Town of Dalton, MA
Berkshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
There are three steps recommended for subdivision planning; the submission of a sketch, a preliminary plan and, finally, the definitive plan.
B. 
Before preparation of a preliminary plan, it is strongly recommended that the subdivider submit a sketch plan of the proposed subdivision to the Planning Board, and consult with the Board informally regarding the procedures, design standards and required improvements in order to save time and avoid costly mistakes.
C. 
Before preparation of a definitive subdivision plan, it is again strongly recommended that the subdivider submit a preliminary plan for a residential development, as defined in § 501-8 below. However, for nonresidential development, a preliminary plan shall be submitted.
D. 
A subdivision plan shall be considered as submitted to the Planning Board when delivered at a meeting of the Board or when sent by certified or registered mail to the Planning Board, care of the Town Clerk, together with a properly filled out application form, fee and supporting documents.
E. 
Time for actions on such plans are as follows (MGL c. 41, § 81U):
(1) 
If the applicant chooses to file a preliminary plan for a residential subdivision and the Board acts within 45 days, or fails to act, and the definitive plan is submitted, the Board has 90 days to take final action.
(2) 
If the applicant did not choose to file a preliminary plan for residential subdivision and starts by filing a definitive plan, the Board has 135 days to take final action.
(3) 
When the applicant files a preliminary plan for nonresidential subdivision and the Board acts within 45 days, or fails to act, and the definitive plan is submitted, the Board has 90 days to take final action.
(4) 
In all cases the applicant may make a written request to extend the time.
A. 
Planning Board, Board of Health and Conservation Commission for discussion and approval, modification or disapproval by each board. The submission of such a preliminary plan will enable the subdivider, the Planning Board, the Board of Health, the Conservation Commission, other municipal agencies and owners of property abutting the subdivision to discuss and clarify the problems of subdivision before a definitive plan is prepared. A properly executed application Form B (See Appendix.) shall be filed with the preliminary plan, along with a filing fee of $300 plus $50 per lot, to the Planning Board.
B. 
Contents.
(1) 
The preliminary plan shall be drawn on Mylar at a suitable scale, and 14 prints shall be filed at the office of the Planning Board. Said plan shall be identified as a preliminary plan and shall show the proposed names of streets or ways as well as all information described below so as to form a clear basis for discussion of its problems and for preparation of the definitive plan. During discussion of the preliminary plan, the complete information required for the definitive plan (§ 501-9, Definitive plan) will be developed.
(2) 
The preliminary plan shall contain the following information:
(a) 
The subdivision name, boundaries, north point, date, scale, legend and title "Preliminary Plan."
(b) 
The name(s) of record owner(s) and the applicant and the name of the designer and professional civil engineer and land surveyor registered in Massachusetts.
(c) 
The names of all abutters from the most recent local tax list.
(d) 
The existing and proposed lines of streets, ways, easements, and any public areas within the subdivision in a general manner.
(e) 
The proposed system of drainage, including adjacent existing natural waterways in a general manner.
(f) 
The approximate boundary lines of proposed lots with approximate areas and dimensions.
(g) 
The names, approximate location and widths of adjacent streets.
(h) 
The topography (US Geodetic Survey) of the land in a general manner.
C. 
Action. The Planning Board has 45 days in which to approve or disapprove a preliminary plan and notify the applicant (by registered mail) and the Town Clerk of its action. The plan may be approved with or without modification. In the case of approval, such action does not constitute approval of a subdivision. In the case of disapproval, the Board shall state in detail its reasons therefor.
A. 
General.
(1) 
Any person who submits a definitive plan of a subdivision to the Planning Board for approval shall file with the Board the following:
(a) 
An original drawing of the definitive plan and 14 contact prints thereof, dark line on white background. The original drawing will be returned after approval or disapproval.
(b) 
A property executed application Form C. (See Appendix.)
(c) 
An application fee of $3,000 plus $150 per lot, payable to the Town of Dalton. In addition thereto, the cost of publication of legal notice and of mailing of all notices shall be charged to the applicant.
(2) 
The applicant shall file by delivery, or certified mail, a notice with the Town Clerk stating the date of submission for such approval, accompanied by a copy of the completed application. (Form C)
B. 
Contents.
(1) 
The definitive plan shall be prepared by a professional civil engineer and land surveyor registered in Massachusetts and shall be drawn on Mylar. When multiple sheets are used, an index shall be provided. The definitive plan shall contain the following information:
(a) 
Subdivision name, boundaries, north point, date, scale and legend.
(b) 
Names and address of record owner(s), subdivider, engineer and surveyor.
(c) 
Names of all abutters as they appear on the most recent local tax list.
(d) 
Lines and widths of existing and proposed streets, ways, easements and public or common areas within the subdivision, and names of proposed streets.
(e) 
Boundary lines, areas and dimensions of all proposed lots, designated numerically and in sequence.
(f) 
Sufficient data to determine the location, direction and length of every street and way line, lot line, and boundary line, and to establish these lines on the ground.
(g) 
Location of all permanent monuments properly identified as existing or proposed.
(h) 
Location, names and present widths of streets bounding, approaching or within reasonable proximity of the subdivision.
(i) 
Indication of the purpose of easement and/or restrictions.
(j) 
Suitable space to record the action of the Planning Board, Board of Health and Town Clerk.
(2) 
The following items shall be submitted on separate sheets.
(a) 
Existing and proposed topography at two-foot contour intervals sufficient to determine any significant change in existing grade between and drainage onto abutting land.
(b) 
Location of floodplains and wetland areas.
(c) 
Plan and profile of proposed municipal sewage and water systems if municipal sewage and water systems are to be installed.
(d) 
Overall plan for drainage of surface water including, but not limited to, the impact on abutting lands. (See § 501-15, Surface drainage.)
(e) 
Directly above or below the layout plan of each street a profile showing existing and proposed grades along the center line and sidelines of that street together with figures of elevation at the top and bottom of all even grades and at twenty-five-foot intervals along all vertical curves. Intersecting streets shall be clearly indicated on the profile. The horizontal scale of the profiles shall be 40 feet to one inch, and the vertical scale shall be four feet to one inch. Only one street plan and profile shall be drawn on a sheet except by permission of the Planning Board.
(f) 
Location and species of trees intended for preservation within the streets rights-of-way and actions to be taken to insure their preservation.
(g) 
Any other information pertaining to the natural characteristics of the site, such as major features of the land such as existing walls, fences, monuments, buildings, trees 24 inches in caliper measured four feet above the ground, wooded areas, outcroppings, ditches, swamps, water bodies and natural waterways that may be required by the Planning Board or the Board of Health for determination of the suitability of the land for proposed purposes, shall be furnished at the developer's expense.
C. 
Impact statement. Any land subdivision plan consisting of an area exceeding the minimum requirements for more than five lots in the affected zoning district must be accompanied by an impact statement which details the probable effects of the proposed subdivision on the zoning district in which it is located on the following aspects of concern to the Town:
(1) 
Increase in vehicular traffic on adjacent public ways.
(2) 
Changes in surface drainage in surrounding area.
(3) 
Land erosion or loss of tree cover.
(4) 
Disturbance to other aspects of the natural ecology.
(5) 
Demands on public utilities and services, including schools.
D. 
Board of Health.
(1) 
When a definitive subdivision plan is submitted to the Planning Board, two copies shall be filed with the Board of Health. The Board of Health shall report its findings to the Planning Board, in writing, within 45 days. In the event of disapproval, the Board of Health shall make specific findings as to which areas on the definitive plan cannot be used for building sites without injury to the public health and include the reasons therefor and shall make recommendations thereof. A copy of this report shall be sent by the Board of Health to the applicant.
(2) 
When the definitive plan shows no municipal sewage system is to be installed to serve any lot thereon, approval by the Board of Health shall not be treated as, nor deemed to be, an application for a permit, or approval of a permit for construction and use of any lot, for a subsurface sanitary disposal system.
(3) 
Every lot not served by a municipal sewage disposal system shall meet the requirements of 310 CMR 15:00, the State Environmental Code, Title 5, Minimum Requirements for the Subsurface Disposal of Sanitary Sewage. Every lot not serviced by a municipal water system shall comply with MGL c. 40, § 54.
(4) 
The Board of Health may establish conditions it believes necessary to insure a minimum amount of injury to the public health such as surface or subsurface water runoff, or dust, or land damage such as fill, slough, loss of growth, lawn, trees and shrubs, or vibration or noise, or negligence, or work outside of normal work hours. When such conditions are established, the Board of Health may require a bond, which shall be separate from the bond requirements of the Planning Board.
E. 
Public hearing.
(1) 
Before taking action on a definitive plan, a public hearing shall be held by the Planning Board. Notice of such hearing shall be given by the Planning Board by advertisement in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication being not less than 14 days before the day of such hearing (the day of the hearing shall not be counted in the 14 days) or if there is no such newspaper in the Town, then by posting in the Town Hall for a period of not less than 14 days before the day of such hearing and by mailing a copy of such advertisement to the applicant and to all owners of land abutting upon the land included in such plan as appearing on the most recent local tax list. The applicant, engineer and land surveyor shall be present at this public hearing.
(2) 
A hearing by the Conservation Commission may be required under the provisions of the Wetlands Protection Act, MGL c. 41, § 40.
F. 
Performance guarantee (Form D-1, D-2 or D-3) [MGL c. 41, § 81U].
(1) 
Before endorsement of the Planning Board's approval of a definitive plan of subdivision, the subdivider shall agree to complete the required improvements specified in Article IV for any lots in a subdivision.
(2) 
(See Appendix Form C.)
(a) 
Approval of the plan by the Planning Board may be made subject to conditions that such approval shall automatically rescind after a period of two years unless all required improvements as specified in these regulations and in the recommendations of the Board of Health have been completed within that period of time.
(b) 
The construction and installation of required improvements shall be secured by one, or in part by one and in part by the other, of the following methods, which may from time to time be varied by the applicant:
[1] 
Approval with bonds or surety (Form D-1 or D-2).
[a] 
The subdivider shall either file a performance bond or a deposit of money or negotiable securities in an amount determined by the Board to be sufficient to cover the cost of all or any part of the improvements specified in Article IV not covered by a covenant under Subsection F(2)(b)[2] hereof.
[b] 
Such bond or security, if filed and deposited, shall be accompanied by an appropriate and properly executed agreement Form D-1 or D-2 (See Appendix.) and, if deemed necessary by the Planning Board shall be approved as to form and manner of execution by Town Counsel, and shall be contingent on the completion of such improvements within two years. Failure of the developer to complete improvements within two years, or any extension thereof, may require an estimate of the cost of the remaining work, increase the amount of the performance bond, and establish a new date for the completion of said improvements within the set period of time or any extension thereof, but shall not relieve the developer from his obligation to pay for increased costs for completing the improvements in excess of his performance bond.
[2] 
Approval with covenant (Form D-3).
[a] 
The subdivider shall file a covenant Form D-3 (See Appendix.) executed and duly recorded by the owner(s) of record, running with the land, whereby such ways, services and improvements as specified in Article IV, not covered by bond or deposit under Subsection F(2)(b)[1] hereof, shall be provided to serve any lot before such lot may be built upon or conveyed, other than by mortgage deed.
[b] 
A performance bond or a deposit of money or negotiable securities from a contractor, hired by the subdivider, for the construction and installation of required improvements under Article IV shall not be acceptable.
G. 
Reduction of bond or surety. The penal sum of any such bond, or the amount of any deposit held under Subsection F(2)(b)[1] above shall, from time to time, be reduced by the Planning Board, at the applicant's request, and the obligations of the parties thereto released by the Board in whole or in part. If release is by reason of covenant, a new plan of the portion to be subject to the covenant may be required.
H. 
Certificate of approval (Form E).
(1) 
The action of the Planning Board in respect to such a plan shall be by vote (Form E), copies of which shall be certified and filed with the Town Clerk and sent by delivery or mail to the applicant. If the Planning Board modifies or disapproves such plan, it shall state in its vote the reasons for its action. Final approval, if granted, shall be endorsed on the original drawing of the definitive plan by the signatures of a majority of the Planning Board but not until the statutory twenty-day appeal period has elapsed following the filing of the certificate of the action of the Planning Board with the Town Clerk, provided that the Town Clerk has not received notice of appeal to the Superior Court, and provided further that other conditions of approval, if a part of the Board's action, are transmitted or corrected to the satisfaction of the Board.
(2) 
Approval of the definitive plan does not constitute the laying out or acceptance by the Town, of streets within a subdivision, nor does it indicate in any way compliance with the provisions of the Wetlands Protection Act, MGL c. 131, § 40.
I. 
Submission of documents. Easements, bond and/or covenant shall be submitted within 20 days from the date of approval of the definitive plan to the Planning Board, which then shall submit the documents to the Town Counsel, if necessary, for approval as to form and legality.
J. 
Filing of plans in the Registry of Deeds or Land Court. Approval of a subdivision is subject to the condition that, unless an appeal has been taken from such approval as provided by statute, the subdivider will record the approved subdivision plan in the Berkshire Middle Registry of Deeds, or the Land Court, within six months from the date of its approval, and furnish a copy of the recorded plan to the Planning Board prior to initiating construction, unless deferred by the Planning Board. If the applicant delays recording of such plan past the required six-month period, such plan shall not be accepted for recording by the Registry of Deeds or Land Court unless and until it has endorsed thereon, or recorded therewith and referred to thereon, a certificate of the Planning Board, or the Town Clerk, dated within 30 days of such recording, that the approval has not been modified, amended or rescinded, nor the plan changed. Such certificate shall, upon application, be made by the Board or the Town Clerk unless the records of the Board or the Town Clerk receiving the application show that there has been such modification, amendment, rescission or change.
K. 
Certificate of performance (Form G). When the subdivision improvements are completed, the developer shall, by hand delivery or certified mail, notify the Town Clerk and the Planning Board of such accomplishment. Notification shall include:
(1) 
A set of as-built drawings, stamped and signed by a Massachusetts licensed registered land surveyor and/or engineer.
(2) 
A Certificate of Performance Form G (See Appendix.) signed and notarized.
(3) 
A copy of engineer progress reports submitted during construction of the right(s)-of-way.
(4) 
A request to release performance bond, deposit or covenant.
L. 
Release of performance guarantee (Form H).
(1) 
The Planning Board shall determine whether subdivision is completed in accordance with original or as-built subdivision plans and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Dalton within 45 days and so notify the developer and the Town Clerk and release the subdivider from his performance guarantee by completing the Release Form H. (See Appendix.)
(2) 
This action does not in any way address bonds or other agreements the developer may have provided the Board of Health when required to do so under § 501-9D of these regulations.