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  • Ruth Bass

The story on permits

Updated: Jun 7

What about permits in Richmond? Recent articles at the annual town meeting about open-space use in town have created confusion about permits. Here’s the story:

Town bylaws (which are not the same as zoning bylaws) require an event permit for any event that is large enough to impact traffic, available parking, town resources, etc. Like when the Josh Billings race came to town. Like the Richmond Land Trust pie social. Like the former bobolink event at Hollow Fields. Like a giant wedding. The event permit requirement has been a town bylaw for years.


Anyone needing such a permit applies to the Select Board and usually gets a yes or no within a couple of weeks. All three of the proposed amendments require an event permit.


When a special permit is required in the zoning bylaws, it may come under the jurisdiction of the Zoning Board of Appeals. When the ZBA is the granting authority, the procedure is different, and it could take two months or more to get a decision. The process includes a fee and application, one or more public hearings, notices to abutters and legal ads. Both the Select Board and the ZBA can attach conditions for the permits they issue.

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