure before an official review of the project begins. It also assists putting the project on an appropriate timetable for all other permitting necessary for the project.
Tech team: Planning Board, Board of Health, Conservation Commission, Building Commissioner, Sewer Commission, ZBA, Police Department, Fire Department, DPW, Water District, peer reviewing engineer, Traffic Engineer and any other professional input as deemed necessary.