- Unified Development Permit System. The process for reviewing Submissions in Devens is called Unified Permitting.
The purpose of Unified Permitting is to provide for expeditious permitting of land development to promote the orderly conversion and redevelopment of Devens. The DEC administers this system.
The major components of this system are zoning, site plan review and lotting or subdivision of land. Also included are variances, building permits, historic district certificates, board of health permits, wetlands approvals and water resources protection review, sign permits, and various licenses.
- Levels of Development Review. Submissions shall be processed pursuant to Level One or Level Two reviews.
Level One reviews are conducted by the Director and typically include minor modifications to building and site plans, building permits (without site development), and Certificates of Compliance under a Wetlands Order of Conditions, as well as Level One Lotting plans.
A Submission that is not deemed Level One will be subject to Level Two review. Level Two reviews are conducted by the DEC.
A Unified Permit (Permit), may be approved, approved with conditions, or disapproved by the DEC.
- Principal Components of the Unified Development Permit System. Among the most important components are site plan review and division of land.
(a) Site Plan Review involves the siting of buildings on lots and the creation of facilities and services designed to accommodate the needs of the site, including, but not limited to, vehicular parking and loading facilities, stormwater management, provision of utilities on-site, landscaping and screening, and other improvements.
(b) Division of Land may be accomplished by submission of a Subdivision or a Level One Lotting Plan. In a Level One Lotting Plan, two or more lots are created, provided that frontage and lot area comply with the By-Law requirements and the frontage is located along a way the DEC determines is maintained by MassDevelopment and used as a public way.
- Application and Submission Procedures for All Applications.
(a) Submission: Applications for Permits shall be submitted at the DEC's offices.
Devens Enterprise Commission
c/o Devens Commerce Center
43 Buena Vista Street
Devens, Massachusetts 01432
Consent of the property owner is required for all Submissions. If land has not yet passed title from Mass Development to the new user seeking to locate a facility at Devens, the Submission shall be filed by Mass Development alone or in conjunction with the new user.
(b) Time Periods. Time periods are expressed in calendar days. If the last day of a time period falls on a federal or state holiday or on a weekend, the time period ends the next weekday. When calculating public hearing dates, the date of the hearing is in addition to the required time periods.
(c) Statement of Consistency with Reuse Plan and By-laws. Certain Submissions require the Applicant to submit a Statement of Consistency with the Reuse Plan and By-Laws. The Statement of Consistency includes:
- A description of the proposed development, including type of business, type of operation, process or activities and other information needed to clarify what will happen on the site once developed.
- A statement detailing how the project complies with the following sections of the Reuse Plan:
a. Goals: including a discussion of how the proposed development is "sustainable" (how it meets the needs of future generations) and how it materially contributes to a sustainable economy. How does the proposed development contribute to the diversity of uses at Devens? How does it provide employment opportunities for persons with a range of skills and experience levels?
b. Objectives: including a discussion of how the proposed development will create jobs and benefit the regional workforce, those features of the proposal which build on Devens' unique characteristics, how the proposed development will protect and enhance quality of life, how the Applicant proposes to participate in some or all of the DEC's sustainability programs, and how the proposal protects and enhances Devens' ecological resources. Discussion should include specific measures to mitigate its impacts on the environment and surrounding communities.
c. A statement of how the proposed use and development comply with Zoning district goals and objectives of the By-Laws and the Patterns (section 4 of the Reuse Plan) for the zoning district in which the site is located.
d. Any other relevant portions of the Reuse Plan.
e. A narrative demonstrating compliance with other applicable sections of the By-Laws.
(d) Industrial Performance Standards. During the Pre-Permitting Conferences, the Director shall determine whether the Applicant shall provide data pertaining to some or all of the Industrial Performance Standards (974 CMR 4.01 through 4.05) along with the type and extent of the data to be required. The burden of proof shall be on the Applicant to demonstrate compliance with the Industrial Performance Standards.
(e) Waivers of Requirements and Design Standards. If the Applicant requests a Waiver (elimination or modification) of a Submission or Plan Form and Contents requirement or a Design Standard, the request shall be made in writing specifying the provisions to be waived, as part of the Submission.
- Requirements Waivers. The Director shall determine whether to grant waivers from Submission and Plan Form and Contents requirements. Requests for these Waivers shall be made and the Director's responses shall be provided prior to the deadline for the DOC. In determining whether to grant a Waiver, the Director shall consider whether the Waiver:
a. Has minimal or no applicability to the Submission; or
b. Does not impair the ability of the Director and the DEC to evaluate the nature and effects of the proposed project; or
c. Is already provided in an alternative form acceptable to the Director.
- Design Waivers. The DEC shall determine whether to grant, grant with conditions, or deny Waivers from Design Standards. These requests shall be made prior to expiration of the appropriate time limits set forth in 974 CMR 1.08.
In determining whether to grant a Waiver, the DEC shall consider whether the Waiver:
a. Is consistent with the intent and purpose of the By-Laws and the applicable regulations; or
b. Does not impair the ability of the DEC to evaluate the nature and effects of the proposed project; or
c. Results in a standard that functions as effectively or better than the required Design Standards.
(f) Provision of Additional Information. The DEC may require the Applicant to provide reasonable additional technical data in response to concerns of the DEC or people who have submitted comments for the record. In doing so, the DEC shall establish reasonable time limits for the submission and review of the data, in order that the review process will not be unnecessarily delayed.
(g) Withdrawals of Permit Submissions. At any time prior to a decision of the DEC or Director, the Applicant may withdraw a Submission provided the request is made in writing to the DEC or Director. The withdrawal shall be acknowledged in writing, with a copy delivered to the Applicant.