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  • PART I ADMINISTRATION OF THE GOVERNMENT
  • TITLE XIV PUBLIC WAYS AND WORKS
  • CHAPTER 91 WATERWAYS
  • Section 18 Application for license; notice; hearings; records

Section 18. Upon or prior to applying for a license pursuant to this section, the applicant shall submit to the planning board of the city or town where the work is to be performed, except in case of a proposed bridge, dam or similar structure across a river, cove, or inlet, the application containing the proposed use, the location, dimensions and limits and mode of work to be performed.

Said planning board may conduct a public hearing within thirty days of receipt of license application. Within fifteen days of conducting said public hearing or within forty-five days of receipt of license application, the planning board shall submit a written recommendation to the department. Said recommendation shall state whether said planning board believes the development would serve a proper public purpose and would not be detrimental of the public’s rights in these tidal lands. The department shall take into consideration the recommendation of the local planning board in making its decision whether to grant a license.

Every license granted under this chapter shall be signed by the department, shall state the conditions on which it is granted, including, but not limited to the specific use to which the licensed structure or fill is restricted, and shall specify by metes, bounds and otherwise the location, dimensions, and limits and mode of performing the work authorized thereby. Any changes in use or structural alteration of a licensed structure or fill, whether said structure or fill first was licensed prior to or after the effective date of this section, shall require the issuance by the department of a new license in accordance with the provisions and procedures established in this chapter. Any unauthorized substantial change in use or unauthorized substantial structural alteration shall render the license void. Licenses granted by the department pursuant to this chapter shall be revocable by the department for noncompliance with the conditions set forth therein. The department shall not revoke any license until it has given written notice of the alleged noncompliance to the licensee and those persons who have filed a written request for such notice with the department and afforded them a reasonable opportunity to correct said noncompliance. The department may promulgate regulations for implementation for its authority under this chapter.

No license shall be required under this chapter for fill on landlocked tidelands, or for uses or structures within landlocked tidelands.

The department shall submit any regulations promulgated under the provisions of this chapter to the joint legislative committee on natural resources and agriculture, to the senate committee on ways and means and to the house committee on ways and means, for their review within sixty days prior to the effective date of said regulations.

Forty-five days before any license is granted pursuant to this chapter, the department shall give notice to the selectmen of the town or the mayor of the city and the conservation commission of the town or city where the work is to be performed that they may be heard, except in the case of a proposed bridge, dam or similar structure across a river, cove or inlet, the department shall give notice to the selectmen or mayor, and conservation commission of every municipality into which the tidewater of said river, cove or inlet extends, and the department shall cause said notice to be published at the same time in a newspaper or newspapers having a circulation in the area affected by said license at the expense of the applicant.

A public hearing shall be held in the affected city or town on any license application for nonwater dependent uses of tidelands, except for landlocked tidelands. No structures or fill for nonwater dependent uses of tidelands, except for landlocked tidelands may be licensed unless a written determination by the department is made following a public hearing that said structures or fill shall serve a proper public purpose and that said purpose shall provide a greater public benefit than public detriment to the rights of the public in said lands and that the determination is consistent with the policies of the Massachusetts coastal zone management program. For those license applications where a public hearing is not mandated, a public hearing may be held, upon the request of the municipality or at the discretion of the department in the affected city or town.

Any person aggrieved by a decision by the department to grant a license pursuant to this chapter shall have the right to an adjudicatory hearing in accordance with chapter thirty A.

The department shall keep a record of each license and a plan of the work or structure. Said license shall be void unless, within sixty days after its date, it and the accompanying plan are recorded in the registry of deeds for the county or district where the work is to be performed. Work or change in use authorized under the license shall not commence until said license is recorded and the department has received notification of said recordation.

No license shall be granted for private tidelands unless the application therefor contains a certification by the clerk of the affected cities or towns that the work to be performed or changed in use is not in violation of local zoning ordinances and by-laws.

Each license granted shall contain a statement of the tidewater displacement assessments made with respect thereto and that payment has been received therefor, or that performance of other conditions in lieu of such payment has been completed to the satisfaction of the department and a statement of the assessment for occupation of commonwealth tidelands if, any, made with respect thereto for which payment has been received or shall be required in accordance with regulations of the department.