[Adopted 3-10-1997 STM by Art. S16 (Art. IXA of the Bylaws)]
It is the purpose of this bylaw to provide for the review of public way access permit applications to provide for predictable, timely and uniform procedures and public safety.
These procedures apply to public way access permit applications for:
In this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings prescribed below:
- Any alteration of the physical or traffic operational features of the access.
- PUBLIC WAY
- Shall not be construed to mean a state highway pursuant to MGL c. 81, § 21.
- SUBSTANTIAL INCREASE IN OR IMPACT ON TRAFFIC
- That generated by a facility which meets or exceeds any of the following thresholds:
- A. Residential, including hotels, motels, lodging house and dormitories: any increase to the existing certificate of occupancy of more than 25 persons.
- B. Nonresidential: 250 trips per day, as defined in the ITE Trip Generation Manual, 4th Edition.
- C. Nonresidential: 25 new parking spaces.
- D. Nonresidential: 5,000 new square feet.
The Board of Selectmen shall be responsible for the issuance and/or denial of public way access permits. A permit applicant shall request issuance of a permit on a standard form supplied by the Board of Selectmen.
A permit application shall be deemed complete by the Board of Selectmen only after the following items have been submitted:
Standard application form;
Evidence of certification of compliance with the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act (MEPA) by the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs of the Commonwealth, if necessary;
Engineering plans acceptable to the Board of Selectmen, where required by the Board.
The Board of Selectmen, by regulation, may adopt a schedule of reasonable fees to accompany said application.
Any application for a public way access permit, other than an application pertaining to a single-family residential structure, shall be transmitted by the Board of Selectmen within three working days to the Planning Board for review and comment. The Planning Board shall, within 20 days of receipt of the application, report to the Board of Selectmen in writing its findings as to the safety of the proposed activity and, in the event of a finding that the proposed activity would be unsafe, its recommendations, if possible, for the adjustment thereof. Failure by the Planning Board to respond within 20 days of the receipt of the application shall be deemed lack of opposition thereto.
Where the Board of Selectmen denies said application, it shall state specific findings for the denial in its decision.
The Board of Selectmen may retain a qualified technical expert to assist in its assessment of the traffic impact of the proposal. The fee for such expert shall be paid by the applicant prior to the issuance, if any, of the public way access permit.
The Board of Selectmen may deny the issuance of a public way access permit due to the failure of the applicant to provide sufficient highway improvements to facilitate safe and efficient highway operations or when the construction and use of the access applied for would create a condition that is unsafe or endangers the public safety and welfare.
The Board of Selectmen may, in the alternative, condition an access permit to facilitate safe and efficient traffic operations, to mitigate traffic impacts, and to avoid or minimize environmental damage during the construction period and throughout the term of the permit. Such conditions may include, but not be limited to:
Necessary limitation on turning movements;
Restrictions on the number of access points to serve the parcel;
Vehicle trip reduction techniques;
Necessary and reasonable efforts to maintain existing levels of service;
Design and construction of necessary public way improvements by the permittee; and
Reimbursement by the permittee of costs of Town inspection of public way improvement work.
Variance. Where site or access standards do not allow the proposed access to meet these standards, the Board of Selectmen may vary application of the design standards on a case-by-case basis, upon the finding that:
For either a private applicant or a governmental entity, there are no reasonable available alternatives which would allow access in compliance with these standards. In this case, the applicant must commit to provide measures to mitigate impact to traffic and operational safety, which the Board of Selectmen determines are necessary;
As an alternative procedure for a governmental entity only, the variance is necessary to accommodate an overriding municipal, regional or state public interest, including the avoidance or minimization of environmental impacts.
Construction under the terms of a public way access permit shall be completed within one year of the date of issue, unless otherwise stated in the permit. The Board of Selectmen may extend the permit for an additional year, at the written request of the permittee, filed prior to the expiration of the original construction period.
When the Board of Selectmen determines that a permit condition has not been complied with, it may suspend or revoke a public way access permit if, after notice to the permittee of the alleged noncompliance, 24 hours have elapsed without compliance.
The Board of Selectmen may require a performance bond to be posted by the permittee in an amount not to exceed the estimated cost of the work, or $50,000, whichever is less. The performance bond shall be posted prior to the issuance of the permit.
The Board of Selectmen may issue written orders to enforce the provisions of this bylaw.