1. Meeting Notifications - Applicant / Owner, Abutters
Staff will assist you in understanding the process based on what type of application your file. State law (MGL Chapter 40A) sets forth a series of procedural requirements specific to several types of applications such as:
These three types of applications require a public hearing, abutter notification and a two consecutive week legal advertising in a local newspaper. Choose any one of the above links to view the state time line for each. Other types of applications have similar requirements but may only require a public meeting as opposed to a formal hearing.
2. Meeting Scheduled
Your application will be scheduled at the next meeting of the required board based on the procedural timeline and you will be notified by staff.
3. At the Meeting
Someone should be present at the meeting to discuss / present the application and answer questions. That can be anyone that the applicant or property owner wishes to be present. The board will ask questions and give the public an opportunity to make comment / ask questions.
4. Board Decision
Once all the questions have been asked and answered, the board will move into the decision phase. The comment / discussion portion of the meeting will be closed. Once the hearing / meeting is closed, no additional material may be submitted. The Board will either make a decision that night or request staff to prepare a draft decision taking into consideration all material and input received to date.
A written decision will be prepared for signature by the either the Chairman or the whole board. This decision will include a list of all documents received, a list of discussion points (findings). If a permit is approved it will also include a list of conditions that must be met.
5. Filing the Decision / Appeal Period / Notice of Decision
Staff files the signed decision with the Town Clerk. Some permits require a 20 day appeal period as specified by Massachusetts General Law. A copy of the decision along with “next steps” is sent to the Applicant and Owner by certified mail. Abutters are sent a Notice of Decision via first class mail.
6A. Next Steps: Special Permits, Variances, Definitive Plan Approval
If your permit type requires a 20 day appeal period you must wait until that time has lapsed. After that, you will be required to file documentation at the Worcester District Registry of Deeds. Proof of that filing must be sent to staff before any building permits may be applied for.
6B. Next Steps: All Other Permit Types
See Step 4 and then proceed with applications for building permits.