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
(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
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:
Board of Health
Board of Appeals
Inspector of Buildings
Smoke Detector Inspection Certificate
Building Permit New or Replacement, Addition to, and Repair
Certificate of Occupancy
Septic Permit New, Replacement, Repair, or Additions, Beach Permit
Junk Car Special 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.
SECTION 21. No person shall drink or possess in an open or partially consumed container any alcoholic beverages as defined in MGL Chapter 138, §1, 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)