Town of Watertown, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
This codification of ordinances by and for the City known as the Town of Watertown, Massachusetts shall be designated as the Code of Watertown and may be so cited.
Unless otherwise provided herein, or by law or implication required, the same rules of construction, definition, and application shall govern the interpretation of this code as those governing the interpretation of state law.
All provisions of Title I compatible with future legislation, shall apply to ordinances hereafter adopted amending or supplementing this code unless otherwise specifically provided.
(A) 
All bylaws passed by the Town Council shall be termed "ordinances," and the enacting style shall be similar to: "Be it ordained by the Town Council of the City known as the Town of Watertown as follows."
(B) 
All the ordinances of the town shall be recorded by the Town Clerk, in a fair and legible hand or typewritten, without interlineation or erasure, in the order in which they are passed, in a book to be kept for that purpose, with proper margin and index, to be entitled "The Ordinances of the Inhabitants of the City know as the Town of Watertown," which book shall be preserved in the office of the Town Clerk, subject to the inspection of the citizens.
(C) 
All the ordinances of the town and such resolutions and orders as the Town Council may direct shall be published by causing the same to be inserted once in one or more newspapers printed and published in the town as the Town Council shall from time to time designate; but whenever the town shall make a general revision of all of its ordinances, no publication of such revised ordinances shall be required in any newspaper.
Headings and captions used in this code other than the title, chapter, and section numbers are employed for reference purposes only and shall not be deemed a part of the text of any section.
[1982 Code, Ch. I, § 5]
(A) 
Words and phrases shall be taken in their plain, or ordinary and usual sense. However, technical words and phrases having a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be understood according to their technical import.
(B) 
For the purpose of this code, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
CITY
The City known as the Town of Watertown, Massachusetts.
CODE, THIS CODE or THIS CODE OF ORDINANCES
This municipal code as modified by amendment, revision, and adoption of new titles, chapters, or sections.
COMPUTATION OF TIME
When time is to be reckoned from a day, date, act done, or the time of an act done, either by force of law, or by virtue of a contract made, such day, date, or the day when such act is done shall not be included in the computation.
CORPORATE OR TOWN LIMITS
The legal boundaries of the Town of Watertown, Massachusetts.
COUNTY
Middlesex County, Massachusetts.
DELEGATION OF AUTHORITY
Whenever a provision appears requiring the head of a department or some other town officer to do some act or perform some duty, it is to be construed to authorize the head of the department or other officer to designate, delegate, and authorize subordinates to perform the required act or perform the duty unless the terms of the provisions of the section specify otherwise.
JOINT AUTHORITY
All words purporting to give a joint authority to three or more persons or officers shall be construed as giving such authority to a majority of such persons or officers, unless otherwise expressly declared.
MAY
The act referred to is permissive.
MONTH
A calendar month.
OATH
An affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an oath, and in such cases the words "swear" and "sworn" shall be equivalent to the words "affirm" and "affirmed."
OFFICERS, OFFICE, EMPLOYEE, COMMISSION, or DEPARTMENT
An officer, office, employee, commission, or department of this municipality unless the context clearly requires otherwise.
OWNER or OCCUPANT
Any sole owner or occupant and any joint tenant and tenant in common of the whole or any part of a building or lot of land.
PERSON
Extends to and includes person, persons, firm, corporation, copartnership, trustee, lessee, or receiver. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, the terms "person" or "whoever" as applied to any unincorporated entity shall mean the partners or members thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers or agents thereof.
PERSONAL PROPERTY
Includes every species of property except real property, as herein described.
PRECEDING or FOLLOWING
Next before or next after, respectively.
PUBLIC WAY
Any highway, townway, road, bridge, street, avenue, boulevard, roadway, parkway, lane, sidewalk or square.
REAL PROPERTY
Lands, tenements, and hereditaments.
REGISTERED MAIL
When used in connection with the requirement for notice by mail shall mean either registered mail or certified mail.
SHALL
The act referred to is mandatory.
SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION
Includes a mark when the person cannot write.
STATE
The State of Massachusetts.
STREET
Includes streets, avenues, boulevards, roads, alleys, lanes, viaducts, and all other public ways in the town, and shall include all areas thereof embraced between the property lines and dedicated to the public use.
SUBCHAPTER
A division of a chapter, designated in this code by a heading in the chapter analysis and a capitalized heading in the body of the chapter, setting apart a group of sections related by the subject matter of the heading. Not all chapters have subchapters.
TENANT or OCCUPANT
Applied to a building or land, shall include any person holding a written or oral lease or who occupies the whole or part of such buildings or land, either alone or with others.
TOWN
The Town of Watertown, Massachusetts.
TOWN COUNCIL
The Town Council of Watertown, Massachusetts.
WHOLESALE, WHOLESALER or WHOLESALE DEALER
In all cases where the words "wholesale," "wholesaler" or "wholesale dealer" are used in this code, unless otherwise specifically defined, they shall be understood and held to relate to the sale of goods, merchandise, articles or things in quantity to persons who purchase for purposes of resale, as distinguished from a retail dealer who sells in smaller quantities direct to the consumer.
WRITTEN
Any representation of words, letters, or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.
YEAR
A calendar year, unless otherwise expressed.
The construction of all ordinances of this municipality shall be by the following rules, unless such construction is plainly repugnant to the intent of the legislative body or of the context of the same ordinance:
(A) 
"And" or "or." Either conjunction shall include the other as if written "and/or," if the sense requires it.
(B) 
Acts by assistants. When a statute or ordinance requires an act to be done which, by law, an agent or deputy as well may do as the principal, such requisition shall be satisfied by the performance of such act by an authorized agent or deputy.
(C) 
Gender; singular and plural; tenses. Words denoting the masculine gender shall be deemed to include the feminine and neuter genders; words in the singular shall include the plural, and words in the plural shall include the singular; the use of a verb in the present tense shall include the future, if applicable.
(D) 
General term. A general term following specific enumeration of terms is not to be limited to the class enumerated unless expressly so limited.
If any provision of this code as now or later amended or its application to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions that can be given effect without the invalid provision or application.
Whenever in one section reference is made to another section hereof, such reference shall extend and apply to the section referred to as subsequently amended, revised, recodified, or renumbered unless the subject matter is changed or materially altered by the amendment or revision.
Reference to a public office or officer shall be deemed to apply to any office, officer, or employee of this municipality exercising the powers, duties, or functions contemplated in the provision, irrespective of any transfer of functions or change in the official title of the functionary.
If a manifest error is discovered, consisting of the misspelling of any words; the omission of any word or words necessary to express the intention of the provisions affected; the use of a word or words to which no meaning can be attached; or the use of a word or words when another word or words was clearly intended to express such intent, such spelling shall be corrected and such word or words supplied, omitted, or substituted as will conform with the manifest intention, and the provisions shall have the same effect as though the correct words were contained in the text as originally published. No alteration shall be made or permitted if any question exists regarding the nature or extent of such error.
The official time, as established by applicable state/federal laws, shall be the official time within this municipality for the transaction of all municipal business.
(A) 
In all cases where an ordinance requires an act to be done in a reasonable time or requires reasonable notice to be given, reasonable time or notice shall be deemed to mean the time which is necessary for a prompt performance of such act or the giving of such notice.
(B) 
The time within which an act is to be done, as herein provided, shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last. If the last day be Sunday, it shall be excluded.
This code, from and after its effective date, shall contain all of the provisions of a general nature pertaining to the subjects herein enumerated and embraced. All prior ordinances pertaining to the subjects treated by this code shall be deemed repealed from and after the effective date of this code.
All ordinances of a temporary or special nature and all other ordinances pertaining to subjects not embraced in this code shall remain in full force and effect unless herein repealed expressly or by necessary implication.
All ordinances passed by the legislative body requiring publication shall take effect from and after the due publication thereof, unless otherwise expressly provided. Ordinances not requiring publication shall take effect from their passage, unless otherwise expressly provided.
(A) 
Whenever any ordinance or part of an ordinance shall be repealed or modified by a subsequent ordinance, the ordinance or part of an ordinance thus repealed or modified shall continue in force until the due publication of the ordinance repealing or modifying it when publication is required to give effect thereto, unless otherwise expressly provided.
(B) 
No suit, proceedings, right, fine, forfeiture, or penalty instituted, created, given, secured, or accrued under any ordinance previous to its repeal shall in any way be affected, released, or discharged, but may be prosecuted, enjoyed, and recovered as fully as if the ordinance had continued in force unless it is otherwise expressly provided.
(C) 
When any ordinance repealing a former ordinance, clause, or provision shall be itself repealed, the repeal shall not be construed to revive the former ordinance, clause, or provision, unless it is expressly provided.
(A) 
If the legislative body shall desire to amend any existing chapter or section of this code, the chapter or section shall be specifically repealed and a new chapter or section, containing the desired amendment, substituted in its place.
(B) 
Any ordinance which is proposed to add to the existing code a new chapter or section shall indicate, with reference to the arrangement of this code, the proper number of such chapter or section. In addition to such indication thereof as may appear in the text of the proposed ordinance, a caption or title shall be shown in concise form above the ordinance.
[Ord. passed 5-13-1960; amended Ord. passed 1-1-1970; amended Ord. passed 1-1-1980; Ord. passed 1-17-1980; amended Ord. passed 1-1-1985]
(A) 
As histories for the code sections, the specific number and passage date of the original ordinance, and the amending ordinances, if any, are listed following the section title or affected subsection.
Example:
(B) 
(1) 
If a statutory cite is included in the history, this indicates that the text of the section reads substantially the same as the statute.
Example: (Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 35, § 10)
(2) 
If a statutory cite is set forth as a "statutory reference" following the text of the section, this indicates that the reader should refer to that statute for further information.
Example:
§ 39.01 PUBLIC RECORDS AVAILABLE.
This municipality shall make available to any person for inspection or copying all public records, unless otherwise exempted by state law.
Statutory reference:
For provisions concerning the inspection of public records, see Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 66, §§ 1 et seq.
(C) 
If a section of this code is derived from the previous code of ordinances of the town published in 1982 and subsequently amended, the 1982 code chapter and section number shall be indicated in the history by "(1982 Code, Ch. __, § _____)."
[1982 Code, Ch. I, § 6; amended Ord. 31, passed 3-26-1991]
(A) 
Any person violating any provision of this code, or any rule or regulation of any Watertown officer, board or department (including without limitation any sanitary code or regulations of the Board of Health issued pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 111, §§ 31 and 31B, and any Fire Safety Code issued by the Fire Chief pursuant to Mass. Gen. Laws Ch. 148, § 28), provided that the issuance or adoption of any such code, rule or regulation was the subject of a public notice prior to the effective date and that on the date of the alleged violation a confirmed copy of the current version of that code, rule or regulation was available in the Town Clerk's office, including any mandate, requirement, prohibition, or proscription, shall be subject to the penalties set forth in division (B) of this section.
(B) 
Except as set for in § 35.05 of this code, and unless controlled by Massachusetts General Laws and unless other fine or penalty is expressly stated in this code, violators of any provision of this code, rules or regulations shall forfeit and pay a fine not to exceed $300.
(C) 
A separate offense shall be deemed committed upon each day during which a violation occurs or continues and shall be subject to a separate penalty.