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Family Suite Guidelines
IF A RESIDENCE HAS AN ILLEGAL UNIT THERE ARE TWO OPTIONS.  (1) REMOVE IT OR (2) MAKE IT LEGAL.  PLEASE SEE THE LINK BELOW FOR INSTRUCTIONS ON BOTH OPTIONS


DEFINITION of FAMILY SUITE

An accessory dwelling unit located within a single family dwelling subordinate in size to the principle unit and separated from it in a manner that maintains the appearance of a single family dwelling.  The family suite may only be occupied by brothers, sisters, maternal parents and grandparents, paternal parents and grandparents, in-laws and or children of the residing owners of the principle dwelling unit.



3400.  FAMILY SUITE (From The Tewksbury Zoning Bylaw)

3410. Family Suite. A family suite is allowed as an accessory use, attached to a single family dwelling in R40, R80, FA, TR and LB zones including Cluster Developments, in accordance with the below listed (1-11) requirements. Except as noted; these requirements are not subject to relief through a variance.

(1)     The Family Suite shall not contain more than 800 square feet of floor area by right. The maximum floor area of a Family Suite may be enlarged, however, to a maximum floor area not to exceed 1,000 square feet upon the issuance of a Special Permit by the Planning Board. Common entries and open decks shall not be included in the square footage calculation of the Family Suite.

(2)     A Family Suite shall not contain more than one (1) bedroom; unless a Special Permit for a second bedroom is issued by the Planning Board, prior to occupancy. In no case shall a Family Suite have more than two (2) bedrooms.

(3)     The family suite shall be contiguous with the single family dwelling with direct access or connected with a common closed entry.

(4)     The family suite shall not have its own front door, however, may have a side or rear exit with an open deck and egress.

(5)     Any structural addition of a family suite must meet all front, side and rear setbacks and lot coverage requirements for the zone unless variances are granted by the Tewksbury Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with MGL § 40A.

(6)     There are no more than three (3) related persons occupying the family suite.

(7)     A minimum of one additional off-street parking space shall be provided, however, a separate driveway is not permitted.

(8)     Annual Certification by notarized affidavit shall be provided to the Building Commissioner that the owner of the property, except for bona fide temporary absence shall occupy one of the two dwelling units.

(9)     The Family Suite shall be subject to review and approval by the Board of Health as to sanitary wastewater disposal in full conformance with the provisions of 310 CMR 15.00 (Title V of the State Environmental Code).  The family suite shall be required to hook-up to town sewer if available and, if not, as soon as town sewer is available.

(10)    Only one Family Suite may be constructed onto any dwelling.

(11)    Subordination Agreements (as required) and Restriction Agreements shall be completed by the applicant, submitted to the Building Commissioner, then approved and recorded at the North Middlesex Registry of Deeds by Town Counsel.

(12)    Notwithstanding anything else contained herein to the contrary, nothing herein shall be construed as to require a family suite to be under its own roof.

(13)    Notwithstanding anything else contained in the Zoning By-Law to the contrary, if the owner, or a child of the owner, is disabled and requires assistance with Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s) then the other dwelling unit may be occupied by a Personal Care Attendant (P.C.A.) who need not be related to the owner In such case, a letter from a licensed physician, verifying the disability and the need for assistance with ADL’s is to be submitted to the Building Commissioner



FURTHER REQUIREMENTS

1.)  A Building Permit Application to be completely filled out by owner or owner's agent.

2.)  A certified plot plan shall be submitted showing all buildings existing and proposed with all measurements, setbacks and driveways.

3.)  Three (3) complete sets of drawings shall be submitted and approved first by the Fire Department.

4.)  IF APPLICABLE, approval form the Board of Health on the septic system.

5.)  Two documents, one marked Restriction and the other marked Subordination Agreement shall be made out by your attorney (typed or written legibly) and returned to the Building Department.  The Tewksbury Town Counsel shall review the information thereon and if correct, will record same in the Registry of Deeds.  NO BUILDING PERMIT SHALL BE ISSUED UNTIL THIS IS COMPLETED.

6.)  A CHECK FOR $500.00 MADE PAYABLE TO THE TOWN OF TEWKSBURY IS DUE FOR THE FILING FEE, ALONG WITH THE CHECK FOR THE BUILDING PERMIT, AT THE TIME THE PERMIT IS ISSUED.




The following pages contain information regarding the restriction agreements and subordination agreements that must be included in your “FAMILY SUITE’ package. These sample documents are available through E-mail them to you.
 

ATTENTION APPLICANTS FOR FAMILY SUITE PERMIT


The enclosed restriction document and subordination agreement are forms that must be completed prior to a building permit being issued to construct a family suite.  The forms are SAMPLE legal documents, which may have to be modified for your individual use.  The documents will be recorded at the Registry of Deeds and affect your legal rights.  We strongly urge you to obtain independent legal counsel to obtain the information and prepare the forms, to assure that the proper information is obtained and provided.  Incomplete or incorrect information (names/dates, etc.) will cause forms to be returned and the process will extend the time and cost.  Please do not expect Building Department personnel, or Town Counsel, to help you complete these forms.

The forms must be typed and should not contain cross outs or arrows.   The names of individuals and/or banks or other financial institutions should remain consistent on the forms.
 



 
Return the completed forms to the Building Department, we will forward them to Town Counsel for review and HE will record the documents at the Registry of Deeds.  Please allow at least two weeks for this process.

A Subordination Agreement must be executed for all outstanding mortgages on the property.  If a mortgage has been paid, a discharge for the mortgage must be recorded at the Registry of Deeds.

Applications submitted by realty trusts or other entities, must contain written representations signed by all of the trustees of the realty trust, stating that all trustees of the realty trust reside on the subject premises and that the realty trust is established merely for ownership purposes and is not conducted as a business or has business purposes.

If your land is registered land, the Certificate of Title must be made available for the recording of the restriction and subordination agreement.

Subordination agreements should be submitted with a copy of the authorization which grants authority to the person signing the subordination agreements.  Also the mortgagee should provide the family suite applicant with the recording information (i.e. book/page) of the recorded authorization specifying authority to execute subordination agreements.

Any communication concerning family suite permits should be directed to the Building Department.


(Revised 12/15/09)