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PLANNING BOARD INFORMATION AND GUIDE
The Planning Board is an elected board whose regulatory purpose is to administer Massachusetts General Law Chapter 41, the Subdivision Control Law, in order to promote the health, safety, convenience, morals or welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Hull by enacting certain regulations and restrictions. The Planning Board is also the permit granting authority for Site Plan Review under the Zoning By-Law of the Town of Hull.
Staff: Chris DiIorio, Director of Community Development
Meetings: The Board Members meet on the second and forth Wednesday of each month at 7:30 pm at the Town Hall, unless otherwise noted.
The Planning Board has regulatory authority as the permit granting authority under the, Subdivision Control Law (SCL), and under the Town Zoning By-Law for Section 40 - Site Plan Review (SPR) and Section 34-1A.1 Section AA Multifamily Dwellings in Business Districts. The Board also has responsibilities related to any proposed Zoning By-Law amendments. In addition the Board has, general planning responsibilities such as, open space and recreation planning, and overall master planning.
The following paragraphs briefly outline the Planning Board’s regulatory responsibilities. While you are in the preliminary stage of project development you may want to use the informal pre-application process described below to learn what regulations and issues you might have to address as you develop your project.
When you decide to begin the formal permit process your first step under either the Zoning By-Law or the Subdivision Control Law is to contact Peter Lombardo the Building Commissioner at 781-925-1130. The Building Commissioner will review your project and determine what type of approval your project requires and provide you with his decision letter.
1. INFORMAL PRE-APPLICATION PROCESS: The Planning Board staff conducts an Informal Pre-Application Process for projects that may require Planning Board approval under either the Zoning By-Law or the Subdivision Control Law. During this process all Town Departments likely to have interest or responsibilities relative to your project will meet with you informally to discuss the types of information, submittals required and issues of concern regarding your project. This “one stop” shopping approach allows you to get input into your project from all the departments with interest in your project at one time. The information you receive is for guidance only and you are still responsible for developing your project and its compliance with all laws and regulations. Call the Department of Community
Development & Planning at 781-925-3595 to schedule a preapplication process. Please see the guidance document entitled, “Informal Pre-Application"
2. SUBDIVISION CONTROL LAW: When the boundary lines of any lot are altered an application must be filed with the Planning Board. There are two types of application:
a. Approval Not Required (ANR) – If land is being divided into separate lots but the applicant believes the division of land does not constitute a “subdivision”, i.e. does not involve new roadways, the applicant must file an ANR with the Town Clerk and request an endorsement of the ANR from the Planning Board. An ANR simply means that a full subdivision is not required. There is a $100.00 fee, plus an addition $250 for each new lot that meets frontage requirements. (Approval of an ANR does not imply the newly created lot is buildable. The enforcement officer makes this determination.)
b. Full Subdivision – If the land is being divided into lots that require construction of roadways a full subdivision is required. The deposit is $1,000.00 and certain expenses are borne by the applicant. Unlike an ANR subdivided lots must conform to current zoning.
3. ZONING BYLAW: The current zoning bylaw is available at the Building Commissioners’ Office for a fee or for free online. The Building Commissioner is the zoning enforcement officer. Under the Zoning By-Law the Planning Board is the permit granting authority for section 40 – Site Plan Review and is the Special Permit Granting Authority for Section 34-1A.1 Section AA Multifamily dwellings in Business Districts. The Board also has responsibility to conduct public hearings on proposed zoning amendments.
a. Site Plan Review: Site Plan review is not applicable to single family or two family houses, except if they are part of a proposed subdivision of three or more lots. New commercial construction or remodeling or change in use of commercial property resulting in 5,000 sq. ft. of space must file. The fee is based upon the Building Commissioner's estimated cost of construction with a maximum fee of $1,000. The document “Site Plan Review Checklist” provides guidance on what is required to submit an application
b. Special Permit Granting Authority: The Planning Board is the Special Permit Granting Authority for Section 34-1A.1 Section AA Multifamily dwellings in Business Districts. This section was approved at Annual Town Meeting May 2009.
c. Zoning Bylaw Amendments: The Planning Board, municipal officers and citizens may submit zoning amendment proposals for the warrant for action by Town Meeting.
i. Process: A citizen zoning proposal requires 10 signatures for insertion on the annual Town Meeting warrant and 100 signatures for submission to a Special Town Meeting. The signed petition is presented to the Board of Selectmen, which then submits the petition to the Planning Board. The Board will conduct a public hearing on the proposed amendments and advertise the hearing at least 14 days prior to the hearing date. Following the hearing, the Board will recommend either favorable or unfavorable action to Town Meeting. A two-thirds vote of the Town Meeting body is required.
(The above is a general overview and guide for the Planning Board. Anyone wishing further information may call or seek an appointment with the Board.)