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Real Estate is the physical land and improvements affixed to it. Massachusetts statutes require assessors to assess all property at its full and fair cash value as of January 1 each year.
Full and fair cash value is also known as market value, or the price a willing buyer will pay a willing seller for the property when both are considered knowledgeable about the market and under not outside influence to buy or sell.
Property Assessments a re listed each year on the third-quarter tax bill (due February 1). The taxpayer should review their assessment annually because this is the only period when an abatement application can be filed.
Property Inspections are performed regularly by the assessors in order to update the property database. Taxpayers should allow assessors to inspect their property in order to be assuredthat their record is accurate. Failure to allow an inspection will bar appeals under Massachusetts statutes and force the assessors to estimate the quality, condition, and improvements of the property.
Tax Exemptions are discharges from the obligation to pay all or a portion of a tax.
Tax Deferrals permit taxpayers 60 years of age or older to delay payment of property taxes. The taxes, with interest, must be repaid to the community upon the death of the taxpayer or sale of the property.
Assessors do not create the market. Assessors analyze and review actual property transactions to determine assessed values. By law, the real estate market determines property assessments.
Tax bills are mailed quarterly and due August 1, November 1, February 1, and May 1. Do not send correspondence with your payment because payments go directly to the Tax Collector's Office for bank deposit.
The Blackboard Connect service allows authorized civic leaders to create and rapidly disseminate time-sensitive messages to telephone numbers and email addresses stored in the notification database.
Authorized officials record a voice message that is then delivered quickly to individual phones in the notification database. Residents are informed by telephone, e-mail, and/or text when there isan emergency or other important public safety or public health announcement such as severe weather warnings, hazardous road conditions affecting local routes, public health emergenciesand any other situation that could impact the safety, property, or welfare of our citizens.
This system supplements existing means of communication and is not a replacement for the systems we have used in the past. The Town emergency fire horn which is activated during an emergency situation will still be available. Residents are encouraged to use other emergency warning systems such as the Massachusetts Alerts app that provides warnings such as tornado warnings that may not be provided through Blackboard Connect.
Blackboard Connect uses the white pages to create a database of those who will receivenotifications.You can sign up to add email, work phonenumber and cell phone numbers andchoose whether you would like text or voice messaging.
Blackboard Connect® is a service of Blackboard Connect Inc. (BCI). BCI takes security and privacy concerns very seriously and does not sell, trade, lease or loan any data about our clients to any third party. We utilize multiple physical and virtual layers of firewalls to maintain data security.
The caller-ID number for calls generated by the Blackboard Connect service will be: 978-369-6136. In addition, every message will begin with the same standard announcement: “Hello, this is______ calling with an important message from the Town of Carlisle.” The message content willfollow this standard introduction.
There are several varieties of call screening devices which use differing protocols for screening.In general, the system has been found to work with these devices, but some may require sometype of pre-programming to allow our town’s telephone number to pass through. We may conductperiodic tests to assure that messages are being delivered to numbers in the notification database.
Should a situation arise that requires us to contact you at multiple phone numbers, we can activatethe system to place a simultaneous call to all of your numbers. In most cases, we will be sendingcalls only to one phone number.
Yes. The area code does not impact whether or not a call is made.
For busy signals, the call will be repeated several times in an attempt to reach you. The same istrue for No-answer and Call-waiting. If the phone is answered by a message recorder, themessage will be left on the answering device. If, after several attempts the call does notsuccessfully go through, the system will stop attempting tocall.
Yes. Please contact us at 978-369-0283 to change the phone number in our notificationdatabase.
Yes, at the end of the message playback, simply press the star (*) key on your telephone to have it repeated in its entirety.
Repeating or looping of messages happens when the system detects excessive noise in thebackground. This can be caused by loud radio/television volumes, people talking, or busy trafficnoise. When you receive the next call, say “hello” once and turn down the volume of yourradio/television or press the mute button on your telephone to allow full message delivery.
If you are receiving these messages and wish to change the number or opt out, please contact the Fire Chief at 978-369-2888 or via e-mail at email@example.com.
The Carlisle Board of Health is a five member elected Board responsible for assessing, maintaining and protecting the public health, safety and environment of the Town of Carlisle. The Board of Health enforces Massachusetts General Laws pertaining to public health, control of disease, promotion of sanitary living conditions, and protection of the environment from damage and pollution. The Board of Health promulgates local regulations and policies, and ensures that needed health services are available.
In addition to setting health policy initiatives for the community, the Board of Health issues permits for septic systems and wells, reviews building permit applications for Title 5 compliance, maintains property files and as-builts, investigates nuisance and sanitary code complaints, monitors animal bites and quarantines, inspects and licenses local food establishments, tracks communicable diseases in the community, arranges household hazardous waste collections, rabies and flu clinics, and organizes outreach programs. The Board and its staff look forward to helping Carlisle residents maintain a healthy lifestyle and environment.
A Title 5 inspection must be completed in order to sell your home in Carlisle. All Title 5 inspectors are state-certified. A copy of the Title 5 will be mailed to the Carlisle Board of Health and kept on file. Title 5's are good for two years from the date of inspection. An extension may be granted if the system has been pumped once a year from the Title 5 date.
A Title 5 is not required if the system has been recently installed (up to 2 years), or up to 3 years with a pump out.
A standard water test confirming the absence of coliform is required prior to sale of your home. Other requirements are in Carlisle's Supplemental Water Supply Regulations, on the website.
The Board of Health recommends a pump-out at least once every two years. It is also recommended that garbage grinders not be used as they shorten the life of the system.
The Massachusetts State Building Code Section 113.1 states that "it shall be unlawful to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a structure; or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure; or to install or alter any equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by this code" without first obtaining a building permit. This includes, but is not limited to, new structures, additions, dormers, chimneys, woodstoves, decks, roofing, siding, swimming pools, antennae, and sheds. The only exception is an ordinary repair. An ordinary repair does not require a building permit.
Paving projects do not require a building permit but will require a permit from the Engineering Department if work is being done within the public right-of-way. There are also zoning restrictions on the amount and location of paving, so check first with the Office of Community Development.
Section 201 of the State Building Code defines ordinary repairs as "any maintenance which does not affect structure, egress, fire protection systems, fire ratings, energy conservation provisions, plumbing, sanitary, gas, electrical, or other utilities. This has been interpreted to mean that rotted floor boards can be replaced on a deck, but the deck can not be rebuilt without a permit. Also, damaged roof shingles can be repaired, but the entire roof can not be re-shingled without a permit. If in doubt as to how much work can be done under ordinary repairs, contact the Inspectional Services Department before the start of work.
No. Work can not proceed until the permit has been issued.
The Office of Community Development has a maximum of 30 days in which to issue or deny a building permit. The actual time can vary from 1 day up to the maximum 30 day limit, depending on the number of applications ahead of yours, and the scope of work. Generally, the smaller jobs will take a shorter time, with new buildings taking close to the full 30 days, so allow for this in your scheduling.
Section 114.3 of the State Building Code states that "any permit issued shall be deemed abandoned and invalid unless the work authorized by it shall have been commenced within 6 months after its issuance; however, for cause, one or more extensions of time, for periods not exceeding 6 months each, may be granted in writing by the Building Commissioner or Inspector of Buildings." Extensions are normally granted without any trouble. However, if there have been changes to the Zoning By-Law or building code subsequent to the original issuance of the permit, any grandfather status may be lost if work has not begun (i.e., you will have to comply to the new requirements). Any requests for extension must be submitted in writing.
Note: Any work not begun in six (6) months after a permit is issued voids the permit.
When work is started without the applicable permit, the applicable fee can be doubled upon first notification and tripled subsequent to completion.
No fees paid are refundable or transferable.
Yes. It is the responsibility of the permit holder to call Inspectional Services to arrange for the required inspections. Required inspections are indicated on the inspection record card, which you receive when your permit is approved.
The card must be posted in a location visible from the street and accessible to the inspector. Generally, the best location is inside a front storm door.
Yes. If you submitted plans along with your permit application, a copy of these plans, bearing an "approved" stamp was returned to you with the approved building card. This copy must be available for the inspector to review for determination that the work is in compliance with the approved plans.
Section 111.2 of the State Building Code states that the contractor must give the inspector 24 hours notice prior to the time when the inspection needs to be performed. It further states " the Building Inspector shall make the inspection within 48 hours after such notification".
No. These calls must be made by the licensed plumber or electrician. The amount of notice required is stated in their respective codes.
If access to the new work requires the inspector to walk through your existing, furnished house, someone must be present to let the inspector in. The inspector will not enter an unoccupied furnished house. We also will not enter a house in which only a child is home, unaccompanied by an adult. In these cases, please make arrangements with the inspector for a time to meet. We will try to accommodate your schedule as much as possible. However, the large number of inspections, and the unpredictability of the length of time each inspection may take, makes precise appointments difficult.
Section 109.1.1 of the State Building Code states that no structural work shall be done without a construction supervisor's license. A homeowner can do work on his/her own home without a license provided that if the homeowner engages a person for hire to do such work that the homeowner shall act as supervisor.
For the purpose of determining when a license is required, a homeowner is defined as a "person(s) who owns a parcel of land on which he/she resides or intends to reside, on which there is, or is intended to be, a dwelling of six or less units, attached or detached structures accessory to such use and/or farm structures. A person who constructs more than one home in a two-year period shall not be considered a homeowner."
If the work involves a new structure or an addition to an existing structure, a plot plan is required.
The purpose of a plot plan is for determination of compliance with dimensional controls of the Zoning By-Law. A mortgage plan is only a rough approximation of where the house is located, and was prepared only for mortgage purposes. Due to the inaccuracy of these plans, they can only be used if the project is far in excess of the required setbacks (generally, at least 5 feet in excess of the required setback). If the plan shows that your project will be close to the required setbacks, a more accurate plan will be required.
No. Plot plans can only be prepared by a Registered Land Surveyor, and must bear his/her stamp.
Mortgage plans can sometimes be obtained from the bank. Also, Inspectional Services has plans on file for many properties in town. If available, these may be acceptable. Otherwise, you must contact a Registered Land Surveyor to prepare a plan for you.
For all new houses and for additions which are close to the required setbacks a certified "as-built" plot plan must be submitted to Inspectional Services after completion of the foundation. Framing can not proceed until the plot plan has been submitted.
Yes. The State Building Code defines a swimming pool as any pool with an area greater than 250 square feet and a depth greater than 2 feet. If your pool does not meet both of these criteria, then it is not considered a swimming pool and does not need a building permit.
Same as the building setbacks, measured from the lot line to the waters edge.
Yes. A fence at least 4 feet high, and gates must be self closing and self latching.
The CPA was signed into law as MGL Chapter 44B in September 2000. It allows towns to create a Community Preservation Fund for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation. The CPA also creates a statewide Community Preservation Trust Fund (“Trust Fund”), administered by the Department of Revenue (DOR), which provides matching distributions each year to communities that have adopted CPA. The statute gives towns the right to place a surcharge on local property taxes of not more than 3% of the local real estate tax levy on each property, and to exempt the first $100,000 of the property value from the surcharge.
Each year, the Town must spend, or set aside for later spending, 10% of the annual revenue to a fund designated for open space protection (including expanded use for outdoor recreation since 2012), 10% to a fund designated for historic preservation, 10% to a fund designated for affordable housing, and the remaining 70% to an Undesignated Fund that can be used for any of the allowed purposes under the CPA. Up to 5% of the revenue may also be appropriated for administrative expenses.
Working with the Town Treasurer, the CPC confirms and then announces the fund balances annually late in the calendar year in a call for applications. Applicants may be Town entities (including boards and commissions) non-profits, individuals, or even commercial entities (the latter three groups will ideally have the support of a Town board but need not necessarily be Carlisle-based). Applications are generally due in January.
After reviewing the applications within the committee and, as appropriate, with Town Counsel to confirm eligibility or other parameters, the CPC meets with applicants to discuss their applications, often requesting revisions to the scope of the project or the amount requested, refinements, or additional information. Based on its assessment of each application relative to available funds, competing applications, and the criteria established by the CPA, the CPC then votes whether or not to recommend at Town Meeting which project(s) should be funded with CPA monies.
For each project expected to receive a positive CPC recommendation, the CPC works with Town Counsel and the applicant to create a Grant Agreement which establishes the clear parameters of the appropriation including allowed use(s), the term for which the funds are available (including possible claw-back dates at which time any unspent funds must be returned to the fund from which they were appropriated), reporting requirements, public notice including signage as appropriate that the project is funded in whole or in part through the CPA, and any other requirements or restrictions.
Wetlands include the obviously wet areas such as lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, marshes and swamps. Legally, the term also includes areas where groundwater is near or above the surface of the ground long enough during the growing season to support wetland vegetation and establish hydric soil conditions. They may be dry for a significant portion of the year. Wetlands are called Bordering Vegetated Wetlands (BVW) if they are adjacent to a water body. Isolated Wetlands are unconnected to a water body and may include seasonal or “vernal” pools.
Floodplains are areas bordering rivers and streams that flood following rain storms or snowmelt.
Riverfront Areas border rivers and streams that flow throughout the year (perennial) and extend, under state law, 200 feet from the edge of the bank or mean annual high water elevation.
These “resource areas” are protected by Federal, state, and the Carlisle Wetland Bylaw because they provide important natural resource benefits. Wetlands protect water quality by trapping sediment and debris, breaking down pollutants, and absorbing excessive nutrients in water that would otherwise cause nuisance algae and plant growth. Wetlands and floodplains serve as important wildlife habitat by providing food, breeding areas, and protective cover. Wetlands and floodplains also act like sponges by absorbing stormwater runoff and releasing this water slowly to moderate flooding and stormwater damage. Through these functions, wetlands protect and recharge our drinking water supplies, provide recreation opportunities, prevent pollution, protect property from flood damage, and support ecological diversity.
The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL Ch. 131 s.40) and its regulations (319 CMR 10) issued by the Massachusetts Division of Environmental Protection establish the science-based legal definitions used to identify and delineate wetlands and floodplains. Rivers, streams, lakes, and ponds are easy to identify and are generally found on town maps. Perennial streams shown on the U.S Geologic Survey topographic maps are presumed to have protected riverfront areas. However, a stream’s status as perennial or intermittent can be overcome with sufficient technical evidence. Vegetated wetlands are identified on the basis of their hydrologic characteristics (i.e. how wet they are). Characteristic vegetation - such as skunk cabbage, cinnamon fern, tussock sedge, high bush blueberry, is used to identify the presence and location of swamps, marshes, wet meadows, and other types of vegetated wetlands. Soil characteristics that reflect saturated soil conditions at or near the ground surface are also used. The top of bank is found at the first break in slope or the mean high water level. Bordering Land Subject to Flooding is identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency for flood insurance purposes, by engineering calculations, or with reliable historical observations.
The Carlisle Conservation Commission has maps that show the approximate location of wetland boundaries throughout the town. However, such maps can only be used as guidance. Actual field delineations are required of permit applicants. The assistance of a wetland consultant and a land surveyor is often required to identify and delineate wetlands and floodplains. The Conservation Commission office can provide a list of consultants who have worked in Carlisle although the commission does not recommend specific firms or individuals.
The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act is a state law that governs alterations such as filling, excavating, removing trees and other vegetation, erecting structures, paving, septic systems, landscaping, pool installation within 100 feet (Buffer Zone) of a wetland resource area or 200 feet of a perennial stream without a permit from the Conservation Commission. Typical examples of activities that are regulated, if they are to occur within resource areas or their 100-foot buffer zones, include but are not limited to: depositing fill, excavating, removing vegetation including trees, changing water levels, discharging storm water, polluting, placing structures, and utilizing chemicals. There are certain limited exemptions that apply to commercial agriculture, forestry, and utility maintenance.
The first step is to contact the Carlisle Conservation Commission office. The administrator will advise you of the Act’s and the Carlisle Wetland Bylaw requirements and other related regulations, and provide guidance as to the most appropriate process to follow.
There are two common processes available to project applicants: the Request for Determination of Applicability (RDA) and the Notice of Intent (NOI). The RDA is the simpler procedure. It is used to obtain a finding as to whether areas subject to protection are present or if the work involved is significant enough to warrant a full permit application.
The NOI is the full permit application process and is used to evaluate whether and under what conditions the proposed work will comply with the performance standards of the Act’s regulations. Some work may be denied, but more commonly the project is modified during the public hearing process. Specific conditions are placed on the project if needed to ensure compliance with the requirements of the Act and the wetland bylaw. For both the RDA and the NOI a legal notice is published in the local newspaper at the applicant’s expense and the applicant is required to notify abutters. In most cases, the public meeting or hearing to review the application is completed in one session, but it is not uncommon, especially for larger projects, for the public meeting or hearing to be continued. Once the Commission has determined that sufficient information has been submitted, the public hearing is closed. In the case of the RDA, the commission will determine if a NOI will be required. In the case of the NOI the commission has 21 days after the close of the hearing in which to issue the full permit, called an Order of Conditions. A 10 business-day appeal period applies after the order or the determination is issued.
Under the Act and the bylaw, the property owner is ultimately responsible for any violations of the law and regulations. Violations occur when a person fails to obtain a permit from the Commission or fails to comply with the conditions of a permit. A violation will trigger a communication from the commission. Depending on the nature of the violation, it will informally request compliance or issue a formal Enforcement Order. Violations are punishable by a maximum fine of $25,000 and/or not more than two years of imprisonment. In addition, the property owner is usually required to restore altered resource areas and buffer zones to their original condition. This requirement can be costly and time consuming. It is always less costly to communicate with the commission before undertaking work and obtain the necessary permit rather than to violate the Act.
In addition to the state Wetlands Protection Act, there are other related federal, state and local laws that may affect an activity in or near a wetland. These include the Town of Carlisle Wetland/Flood Hazard district, Sections 401 and 404 of the Federal Clean Water Act, and the Massachusetts Endangered Species Act. The commission does not administer or enforce these laws, but coordinates with other agencies.
Contact the Conservation Commission office for guidance as to whether a protected resource area is located on a specific property and/or whether an activity is subject to regulation. The text of the Wetlands Protection Act, the regulations and application forms can be viewed on the DEP’s website, shown below. They may also be viewed in the Carlisle Conservation Commission office along with the Carlisle Non-zoning Wetland Bylaw. The State House Bookstore in Boston and the Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions in Belmont are also sources for the state law, regulations and forms.
Northeast Region, Wetlands Division205B Lowell StreetWilmington, MA 01887
Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Website
Applicants must contact the Carlisle Conservation Commission office for policies and procedures regarding deep hole and percolation tests as well as filing requirements and fees.
Landowners who wish to protect their land permanently without giving up ownership may choose to place a Conservation Restriction on their property. A Conservation Restriction, or CR for short, is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner (the “Grantor”) and a qualified conservation organization, such as the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, The Trustees of Reservations, or Sudbury Valley Trustees, or a government entity, such as the Town of Carlisle (the “Grantee”).
Under the terms of a CR, the Grantor relinquishes certain development rights to the property forever, and gives the Grantee the right and responsibility to monitor the property and defend the terms of the CR. (In most other states, the CR is known as a “Conservation Easement.”) Under the CR, the land may be sold, bequeathed, or given to any party the owner chooses. The CR goes on record at the Registry of Deeds and becomes a permanent part of the property’s title, binding all future owners of the land. The public has no right to use the property unless the right is specifically granted in the CR.
The owner of any property “owns” certain rights to use and enjoy the property. The owner may also give up some of those rights, either temporarily (e.g., if you rent out your house for a year, you give up the right to occupy and use it) or permanently (e.g., if you grant an easement to the electric company to run its lines through your land). Those rights don’t just disappear; they are transferred to someone else. In a CR, the landowner gives up specific development rights. Those rights must be held by someone — known as the “Grantee” or “holder.” Under Massachusetts law, grantees must be either a municipality or a qualified conservation organization.
A CR cannot be removed. It is intended specifically to protect the land in perpetuity, and extends to all subsequent owners of the property.
Landowners typically put CRs on their land for two reasons. First: they wish to see the land protected over time, and second: they would like to benefit from the tax advantages associated with CRs. When land is being passed on from one generation to another, estate taxes can occasionally force the sale of the land in order to satisfy the tax burden. A CR can provide substantial estate tax relief, allowing the family to avoid selling the land.
Landowners who donate CRs are often eligible for federal and state income tax deductions and tax credits. The amount of the charitable contribution is determined by a professional appraiser hired by the donor, and is calculated as the amount by which the CR has lowered the fair market value of the property. All or a portion of this contribution, up to 50% of Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) each year, may be deducted from federal taxable income over 15 years. For more information on federal tax benefits, see the Land Trust Alliance web page on Income Tax Incentives for Land Conservation.
In addition, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts offers a Conservation Land Tax Credit of 50% of the charitable contribution, up to $50,000, with any amount larger than the donor’s Massachusetts income tax paid in cash. CR gifts may provide estate and property tax benefits as well. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the U.S. Government encourage CRs where there is a clear public benefit to protecting the specific parcel.
Although public access is often the simplest way for the Grantor to demonstrate a clear public benefit, the public has no right to access or use the property unless that right is specifically granted in the CR. Each CR is very detailed in this regard. CRs granted to protect a trail obviously allow access, but may restrict such access to foot traffic only — walking, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing. Others may also permit horseback riding and cycling. CRs protecting rare plants or sensitive wildlife habitat may prohibit all public access.
That depends on the Grantee of the CR. If it is the Town of Carlisle, you should contact Sylvia Willard, the Carlisle Conservation Commission Administrator, at (978) 369-0336, or visit her at the Town Hall. She can also provide a copy of the CR that impacts your property. If the Grantee is a conservation organization, you should contact them at the “Notice” address found in the CR. You can also obtain a copy of your CR online from the Middlesex North Registry of Deeds.
They are very common. In Massachusetts, 2,024 CRs were established between 2001 and 2015, protecting 305,111 acres of land. They are now used to protect all types of land, including coastlines; farm and ranch land; historical or cultural landscapes; scenic views; streams and rivers; trails; forested land; open space; meadows; wetlands; wildlife areas; and working forests. Here in Carlisle, there are more than 50 CRs protecting nearly a thousand acres.
It’s best to start by calling Sylvia Willard at the Carlisle Conservation Commission for basic information about CRs. Conservation organizations that hold CRs in Carlisle may also provide assistance. These include the Carlisle Conservation Foundation, the New England Forestry Foundation, and The Trustees of Reservations. Online resources can be found at the Land Trust Alliance and at the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Division of Conservation Services.
CRAC will be happy to meet with any Carlisle landowner, and help them understand the legal steps necessary to draft the CR and have it approved by the Town boards and State Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EOEEA) and finally get it recorded at the Registry of Deeds.
CRAC is the Carlisle Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee. The committee was established by the Conservation Commission to assist landowners in understanding and protecting their CRs and is responsible for monitoring all CRs which have been granted to the Town of Carlisle. The committee also advises the Conservation Commission in matters pertaining to CRs. Members are appointed by the Selectmen.
Periodically, the committee visits each of the Town-held CR properties to make sure that the terms of the CR are being respected. The committee notifies the landowner before these visits and sends the owner a copy of its report after the visit. These inspections also serve the purpose of making new landowners with CRs on their recently purchased property aware of their responsibilities concerning the terms of the CR.
For transportation to medical appointments, shopping or errands, contact our COA Transportation Line at 978-371-6690 or email firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact us 48 hours in advance.
The COA is very appreciative to all those who volunteer their time in supporting our many activities and events. Check out our Volunteer Application and Volunteer Manual or call the COA office for more information at 978-371-2895.
The Council on Aging is a human services department within the Town of Carlisle with a volunteer Board of Directors who are appointed by the Carlisle Board of Selectmen. Established under MGL, Chapter 40, Section 8B, Councils on Aging plan and implement programs designated to meet concerns of the aging in coordination with programs of the Massachusetts Department of Elder Affairs.
Along with the policy direction, advice and support of the Council on Aging Board of Directors, the COA implements a multitude of programs for the benefit of Carlisle seniors and other residents to provide for social interaction, physical exercise and intellectual and cultural stimulation. The COA also coordinates with area organizations such as Minuteman Senior Services to improve health and safety through direct outreach and education.
The purpose of the Carlisle Cultural Council (CCC) is to promote the arts, music, history, culture and the humanities. Our goal is to serve our community by supporting and producing both participatory and audience-based cultural and arts activities which benefit local residents.
The Carlisle Cultural Council is currently a 9-member appointed group of Carlisle residents who support local cultural initiatives and vote on local grant applications.
The CCC supports local cultural initiatives through a grant award process established by the Massachusetts Cultural Council that provides funds to deserving organizations and individuals to offer a variety of cultural experiences to the residents of Carlisle. The Council also produces its own programs.
The Carlisle Cultural Council meets at least once per month. Meetings are posted on the Town Calendar and Agendas are linked to the calendar and posted in the Agenda and Meetings Center in compliance with Open Meeting Law. Currently conducted via web meeting technology. Check the Town meetings and events calendar for meeting dates and times.
Per the State of Massachusetts, each local council consists of at least five but no more than 22 members appointed by the top appointing official in the community.
The term of membership for a council member is three years; members can serve a maximum of two consecutive terms, or a total of six years, unless appointing authority removes a member before the expiration of a term as provided in 962 CML 2.10. Members must remain off the council for a one-year interval before serving additional terms.
To preserve continuity of operations, the terms of individual council members should be staggered (that is, there should never be 100 percent turnover of members in a single year, unless the MCCdetermines otherwise, as provided in 962 CMR 2.10). Local councils may also elect to designate former officers or members as non-voting, ex officio council members.
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As a convenience, Fire Department permit applications are available during normal business hours (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.) Monday through Friday at the Carlisle Town Hall, 66 Westford Street in the Building Commissioners office on second floor. Applications may be completed there and left along with the inspection and permit fee in the fire department mailbox.
Applications are picked up early morning the next day. Applicants will be contacted by the department (usually within 3 business days but no later than 5 business days) to make an appointment for an inspection. Please note that applications left on Friday are not picked up until Monday morning.
Please note that the Fire Department has no staff at Town Hall or the Fire Station on a regular basis, therefore all questions regarding fire prevention laws, regulations as well as inspections and permits must be directed to the Fire Department Fire Prevention Office by voice mail at 978-287-0072, ext. 339 or by email.
Applications must be filed and the appropriate fee paid before any inspections are made. See How to File an Application.
In order to obtain a permit to burn during open burning season (January 15th through May 1st each year), Carlisle homeowners must be registered with the Fire Department. Homeowners must go to the communications center (Police Station) located at 41 Lowell Street in Carlisle in person. This can be done at any time and no appointment is necessary. There is no fee. Once registered homeowners must still call the Fire Department (978-369-2242) each and every day burning is planned after 8:30 a.m. Open burning may be suspended by the Fire Chief at any time.
Open burning in Massachusetts is not allowed. The only exception is during open burning season, January 15 through May 1st of each year, by permit only. It must be on the permit holder's property.
Outdoor Cooking Fires are allowed for persons over the age of eighteen. Anyone wishing to have a cooking fire should notify the dispatcher in advance if it will be producing smoke, 978-369-1442 (there is no written permit). All cooking fires should be at least 25 feet from any building, and the fire should be enclosed within rocks, metal, or noncombustible material. A constructed fire pit should be a maximum of 3 feet in diameter and a maximum of 2 feet high. The requester must be in attendance until the fire is extinguished. This person shall have a garden hose connected to a water supply or other fire extinguishing equipment readily available for use. This fire should not be used for the disposal of rubbish, trash, or waste materials.
The department no longer makes fire department patches available for collectors. There is an image available of our patch on our website.
Homeowners who receive questions from their insurance companies regarding the Fire Department and nearest water supply may refer these questions to the Chief at 978-369-2888 or by email. The Department will contact your insurance company to assist in answering any questions.
Carlisle is an on call fire department. Members respond to the station when paged. You must be within 7 minutes of the station to respond to calls. Members are part time town employees.
We need on-call EMTs and on-call firefighters. Contact email@example.com if you are interested.
You may refer to the list of properties within the district and the map of the district provided on this website, contact the Commission (through its Secretary or the Chair of the Commission), or view Historical District maps at Town Hall.
The activities within the jurisdiction of the Commission include without limitation the alteration (such as rebuilding, reconstruction, restoration, removal, or demolition) or construction (such as building, erection, installation, enlargement, or moving) of any building or structure within the Historic District which in anyway that affects an exterior architectural feature of the building or structure. Hardscape changes to the lot are subject to Commission approval. Interior fixtures and features visible from a public way are also within Commission jurisdiction.
Certificate of Appropriateness, Certificate of Non-Applicability, and Certificate of Hardship. For more specifics please see MGL, Chapter 40C, Section 10.
A Certificate of Appropriateness is issued if the Commission determines that the construction or alteration in an application will be appropriate for or compatible with the preservation or protection of the historic district.
A Certificate of Non-Applicability is issued if the Commission determines that the construction or alteration in an application does not involve any exterior architectural feature or interior fixtures andfeatures visible from a public way.
A Certificate of Hardship is issued if the Commission determines that failure to approve an application will involve a substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the applicant and that the application may be approved without substantial detriment to the public welfare and without substantial derogation from the intent and purposes of MGL, Ch 40C.
No application need be made for routine maintenance that does not involve a change in design, color, or material. Modifications that will not be permanent (fewer than 30 days), such as a sign giving notice of a special event, or the flying of a flag during a holiday celebration, are exempt from Commission jurisdiction. No application need be made to change a paint color to white, to repaint using the same color, or to replace an existing mailbox in the same location with a USPS standard mailbox, unpainted or painted black and supported by an unpainted wooden post. However, it is advisable to inform the Commission of any upcoming “like for like” work that will take place on your property.
Inquiries concerning whether an activity is within the Commission’s jurisdiction should be directed to the Chair of the Commission or via the Commission’s Administrative Assistant. If in doubt about applicability, parties are encouraged to file an application for a Certificate of Non-Applicability.
The Commission does not require unnecessary involvement of professional architects or engineers; however, submissions should be presented with sufficient clarity, accuracy and detail (size, dimensions) to permit the Commission to judge the effect that the proposed activity would have on the building or structure at issue and on the Historic District as a whole.
If you're like most Bay Staters, you'll spend a lot of your time each spring preparing your lawn and garden for the warm months ahead. A big part of your job will be cleaning up tree limbs, brush and other remnants of winter storms, and figuring out what to do with all that debris.Burning might be the first thing that comes to your mind. While it is still allowed in most Massachusetts towns and cities, open burning has its distinct disadvantages. The combustion process releases large amounts of carbon dioxide, other gases and solid substances directly into the air we breathe. And, disposal of materials is never as good for the environment as using them again in a different form. Natural debris can be chipped or composted into landscaping material.Still, there are times when open burning is the best or only option. Even then, there are limits on what can be burned and when, as well as important public health and safety requirements.
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) and the Carlisle Fire Department limit open burning for public health and safety reasons. Open burning pollutes the air and can make it difficult for people with respiratory problems to breathe. When the air is stagnant, open burning can pose smoke and odor nuisances, and health risks to nearby residents, particularly in densely populated areas. Open burning can also pose a safety risk when it is not adequately controlled. The limits on open burning do not apply to outdoor cooking.
You may burn, with limits:
You may not burn:
In most of the state's towns and cities, homeowners are allowed to burn debris between January 15 and May 1, so long as the open burning takes place:with the permission of the local fire department;between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.;when the air is circulating well but winds are light;no less than 75 feet away from all dwellings; andon your own property and as close as possible to the source of material(s) to be burned.Landowners are required to register with the fire department before burning anything. Registrations may only be made in person at the communications center, 41 Lowell Road, Carlisle. A copy of the open burning rules are given to the landowner at the time of registration. You must then call (978-369-1442) on each day you plan to burn to obtain permission. Permits may be obtained starting at 8:00 AM but will not be issued after 2:00 PM. Burning may only take place between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM in accordance with State regulations. All fires must be completely extinguished fully before 4:00 PM. Completely extinguished means to put out so that the fire emits no smoke, heat or flames.Outdoor cooking is allowed year-round in all communities and is not subject to open burning limits. With specific approval from DEP, local fire departments may also stage outdoor fires for purposes of fire prevention research and training.
There are no circumstances under which it is legal to burn grass, hay, leaves, stumps or tires. They simply do not burn as "cleanly" as those materials that may legally be burned. All of them produce acrid smoke that causes nuisance conditions and threatens people's health. When tires are burned, they produce noxious gases and petroleum residue, both of which can be harmful to people and the environment. In addition, the burning of brush, cane, driftwood and forestry debris from commercial or industrial land clearing is prohibited statewide.
First things first:Contact Carlisle Fire Department at 978-369-1442 to register obtain an open burning permit.Starting the fire:Remove all grass from the area where you will be burning.Start with a small pile and then add to it. Do not make a very large pile of brush several feet in diameter and height. This type of brush pile can be very intense and also has the potential to emit some very hot embers that can travel through the air and cause a fire some distance away.Try to start the fire with natural "kindling" - never with gasoline or charcoal lighter fluid. If you must use an artificial helper, kerosene is probably safest.While burning:Never add brush that is green or wet. It will reduce the efficiency of the fire and produce thick smoke.Someone must attend the fire until it's completely out. You will need a hose or other supply of water and a shovel or rake for controlling the fire.Putting the fire out:Burn the fire down to the coals, drown them with water, spread them out, and then drown them again.
Additional rules include;
The Planning Board generally meets the second Monday of every month, with additional meetings scheduled as circumstances warrant.
The subdivision of land in Carlisle is controlled by the Planning Board’s Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land. You should contact the Planning Office at 978-369-9702 for guidance on how to proceed with your proposed subdivision. The Board strongly recommends that you discuss a conceptual plan with them prior to filing any application.
Any land owner who wishes to record at the Registry of Deeds or file in Land Court a change to the lot lines of their land, a combining of lots, or a division of their land into smaller lot(s), but does not intend to create any new roadways to provide additional frontage, may file with the Planning Board an application and plan for a "(Subdivision) Approval Not Required (PDF).”This process is governed by the Planning Board’s ANR Regulations.
A special permit is a form of zoning that allows construction and/or uses on a particular property that are not allowed in general for other properties in the same zoning district. It normally creates a permanent change, and requires a public hearing that requires notice to owners of abutting properties and in the local newspaper. The Planning Board is the special permit granting authority in most instances where new construction is required; the Zoning Board of Appeals generally grants special permits for specific uses in existing property, except for accessory apartments, which are the responsibility of the Planning Board. Special permits are not a waiver of or variance from zoning requirements. All potential uses allowed by special permit are defined in the Town’s Zoning Bylaws, but the issuance of a special permit is discretionary on the part of the granting board, who may place conditions on its approval or deny it.
Special Permit Application (PDF)
Site plan approval involves a review by the Planning Board of an applicant’s plans and characteristics of the property where the use is proposed, and also involves a public hearing, similar to that of a special permit. However, while the Board may impose conditions on the site, it does not have the discretion to deny a site plan approval application, since where site plan review is specified in theZoning Bylaws, it is solely for uses that are allowed “by right.” These are all uses other than single family residences, with a few exceptions. See Section 7.6 of the Zoning Bylaws and the Planning Board’s Rules and Regulations.
Accessory Apartments require a special permit through the Planning Board and are governed by the Board’s Rules and Regulations for Accessory Apartments. These Regulations detail the size limitations and other requirements for the accessory apartment.
The main roads and most local roads in subdivisions in Carlisle are public ways. If your house is on a common driveway, whether or not it has a street name, you are on a private way. Please contact the Planning Board office for more specific information.
The list of “Scenic Roads,” as designated by Town Meeting, is in Article XII of the Town’s General Bylaws. By state law, trees and stone walls within the right-of-way of a scenic road are protected from being cut down or destroyed unless the Planning Board, after a public hearing, gives its written consent to do so. This applies to actions of private individuals, utilities and the Town itself. It does not apply to trees or walls that are on private property. Typically, stone walls form the boundary between the right-of-way and private lots, and these walls, or trees similarly situated, are protected. See the Planning Board’s Rules and Regulations for Scenic Roads for more information.
The Zoning Map depicts Residence A and B Districts, with the Residence A District containing all properties within 1500 feet from the Town Center monument.
Required setbacks in Residence District A (minimum lot area 1 acre) are:
Required setbacks in Residence District B are:
It is possible to put a wireless facility on your property. Wireless facilities require an application for a special permit from the Planning Board. The Board’s Rules and Regulations for Special Permits and Site Plan Approval for Personal Wireless Service Facilities details the types of facilities allowed and the application process.
Certain types of small facilities are currently allowed “by right.” Please contact the Building Department and speak with the Building Commissioner. The Town of Carlisle is in the process of amending its Zoning Bylaws to allow for additional types and larger solar facilities, which will require a special permit and/or site plan approval.
Non-residential use of a home is allowed “by-right” as an accessory use as long as it is either agricultural in nature or a professional or customary home occupation, and does not employ more than three non-residents. Other non-residential uses, as defined in Sections 3.2.2, 3.2.3 and 3.2.4 of the Zoning Bylaws, are subject to special permit review by the Zoning Board of Appeals. For other questions about non-residential use, please consult the Building Department.
Yes! Click here for more recycling information (PDF)
Car Seat Safety Facts (PDF)
If the school is closed, the program is cancelled. A make-up date will be scheduled at a later date.
Find voter requirements and instructions for voter registration on the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website.
View a listing of these officials on our State and Federal Elected Officials page.
Learn more by visiting the State Public Records Division website.
Observers are allowed in a designated space, behind a guard rail, at least six feet from voters, poll workers, and marking shelves.
However, any engagement, disruption, or intimidation of voters is illegal. Observers shall only observe quietly from behind the guard rail. If observers are deemed in any way disruptive by Election Officials, they will be asked to leave the polling location. The Town Clerk may ask for the assistance of law enforcement if desired.
For more detailed information, see the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Advisory on the subject: https://www.mass.gov/news/ag-healey-issues-advisory-on-poll-monitoring-and-voter-intimidation
Or view Chapter 54 of Massachusetts General Law: https://malegislature.gov/laws/generallaws/parti/titleviii/chapter54; Sections 25 and 69 in particular.
Voters who wish to run for an open seat in the Annual Town Election can appear on the ballot by nomination through Nomination Papers or at the Annual Caucus.
Only two candidates for each open seat may be nominated at the Caucus. If there are more than two voters who wish to be the candidate for a seat, a vote will be taken and those nominees with the most votes will appear on the ballot.
The more assured way of appearing on the ballot is to submit Nomination Papers. You must collect at least twenty-five (25) ink signatures of registered voters in Carlisle. Electronic signatures or stamps are not valid signatures. The signature must belong to a valid registered voter in Carlisle.
If interested in running in a statewide election or primary, visit the website of the Secretary of the Commonwealth Elections Division (state.ma.us) and look under "Getting on the Ballot" or follow this link Candidates-Guide-generic.pdf (state.ma.us) to the Secretary's Candidate Guide.
Yes, of course. If they can be reasonably quiet and well behaved, they may sit with you in the main auditorium. We particularly welcome middle and high school students who may be interested in witnessing democratic government in action. For those with smaller children, the Town typically sets up the school cafeteria with an audio and video feed and microphone, so that you can participate fully while your kids play in the corner. The Moderator appoints an Assistant Moderator to oversee this room. If you have further questions, you may contact the Town Clerk.
Carlisle welcomes the participation of all citizens at Town Meeting. We will do our best to help. If possible, please contact the Town Clerk in advance to discuss any special needs, such as access or audio enhancement. Notice in advance of the meeting increases the likelihood of satisfactory accommodations.
The agenda for the meeting is established in the Warrant, published beforehand. Each specific item in the Warrant is described in an “article.” As each article is taken up, the Moderator will ask someone to make a motion, which is a more precise statement of the action to be taken by Town Meeting.
Simple amendments to a motion that change only a few words or numbers can be moved verbally. All other amendments must be presented to the Moderator in writing. All amendments must be “within the scope” of the article under consideration, i.e., broadly consistent with the issue as described in the article.
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
For trees down on trails, or other problems, send an email to email@example.com. Please include the location, as precisely as possible, and describe the nature of the problem - for example, the size of the tree. Including one or two photos may be helpful.
We generally hold trail work days in the spring and fall, where volunteer help is appreciated. Check the calendar for upcoming events, or contact the Trails Committee at Carlisletrails@comcast.net.
Please plan ahead; it is difficult to arrange volunteer trail work at short notice.
It is fine to do minor maintenance work such as trimming small branches across trails, providing the trail is on public land. For more extensive work, please check with the Committee first, by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or consider adopting a trail. Contact the Trails Committee at Carlisletrails@comcast.net to find out how, or read through our "Trails Maintenance Guidelines".
We are installing new marker signs at significant trail intersections, each designated by its own unique number, which will be included on the maps in the next edition of the “Trails in Carlisle” book. The paintings are by members of the Carlisle School Art Club. The project will take several years to complete, but signs are already in place at Towle Land, Town Forest and Davis Corridor. Maps showing the sign locations can be downloaded HERE
The book can be purchased from the Conservation Commission at Town Hall, or at Ferns Country Store. For more information, visit the Trails Book page.
Hike all of the trails on Carlisle, and submit a record of your hikes. For more information, go to the Trekker Award page.
Join us for a trail work day; check the calendar for upcoming events.
Buy a trail book, enjoy the trails and tell your friends!
Please contact our office (978-369-5557). A staff member will access your tax payment history, and will assist you.
Please contact our office (978-369-5557). A staff member will access your tax payment history and will assist you.
M.G.L. Chapter 60; Sections 3 & 16 states that failure to receive a bill shall not invalidate a tax or any procedures for collection enforcement.
Instructions on the excise bill explains the procedure. Any abatement would be processed by the Assessor's Office.
Upon receipt of the deed from either the owner or Registry of Deeds and after the next January 1st assessment period begins (Bills due the following August 1st), the bill will be issued in the new owner’s name.
If you need to change the mailing address of your tax bill, please fill out a Change of Address Form and submit it to the Assessor's Office.
Any property owner who is concerned that they did not receive a bill (See FAQ #3) is encouraged to contact the Tax Collectors Office at 978-369-5557.
Yes. Simply click on the Online Bill Payment link and follow the instructions. Please note that the bank assesses a processing fee per transaction; The Town does not receive the fee. The fee schedule can be found on the main page of the online bill payment site.
The online payment is only available up to the original due date of the tax and partial payments are not allowed. Thereafter, please contact the Office for additional interest charges and instructions on where to mail your payment.
CPA stands for Community Preservation Act. The money collected from the tax bill surcharge goes into a Community Preservation Fund and is used for open space protection, historic preservation, affordable housing and outdoor recreation. Carlisle voted to adopt provisions of the Massachusetts General Law regarding CPA at Town Meeting in 2001, setting a 2% surcharge and a $100,000 property value exemption.
For more information, please visit the Town's Community Preservation Committee page.
Low income persons or low to moderate income seniors may be eligible for a CPA exemption. Please contact the Town Assessor for more information.
The issuance and collection of bills for ambulance service provided by the Carlisle Fire Department is managed by:
PO Box 410326
Cambridge, MA 02141
If you have questions concerning an ambulance bill, please call ProEMS at 617-682-1829.
Yes, in order for your child to attend FNL they must be registered. Registration is free and easy. Registration allows us to check the children in and keep track of those in attendance in the case of a medical emergency or fire. Here is the registration link:http://carlisle.org.assn.la/Registration/Default.asp?n=62793&org=carlisle.org&cat=Youth+Commission
It is free to register, but we do request an $8.00 donation at the door at each FNL event which helps to defray the cost of the DJ, janitor and our program coordinator.
All Carlisle children in Middle School Grades 6–8, regardless of where they attend school (Carlisle, Private or Home-Schooled).
Carlisle students that are registered for FNL may bring one guest (who is also in Grades 6–8) but we ask that the parent of the child bringing the guest sign up to chaperone that same night and ask that they be responsible for the guest. The guest does not have to live in Carlisle.
We sell pizza by the slice, chips, pretzels, popcorn, fruit gummies, rice crispy treats, granola bars, etc. We try our best to keep everything “nut-free”. We also sell soda and seltzer. We also have self-serve water–which is free.
The D.J.s play age appropriate popular music. The D.J.s are happy to take requests. They are not allowed to play music with explicit or inappropriate lyrics.
Yes, once per year, usually in January, the Carlisle Youth Commission sponsors a dodgeball tournament. Sometimes this happens instead of the monthly FNL, sometimes we do both in the same month. The dodgeball tournament is open to 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th grade Carlisle students (regardless of where they attend school). Fifth graders are required to register in advance of participating in the tournament. Prizes are awarded to the winning teams and for the best team name or costume.
We ask that you volunteer to chaperone FNL once during the year. To sign up please use the FNL sign up genius www.SignUpGenius.com/go/4090D45A4A622A64-201617
If a conflict arises with the date you originally committed to, we ask that you try to find someone to take your place, and ask them to add their name to the Sign Up Genius and ask that your remove your name and sign up for an alternative date. If you are not able to find a replacement, please let us know as soon as possible.