- The Devens Enterprise Commission (DEC) was created and empowered by St. 1993, c. 498, § 11, to carry out the purpose and intent of the Devens Reuse Plan, By-Laws, and subsequent development regulations pursuant thereto. The Plan and By-Laws were passed by three simultaneous Town Meetings in the municipalities of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley on December 7, 1994. In achieving its specific mission as the regulatory and permitting authority within Devens, and in generally protecting the health, safety and welfare, the Commission may legitimately exercise its right to protect the public, as well as other occupants and users within Devens, from nuisance conditions.
- The intent of 974 CMR 4.00 is to preclude or significantly mitigate nuisance conditions by means of
(a) providing a complaint mechanism for parties impacted by potential violations and
(b) in certain circumstances where the potential impacts are likely to impact receptors beyond the perimeter of Devens, providing review criteria for the consideration of permit applications requiring site plan approval.
- It is recognized that occupants of Devens could generate conditions from their operational activities which could cause nuisance to abutters within Devens ("Internal Receptors") or to community residents from the towns of Ayer, Harvard and Shirley ("External Receptors"). There are also unique sensitive receptors such as the Harvard University-Smithsonian Observatory and the Harvard University Radio Telescope on the same site on Oak Hill in the Town of Harvard ("Special External Receptors"). The subject areas of impact include Noise and Vibration, Air Quality, Odors, and Emissions, Lighting and Astrophysical Compatibility, and Electromagnetic Interference. Impacts on Internal Receptors are referred to as "Internal Impacts" and impacts on External Receptors or Special External Receptors are referred to as "External Impacts." Internal Receptors, External Receptors and Special External Receptors are referred to collectively as "Receptors."
- The performance standards to follow are established primarily as a mechanism for accepting and acting locally upon complaints to the DEC that are filed by impacted users or receptors and in certain circumstances where the potential impacts are likely to impact receptors beyond the perimeter of Devens, providing review criteria for the consideration of permit applications requiring site plan approval. In addition there are certain instances where the enforcement process may be significantly enhanced by requiring pertinent data at the time of a request for a building permit, such as with electromagnetic interference, or where further enforcement referral might be to a pre-emptive or higher jurisdiction, such as air quality.
- In order to preclude nuisance conditions to the greatest degree possible, regulatory standards are established herein with which every occupant of Devens must comply. In addition, 974 CMR 4.00 establishes a process for requiring effective mitigations of conditions found to be in violation.