Processes and Procedures

The Planning Board relies on the Town Planner and the Associate Town Planner to administer permitting processes. Applications for Special Permits, Site Plan Reviews, Preliminary and Definitive Subdivisions and Approval Not Required Plans are accepted in the Planning Board office during regular business hours (generally Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.). All plans and applications must be complete and be time and date stamped by the Town Clerk’s office prior to being accepted by the Planning Department. Download our Permit & Filing Fees for more information or visit the Planning Board office.

Once the Planning Department receives an application for a subdivision or site plan review, a date is set for the required Public Hearing. Copies of the plans are sent to the Building Commissioner, Conservation Commission, Department of Public Works, Board of Health, Design Review Board, and Fire Department for their review and comment. The Town Planner will then write an advertisement that is sent to the applicant and the local paper and by Massachusetts law must be advertised in the newspaper for two weeks and 14 days prior to the public hearing. The invoice for advertising in the local paper is sent to the applicant. The applicant then must send the advertisement by certified mail to the abutters indicated on a Certified Abutters List prepared by the Assessor’s Office. The Public Hearing is held (and continued if necessary) until the Board has enough information to either disapprove the project or approve the project with conditions.

After the Public Hearing is closed a written decision will be prepared by the Town Planner and Planning Board and sent to the Town Clerk to begin a twenty day appeal period. After the appeal period has expired the applicant is responsible for bringing the decision back to the Planning Department for final endorsement by the Chairman. Subdivision Plans also require endorsement by the Board. After all signatures are obtained the applicant is then responsible for having the decision and any plans, covenants, easements or other restrictions recorded at the Plymouth County Registry of deeds. Proof of recording must be given to the Planning Department before a Pre-Construction meeting will be scheduled. Once proof of recording is provided and all other related land use permits have been obtained (Building, Conservation, Board of Health, DPW, etc.) a Pre-Construction meeting is held to address outstanding issues and construction timeline and procedures prior to the start of work. Various staff from each department monitor the progress of construction work. Once the project is complete, the applicant must obtain approval from the Planning Board that the work has been completed correctly. For more information, contact the Planning Board staff.