DEC logoCHAPTER 498
THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS

In the Year One Thousand Nine Hundred and Ninety-three
AN ACT CREATING THE DEVENS ENTERPRISE COMMISSION

SECTION 11. Powers and Responsibilities of the Commission

  1. The Commission shall after notice and public hearing develop and adopt by a two-thirds majority of the commissioners, a comprehensive set of regulations for the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, which set of regulations shall be collectively identified as the Devens regulations, hereinafter referred to as the regulations. The regulations shall, in conjunction with the reuse plan and by-laws, carry out the purposes and intent of the General Laws relating to zoning, subdivision control, historic commission and conservation commission regulatory powers, and shall be promulgated pursuant to chapter thirty A of the General Laws. The reuse plan and by-laws and regulations shall constitute the principal means for controlling the land development activities within Devens, and either or both of the by-laws and the regulations may contain duties of the commission to be undertaken in the exercise of the powers granted in section ten and this section. The regulations shall be promulgated no later than eighteen months after the passage of this act. Revisions to the regulations shall be approved and promulgated in the same manner as the regulations.

  2. The Commission shall administer and enforce the reuse plan and by-laws and regulations and in so doing may exercise the powers of a special permit granting authority and of a planning board for the purposes of regulating land use under chapter forty A of the General Laws and subdivision control under chapter forty-one of the General Laws, sections eighty-one K to eighty- one GG, inclusive. The commission shall also have all the powers and authority conferred upon planning boards by chapter forty-one of the General Laws sections eighty-one A to eighty-one J, inclusive. The commission shall have all the powers and authority conferred upon conservation commissions for the purposes of enforcing the provisions of chapter one hundred and thirty-one of the General Laws, sections forty and forty A, provided, however, that the Commission shall administer its powers relating to the protection of wetlands in accordance with regulations issued by the department of environmental protection for the implementation of the Wetlands Protection Act; provided, further, that any appeal of an order of conditions issued by the Commission shall be made to said department. The commission shall also have all the powers and authority conferred upon boards of health by chapter one hundred and eleven of the General Laws, sections twenty-six to thirty-two, inclusive. The commission shall also have all the powers and authority conferred upon zoning boards of appeals by chapter forty A of the General Laws, sections twelve to seventeen. The commission shall also have all the powers and authority conferred upon historic district commissions and towns by chapter forty C of the General Laws.

  3. Any person aggrieved by a determination or approval of the commission, whether or not previously a party to the proceeding, or any municipal officer or board, may appeal to the superior court within twenty days after the commission has filed its decision in each of the three towns' clerk's offices. Said twenty-day period shall commence only after all such recordings have been completed. The court shall hear all pertinent evidence and shall annul the determination of the commission if it finds said determination is unsupported by substantial evidence or exceeds the authority of the commission, or it may remand the case for further action by the commission or may make such other decree as is just and equitable. All issues in any proceeding under this subsection shall have precedence over all other actions and proceedings. The twenty day period begins after the decision is recorded in the last town clerk's office. The court shall hear all pertinent evidence and shall annul the determination of the commission if it finds that said determination is unsupported by substantial evidence or exceeds the authority of the commission, or it may remand the case for further action by the commission or may make such other decree as is just and equitable.

  4. In addition to its land use regulatory and permitting powers as set forth herein, and except as otherwise reserved to the towns herein, the commission shall adopt regulations within twenty-four months after the effective date of this act, and thereafter as deemed necessary by the commission, relating to any other permitting or licensing powers granted in the General laws to municipalities in the commonwealth, provided that such regulations shall be consistent with the reuse plan and by-laws and shall be prepared, following notice and public hearing, adopted in accordance with the provisions of chapter thirty A of the General Laws.

  5. In order to carry out its purposes and obligations ND this act, the commission may, in addition to the other powers set forth in this act, exercise the following enumerated powers in relation to the reuse of Devens:

    (a) exercise the rights provided to municipal governments and agencies under federal laws or regulations with regard to the powers of the commission enumerated under this act; (b) maintain an office at Devens;

    (c) employ attorneys, consultants and other persons as necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this act;

    (d) sue and be sued in its own name, plead and be impleaded;

    (e) exercise the power of eminent domain within Devens as provided in chapters seventy-nine, seventy-nine A, eighty and eighty A of the General Laws, consistent with the reuse plan and by-laws, and with the approval of the Bank;

    (f) acquire easements and other interest in land contiguous or adjacent to Devens in conformance with the Reuse Plan;

    (g) issue licenses and permits as related to development an redevelopment allowed by provisions of General Laws granted to cities or towns, not including those issued by town clerks, and not including those issued under M.G.L, chapter 138, section two, except as provided in clause (h) below;

    (h) issue two all-alcoholic beverage licenses to restaurant and said licenses shall not diminish the number of licenses permitted to be granted by the Towns;

    (i) adopt rules, regulations and bylaws for the regulation of its affairs and the conduct of its business;

    (j) employ a land use administrator to assist in the administration of the by-laws and regulations, and delegate certain powers to said land use administrator to administer and enforce the by-laws and regulations, as may be provided in the by-laws, or if not so provided, by vote of seven members of the commission;

    (k) enforce the reuse plan and by-laws, the regulations and all other by-laws and regulations;

    (l) adopt and collect reasonable fees, including subdivision, plan and project review fees, to defray its operating expenditures;

    (m) to the extent the fees received pursuant to the foregoing subparagraph (I) are insufficient to cover its operating expenditures, submit to the Secretary for his review and approval, an annual budget request for an appropriation from the commonwealth to cover such anticipated shortfall between the income generated from fees and its projected operating expenditures;

    (n) establish, increase or decrease any tax, rate, fee, rental or other charge for any service or other activity performed by or under the jurisdiction of the commission, as provided in section twenty-one of this act;

    (o) receive for the purposes of exercising its powers under this act any funds or moneys from any source, including grants, bequests, gifts or contributions made by any individual, association, or corporation, or by municipal, county, state or federal governments, provided that whenever the terms of such grant, bequest, gift or contribution require the grantee to be a municipality, municipal agency or unit of local government, the Commission shall be so considered;

    (p) following notice and public hearing, discontinue any street, public way or public use of a private way consistent with the reuse plan and by-laws and with the approval of the bank.

  6. The Commission's accounts and expenditures shall be subject to audit by the state auditor.


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