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ARTICLE 17--TOWN BETTERMENT BY-LAWS
ARTICLE 17--TOWN BETTERMENT BY-LAWS
(Adopted 6/13/81) (Amended 5/11/85, 6/21/90, 9/8/95, 5/13/06)

SECTION 1.      These By-Laws as adopted, shall constitute specific policing powers of the      Town.  (Adopted 6/13/81)

SECTION 2.      The enforcement of the By-Laws contained in this article shall be the   responsibility of the Board of Selectmen.  They shall chair any public meetings         that may result from such enforcement; and may appoint an enforcing officer, or         officers, as they deem necessary.  (Adopted 6/13/81)

SECTION 3.      No public or private utility and/or construction company shall work on any      public way within the town without notifying the Police Chief or his/her        designee.  All road details shall be assigned by the Police Chief or his/her    designee.  Article approved subject to the following restriction as per the     Attorney General's office: State highways and any other way, maintained by the  Commonwealth as provided in MGL c. 81 and c. 85, and elsewhere in the General   Laws, are not subject to this article.  (Adopted 5/13/95)

SECTION 4.      Dog owners are required to restrain their dogs when they are not on the         owner's property.  Hunting dogs when being used for hunting or training are     exempt.  Violators of this provision shall be subject to a fine of ten (10)     dollars.  (Adopted 6/13/81)

SECTION 5.      Any person(s) who intends to conduct a logging operation or to engage in a      construction project which will involve the use of paved or unpaved Town ways, to       transport loads of more than twenty-five (25) tons gross vehicle weight for a   period of five (5) consecutive days or more, shall obtain a permit from the Town        Administrator, who may require that the applicant post a bond to assure that the        road will be restored to its prior condition after the proposed activity is     completed. (Adopted 8/14/84) (Amended 6/25/85, 1/20/96)

SECTION 6.      The Town of Becket hereby accepts MGL Chapter 40, Section 22D, to authorize     the Board of Selectmen to establish traffic regulations by removing to some     convenient place any vehicle parked or standing on any part of any traveled way         under the control of the Town of Becket, such as to impede in any way the removal       or plowing of snow or ice, or in violation of any rule or regulation which      prohibits the parking or standing of all vehicles on such ways or portions      thereof.  Whoever violates traffic regulations as established by the Board of   Selectmen, shall be liable to charges for the removal and storage of the vehicles    as well as subject to punishment by a fine of ten (10) dollars.

SECTION 7.      No person other than an employee in the service of the Town or an employee      in the service of an independent contractor acting for the Town shall pile, push,       or plow snow or ice onto a Town way so as to impede the flow of traffic on such         way.  (Adopted 5/11/85)

SECTION 8.      The keeping of more than one unregistered automobile or truck assembled or      disassembled, except by a person licensed under MGL Chapter 140, Section 59, on         any premises shall not be permitted unless said automobiles or trucks are stored        within an enclosed building.  A permit to keep more than one unregistered       automobile or truck any premises not within an enclosed building may be granted         by the Board of Selectmen, if it finds that such keeping is (1) in harmony with         the general intent of this bylaw; (2) will not adversely affect the neighborhood;     and (3) will not be a nuisance.  All such permits granted shall limit the number        of unregistered automobile and trucks to be kept on the premises by the permit  holder, shall not run with land and shall be limited to a reasonable length of  time.  This article shall not apply to motor vehicles which are designed and used       for farming.  Who ever violates any provision of this bylaw shall be liable to a        penalty of five ($5.00) dollars per day for each day of violation commencing ten        (10) days following receipt of written notice from the Board of Selectmen.      (Adopted 5/11/85)

SECTION 9.      The abutters to any Town public way shall assume all costs and  responsibility of construction of all driveways to their property.  This is to  include culverts, surfacing if deemed necessary, and construction to grade as   designated in the field by the Highway Superintendent.  Applications are to be  submitted to the Highway Superintendent with appropriate fee.  A permit must be         issued prior to construction. (Adopted 6/13/81) (Amended 1/20/96)

SECTION 10.     Whoever shall violate any provisions of these By-Laws or fails to comply        with any of their requirements, shall upon conviction thereof, if a fine is     appropriate, be fined not more than $25.00 for each offense, except as otherwise        provided.  Each day such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense.       (Adopted 6/13/81) (Amended 5/11/85)

SECTION 11.     In order to implement a program of recycling in conjunction with ordinary       waste disposal, residents of every household shall separate waste material into         the following categories before disposal of same at the Town's Transfer Station:        1-Glass and Cans, 2-Paper, 3-Other Waste.  If no separation takes place, waste  materials shall not be accepted at the transfer station.  Offenders shall suffer        a fine of $15.00 per incident for residents and $75.00 per incident for         commercial haulers.  Enforcement of said bylaw to take effect upon the openings          of and acceptance into the materials recovery facility in Springfield and the   placement of proper containers at the Town's Transfer Station.  (Adopted 5/20/89)

SECTION 12.     Littering within the Town of Becket is prohibited.  Violations of this  section shall be enforced by a non-criminal disposition in the manner provided in       MGL Chapter 40, Section 21D by the Board of Selectmen.  The fine schedule shall         be: first offense: $100; second offense: $200; third and each successive offense:       $300.  Each day on which a violation exists after notice shall be deemed a      separate violation of this section.  (Adopted 5/20/89)

SECTION 13.     The Town of Becket may deny any application for, or revoke or suspend any       local license or permit including renewals and transfers issued by any board,   officer, department to any person, corporation or business enterprise who plans         to conduct or is conducting the licensed activity on the property of a person,  corporation or business entity who has neglected or refused to pay any local    taxes, fees, betterments or any other municipal charges.
        (Adopted 6/16/90) (Amended 1/20/96)

        (a)     The tax collector or other municipal official responsible for records of                all municipal taxes, assessments, betterments and other municipal charges,              hereinafter referred to as the tax collector, shall annually furnish to                 each department, board, commission, or division, hereinafter referred to                as the licensing authority, that issues licenses or permits including                    renewals and transfers, a list of any person, corporation, or business                  enterprise, hereinafter referred to as the party, that has neglected or                 refused to pay any local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or other                 municipal charges for not less than a twelve (12) month period, and that                such party has not filed in good faith a pending application for an                     abatement or such tax or a pending petition before the appellate tax board.

        (b)     The licensing authority may deny, revoke or suspend any license or permit,              including renewals and transfers of any party whose name appears on said                list furnished to the licensing authority from the Tax Collector, provided,             however, that written notice is given to the party and the Tax Collector,               as required by applicable provisions of law, and the party is given a                    hearing, to be held not earlier than fourteen (14) days after said notice.              Said list shall be prima facie evidence for denial, revocation or                       suspension of said license or permit to any party. The Tax Collector shall              have the right to intervene in any hearing conducted with respect to such               license denial, revocation or suspension.  Any findings made by the                     licensing authority with respect to such license denial, revocation or                   suspension shall be made only for the purposes of such proceeding and shall               not be relevant to or introduced in any other proceeding at law, except for             any appeal from such license denial, revocation or suspension.  Any license             or permit denied, suspended or revoked under this section shall not be                  reissued or renewed until the license authority receives a certificate                  issued by the tax collector that the party is in good standing with respect             to any and all local taxes, fees, assessments, betterments or other                   municipal charges, payable to the municipality as the date of issuance of               said certificate.

        (c)     Any party shall be given an opportunity to enter into a payment agreement,              thereby allowing the licensing authority to issue a certificate indicating              said limitations to the license or permit and the validity of said license              shall be conditioned upon the satisfactory compliance with said agreement.              Failure to comply with said agreement shall be grounds for the suspension                or revocation of said license or permit; provided, however, that the holder             be given notice and a hearing as required by applicable provisions of law.

        (d)     The Board of Selectmen may waive such denial, suspension or revocation if               it finds there is no direct or indirect business interest by the property               owner, its officers or stockholders, if any, or members of his immediate                family, as defined in MGL Chapter 268A, Section 1, in the business or                   activity conducted in or on said property.

        (e)     This section shall NOT apply to the following licenses and permits:
                1.      MGL 48, Section 13---Open burning permits
                2.      MGL 85, Section 11A--Bicycle permits
                3.      MGL 101, Section 33---Sales of articles for charitable purposes
                4.      MGL 149, Section 69---Children work permits
                5.      MGL 140, Section 21E--Clubs, associations dispensing food or beverage                   licenses
                6.      MGL 140, Section 137 and 137A--Dog licenses and kennel licenses.
                        (The owner or keeper of a dog six months old or over shall cause the                    dog to be licensed.  The owner or keeper of more than one and less                      than four dogs, three months old or over may elect to secure a kennel                   license in lieu of licensing each dog individually.  The owner or                        keeper of more than three dogs three months old or over, on a single                    premises shall have a kennel license.  Dog licenses and kennel                          licenses may be obtained from the Town Clerk.)
                7.      MGL 131, Section 12---Fishing, Hunting, Trapping license
                8.      MGL 207, Section 28---Marriage licenses
                9.      MGL 140, Section 181--Theatrical events, Public exhibition permits
                10.     Residential Transfer Station Permits

        (f)     Unless specifically excluded by MGL Chapter 40, Section 57, this section                SHALL APPLY to any and all permits, permits of, permits to go forth,                    certificates, certificates of, certificates for, approvals of, approvals to             go forth, and licenses of any description or form allowed by law, including             those issued by and for the following specifically:

                        Conservation Commission
                        Planning Board
                        Board of Health
                        Board of Appeals
                        Fire Chief
                        Inspector of Buildings
                        Recreation Commission
                        Highway Superintendent
                        Selectmen
                        Town Clerk
                        Plumbing Inspector
                        Electrical Inspector
                        Smoke Detector Inspection Certificate
                        Driveway Permit
                        Building Permit New or Replacement, Addition to, and Repair
Certificate of Occupancy
                        Well Permit
                        Septic Permit New, Replacement, Repair, or Additions, Beach Permit
                        Junk Car Special Permit
                        Plumbing Permit
                        Electrical Permit

SECTION 14.     Regulations and Control of Fire Detection and Alarm Systems.  By        definition, "Fire Detection and Alarm Systems", are those installed in privately        owned structures, residential, education, religious, commercial, industrial,    which, when activated, result in an alarm of fire or illegal entry being        transmitted.  Alarm transmittal may be by the sounding of an external alarm,    alerting the general public; by automatic telephone call; be personal telephone         call; by direct connection, or by any other means.  This section shall consist of        the following paragraphs: (Adopted 6/6/87)

        1.      No fire detection and alarm system, as defined, shall be installed without              prior notice to the Fire Chief and/or Police Chief for review and approval.

        2.      The owner of the property in which the system is installed shall furnish,               in writing, to the Fire Chief/Police Chief telephone numbers (other than                the protected premises) with the names of responsible individuals, who are              authorized to respond to emergency calls and provide access to the                      structure.  Enough names and numbers shall be furnished to insure                        availability of at least one such individual at any hour of the day, or                 night.  This listing shall be revised, as required, to be kept current and              accurate.

        3.      No testing, repairing, altering, or other actions, which might result in                the transmittal of an alarm to the Fire Department/Police Department shall              be performed without prior notification to the Fire Department/Police                   Department.

        4.      Failure to comply with any of the requirements of Paragraph 1 through 3 may             be punishable by a fine of, but not to exceed $25.00 assessed to the                    property owner and payable to the Town Treasurer, for deposit in the                    General Fund.

        5.      False Alarms of fire/illegal entry are those transmitted, when no                       fire/illegal entry condition exists, and are the result of negligence, or               defective equipment.

        6.      The owner of any property in which a Fire Detection and Alarm system is                 installed, which transmit false alarms per Paragraph 5, shall be penalized              in accordance with the following schedule: (Amended 1/19/93)

                FIRST FALSE ALARM - A warning, in writing from the Fire Chief or Police                 Chief to the property owner, including this section.

                SECOND FALSE ALARM - (Within twelve (12) months of the date of the first                false alarm) A fine of $50.00 will be assessed to the property owner                    payable to the Town Treasurer to deposit in General Fund.

                THIRD & SUBSEQUENT FALSE ALARMS - (Within twelve (12) months of the date of             the first false alarm shall be fined $100.00 for each false alarm.  A false             alarm beyond twelve (12) months from the date of the first false alarm                  shall be considered a first false alarm, as defined in this schedule.

        7.      When the Fire Department/Police Department responds to an alarm of                      fire/illegal entry transmitted by a Fire Detection and Alarm System, where              the premises are unoccupied; the department is unable to gain access to the             structure; and is unable to contact any of the individuals listed, for                  access; the Fire Officer/Police Officer in command, may if he has                        reasonable concern, or suspicion that a fire/illegal entry exist within the             structure - make a forcible entry to determine whether or not fire                      conditions exist.  If this action becomes necessary, the Fire/Police                    Officer shall:

                a.      Notify the Fire/Police Department of this action.
                b.      Secure the premises insofar as feasible.
                c.      Continue efforts to contact the individuals listed as responsible for                   the structure.
                d.      Enter the action taken in the Fire Department/Police Department Log

        8.      All installations will be inspected and tested prior to the permit being                validated.  Upon validation the installation may be connected.

        9.      Devices shall have lightning surge protection.

        10.     Devices shall not activate on account of power interruptions.  Voice                    message shall not exceed 15 seconds in duration.  Devices shall not dial                more than twice for the same alarm.

        11.     Equipment shall be serviced by a competent serviceman at least once every               two years.  Reports of such services shall be made to the Department Head.

SECTION 15.     (This section deleted in its entirety at the Annual Town Meeting of May 13, 2006 & effective 7/29/06.)

SECTION 16.     (This section deleted in its entirety at the Annual Town Meeting of May 13, 2006 & effective 7/29/06.)

SECTION 17.     Uniform System of Numbering Dwellings and Principal Buildings within the Town.  Address numbers for every building within the Town of Becket have been assigned.  It shall be the responsibility of the owner to obtain and install the numbers in compliance with this bylaw.  The owner of any property seeking a building permit for a new building or structure shall apply for and receive a building number designation from the Highway Superintendent, unless the lot already has a designated number.  A building permit will not be issued until a number is designated.  Numerals indicating the official number for each principal building of each front entrance to such building shall be placed immediately above, on, or at the side of the main entrance of each building so that the number can be seen plainly from the street line.  Whenever any building is situated more than fifty (50) feet from the street line, or is not visible from the street, the number should be placed to the right of the driveway or common entrance to such building, or upon a gate post, fence, tree, post or other appropriate place so as to be clearly discernible from the street curb line in both directions of travel.  Said numbers shall not be less than four (4) inches in height and made of a durable and clearly visible material.  This Bylaw shall be enforced by the Building Inspector of the Town.  Failure to comply with this Bylaw shall subject the offending property owner to a fine not exceeding twenty-five dollars ($25.00) per day.  The provisions of this section may be penalized by indictment or on complaint brought in the district court or by non-criminal disposition as provided in M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21D. (Amended 5/13/06 & effective 7/29/06)

SECTION 18.     Excavation within a Town public way shall require a Street Excavation   Permit.  All costs associated with street excavation shall be the responsibility        of the applicant/owner/contractor.  Permits will be granted after receiving     application with appropriate fee.  Applicants shall be required to adhere to all        conditions listed on the permit.  (Adopted 1/20/96)

SECTION 19.     A campfire, which is a small occasional fire, which may be used for     cooking, warming or small social gatherings, is allowed.  Wood should be no     longer than 24 inches and no more than 6 inches in diameter.  The campfire shall        be no more than three feet in diameter in a cleared area at least 6 feet in     diameter, surrounded by a stone barrier, cement blocks or any other suitable non-       flammable material.  The area must be free from overhanging trees and wires and a       safe distance from buildings.  Wood for campfires shall be from fallen or sawn  trees.  No construction material or demolition debris may be burned.  Campfire         may not be left unattended and must be completely extinguished after use.  Smoke        from fire must not cause a nuisance or problem for neighbors.  Barrels for      burning rubbish and garbage are not considered campfires or fireplaces, and are         not allowed.  Variations of the above rules may be approved or disapproved upon         inspection by the Fire Chief or his designee.  (Adopted 1/20/96)

SECTION 20.     The Harbor Master of the Town of Becket may authorize by permit the     mooring on a temporary basis of floats or rafts held by anchor moorings within  the territorial jurisdiction of the Town of Becket upon such terms, conditions,         and restrictions as he shall deem necessary.  He/she shall act on applications  for such permits within a period of fifteen days from receipt thereof.
        (Adopted 1/20/96)

SECTION 21.  No person shall drink or possess in an open or partially consumed container any alcoholic beverages as defined in MGL Chapter 138, ยง1, while on, in or upon any public way, or place to which the public has a right to access, excluding premises licensed under said chapter 138, or in, on or upon private lands without the consent of the owner or person in control thereof.  A police officer may arrest without a warrant any person who commits a violation of this bylaw in his presence and may seize the alcoholic beverages, which shall be kept by him and destroyed upon adjudication or returned to the person entitled to lawful possession.  The penalty for any violation hereof shall be a fine not exceeding fifty dollars ($50.00) for each offense.  The provisions of this section may be penalized by indictment or on complaint brought in the district court or by non-criminal disposition as provided in M.G.L. Chapter 40, Section 21D.  (Adopted 5/13/06 & effective 7/29/06)




 
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