Print Print
  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE VII CITIES, TOWNS AND DISTRICTS
  • CHAPTER 40A ZONING
  • Section 11 Notice requirements for public hearings; parties in interest defined; review of special permit petitions; recording copies of special permit and variance decisions

Section 11. In all cases where notice of a public hearing is required notice shall be given by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in the city or town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication to be not less than fourteen days before the day of the hearing and by posting such notice in a conspicuous place in the city or town hall for a period of not less than fourteen days before the day of such hearing. In all cases where notice to individuals or specific boards or other agencies is required, notice shall be sent by mail, postage prepaid. “Parties in interest” as used in this chapter shall mean the petitioner, abutters, owners of land directly opposite on any public or private street or way, and abutters to the abutters within three hundred feet of the property line of the petitioner as they appear on the most recent applicable tax list, notwithstanding that the land of any such owner is located in another city or town, the planning board of the city or town, and the planning board of every abutting city or town. The assessors maintaining any applicable tax list shall certify to the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority the names and addresses of parties in interest and such certification shall be conclusive for all purposes. The permit granting authority or special permit granting authority may accept a waiver of notice from, or an affidavit of actual notice to any party in interest or, in his stead, any successor owner of record who may not have received a notice by mail, and may order special notice to any such person, giving not less than five nor more than ten additional days to reply.

Publications and notices required by this section shall contain the name of the petitioner, a description of the area or premises, street address, if any, or other adequate identification of the location, of the area or premises which is the subject of the petition, the date, time and place of the public hearing, the subject matter of the hearing, and the nature of action or relief requested if any. No such hearing shall be held on any day on which a state or municipal election, caucus or primary is held in such city or town.

Zoning ordinances or by-laws may provide that petitions for special permits shall be submitted to and reviewed by one or more of the following and may further provide that such reviews may be held jointly:—the board of health, the planning board or department, the city or town engineer, the conservation commission or any other town agency or board. Any such board or agency to which petitions are referred for review shall make such recommendations as they deem appropriate and shall send copies thereof to the special permit granting authority and to the applicant; provided, however, that failure of any such board or agency to make recommendations within thirty-five days of receipt by such board or agency of the petition shall be deemed lack of opposition thereto.

When a planning board or department is also the special permit granting authority for a special permit applicable to a subdivision plan, the planning board or department may hold the special permit public hearing together with a public hearing required by sections 81K to 81GG inclusive of chapter 41 and allow for the publication of a single advertisement giving notice of the consolidated hearing.

Upon the granting of a variance or special permit, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority shall issue to the owner and to the applicant if other than the owner a copy of its decision, certified by the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority, containing the name and address of the owner, identifying the land affected, setting forth compliance with the statutory requirements for the issuance of such variance or permit and certifying that copies of the decision and all plans referred to in the decision have been filed with the planning board and city or town clerk.

No variance, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, shall take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the city or town clerk that twenty days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, or that if it is a variance which has been approved by reason of the failure of the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority to act thereon within the time prescribed, a copy of the petition for the variance accompanied by the certification of the city or town clerk stating the fact that the permit granting authority failed to act within the time prescribed, and no appeal has been filed, and that the grant of the petition resulting from such failure to act has become final, or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county and district in which the land is located and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title.

A special permit, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, shall not take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the city or town clerk that 20 days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the city or town clerk and either that no appeal has been filed or the appeal has been filed within such time, or if it is a special permit which has been approved by reason of the failure of the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority to act thereon within the time prescribed, a copy of the application for the special permit-accompanied by the certification of the city or town clerk stating the fact that the permit granting authority or special permit granting authority failed to act within the time prescribed, and whether or not an appeal has been filed within that time, and that the grant of the application resulting from the failure to act has become final, is recorded in the registry of deeds for the county and district in which the land is located and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or is recorded and noted on the owner’s certificate of title. The person exercising rights under a duly appealed special permit does so at risk that a court will reverse the permit and that any construction performed under the permit may be ordered undone. This section shall in no event terminate or shorten the tolling, during the pendency of any appeals, of the 6 month periods provided under the second paragraph of section 6. The fee for recording or registering shall be paid by the owner or applicant.