7.00 DEFINITIVE PLAN
7.05 Review Fees Required
- If after receiving a subdivision application the Planning Board determines that it requires technical advice unavailable from municipal employees and departments to review the application, it may employ outside consultants. The Planning Board may, by majority vote, require that the applicant pay a reasonable review fee for the employment of outside consultants chosen by the Planning Board alone.
- A review fee may be imposed only if:
- the work of the consultant consists of review of studies prepared on behalf of the applicant, and not of independent studies on behalf of the Planning Board,
- the board finds that an adequate review can not be performed by Town board members or employees,
- the work is in connection with the applicant's specific project, and
- all written results and reports are made part of the record before the Planning Board.
- Before a fee is imposed:
- the applicant shall be given five business days notice and opportunity to submit written comments relative to the invitation for bids or request for proposals,
- the applicant shall be given five business days notice and opportunity to comment on all bids or proposals prior to the selection of the consultant and the award of a contract.
- the applicant shall be given five business days notice and the opportunity to file an appeal of the selection of the outside consultant with the Selectboard. Grounds for said appeal are limited to written claims, with written documentation, that the consultant selected has a conflict of interest or does not possess the minimum required qualification in accordance with MGL Ch. 44, §53G. If the Selectboard does not act within thirty days the Planning Boards decision shall stand.
- All time limits for action shall be extended during administrative appeals and processes detailed in paragraphs a, b, and c above.
- Any invitation for bids or request for proposals shall indicate that award of the contract is contingent upon payment of a review fee. If the applicant fails to pay the review fee within ten days of receiving written notification of the execution of a contract with a consultant, the board may deny the subdivision approval.
- Each review fee shall be deposited in a special account established by the Town Treasurer pursuant to MGL Ch. 44, §53G.
- Funds from the special account may be expended only for the purposes described above, and in compliance with municipal procurement requirements.
- Within sixty days of the completion of the project or of such time as the applicant formally withdraws the proposal, the applicant shall receive a final report of funds in the special account and shall be paid any unspent excess in the account, including accrued interest (if any).