A. Preliminary Plan:

1. Submission

A Preliminary Plan of a subdivision may be submitted by the subdivider to the Board and through the Board to the Board of Health for discussion and tentative approval, modification, or disapproval by the Boards. The submission of such a Preliminary Plan will enable the subdivider, the Board, the Board of Health, other municipal agencies and owners of property abutting the subdivision to discuss and clarify the problems of such subdivision before a Definitive Plan is prepared. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that a Preliminary Plan be filed in every case. The applicant shall give written notice to the Town Clerk by delivery or by registered mail that he has submitted such Preliminary Plan, stating the date of such submission. Six contact prints of the Preliminary Plan should be submitted with the original tracing for examination by the Planning Board and other appropriate town officials An Application Fee of $1000.00 filing fee and $100.00 per lot fee shall accompany the Preliminary Plan at the time of submission. The Preliminary Plan Filing Fees shall be credited to Definitive Subdivision Plan filing fees. (Fee: Added 2/89, amended 9/01.)

2. Contents

The Preliminary Plan may be drawn on tracing paper with pencil, preferably at a scale of one inch equals forty feet, or other suitable scale acceptable to the Planning Board, shall be clearly designated as “Preliminary Plan”, and shall show:

a. The subdivision name, boundaries, north point, date, and scale.

b. Name and address of record owner, applicant and designer, engineer or surveyor (with certificate number).

c. Names of all abutters, as determined from the most recent Town tax list.

d. Existing and proposed lines of streets, ways, lots easements, and public or common areas within the subdivision.

e. Location, names and present widths of streets bounding, approaching or near the subdivision.

f. Major site features such as existing stonewalls, fences, buildings, large trees or wooded areas, rock ridges and outcroppings, swamps and water bodies.

g. Topography of the land in a general manner, (contour lines which are shown on the Zoning Map as boundaries of any conservancy district; and other contours when required by the Board).

h. Proposed system of drainage, including existing natural waterways, in a general manner both within and adjacent to the subdivision.

i. Approximate boundary lines of proposed lots, with approximate areas and dimension.

j. Estimates of the grades of proposed streets or profiles on streets when required by the Board.

The Preliminary Plan should be accompanied by a statement of Existing Zoning, and any easements, covenants or restrictions applying to the area proposed to be subdivided.

During discussion of the Preliminary Plan the complete information required for the Definitive Plan (Section IV.B.2. Contents) and the Performance Guarantee (Section IV.C.1.) will be developed.

3. Approval or Disapproval

Within 45 days after submission of a preliminary plan, the Planning Board and Board of Health shall each notify by certified mail the applicant and the Town Clerk either that the plan has been approved, or approved with modifications suggested by the Board and agreed upon by the applicant, or that the plan has been disapproved. In the case of disapproval the Board shall state in detail its reasons therefore. One copy of the Preliminary Plan will be returned to the subdivider.

Any plan submitted by a subdivider to the Planning Board which does not conform with the requirements hereof pertaining to a “Preliminary Plan” shall not be so designated, nor shall such plan be given approval by the Board.

The submission of the Preliminary Plan for examination by the Board shall not be deemed a submission of a Definitive Plan of a subdivision of land for approval by the Board under Section 81 O of Chapter 41 of the General Laws, and the action of the Board on such Preliminary Plan shall not prejudice its action on the Definitive Plan.

B. Definitive Plan: (several changes 5/80)

1. Submission

Any person who submits a Definitive Plan of a subdivision to the Planning Board for approval shall file with the Board the following:

An original drawing of the Definitive Plan drawn to the specifications detailed in paragraph 2 below, and seven (7) contact prints thereof, dark line on white background. Copies of the plan must also be filed with each of the following Town boards in accordance with their respective regulations:

Board of Health
Department of Public Works
Conservation Commission

The original drawing after approval will be returned to the subdivider for recording in South Essex Registry of Deeds by the owner and if disapproved will be returned to the subdivider.

Accompanying statements regarding zoning, easements, etc., data on percolation tests and plans, specifications and profiles, etc., for water supply, sewerage and drainage as required in paragraph 3 below.


1. Every application for approval shall be accompanied by a fee of $2000.00 plus $500.00 for each lot in the subdivision, less fees submitted for Preliminary Plan Application. (Amended 2/89, amended 9/01.)

2. The Planning Board may require the applicant to pay a review fee to cover
the reasonable costs of consultants engaged by the Planning Board to assist in review of the proposed plans, as authorized and limited by M.G.L. Ch. 44, Sec. 53 G and Section VII.D. of these Subdivision Regulations. (added 6/90)

3. Concessionary Fee Structure: For lots to be dedicated to Affordable Housing, the per lot fee for those lots shall be waived by the Planning Board. (“Affordable” housing shall comply with specific price limits, both in accordance with the provision set forth in any State or Federal Rental assistance programs, or other programs that provide for affordable housing for low and moderate income persons, and that are in effect at the time that the project application is made to the Planning Board.) (Added 9/01)

A properly executed Application Form “B” and designers certificate in accordance with forms on file with the Board.

The applicant shall file by delivery or registered mail a notice and copy of Form B with the Town Clerk stating the date of submission for such approval.

2. Contents

The Definitive Plan shall be prepared by a Registered Professional Engineer and/or Land Surveyor and shall:

be 12” x 18”, 18” x 24”, or 24” x 36” in overall dimension unless other dimensions are specified by the Planning Board.

be on linen or polyester film single matte with a thickness of .004 mils. and must have an opacity so as to allow consistent diazo and microfilreproduction.

be prepared using a compatible ink with excellent cohesiveness which will produce a permanent bond and result in a plan with long term durability.

have ¾” borders

have a minimum letter size of 1/8”.

Include a graphic scale

Be at a scale of one (1) inch equals forty (40) feet or such other scale as the Board may prescribe to show details clearly and adequately

Profiles of center lines of proposed streets shall be drawn to the same horizontal scale as the Plan and with vertical scale ten times larger unless otherwise authorized, and either on same sheet as the Plan or on separate linen or polyester film of same dimensions as the Plan sheets. All elevations shall refer to the U.S.G.S. Base and Coast and Geodetic Bench marks in the Town. Title block should be in lower right-hand corner of the sheet. If multiple sheets are used, they shall be accompanied by an index sheet showing the entire subdivision. If the proposed subdivision covers only one portion of land in a single ownership, and on which land further subdivision is planned, the index sheet should show in general the overall proposed development of the whole property. (Amended 5/80)

The Definitive Plan shall contain the following information:

Subdivision name, boundaries, north point for true North, date and scale.

Name and address of record owner, applicant, and engineer or surveyor with certificate number.

Boundary lines of bordering adjacent land or of land across an adjoining street from property being subdivided, and names of abutters thereof as determined from the most recent local tax list.

Existing and proposed lines of streets, lots, ways, easements, and any public or common areas within the subdivision and notation on the first sheet of the plan as to whether the streets are intended for acceptance by the Town or intended to remain private ways. If ways are intended to be private, notation shall state that street or lot owners are responsible for all maintenance costs, snow removal, and street improvements to Town standards if the street is ever put up for acceptance by the Town. (The proposed names of proposed streets will be shown in pencil until they have been approved by the Board). (Added 11/84).

Location, direction, names and present widths and grades of streets and public or private ways bounding, approaching or within reasonable proximity of the subdivision.

Sufficient data to determine readily the location, direction and length of every street and way line, lot line, easement, and boundary line, and to establish these lines on the ground.

Location and outline of all existing buildings and site features such as existing stonewalls, fences, larger trees or wooded areas, rock ridges and outcroppings, swamps, and water bodies within or adjacent to the proposed subdivision.

Existing and proposed topography with 5-foot contours on U.S. Geological Survey Base at suitable interval as required by the Planning Board, and contour lines shown on the Zoning Map as bounding any Conservancy District within or immediately adjoining the proposed subdivision.

Area of each lot, and lot lines, bearings, and length thereof in conformity with the Zoning By-law in each case.

Location of existing and proposed monuments, hydrants, granite curbs, public utility facilities, water pipes and wells within the subdivision.

Park or open areas suitably located for conservation, playground or recreation purposes within a subdivision, if any.

Proposed storm drainage of land, including existing natural waterways and the proposed disposition of water from the proposed subdivision to adequate natural drainage channels or artificial means of disposal thereof.

Easements at least twelve (12) feet wide over adjoining property for the maintenance of street drains where necessary.

Location and species of proposed street trees and/or individual trees or wooded areas to be retained within forty feet of the sidelines of each street.

Street plans and profiles must show the per cent of grade, radii, and length of curves, the point of curvature and the point of tangency of curves.

Street plans and profiles must show, in addition to the proposed grade, present elevations of the center line and both sides of proposed streets at fifty (50) foot stations.

Area claimed as “Buildable Land” and approximate proposed location of main building on each lot to comply with Zoning By-law, whenever uncertainty exists or upon request of the Board, or Board of Health.

Suitable space to record the action and signatures of the Board members on each sheet of the Definitive Plan.

On the first sheet of the plan near the signature area, the following words shall be endorsed and a suitable space provided for the Town Clerk’s signature: (Added 11/84)

“I certify that on ______(date)______ I received from the Hamilton Planning Board a certificate of notice of its approval of this plan, and that during the 20 days next following, I have received no notice of any appeal from said decision.
___________________ _______________________________
(date) Town Clerk, Town of Hamilton

3. Accompanying Statements and Data

The Definitive Plan shall be accompanied by four copies of written statements on:

Existing zoning and any easements, covenants, and restrictions applying to the area proposed to be subdivided; and

Data and proposed arrangements for water supply, sewerage and sewerage disposal including all appurtenances, as required by the Board of Health.

Plans and profiles of development shall show all provisions made for proper drainage of the area, including location and size of drain lines, catch basins, culverts, etc.

4. Review

a. Board of Health as to Suitability of the Land.

At the time of filing of the Definitive Plan, the applicant shall stake all proposed lots and mark proposed lot numbers on said lots for identification to facilitate review of the Definitive Plan by the appropriate authorities. The Board will file with the Board of Health two contact prints of the proposed plan. The Board of Health shall, within forty-five (45) days after filing of the plan, report to the Planning Board in writing approval or disapproval of said plan. If the Board of Health disapproves said plan, it shall make specific findings as to which, if any, of the lots shown on such plan cannot be used for building sites without injury to the public health, or is unsuitable because of drainage conditions, and include such specific findings and reasons therefore in such report, and, where possible, shall make recommendations for the adjustment thereof. Any approval of the plan by the Planning Board shall then only be given on condition that the lots or land specified by the Board of Health as unsuitable shall not be built upon without prior consent of the Board of Health, and the Planning Board shall endorse on the plan such conditions, specifying the lots or land to which such condition applies.

b. Other Town Officials

Before approval of the Definitive Plan is given, the Planning Board will obtain appropriate checks on the engineering and survey information shown on said plan, and written statements that the proposed improvements shown are laid out to the satisfaction of the official and for the facilities listed below:

The Board of Selectmen and Superintendent of Public Works and such planning consultant or engineer as may be designated by the Planning Board concerning the design of the street system, location of easements, and design of the sewerage and drainage systems, including appurtenances.

The Tree Warden as to location, size, and species of street trees.

The Director of Public Works and Board of Fire Engineers as to proposed water services and fire protection.

c. Consultant Review

The Planning Board may require additional engineering or other consultant review of the plans at the expense of the applicant, if it finds such information to be necessary or desirable in order to determine to approve, modify and approve, or to disapprove the Definitive Plan.

5. Public Hearing (Adapted from Section 81 T of Chapter 41)

Before approval, modification, or disapproval of the Definitive Plan is given, a public hearing shall be held by the Planning Board. Notice of such hearing shall be given by the applicant in an official publication of, or in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town, once in each of two successive weeks, the first publication being not less than fourteen days before the day of such public hearing. A copy of said notice shall be sent (registered mail) by the applicant to all owners of land abutting upon the subdivision as appearing in the most recent tax list, at least fourteen days before the date of the hearing. The applicant shall bring the registered mail receipt cards, received from the abutters, with him at the time and place of the hearing. All expenses incurred in advertising the hearing and mailing the notices shall be paid by the applicant.

6. Performance Guarantee

Before endorsement of the Board’s approval or conditional approval of a Definitive Plan of a subdivision, the subdivider shall agree to meet the conditions and to complete the required improvements specified in Section VI for all lots in the subdivision, such construction and installation to be secured by one, or in part by one and in part by the other, of the following methods, which may from time to time be varied by the applicant.:

a. Approval with bonds or surety

The subdivider shall file a completed Form G (see Appendices) and either a performance bond or a deposit of money or negotiable securities in an amount determined by the Planning Board to be sufficient to cover the cost of all or any part of the improvements specified in Section VI not covered by a covenant under “b” hereof. Such bond or security, if filed or deposited, shall be approved as to form and manner of execution by the Town Counsel and as to sureties by the Town Treasurer, and shall be contingent on the completion of such improvements within two years of the date of the bond.

b. Approval with covenant.

The subdivider shall file a completed Form F (see Appendices) or any other form of covenant acceptable to the Planning Board, executed and duly recorded by the owner of record, running with the land, whereby conditions specified in the certificate of approval are met, and such ways and services as specified in Section VI shall be provided to serve any lot before such lot may be built upon or conveyed other than by mortgage deed.

7. Approval, Endorsement and Recording

a. Approve, modify and approve or disapprove.

Within 90 days after the original submission of a Definitive Plan, after the Public Hearing and after the report of the Board of Health (or lapse of 45 days without such report), the Planning Board shall approve, modify and approve or disapprove such plan, if a preliminary plan has been filed or within 135 days if no preliminary plan has been filed or such further time as may be agreed upon at the written request of the applicant, shall be deemed to be an approval thereof.

A Certificate of Notice to the Town Clerk of Definitive Subdivision Plan Approval or Disapproval, on Form H and I of the Appendices to these Subdivision Regulation or by letter from the Board, shall be signed by the Board and filed with the Town Clerk following their vote. Said certificate of Notice must be so filed within 90 days of plan submission if a preliminary plan has been filed or within 135 days if no preliminary plan has been filed or such further time as may be agreed upon at the written request of the applicant, shall be deemed to be an approval thereof. The 20-day appeal period per M.G.L. Ch. 41, Sec. 81 BB shall begin on the date when such Certificate of Notice is filed with the Town Clerk. A certified copy of the Certificate of Notice shall also be sent by registered mail to the applicant. If the Board approves the plan, it shall convey a copy of the Form C Inspection Form (see Appendices) to the applicant along with the Certificate of Notice, to document that the applicant was informed of the inspection process as set forth in Sec. VI.A.6. of these Regulations. (Added 11/84)

If the Board modifies or disapproves a subdivision plan, it shall state in its vote the reasons for its action.

Failure of the Board to act or to file a certificate of action within 90 days after submission if a preliminary plan has been filed or within 135 days if no preliminary plan has been filed or such further time as may be agreed upon at the written request of the applicant, shall be deemed to be an approval thereof.

Approval, if granted, shall be endorsed on the original drawing of the Definitive Plan by the signatures of a majority of the Board (or by the signature of the person officially authorized by the Board) but not until the statutory twenty-day appeal period has elapsed following the filing of the certificate of action of the Board with the Town Clerk and said Clerk has notified the Board that no appeal has been filed. The cloth copy of the Definitive Plan will then be returned by the Board to the applicant.

Approval of the Definitive Plan does not constitute the laying out or acceptance by the Town of streets within a subdivision.

b. Within 30 days after the return of an approved plan, the applicant shall cause to be recorded in the South Essex Registry of Deeds, and in the case of registered land, with the recorder of the land court, a copy of the approved Definitive Plan and accompanying covenants or agreements, if any. One set of certified copies of the recorded material showing the date, and place (by book and page) of recording, shall be obtained by the applicant from the Registry and furnished to the Planning Board within 60 days of their endorsement of the subdivision plan.

Failure to comply with the procedural and other requirements of these Regulations shall result in recision of the approval given by the Board.

8. Evidence of Satisfactory Performance

Before the Board will release the interest of the Town in a performance bond or deposit (or, in the case of approval with covenant, issue a release of covenant), the applicant shall:

a. file an AS-BUILT PLAN (added September 27, 2005, and replaced former a.)

An accurate “as-built” plan and profile of the roadway(s) and associated site improvements, prepared by a registered professional engineer and registered professional land surveyor, shall be submitted to the Board after completion of the construction and prior to any partial release. Said plan shall indicate the record location of all municipal services as actually installed. Sufficient ties, including depths shown as profiles, for the proper and accurate identification and location, shall be provided. Additional information to be provided includes, but is not limited to, the location and size of sewer pun\.p/lift stations, location and total storage provided of detention ponds, and other similar facilities.

Prior to a final bond release, a final as-built plan and profile prepared at the same scale as the approved subdivision plan drawn to the requirements of the Registry of Deeds, shall be submitted to the Planning Board for approval. The as-built plan and profile shall bear the certification from both a Registered Professional Civil Engineer and Land Surveyor that all utilities shown thereon are as-built as to location and grade, that all stone bound monuments have been properly and accurately set in accordance with Professional Land Surveying standards and that the roadway is within the right-of-way lines as shown, and that the subdivision is entirely as constructed is in accord with the proposed grading plan and that the drainage patterns conform to the drainage analysis as submitted and approved by the Planning Board. Final as-built plans and profiles shall include as a minimum the following information:

1) Rims, size, type and inverts of all drainage and sewer pipes.
2) Location, type and elevation of all water mains, including gates, tees, services and hydrants.
3) Location and type of all underground electrical, telephone, fire alarm and cable lines, including services to lots, transformers, utilities and junction boxes.
4) Water service shut-off boxes to each lot with linear ties to a permanent structure or monument.
5) Location of all gas lines including lot services and shut-offs.
6) Curbing including sizes and type.
7) Sidewalks and grass plots including type and width and handicap ramps.
8) Driveway curb cut from edge of pavement to right-of-way lines.
9) Centerline stationing with monument stationing.
10) Top and bottom of fill and cut slopes adjacent to the roadway.
11) Centerline profile elevations at every 50′ station and at high and low points.
12) Width of roadway pavement.
13) Utility and light poles with guys.
14) Street signs.
15) Permanent bench marks on each sheet.
16) Landscaping and Tree plantings.
17) All off roadway drainage facilities including easements, swales, appurtenances and final landscaping. If a detention/retention basin is part of the Subdivision, provide enough spot elevations on the bottom and top of side slopes to indicate that the basin will have proper staging as approved.
18) Notation of any changes that deviate from the endorsed and recorded plans and the authority that allowed such change to be made;
19) A Mylar of the endorsed and recorded plans in the same scale required of the as-built final plans with a clear film so an overlay can be made to quickly distinguish any changes which may deviate from that of the endorsed and recorded plans.

The applicant shall submit an interim as-built drawing, with completed municipal services, for review and acceptance by the Board, before the placement of any pavement.

A statement shall be provided on the “as-built” plans that the information provided conforms to these regulations, to the design intent of the design engineer and that any exceptions, exclusive of granted waivers, shall be noted on said plan. The “as-built” plan shall be recorded in the Registry of Deeds upon the release of all lots and completion of all ways and utilities.

b. Submit to the Planning Board a completed Inspection Form C (See Appendices of these Regulations), showing that all construction was properly completed and inspected by the Planning Board, the Board of Public Works or their designated agents and consultants. See “Inspections”, Sec. VI.A.6. of these Regulations.

c. Submit to the Planning Board the Tree Warden’s written statement that planting of any required street trees has been completed to his satisfaction.

d. Show Planning Board that the street sign is in place, including designation on the same sign post if the way is private. (If/when the street is accepted by the Town, private designation shall be removed).

9. Release of Performance Guarantee

Upon the completion of the improvements required under Section VI, security for the performance of any covenant with respect to any lot, the applicant shall send by registered mail to the Town Clerk and the Planning Board a written statement in duplicate that the said construction or installation in connection in which such bond, deposit or covenant has been given has been completed in accordance with the requirements of Section VI, such statement to contain the address of the applicant. If the Board determines that said construction or installation has been completed, it shall release the interest of the Town in such bond and return the bond or deposit to the person who furnished it, or issue a release of the covenant for said construction or installation. If construction has not been completed, the Board shall specify to the applicant in writing the details wherein said construction and installation fails to comply with the requirements of Section VI.

10. Digital Data Requirements (added September 27, 2005)

a. All site or subdivision plans and as-builts and/or specifications must be submitted in digital format to the town.

b. All geographic data must be submitted in a standard real-world coordinate system. The following coordinate system is strongly preferred:

Projection: Datum: Fipszone: Units: Spheroid:

Massachusetts Stateplane Mainland NAD83
GRS 1980

c. All digital data must be delivered in one of the following formats:

ESRI Shapefile format
ESRI Arc/Info Interchange File format (eOO)
Autodesk AutoCAD dwg format
Autodesk AutoCAD dxf format

d. All data must be clean of undershooting and overshooting arcs (dangles). Polygons must be snapped closed at nodes and lines must snap to one another at nodes.

e. All data must be thematically organized. There must be separate layers for road edges, road centerlines, buildings, streams, water and sewer mains, hydrants, easements, parcels, water bodies, etc. For example, if a stream is coincident with a parcel boundary that coincident line must appear in both the parcel layer and the stream layer. All data shown on the plan shall be submitted digitally.

f. Features which contain a third dimension or elevation data (z value) must have the elevation value within the attribute data. If elevation data is submitted in a CAD format then the value must be part of the feature (polyline).

g. Documentation:

1). A list of all files being submitted is required.

2). CAD data shall include metadata for each layer included within the file. This documentation will provide information on the source of the data, feature type (point, line, polygon, etc), source date, and a general description of what is shown on the layer(s).

3) GIS data submissions (e.g., shp file, eOO export) must include all items from B above as well as metadata for each of the feature’s geographic data attributes. This will include a complete description of each attribute’s definition as well as a description of what each of the attribute values mean for each field.

h. Documentation on the method/s used for data collection shall be submitted for all data deliverables.

i. Documentation on the horizontal and vertical accuracy shall be submitted for all data deliverables.

j. Text & Annotation:

1). For CAD submissions, text must be placed in separate layers. Features must not be erased in order to accommodate the placement of text. Text layers must be thematically separate, meaning that text associated with hydrography should be placed on a single layer, while text pertaining to a parcel’s ID number should be placed on yet another separate layer. For example, should there be text on a map defining a parcel’s ill number and another piece of text defining a stream name, the deliverable to the town must include two (2) separate text layers, one for the parcel ID numbers and one for the stream names.

2). Text associated with a GIS formatted data deliverable must be in one of three forms.

a). A label attribute. This would be related to the feature’s attribute fields as previously described above in Section 7.

b). Annotation subclass. This would be separate annotation included within a feature data set as a series of text attribute tables (TAT).

c). Annotation coverage (eOO export). This would be an entirely separate feature class containing text or annotation only.

k). Pertaining to CAD formatted deliverables, features which cross map sheets must precisely match each other at the join line between the sheets; edge matching must be seamless.

  • The GIS Technical Agent for the Town shall insure data is properly submitted before permits are issued or plans are endorsed.
  • All deliverables, data, text and/or documentation must be submitted on either CD-ROM or DVD.