Town of Norwell, MA
Plymouth County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Meeting of the Town of Norwell. Formerly designated Art. VI. Amendments noted where applicable.]
A. 
The following Town officers shall be appointed by the Selectmen:
[Amended 1-25-1999 STM; 5-9-2011 ATM; 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 31]
Animal Control Officer
Animal Inspector/Inspector of Animals
Athletic Field Committee
Beautification Committee
Board of Appeals [Charter § 4-1(a)]
Board of Registrars
Burial Agent
Bylaw Review Committee
Cable TV Committee
Capital Budget Committee [Charter § 4-1(b)]
Civil Defense Director/Emergency Communications Center
Commission on Disabilities
Community Housing Trust
Community Preservation Committee (5 members appointed by the Selectmen)
Complete Streets Committee
Conservation Commission [Charter § 4-1(f)]
Constables
Council on Aging
Cultural Council
Cushing Memorial Directors
Design Review Board
Division of Inspections: Building Inspector/Zoning Officer/ADA Coordinator
Election Workers
Fence Viewer
Fire Chief, supervisory officers and firefighters [Charter § 4-1(e)]
Forest Fire Warden
Gas and Plumbing Inspector
Harbormaster and Assistant Harbormasters
Inspector of Wires
Insurance Advisory Committee
Mapping Commission
MBTA Advisory Board Representative
Mooring Bylaw Committee
North River Commission Appointee
Norwell Cemetery Committee
Norwell Historical Commission
Norwell Parking Clerk
Open Space and Recreational Implementation Committee
Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee
Personnel Board
Police Chief, supervisory officers and patrol officers [Charter § 4-1(d)]
Recreation Commission
Regional Vocational School District Committee member
Sealer of Weights and Measures
Senior Tax Relief Committee
Town Administrator (Charter Art. 5, § 5-1)
Town Counsel [Charter § 4-1(c)]
Town Technology Committee
Traffic Study Committee
Trench Inspector
Veterans' Agent
Veterans Grave Officer
B. 
The following Town officers shall be appointed by the Town Administrator, with the approval of the Board of Selectmen:
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 31]
(1) 
Council on Aging Coordinator.
(2) 
Facility Manager.
(3) 
Finance Director.
(4) 
Human Resource Manager.
(5) 
Municipal Finance Department.
(6) 
Recreation Director/Superintendent.
(7) 
Town Accountant. [Charter § 5-2(a)(1)]
(8) 
Treasurer-Collector. [Charter § 5-2(a)(1)]
(9) 
Veterans' Agent, including the Director of Veterans' Services.
C. 
The Town Administrator shall be the appointing authority for all other employees within the departments set out in Subsection B hereof, within budgetary and Personnel Bylaw guidelines, without approval of the Board of Selectmen.
D. 
When authorized or directed, the Selectmen shall appoint other Town officers.
E. 
The Pathway Committee shall be appointed by the Planning Board.
[Added 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
F. 
The South Shore Recycling Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Health.
[Added 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
The term of office of all appointed officers and committee members shall be three years, unless another term is required by law or a shorter term is established by vote of the Town or the appointing authority.
A. 
There shall be an Advisory Board consisting of nine members with three members appointed each year for a term of three years each. Members shall hold no other elected or appointed office in Town government while on the Advisory Board, unless otherwise provided by the Town Charter, Town bylaws or by vote of Town Meeting and shall serve without pay. The members of the Advisory Board shall be appointed in accordance with the selection and appointment process set forth in § 4-3 of the Town Charter.
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 31]
B. 
Members of the Board shall choose from its membership a Chair, a Vice Chair and a Clerk.
C. 
The duty of the Advisory Board shall be to investigate and consider all articles in the warrant to be brought before the Town and to report and advise thereon in Town Meetings.
D. 
The Selectmen shall transmit to the Chair of the Advisory Board a copy of all Town warrants issued by them, on or before the day of posting.
E. 
The Advisory Board may request the Selectmen and other Town officials, under whose direction appropriations are expended, to submit to it, prior to December 31 of each year, budget requests for the expenses of each department for the next year and request them to appear before it for consultation.
F. 
The Advisory Board shall grant a hearing upon all articles in any Town warrant.
G. 
All reports, advice, suggestions or recommendations as provided in Subsection C shall be submitted in writing, signed by the Chair and Secretary, together with the records of the proceedings of said Board, and shall be filed with the records of the Town in the office of the Town Clerk.
H. 
Five members of said Board shall constitute a quorum.
I. 
The Advisory Board shall have the authority to examine the books and records of any Town board or official, as far as the same is permitted by law.
J. 
The Advisory Board may request of the Town Accountant the status of any appropriation made by the Town, particularly the portion spent or committed and the balance available for the accomplishment of the purpose for which the appropriation was made.
K. 
The Advisory Board may request of any board, Town officer or any other expending authority a report of progress on the use of any appropriations and shall take whatever action it may deem advisable should said appropriation appear to be insufficient for the purpose voted.
L. 
The Advisory Board shall meet monthly and at such other times as it may determine.
M. 
No member of the Advisory Board shall be appointed to succeed himself after serving two terms of three years each.
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
The Board of Appeals consists of three members, appointed for three-year overlapping terms, and not more than five associate members.
A Committee, to be known as the "Capital Budget Committee" shall be established, composed of one member of the Advisory Board, appointed by and from it, one member of the Planning Board, appointed by and from it, and five additional members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen. The members from the Advisory Board and the Planning Board shall be appointed for one-year terms. Initially, two of the other members shall be appointed for one year, two for two years, and one for three years; thereafter, each other member shall be appointed for a three-year term. Vacancies shall be filled for unexpired terms by the original appointing authority. The Committee shall annually prepare a Capital Budget Program for use by the Advisory Board, the voters, other Town boards and officials in their deliberations. The Committee shall publish such report or a summary thereof in a suitable manner and deposit the original with the Town Clerk.
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint from registered voters of the Town seven members, shall designate the Chair, and shall take such further action as is required to establish and maintain a Council on Aging for the Town, in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 8B, and to promote the coordination of its programs with those of the State Council on Aging.
A. 
The Selectmen shall appoint a Board of Directors to be known as the Board of Directors of Cushing Memorial Hall, consisting of five persons who are residents of the Town, who will serve without pay, who are the current members of the Cushing Memorial Town Hall Study Committee, and two additional persons, and whose duties will be to operate and maintain that building now known as Cushing Memorial Town Hall. Two such persons appointed shall be appointed for a period of three years, two other such persons appointed shall be appointed for a period of two years, and the fifth person appointed shall be appointed for a period of one year. Upon the expiration of any person's term, the Selectmen may reappoint that person or appoint a different person for a period of three years. Upon the resignation or inability of a person to complete their appointed term, the Selectmen may appoint a different person to complete the term of the Director such person is replacing.
B. 
The said Board shall be responsible for the remodeling, renovation, reconstruction, repair and alteration of the Cushing Memorial Town Hall, including the preparation of all bids, specifications, and contracts with respect thereto, and to do all other things which the Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee would be otherwise responsible for.
C. 
The said Board shall have the care, custody, management and control of the said Cushing Memorial Town Hall which will henceforth be known as the Cushing Memorial Hall. The Cushing Memorial Hall shall be dedicated to the memory of Haywood Pierce Cushing and Nathan Cushing as a memorial for the Town's benefactors by suitable ceremonies, and will be operated by the said Directors of Cushing Memorial Hall as a public building keeping in mind the development and beautification of the village common in a manner befitting its simple environment. The said Board shall have the obligation and duty to maintain, keep in repair, and operate the building as herein set forth. The said Board shall have the specific right to lease space in the downstairs portion of the said Hall to persons or concerns operating low-density businesses for terms not to exceed five years at rentals to be determined by the said Board.
D. 
The Board of Directors shall let or permit, on such terms as the Selectmen may determine, the upper portion of Cushing Memorial Hall to be used by recognized groups of inhabitants of the Town of Norwell, as a cultural, educational and social center, including but not limited to school proms and dances; fairs, bazaars and craft exhibits; exhibitions of historical interest; and patriotic occasions for the honor or remembrances of veterans. Nothing herein shall prevent the right of the Board of Selectmen to issue alcoholic beverage licenses under MGL c. 138 to organizations and groups using the said Cushing Memorial Hall as described in this section. (Effective 3-11-1985)
A. 
There shall be a division composed of:
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
(1) 
A Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer, who will also be known as the Town of Norwell's ADA Coordinator and overseer of major maintenance for all Town buildings, including schools, appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a term of three years, or unless a shorter term is established by the appointing authority;
(2) 
An Inspector of Wires appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a term of one year; and
(3) 
An Inspector of Plumbing and Gas appointed by the Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer for a term of one year.
B. 
These positions shall perform all duties prescribed by state laws and codes, federal laws, Town rules and regulations, and Zoning Bylaws.
[Adopted 4-25-1995 ATM]
A. 
Pursuant to the provisions of MGL c. 40, § 8K, there is hereby established in the Town of Norwell a Mapping Commission which shall have all the duties and responsibilities imposed upon it by the provisions of said law as presently provided or hereinafter amended including the developing or coordinating the development of comprehensive maps of the Town including but not limited to parcel boundaries, location of utilities, pipelines, and other structures, land use, or items of geographic or geological interest.
B. 
Powers and duties.
(1) 
The Mapping Commission is authorized to:
(a) 
Develop and administer programs relating to such mapping of the community.
(b) 
Advise, assent, and cooperate with state, regional, and federal agencies in developing appropriate programs and policies relating to such mapping.
(c) 
Apply for, receive, expend, represent and act on behalf of the Town in connection with federal grants, grant programs or reimbursements or private grants.
(d) 
Accept gifts, grants, bequests and devises from any source, whether public or private, for the purpose of assisting the Mapping Commission in the discharge of its duties.
(e) 
Seek to coordinate the activities of governmental and private bodies organized for similar purposes.
(2) 
Said Commission shall seek to coordinate all mapping efforts in the Town in order that duplicative efforts be minimized.
(3) 
The Mapping Commission may offer for sale any products of its efforts, including maps, reports or other materials.
C. 
The Mapping Commission shall consist of five members. The members shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen for terms of three years each, so arranged that as nearly an equal number of such terms of office as is possible shall expire each year. Town employees, appointed board members, and elected officials shall be eligible for appointment to the Commission provided that their appointment shall cease upon the termination of said employment unless subsequently appointed thereto. Notwithstanding the foregoing, said members once appointed shall serve until their respective successors are appointed and sworn. Said members shall serve without compensation.
A. 
On October 25, 1972, at a Special Town Meeting, it was unanimously voted to accept MGL c. 40, § 8D, and thereby established a Historical Commission for the Town of Norwell for the purposes and with the rights and duties provided by law, to be composed of five members originally, appointed by the Board of Selectmen, for terms of three years except that initial appointment shall be: two members for one year, two members for two years, and one member for three years. Per Massachusetts General Laws the Commission shall consist of not less than three nor more than seven members.
B. 
This Commission was established for the preservation, protection and development of the historical or archaeological assets of the Town. This Commission shall conduct researches for places of historic or archaeological value, shall cooperate with the state archaeologist in conducting such researches or other surveys, and shall seek to coordinate the activities of unofficial bodies organized for similar purposes, and may advertise, prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts, plans and pamphlets which it deems necessary for its work.
A. 
There shall be a Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee which shall be responsible for the construction, reconstruction and alteration of all Town buildings and structures. The Committee shall be appointed by the Board of Selectmen, shall consist of seven residents of the Town and shall be appointed for three-year terms as follows: two shall be appointed the first year, two shall be appointed the next year, and three shall be appointed the following year. Vacancies shall be filled by the Board of Selectmen for the remaining portion of an unexpired term. The members of the Committee on the date this provision is effective shall be designated first, second, and third year members by the Board of Selectmen and shall be subject to reappointment or replacement upon the expiration of their terms.
B. 
The Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee shall organize by choosing a Chair and a Secretary.
C. 
The Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee shall review the condition, upkeep, maintenance and repair of all Town-owned buildings at reasonable intervals and shall report its findings and recommendations to the Board of Selectmen in writing.
D. 
The Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee shall adopt, and from time to time may revise or amend, rules and regulations. Such rules and regulations, and all revisions and amendments thereto, shall become effective and shall supersede all prior rules and regulations, upon filing with the Town Clerk.
A. 
There shall be a Permanent Site Committee which shall be responsible for the recommendation of the sites for all new Town buildings and structures. The Committee shall consist of the following: one member appointed by the Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee; one member appointed by and from the Planning Board; one member appointed by and from the Board of Health; one member to be appointed by and from the Permanent Drainage Committee; one member appointed by and from the Conservation Commission; and two members to be appointed by the Selectmen for three-year, staggered terms. Unless otherwise provided, members shall serve for a period of one year.
B. 
Permanent Site Committee shall organize by choosing a Chair and a Secretary.
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
One member of a Regional Vocational School District Committee shall be appointed for a three-year term.
A. 
The Selectmen shall appoint a Town Accountant for a term of three years and until his/her successor is qualified.
B. 
The Town Accountant shall perform all duties prescribed by law including the filing of all contracts, insurance policies and agreements affecting the interests of the Town.
[Amended 5-6-2019 ATM, Art. 28]
A. 
The Town Treasurer-Collector's term of office shall be three years.
B. 
The Town Treasurer-Collector shall collect all accounts due the Town which are committed to him/her.
C. 
At least once in every month each department of the Town shall deliver to the Town Accountant a statement of each account due the Town arising from any transaction in said department. Such accounts are to be committed to the Town Treasurer-Collector for collection. This subsection is to include all taxes and special assessments, costs and fees charged by each department, except those collected by the Town Clerk.
D. 
The Town Treasurer-Collector shall advise the Selectmen, as provided by law, when suits should be instituted and prosecuted in the name of the Town for the collection of any account due the Town and the Selectmen shall have the authority as agents of the Town to institute and prosecute the same.
E. 
The Town Treasurer-Collector shall pay all fees received by him/her by virtue of his/her office into the Town treasury.
F. 
The Town Treasurer-Collector shall perform all the duties which are required by law and shall have the custody of all monies, properties and securities of all trust funds, not subject to the authority of the Commissioners of Trust Funds, heretofore or hereafter given or bequeathed to the Town and shall have the power with the approval of the Board of Selectmen to invest, reinvest, transfer and expend monies from such funds as limited by the directions or provisions made by the donor of such funds. The Treasurer-Collector shall keep a separate account of such funds, and the income thereof, and submit the same to the Selectmen at the close of the fiscal year for publication in their report.
G. 
The Treasurer-Collector shall file and safely keep all receipts, vouchers and canceled obligations of the Town and shall have custody of all deeds, and other similar documents owned or held by the Town, and, except for fidelity bonds covering the Town officers and employees which shall be filed with the Selectmen, shall have custody of all bonds which run to the Town or any of its commissioners, committees or officers.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: For the Town bylaw relating to the issuance of licenses and permits if back taxes are owed, see Ch. 9, Licenses and Permits, § 9-5.
On May 9, 2011, at the Annual Town Meeting, it was unanimously voted to establish a Town Technology Committee, for the purpose of reviewing and making recommendations on Town-wide technology purchases, including but not limited to hardware and software purchases. The number of Committee members will be seven, consisting of two appointed by the School Committee, one the School Superintendent, or designee, one the Town Administrator or designee and three members appointed by the Board of Selectmen.
A. 
The Design Review Board was established by vote of the March 15, 1977, Annual Town Meeting and is charged with the following duties:
(1) 
To review the plans concerning the quality of design relative to construction, site development, landscaping, and signs for all new or substantially altered buildings of the types and/or within the districts hereinafter specified. The criteria to be applied are those specified in Subsection D(2).
(2) 
The Board shall complete its review within the review period specified in Subsection E(3), and upon completion of its review the Board shall issue a nonbinding recommendatory opinion for the approval or disapproval of said plans to the appropriate Town boards, committees or officials. In the event of a recommendation to disapprove, the Board shall specify its reasons for disapproval.
B. 
Membership. The Design Review Board ("the Board") shall consist of five members each appointed by the Board of Selectmen for a three-year term. All members of the Board shall have experience in the professions or trades of architecture, landscape architecture, planning, design, engineering, construction, or other relevant experience. Preferably one member of the Board shall be appointed from the Norwell business community at large and one member from the Norwell Chamber of Commerce. Nonvoting associate members may be appointed at the discretion of the Board. The Board shall elect annually a Chair, Vice Chair, Clerk and such other officers as required.
C. 
Types of sites and properties.
(1) 
All commercial, industrial, public and institutional sites and buildings which are to be constructed or substantially altered shall be subject to review by the Design Review Board, regardless of their location in the Town. In no case shall any site or building intended exclusively for the use as a single-family residence be subject to review by the Board.
(2) 
All sites and buildings, except those for single-family residences, located in the following districts are subject to review by the Board:
(a) 
All business districts in the Town.
(b) 
All industrial districts in the Town.
(c) 
Any and all future commercial, business or industrial districts.
(d) 
Any other districts that may be in the future created from the present single-family residential districts.
D. 
Criteria.
(1) 
The Design Review Board's central purpose is to avoid design that would have negative consequences for the residents of the Town in general, for nearby residents, or for the remainder of the district involved. The Board is specifically precluded from mandating any official "aesthetic" for Norwell or for imposing the style of any particular historical period.
(2) 
The following design criteria will be used by the Board in reaching its recommendations:
(a) 
The design of the proposed project shall not have a deleterious effect upon nearby properties, the balance of the district involved, or upon the design character of Norwell.
(b) 
Insofar as practicable, the proposed design shall preserve the landscape in its natural state by minimizing tree and soil removal and any grade changes shall be in keeping with the general appearance of neighboring areas.
(c) 
Open space should be so designed as to add to the visual amenities of the vicinity for persons passing the site and overlooking it from nearby properties.
(d) 
Vehicular access, egress, or parking and/or pedestrian circulation shall not adversely affect the use and enjoyment of nearby properties or shall be in keeping with the standards of good design.
(e) 
Exposed storage areas, machinery, service areas, loading areas, or utility structures shall be adequately screened and shall not be incongruous with the remainder of the proposed environment and its surroundings.
(f) 
Signs or other outdoor advertising through its size, location and other characteristics shall not detract from the proposed buildings, nearby properties, the remainder of the district, or the design character of Norwell.
(3) 
The Board may develop materials for the purpose of illustrating the design criteria set forth in Subsection D(2).
E. 
Powers and duties.
(1) 
On the basis of the design criteria set forth in Subsection D(2), the Board shall review, advise, and recommend upon:
(a) 
Site designs and plans.
(b) 
Building designs.
(2) 
The Board shall work cooperatively with landowners and developers and with the regulatory officers and boards of the Town. Upon the request of landowners, developers, or other parties, the Board shall review and comment upon preliminary designs prior to the official submission of proposals to the appropriate Town board, committee or official.
(3) 
The Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer, the Planning Board, and the Board of Appeals, and the Permanent Building and Maintenance Committee shall, within five days after receipt of any application or proposal, give notice to the Design Review Board and shall provide the Board with copies of the proposed plans. The initiating board, official or committee shall set a time (not less than 1/2 of its own established review period) for the Board to review the proposal, discuss the design with proponents and other interested parties, and issue a recommended opinion.
(4) 
Only after receipt and consideration, as well as public reading and publication, of the Design Review Board's recommended opinion (or the expiration of the allowed review period) shall a Town official or agency grant a corresponding permit for site development or building construction for the properties specified in Subsection C.
(5) 
The Design Review Board's recommended opinion, however, shall not be binding upon any board or Town official under Subsection E(3). Such an opinion may be overruled by an overt public act by the official or agency, so long as the reasons therefor are specified in writing, responding point by point to the Board's recommended opinion, and that these written reasons are made part of the public record.
F. 
Meetings. Meetings of the Design Review Board shall be posted and conducted in accordance with the Open Meeting Law.[1] Landowners and applicants for permits or approvals shall be invited to attend meetings of the Board during which any proposal of their initiative, or on abutting properties, will be under discussion. The Chair or member of the Board conducting each meeting shall at the outset thereof make a clear and concise statement of the purpose, the powers, and the duties of the Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MGL c. 30A, §§ 18 to 25.
[Added 5-13-2002 ATM, Art. 31]
A. 
Establishment.
(1) 
There is hereby established a Community Preservation Committee, consisting of nine voting members pursuant to MGL c. 44B. The composition of the Committee, the appointment authority and the term of office for the Committee members shall be as follows:
(a) 
One member of the Conservation Commission as designated by the Commission for a term of three years;
(b) 
One member of the Historical Commission as designated by the Commission for a term of three years;
(c) 
One member of the Planning Board as designated by the Board for a term of three years;
(d) 
One member of the Recreation Commission as designated by the Commission for a term of three years;
(e) 
One member of the Housing Authority as designated by the Authority for a term of three years;
(f) 
One member of the Board of Assessors as designated by the Board for a term of three years; and
(g) 
Three members to be appointed by the Board of Selectmen: one member to be appointed for a term of one year and thereafter for a term of three years; one member to be appointed for a two-year term and thereafter for a term of three years; and one member to be appointed for a term of three years.
(2) 
Should any of the commissions, boards, authorities or committees which have appointment authority under this section of the bylaw be no longer in existence for whatever reason or for whatever reason fail to appoint an individual to the committee, the appointment authority for that commission, board, authority or committee shall become the responsibility of the Board of Selectmen.
B. 
Duties.
(1) 
The Community Preservation Committee shall study the needs, possibilities and resources of the Town regarding community preservation. The Committee shall consult with existing municipal boards, including the Conservation Commission, the Historical Commission, Planning Board, the Recreation Commission and the Housing Authority, or persons acting in those capacities or performing like duties, in conducting such studies. As part of its study, the Committee shall hold one or more public informational hearing(s) on the needs, possibilities and resources of the Town regarding community preservation possibilities and resources, notice of which shall be posted publicly and published for each of two weeks preceding a hearing in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town.
(2) 
The Community Preservation Committee shall make recommendations to the Town Meeting for the acquisition, creation and preservation of open space, for the acquisition and preservation of historic resources, for the acquisition, creation and preservation of land for recreational use, for the creation, preservation and support of community housing and for rehabilitation or restoration of such open space, historic resources, land for recreational use and community housing that is acquired or created as provided in this section. With respect to community housing, the Community Preservation Committee shall recommend, wherever possible, the reuse of existing buildings or construction of new buildings on previously developed sites.
(3) 
The Community Preservation Committee may include in its recommendation to the Town Meeting a recommendation to set aside for later spending funds for specific purposes that are consistent with community preservation but for which sufficient revenues are not then available in the Community Preservation Fund to accomplish that specific purpose or to set aside for later spending funds for general purposes that are consistent with community preservation.
C. 
Requirement for a quorum and cost estimates. The Community Preservation Committee shall not meet or conduct business without the presence of a quorum. A majority of the members of the Community Preservation Committee shall constitute a quorum. The Community Preservation Committee shall approve its actions by majority vote. Recommendations to the Town Meeting shall include their anticipated costs.
D. 
Amendments. This section of the bylaw may be amended from time to time by a majority vote of the Town Meeting, provided that the amendments would not cause a conflict to occur with MGL c. 44B.
E. 
Severability. In case any section, paragraph or part of this section of the bylaw be, for any reason, declared invalid or unconstitutional by any court of last resort, every other section, paragraph or part shall continue in full force and effect.
F. 
Effective date. Each appointing authority shall have 10 days, after the approved bylaw is posted or published by the Town Clerk in accordance with MGL c. 40, § 32, to make its initial appointments. Should any appointing authority fail to make its appointment within that allotted time, the Selectmen shall make the appointment.