Section 81T of chapter 41 of the General Laws is hereby amended by adding the following paragraph:-
In a city or town choosing to accept the provisions of this paragraph pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 4 of chapter 4, the chair of the planning board of such city or town may determine that the public hearing, and any public hearing required by section 9 of chapter 40A when such planning board is also the special permit granting authority, may be postponed because of a weather-related emergency. The chair of the planning board shall consult with local public safety officials and then, upon the chair of the planning board’s own declaration of a weather-related emergency, the chair of the planning board shall recess and continue the public hearing to a time, date and place certain. If due to the weather-related emergency, a new public hearing time and place may be required but cannot be then identified, the chair of the planning board may recess and continue the public hearing and shall within 3 days of the declaration of recess and continuance select a public hearing time and place and the chair of the planning board shall declare the meeting location. If due to the weather-related emergency no suitable municipal facility is available for a public hearing, the chair of the planning board may move the public hearing to a suitable place in a contiguous municipality. The chair of the planning board shall announce the declaration of recess and continuance as far in advance of the public hearing being continued as is practicable; provided that, a notice of the declaration of recess and continuance shall be prepared by the chair of the planning board and printed in a legible, easily understandable format and shall contain the date, time and place of the continued public hearing, state the reason for the declaration and identify the date and time that the chair of the planning board announced the recess and continuance. If the chair of the planning board does not identify the location of the continued meeting in the notice, within 3 days of the announcement of the declaration of recess and continuance the chair of the planning board shall issue an amended notice which identifies the public hearing time and place. Notice shall be filed with the municipal clerk as soon as practicable and then posted in a manner conspicuously visible to the public at all hours in or on the municipal building in which the clerk’s office is located. One copy of the notice of declaration of recess and continuance or the amended notice shall be posted at the main entrance of the place of the public hearing as soon as is practicable. In addition, the chair of the planning board may use any electronic, broadcast or print media convenient to circulate the notice of recess and continuance and any amended notice. Those municipalities that have a municipal website shall post a copy of the notice of declaration of recess and continuance or amended notice on the municipal website as soon as practicable.
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