Section IV. Preliminary Plans

Preliminary Plans

A Preliminary Plan of a residential subdivision may, and a Preliminary Plan of a nonresidential subdivision shall, be submitted by an Applicant for discussion and approval, modification, or disapproval. The submission of a Preliminary Plan will enable the Applicant, the Planning Board, other municipal agencies, and abutters to discuss and clarify any problems of the proposed subdivision before a Definitive Plan is prepared. The Planning Board's policy is to pursue resolution of as many subdivision issues as possible prior to submission of a Definitive Plan. During its review of the Preliminary Plan, the Planning Board will promote cooperative discussion among all affected citizens and officials of as many such issues as possible. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that a Preliminary Plan be filed in most cases, even if not required by these Rules and Regulations.


Any Applicant who desires approval of a Preliminary Plan for the subdivision of property shall:

  • File with the Planning Board[ ]SECTION IV.A.[PJB/JCM1]:
    • Eight copies of the properly executed Form B (see Forms) and any supporting information;
    • The Preliminary Plan printed on mylar transparency sheets, satisfying the form and content requirements set forth in section IV.C of these Rules and Regulations, with eight contact prints thereof; and
    • An abutters list, Form J (see Forms), showing the names and addresses of all abutters to the property included in the Preliminary Plan, as determined from the most recent Assessor's list unless the Applicant has more recent knowledge of such abutters;
    • A filing fee (see Fee Schedule).
    • A 3.5-inch computer disk or compact disk (CD) containing any computer-generated information in the application, in a form acceptable to the Planning Board.
  • File with the Board of Health:
    • A copy of the Form B filed with the Planning Board; and
    • Three contact prints of the Preliminary Plan filed with the Planning Board.
  • Give written notice to the Town Clerk, by delivery in hand or by registered mail, postage prepaid, of the filing of the Preliminary Plan, accompanied by the original of the Form B filed with the Planning Board. The written notice shall specify:
    • The date the Preliminary Plan was filed with the Planning Board;
    • A description of the property to which the Preliminary Plan is related, sufficient for identification thereof; and
    • The name and address of the owner of such property.
  • Submit [PJB/JCM2]a copy of the written notice given to the Town Clerk and the Form B filed with the Planning Board to:
    • Water Commission
    • Department of Public Works
    • Fire Chief
    • Police Chief
    • Conservation Commission
    • Building Inspector
    • Sewer Commission
    • Town Engineer

If any Town official or agency to whom notice is required to be given by this section requests copies of the plan, the Planning Board may require the Applicant to submit the plan to such Town official or agency.

Submission Date

For the purposes of this Section IV, submission of a preliminary plan shall be deemed to be the date of the first regular meeting of the Planning Board following the submission of the plan to the Planning Board. The date of said Planning Board meeting fixes the start of the period of time during which the Planning Board must act.

Form and Content of the Preliminary Plan[Marker]

The Preliminary Plan shall be drawn in black ink on one or more 24-inch by 36-inch mylar transparency sheets, at a suitable scale. If a Preliminary Plan is drawn on multiple sheets, it shall be accompanied by an index sheet showing the entire proposed subdivision and a grid indicating the sheet number for each area of the plan. Additionally, where multiple sheets are used, a "summary plan" shall be provided in which the entire subdivision layout and details are illustrated on one sheet so as to facilitate reference while in the field.

The Preliminary Plan shall contain the following information:

  • The proposed subdivision name, boundaries, locus plan, north point, date, scale, legend, and the title "Preliminary Plan";
  • A plan showing the entire parcels of all adjacent undeveloped land;
  • The names and addresses of the record owner or owners of the property shown on the Preliminary Plan and the Applicant, if not the owner; the Town Assessor's sheet number and parcel number for the property; and the name, signature, and appropriate seal of the engineer, landscape architect or land surveyor who prepared the Preliminary Plan, as appropriate;
  • All property boundary lines adjacent to the proposed subdivision;
  • The zoning classification of the property, and the location of any zoning district boundary lines that lie in the vicinity of the property;
  • Topographic contours with a minimum interval of three meters;
  • Existing and proposed boundaries of streets, ways, and any public or common areas within the proposed subdivision;
  • The names, location, and present widths of all streets within 500 feet of the proposed subdivision;
  • Proposed lot lines within the proposed subdivision, with approximate areas, frontage, and dimensions of each lot; each lot shall be numbered to aid in identification;
  • Existing and proposed drainage systems within or in the vicinity of the proposed subdivision including generally all areas of wetlands or waterways;
  • Frontage and area of any remaining adjoining land owned by the Applicant
  • On unsubdivided land adjacent to the property shown on the Plan, a sketch plan showing a possible or prospective street layout for such adjacent land. This sketch plan may be submitted as a separate sheet from the preliminary plan;
  • Suitable space to record the action of the Planning Board and the signatures of the members of the Planning Board.

Report of the Board of Health

Within 45 days of the submission of the Preliminary Plan, the Board of Health shall report to the Planning Board, in writing, its approval or disapproval of the Preliminary Plan, or recommendations for modification thereof or conditions to be required thereof. In the event of disapproval or recommendation for modification or conditions, the Report shall include specific findings of fact in support of the Board of Health's conclusions.

  • If the proposed subdivision is to be serviced entirely by the Rutland Sewer System, failure by the Board of Health to report to the Planning Board within 45 days of the submission of the Preliminary Plan shall be deemed to constitute approval of the Preliminary Plan by the Board of Health.
  • If the proposed subdivision is not to be serviced entirely by the Rutland Sewer System, a permit to construct an individual subsurface sewage disposal system on each lot shall be obtained from the Board of Health prior to construction thereof. A condition shall be inscribed on the Preliminary Plan as follows: "No building or structure shall be placed or built on any lot not serviced by the Rutland Sewer System without a subsurface sewage disposal system permit from the Rutland Board of Health[ ]B.C.D.[PJB/JCM3]."

Comments of Other Town Officials

Within 35 days of the submission of the Preliminary Plan, any of the Town officials and commissions to whom notice is required to be given by section IV.A.4 of these Rules and Regulations may submit comments to the Planning Board including any recommendations for approval, disapproval or modification of the Preliminary Plan, or conditions recommended to be required thereof. In the event that any such Town official or commission fails to submit such comments, the Applicant shall submit a written statement to the Planning Board that:

  • The Applicant has offered to meet with such official or commission to discuss the Preliminary Plan; and
  • The official or commission has declined to meet with the Applicant or has identified no problems with the proposed subdivision.

Preliminary Plan Approval

As soon as practicable after the date of its submission, the Planning Board shall study the Preliminary Plan and discuss it with the Applicant. Failure to complete the application requirements or to provide the Planning Board with any information it requests shall be grounds for disapproval. Within 45 days of submission of the Preliminary Plan, the Planning Board shall approve the Preliminary Plan with or without modifications or conditions suggested by the Planning Board or Board of Health or agreed upon by the Applicant, or shall disapprove the Preliminary Plan, giving the reason or reasons for such disapproval. Such decision shall be sent to the Applicant by certified mail. The time within which the Planning Board must act on a Preliminary Plan may be extended by the Planning Board upon written request of the Applicant or its agent.

Approval of a Preliminary Plan does not constitute approval of the proposed subdivision. In accordance with MGL c. 41 81Q, if the Preliminary Plan is approved, all Rules and Regulations of the Planning Board in effect at the time of its submission shall govern the Definitive Plan that evolves from such Preliminary Plan, provided that such Definitive Plan is submitted within seven months of the submission of the Preliminary Plan.

Notice of Action on Preliminary Plan

The Planning Board shall send notice of each action taken pursuant to section IV.E of these Rules and Regulations to the Town Clerk and the Applicant.

E.F.G.[PJB/JCM1] Deleted (this submission date applies only to ANRs): The date such completed application is delivered to the Planning Board at one of its regularly scheduled meetings shall be deemed to be the date of submission of the Preliminary Plan.

[PJB/JCM2] Does applicant circulate or provide to planning board office to do it - how do you guarantee delivery if done by applicant (receipt)?

[PJB/JCM3] Alternative technologies? Nitrate aggreg. Still needs BOH septic.