Guide to Family Suite Permitting
Step 1: Family Suite by Special Permit (up to 1,000 Square Feet)
A Family Suite may be enlarged to a maximum floor area not to exceed 1,000 feet through the issuance of a Special Permit by the Planning Board. A Family Suite shall not contain more than one bedroom, unless a Special Permit for a second bedroom is issued by the Planning Board prior to occupancy. In no case shall a Family Suite have more than two bedrooms.
Step 2: Submit Planning Board Application
Complete a Family Suite Special Permit Application (PDF) and follow the instructions on the checklist. Once filed, the application will be placed on the next available Planning Board agenda to hold a public hearing. For more information, please contact the Community Development Office.
Step 3: Public Hearings
As part of the approval process, the Planning Board is required to hold public hearings. Abutters must be notified of the hearing, and notice must be published in a widely circulated newspaper. The public hearings include presentation to the Planning Board and allow for public comment. Approval can only be granted after the closing of the public hearing, and requires a super majority vote (4/5).
Step 4: Special Permit Decision
After the conclusion of the public hearing process, the Family Suite Special Permit decision is drafted, reviewed, accepted and subsequently filed with the Town Clerk. This will include any special conditions implemented by the Planning Board.
Step 5: 20-Day Appeal Period
Once Planning Board decision is filed with the Town Clerk, it must go through a 20-day appeal period wherein the applicant or parties in interest may appeal the decision. These appeals must be filed with Massachusetts Land Court or another Superior Court. Notice of an appeal must be filed with the Town Clerk, and effectively stops the appeal period while appeal is heard.
Step 6: Record Decision
If a decision has cleared its appeal period without an appeal, the applicant must bring the decision to the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds for recording. A copy of the recorded decision shall accompany any resulting Building Permit applications.
Step 7: Apply to the Building Department
Contact the Building Department for requirements.
Step 8: Departmental Routing
As part of the Building Permit process, a checklist is issued to ensure prior requirements have been met for other town departments. This is routed to various departments for sign-off prior to permit issuance.
- Assessor - ensures there are no outstanding issues with address
- Conservation - reviews project for proximity to wetlands; may advise applicant files with Conservation Commission, if necessary
- Planning - confirms any special conditions of the special permit have been met
- Fire - reviews project for items including smoke alarms and safety
- Health - reviews project for sewer access; may advise applicant to tie in to town sewer
- Public Works - ensures there are no outstanding issues
- Treasurer - ensure taxes, utilities, fines and any other town payments are paid to date
Step 9: Building Permits Issued
Once all departments have signed off and all requirements are met, Building Permits for construction may be issued. Construction inspections are to be coordinated with the Building Department.