6.00 PROCEDURE FOR THE SUBMISSION AND APPROVAL OF PLANS
6.05 Planning Board Action
After submission, the Preliminary Plan will be reviewed by the Planning Board, and forwarded for review by the Planning Board to the Board of Health, Chief of the Fire Department, Conservation Commission, the Highway Superintendent and other municipal agencies and departments to determine whether it is in compliance with the design standards as set forth in these Rules and Regulations and with any additional requirements of the above-mentioned Boards, municipal agencies and departments.
The Board shall, where appropriate, consult with other concerned Boards and Commissions about the plan’s contents.
The Preliminary Plan, being voluntary, does not require a public hearing, and therefore does not require notice of abutters by certified mail. Every reasonable effort should be made, though, to notify abutters and allow their concerns to be heard, both for their protection and to avoid the likelihood of substantial revisions at the Definitive Plan stage, at the expense of the subdivider. Any Preliminary Plan which is submitted shall be acted on in accordance with the procedure and timeline outlined in MGL Ch. 41 §81S or most current legislation. As of November, 2004, the procedure is as follows:
In the case of a subdivision showing lots in a residential zone, any person, before submitting his definitive plan for approval, may submit to the planning board and to the board of health, a preliminary plan, and shall give written notice to the clerk of such city or town by delivery or by registered mail, postage prepaid, that he has submitted such plan.
In the case of a nonresidential subdivision, any person before submitting his definitive plan for approval shall submit to the planning board and the board of health, a preliminary plan, and shall give notice to the clerk of such city or town by delivery or by registered mail, postage prepaid, that he has submitted such plan.
In either case, if the notice is given by delivery, the city or town clerk shall, if requested, give a written receipt therefor. Within forty-five days after submission of a preliminary plan, each board shall notify the applicant and the clerk of the city or town, by certified mail, either that the plan has been approved, or that the plan has been approved with modifications suggested by the board or agreed upon by the person submitting the plan, or that the plan has been disapproved and in the case of disapproval, the board shall state in detail its reasons therefor. The planning board shall notify the city or town clerk of its approval or disapproval, as the case may be. Except as is otherwise provided, the provisions of the subdivision control law relating to a plan shall not be applicable to a preliminary plan, and no register or deeds shall record a preliminary plan.
Approval of the Preliminary Plan by the Planning Board does not constitute approval of a subdivision, but does facilitate the procedure in securing approval of the Definitive Plan. In addition, such approval does not in any way authorize the owner to proceed with construction of roadways and/or other work in the subdivision.
The Planning Board will not approve plans until issues relating to road layout, road alignment, intersections with existing streets, vehicular and non-vehicular connections to adjoining properties, and general project issues have been satisfactorily addressed. Other engineering issues, such as detailed drainage, water and sewer engineering, may be addressed at the definitive stage. If the applicant does not provide engineering analysis at the preliminary stage, however, the Planning Board will not be able to provide feedback, and any approval is based on the applicant being able to satisfactorily address these issues at the Definitive Plan stage.