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Planning Board members come from a broad spectrum of life. To qualify one does not need any particular degree but must be open-minded, willing to learn, and capable of reading and understanding the Dracut Zoning Bylaws.
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Typically the Planning Board is comprised of five members who are appointed by the Town Manager for a three-year term, as well as one alternate who may be called upon for votes on Special Permits only in the case of a Members absence or conflict of interest in a particular case.
The Subdivision control Law serves to protect the safety, convenience and welfare of the town's inhabitants by regulating the laying out and construction of ways in subdivisions providing access to the lots therein, but which have not become public ways and ensuring sanitary conditions.
The Dracut Zoning Bylaws can be viewed or downloaded from this web page. Printed copies can be purchased for $10 at the Town Clerk's Office.
A subdivision is a division of land into two or more lots and typically involves the creation of a new road. An ANR is the division of land into lots with frontage on existing roads, whether public or private. The Planning Board endorses ANRs certifying that approval under the Subdivision Control Law is not required.
Floodplains are designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A map is available for viewing at the Building Department Office 978-454-0603. You may also call the Town Engineer 978-454-2594 for help determining your flood zone.
Generally we do not unless a planning or zoning permit has been filed within the last ten years. You will need an updated certified plot/site plan prepared by a Registered profession Land Surveyor.
You may come into the Building Department and discuss potential uses with the Building Inspector. Zoning District and Zoning Bylaw Use Codes will be considered, but the Building Commissioner is the definitive authority on zoning.
Chapter 40A Section 9 provides us with up to 65 days from the close of the hearing to record a Special permit with the Town Clerk. It can take up to 14 days from the date the Board approves the permit to write up the Final Decision and have it stamped in with the Clerk's Office. A 20-day appeal period follows after which time, if no appeals are filed, the Final Decision is sealed and forwarded to the applicant. The applicant must then have that document recorded at the Middlesex North County Registry of Deeds. They are then free to pursue their building permit (which may take up to an additional 30 days).
Once your building permit has been granted, you must begin your project within six months or the permit lapses.
You may call 978-453-4557 and, if needed, set up an appointment to meet with the Town Planner. If you have any relevant plans to your project bring them with you. The Planner will be happy to answer any of your questions and discuss potential pitfalls or possibilities related to your project. If you would like to meet with several department head in one meeting, please call the Planning Office two to three weeks ahead and schedule a Departmental Staff Review. There is no charge for this service.
This information is contained in the Table of Standard Dimensional Requirements located on page 38 of the Dracut Zoning Bylaws (either online or at our office).
You can locate your Map and Parcel number from the Assessor home page of the Dracut Town Website. View the Assessors Department page. View the Online Database website. Enter your name and/or address. You can also call the Assessor's Office 978-453-2451 for assistance in looking up your information.
The Planning Board typically meets at 7 pm on the second and fourth Wednesday evening every month. Due to holidays, summer or other circumstances, these dates are subject to change. For a current schedule please see the Town Calendar page.
View the Zoning Index Map (PDF)
In general the Planning Board is responsible for reviewing ANRs and Subdivision Plans; issuing Special Permits, Open Space Residential Developments, multiple dwellings, etc.; and participates in creating and updating Dracut Zoning Bylaws.
The Agenda closes at the end of day on the Wednesday the week prior to the meeting.