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Town of Randolph, MA
Norfolk County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Randolph 12-2-2008 STM by Art. 8, approved. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Moving of buildings — See Ch. 86.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 147.
Quarries — See Ch. 151.
Fees — See Ch. 300.
Fines — See Ch. 301.
[Building construction in the Town of Randolph is governed by the current edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code.]
A. 
Purpose.
(1) 
Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Buildings encourage blighted and unsecured properties; cause the surrounding neighborhood to suffer from stagnant or declining real estate values; and create significant maintenance and monitoring costs to the Town of Randolph.
(2) 
Accordingly, it is the intent of this section to protect public health, public safety, security, general welfare and quiet enjoyment of occupants, abutters, and neighborhoods by requiring the registration of all Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Buildings, as defined herein, and, by doing so, expedite the prompt rehabilitation and permanent occupancy of such buildings.
B. 
Definitions.
ABANDONED AND/OR DILAPIDATED BUILDING
Any residential, commercial or industrial building and/or premises, where the Owner, by his or her action or inaction, has failed to correct a material health and/or safety condition at the building or premises or on the surrounding Property. A material health and/or safety condition may be found where the health, safety and welfare of the neighborhood is or may be at risk, such as:
(1) 
Where a building is vacant for a length of time that is inconsistent with its use as a residential, commercial or industrial building and/or premises (the state of being vacant is not necessarily to be considered a prerequisite to a finding of Abandonment and/or Dilapidation); or
(2) 
Where there exists a lack of maintenance and/or a deterioration of a building or grounds which actually or potentially poses a risk to the public health, public safety, security, general welfare and quiet enjoyment of occupants, abutters, and neighborhoods; or
(3) 
Where a building is not safe and/or structurally sound or where the building or its interior is otherwise unfit for healthy or safe habitation or access; or
(4) 
Where the structural vandalism of a building or grounds has gone unrepaired; or
(5) 
Where a lack of maintenance or use and/or a deterioration of the building and/or premises promotes a degradation of the surrounding neighborhood affecting the public health, public safety, security, general welfare and quiet enjoyment of occupants, and abutters.
ABANDONMENT
A building in the state of Abandonment is one (1) which shows Evidence of Abandonment as defined below and is vacant or occupied by a person without a legal right of occupancy, and may be subject to a current Notice of Default and/or Notice of Trustee's Sale, pending Tax Assessors Lien Sale, and/or part of any real Property conveyed via a Foreclosure sale resulting in the acquisition of title by an interested beneficiary of a deed of trust, and/or part of any real Property conveyed via a deed in lieu of Foreclosure/sale. Indicia of Abandonment shall include without limitation no or inadequate response to requests from officials of the Town of Randolph for verification of ownership and/or to orders to repair to such Property for more than thirty (30) days after issuance of such requests and/or orders.
CODE MANAGEMENT TASK FORCE
Pursuant to Chapter 61, Section 61-9 of the General Ordinances,[1] the Code Management Task Force ("CMTF") coordinates the activities of various agencies involved in the enforcement of laws, ordinances, and regulations adopted to protect and promote the public health, public safety, security, general welfare and quiet enjoyment of the residents of the Town of Randolph.
DILAPIDATED
A Dilapidated building is one which shows signs of decay, strewn trash, deterioration, or full or partial ruination through neglect or misuse.
EVIDENCE OF ABANDONMENT
Any building and/or premise condition(s) that independently, or in the context of the totality of circumstances would lead a reasonable person to believe that a building is vacant or occupied by a person without a legal right of occupancy. Such conditions include but are not limited to: (1) overgrown grass [one (1) ft or higher] or noticeable amounts of dead vegetation; (2) accumulation of unclaimed newspapers, circulars, flyers or mail; (3) past due utility notices or disconnected utilities; (4) accumulation of trash, junk or debris; (5) the absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds or shutters; (6) the absence of furnishings or personal items consistent with residential habitation; (7) a swimming pool in such disrepair that a dangerous condition may exist; and/or (8) reports by neighbors, passersby, delivery agents, government employees that the building is vacant.
FORECLOSURE
The process by which Property, used as security for a real estate loan, is prepared for sale to satisfy the debt if the borrower defaults.
NEIGHBORHOOD STANDARD
The condition of buildings and premises that prevails in and throughout the neighborhood where an Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building is located. No Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building shall be considered in determining this standard.
OWNER
Every person, entity, service company, Property manager or realtor, who alone or severally with others: (1) has legal or equitable title to any building, dwelling, dwelling unit, mobile dwelling unit, or parcel of land, vacant or otherwise, including a mobile home park; or (2) has care, charge or control of any building, dwelling, dwelling unit, mobile dwelling unit, or parcel of land, vacant or otherwise, including a mobile home park, in any capacity including but not limited to agent, executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee or guardian of the estate; or (3) is a mortgagee in possession of a building and/or premises; or (4) is an agent, trustee, or other person appointed by the court and vested with possession or control of a building and/or premises; or (5) is an officer or trustee of the association of unit Owners of a condominium (each such person is bound to comply with the provisions of this ordinance as if he were the Owner); or (6) operates a rooming house; or (7) is a trustee who holds, owns, or controls mortgage loans or mortgage-backed securities transactions and has initiated Foreclosure. The Owner, as defined herein, may also be referred to as the "Responsible Person" in this chapter.
PROPERTY
Any unimproved or improved real Property, or portion thereof, including but not limited to buildings or structures located on said Property, regardless of condition.
THIS SECTION or ORDINANCE
Section 83-2 of Chapter 83 of the Town of Randolph's General ordinances, entitled, "REGULATING THE SECURITY AND MAINTENANCE OF ABANDONED AND/OR DILAPIDATED BUILDINGS WITHIN THE TOWN OF RANDOLPH."
TOWN COUNCIL or COUNCIL
The Town Council for the Town of Randolph.
[1]
Editor's Note: So in original. Section 61-9 no longer exists in the Town Code.
C. 
Registration, Failure to Register, Change of Ownership.
(1) 
Within forty-five (45) days of a building becoming Abandoned and/or Dilapidated, as determined by the CMTF pursuant to this section, the Owner of such building shall register said building with the Police Department, Building Department and Health Department by providing each department, on a form to be provided by such department, the name, address, telephone number of the Owner of the building, the street address of the building and the map, block and parcel number of such building. If the Owner does not reside in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, then the registration form shall also include the name, address and telephone number of a person who resides within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and is authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the Owner and who shall be designated as the Owner's agent for purpose of receiving all notices issued pursuant to this section.
(2) 
Failure to register an Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building shall be a violation of this section. Each department, as referred to above, shall be immediately notified by the Owner of an Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building if the ownership of said building changes subsequent to registration.
D. 
Annual registration fee, failure to pay.
(1) 
On or before November 15th of each calendar year the Owner of any Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building shall pay to the Town of Randolph an annual registration fee to cover the administrative cost of monitoring and ensuring the security and proper maintenance of such building. The annual registration fee shall be set by the Town Council pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F and listed in the fee schedule.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 300, Fees.
(2) 
Failure to pay the annual registration fee shall be a violation of this section, and the full fee shall be deemed an assessment resulting from a violation of this ordinance. Such fee, and any fines issued for violations of this section, shall constitute a "municipal charges lien" on the Property to be collected in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 58.
E. 
Security and maintenance requirements. The Owner, as that term is defined herein, shall secure buildings subject to registration pursuant to this section in a such a manner as to prevent access by unauthorized persons, including but not limited to the following: (1) closing and locking of windows, doors (walk-through, sliding and garage), gates, swimming pools and any other opening of such size that it may allow a child to access the interior of the building; (2) re-glazing or boarding of any broken window; and (3) if directed to do so by the Town of Randolph, implement additional maintenance and/or security measures, including installing additional security lighting, increasing the frequency of on-site inspections, employing an on-site security guard(s), disconnecting utilities and removing meter boxes, or implementing other measures as may be required to stop the structural decline of the Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building and prevent unauthorized entry.
F. 
Inspections and posting.
(1) 
If the Responsible Person is a corporation and/or out-of-area beneficiary/trustee/Owner, a local Property manager shall be hired to perform weekly inspections of the Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building to verify that the requirements of this ordinance and any other applicable laws are being complied with.
(2) 
The Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building shall be posted with the name and twenty-four (24) hour contact phone number of the local Property manager.
(a) 
The posting shall be no less than eighteen (18) inches by twenty-four (24) inches and shall be legible from a distance of forty-five (45) feet. The posting shall contain the words:
"THIS PROPERTY MANAGED BY [add name of Property manager]" and "TO REPORT PROBLEMS OR CONCERNS PLEASE CALL [add twenty-four (24) hour contact phone number]"
(b) 
The posting shall be visible from the street and placed on the interior of a window of the Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building that faces the main street or secured to the front exterior of the building facing the main street or, if no such area exists, on a stake of sufficient size to support the posting in a location that is visible from the main street but not readily accessible to vandals. Exterior posting must be constructed of, and printed with weather resistant materials.
G. 
Billing statement. On or before October 15th of each calendar year, the Town of Randolph shall send a billing statement, setting forth the required registration fee, to the Owner of the Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building. The registration fee, as set by the Council pursuant to Subsection D, shall be due and payable on November 15th of each year regardless of the delivery or receipt of such billing statement.
H. 
Appeal. Any Owner aggrieved by the requirements of this section may appeal such requirements and/or such fee in writing to the Town Manager no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the receipt of the billing statement. The appeal request must be accompanied by a non-refundable appeal cost to be set by the Council pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F. Upon the proper filing of an appeal, payment of the registration fee shall be stayed pending the outcome of the appeal. If, upon appeal, the decision of the Manager is adverse to the Owner, the payment of the registration fee shall be due within ten (10) calendar days of such decision.
I. 
Other violations. The provisions of this section are in addition to, and not in lieu of, any and all other applicable provisions of the General Ordinances of the Town of Randolph or any provisions of the Zoning Ordinances or any applicable regulations and laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and/or the Town of Randolph.
J. 
Enforcement, fine. A violation of this section, either by failing to register an Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Building, failing to pay the registration fee or otherwise, shall be subject to a fine in accordance to the fine schedule per offense and each day that the violation is outstanding shall constitute a separate offense.[3] The Health Agent and/or any Police Officer of the Town of Randolph or any official designee of the CMTF shall have the right to enforce this section pursuant to the non-criminal disposition procedures set forth in Chapter 1, Section 1-9 of the Town of Randolph's ordinances. This section shall not supersede, preempt or negate any individual department's statutory authority to act independently on such matters.
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.
K. 
Severability. If any provision of this section is held to be invalid by a court of competent jurisdiction, then such provision shall be considered separately and apart from the remaining provisions, which shall remain in full force and effect.
L. 
Notice. A copy of this ordinance shall be mailed by CMTF to all Owners of Abandoned and/or Dilapidated Buildings located in the Town of Randolph. The CMTF shall also mail a copy of this ordinance to all loan institutions, banks, real estate offices, and management companies located in and/or having legal or equitable interest in residential, commercial or industrial Property located in the Town of Randolph, to the extent that such information is readily ascertainable and accessible from records on file with Town of Randolph or elsewhere.
[Added 6-9-2009 ATM by Art. 33]
A. 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to establish reasonable standards to protect the safety of the citizens of the Town of Randolph from the hazards inherent in trenches and to provide for penalties for individuals who violate any provision of this ordinance.
B. 
Authority, Fee. Pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 82A, the regulations of the Department of Public Safety in conjunction with the Division of Occupational Safety as promulgated under 520 CMR 14.00 regarding excavation and trench safety are expressly incorporated into this ordinance by reference. A reasonable fee to defray the cost of administration incurred in the review and processing of permits under this ordinance shall be established pursuant to MGL c. 40, § 22F and c. 82A, § 2.
C. 
Permitting Authority. The Director of the Department of Public Works or his designee shall serve as the "Permitting Authority" for excavations to take place on both property that is owned or controlled by a public agency or that a public agency otherwise has a property interest in, including but not limited to an easement, and for excavations to take place on privately owned land. Designees of the Director of the Department of Public Works may include the Building Inspector and the Fire Chief or their respective designees.
D. 
Fire Department Detail. In the event that the Permitting Authority becomes aware or is notified of an unattended trench during a time when the permit holder is unavailable, it may require a fire department detail to attend such unattended trench to protect the general public, the cost of which shall be assessed to the permit holder.
E. 
Application. The provisions of this ordinance shall apply to any excavator in the Town of Randolph.
F. 
Violations. Any person violating this section shall be fined in accordance with the Fine Schedule for each offense, each day constituting a separate offense.[1] The enforcing persons for this ordinance shall be the Permitting Authority or his designees and any one (1) fire shift commander of the Town of Randolph. Non-criminal disposition of violations shall be available to apply to violations pursuant to Chapter 1, Section 1-9 of the Town of Randolph's General Ordinances.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 301, Fines.