Town of Southborough, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 9-29-2009 STM by Art. 5]
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector, as Zoning Enforcement Officer, as provided for in MGL c. 40A, § 7. No structure shall be erected, altered, demolished or moved and no land or structure shall be changed in use until and unless a permit has been issued. Any person violating any provisions of this bylaw, any conditions under which a permit is issued, or any decision rendered by the Board of Appeals or the Planning Board shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $300 for each offense. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Any violation which is subject to a specific penalty herein may be penalized by a noncriminal disposition as provided in MGL c. 40, § 21D. A noncriminal disposition under this provision shall not preclude further judicial proceedings regarding continuing violation of the Southborough Zoning Code beyond the date of said noncriminal disposition or the use of any other remedy provided for violation pursuant to MGL c. 40A. The Zoning Enforcement Officer may give to the person violating this bylaw a written notice to appear before the Clerk of the Westborough District Court at any time during normal business hours not later than 21 days after the date of such notice. Such notice shall be in triplicate and shall contain the name and address, if known, of the violator, the specific offense charged, and the time and place for his required appearance. Such notice shall be signed by the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and shall be signed by the violator whenever practicable in acknowledgement that such notice has been received.
A. 
The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Board of Appeals of five members, who shall serve five-year terms, such that the term of one member shall end each year. The Board of Selectmen shall also appoint two associate members of the Board of Appeals, who shall be designated by the Chairman of the Board of Appeals to act when a member is absent or unable to participate for any reason. The Board of Appeals shall adopt and file with the Town Clerk rules consistent with the requirements of the General Laws, Chapter 40A, and with this chapter. The Board of Appeals shall act on the following classes of matters, and no zoning or building permit shall be issued that is inconsistent with a decision of the Board of Appeals or on any matter within the jurisdiction of or before the Board of Appeals until it has filed its decision thereon:
(1) 
Appeals. Any person aggrieved by any order, decision or failure to act, believed to be in violation of the State Zoning Act or this chapter, including the action of the Board of Selectmen relative to a zoning permit or a site plan, may appeal such action or failure to act to the Board of Appeals, as provided by MGL c. 40A, §§ 8, 14 and 15, and the Board of Appeals may reverse or affirm, wholly or in part, any such action or decision. The Board of Appeals shall to that end have all the powers of the officer from whom the appeal is taken and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit.
(2) 
Special permits. Unless otherwise designated by this chapter, the Board of Appeals shall be the special permit granting authority and shall hear and decide requests for special permits as provided in §§ 174-8B, 174-9 and other sections of this chapter and in accordance with MGL c. 40A, §§ 9, 11, 14, et al. Uses accessory to activities necessary for permitted scientific research and development may be authorized by special permit, whether or not on the same parcel as the principal use, provided that the Board of Appeals finds that such accessory use meets the general requirements of § 174-9.
(3) 
Variances. The Board of Appeals shall have the power to grant, upon appeal or upon petition, variances from the terms of this chapter, not including use variances, where the Board finds that, due to circumstances relating to soil conditions, topography or shape of land or structures and especially affecting such land or structures but not affecting generally the zoning district in which they are located, literal enforcement of this chapter would involve substantial hardship to the appellant or petitioner and that the desired relief may be granted without substantial detriment to the public good and without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of this chapter. The Board of Appeals may impose conditions, limitations and safeguards not based on the continued ownership by the applicant, petitioner or any owner. If the rights authorized by a variance are not exercised within one year from the date of grant thereof, they shall lapse, and a new petition, notice and hearing will be required for their reestablishment.
[Amended 10-18-2016 STM by Art. 6]
(4) 
Comprehensive permits. The Board of Appeals may issue comprehensive permits for publicly subsidized housing, as provided in MGL c. 40B, § 21.
B. 
Zoning Board of Appeals: Meetings; Hearings; Quorum.
[Amended 5-22-2018 STM by Art. 1]
A. 
[Subsection A was passed by the Special Town Meeting on 5/22/18; disapproved by the Office of the Attorney General on 12/21/18.]
B. 
The Board will hold public hearings on all applications submitted to it. A quorum shall consist of four members or their alternates. No member shall appear or represent any person in any matter pending before the Board. No member shall hear or decide an appeal in which he or she is directly or indirectly interested in a personal or financial sense.
C. 
The hearings will proceed as follows:
(1) 
The Chairman will call the meeting to order and read the notice of hearing as it appeared in the paper.
(2) 
The applicant or his representative shall present the case to the Board.
(3) 
The abutters to the property present at the hearing shall be heard and duly recorded.
(4) 
Any other interested parties present at the hearing shall be heard.
(5) 
Town representatives shall be heard (Planning Board, Selectmen, other boards, etc.).
(6) 
The Chairman shall inform those present at the hearing as to the time requirements, under MGL c. 40A, § 21,[1] for appealing the decision of the Board.
[1]
Editor's Note: See MGL c. 40A, § 17, Judicial Review.
D. 
Hearings before the Board:
(1) 
All hearings of the Board shall be open to the public.
(2) 
The transcript of each hearing shall state the members of the Board present and other persons who speak at the hearing and shall contain a summary of the evidence given.
(3) 
The transcript shall be signed by the Secretary or Acting Secretary.
Zoning Board of Appeals: Conduct
A.
Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) members are municipal employees covered by the conflict of interest law (Chapter 268A of the General Laws).
B.
In addition to complying with the requirements of Mass General Law Chapter 268A, members and alternates are required to file any necessary Conflict of Interest (COI) Forms with the Town Clerk and Board of Selectmen before a case related to such a conflict is heard.
This chapter or any part thereof may be amended or repealed at a Town Meeting duly called after an advertised public hearing is held on the proposed amendment by the Planning Board and it submits a report thereon or 20 days elapse without such report being submitted.
This chapter and any amendments thereto shall take effect as provided by law upon adoption by a Town Meeting, provided that it is subsequently approved by the Attorney General and published or 90 days elapse without action by the Attorney General.
If any provision of this chapter or in the administration thereof is declared invalid or void by a court of competent jurisdiction, this shall not invalidate or void any other section or provision hereof.