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Property must be Assessed to the record owner as of January 1st, transfers completed after January 1st will be mailed now to the new owner.
View Assessing Page
There are two types of personal property, secondary homeowners and business owners. Personal property is assessed and taxed by the Town where the property or business is situated on the January 1st assessment date as well as to the record owner of the property as of January 1.
Individuals are entitled to an exemption for household furniture and effects at their place of domicile. The tax is assessed upon non-real estate, tangible assets, such as; furniture & fixtures, machinery & equipment, goods and materials, and other chattels not part of real estate. Proof of residency: voter registration, driver's license, census, IRS Forms, etc.
Assessments are based on "Fair Market Value" using the comparative sales approach of sales as of January 1st, of each year.
The deadline for filing an application for abatement is the same as the payment due date for the actual bill. An application can found online.
View Abatement Information Page
Taxes support the School system, Public Safety, Police and Fire, Beaches, DPW, and General Government.
If you know what job you would like to apply for, you can apply online right now! If not, view the current employment opportunities.
All meeting agendas for Town Boards and Committees are posted here.
The person performing the marriage ceremony must complete and sign the original license (in black ink) and return it to the Town Clerk who issued the marriage license.
The clergyperson must obtain a Certificate of Authorization from the Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth prior to the ceremony. This certificate, which is issued by the Public Records Division of the Secretary of the Commonwealth, is to be returned to the clerk of the city or town where the license was issued.
View Non-Resident Clergy Information
Yes, it is possible for a non-minister or non-justice of the peace (such as a relative or family friend) to obtain special permission to perform a marriage from the Governor. Contact the Commissions Section at 617-727-2836.
View One-Day Solemnization Certificate Information
Notify the Social Security Administration and fill out the SS-5 form.
View SS-5 Social Security Administration Form (PDF)
The Commission holds public hearings twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesdays to review applications. Public Hearings start at 9 am, usually in the large meeting room located in the Town Annex building at 261 George Ryder Road.
The Commission holds Work Sessions at 3 pm. At these posted public meetings, the Commission votes on applications, drafts permits (Orders of Conditions), deals with violations, and conducts other business as necessary.
The Commission is a board of 7 volunteers who are citizens of the Town of Chatham and who are appointed by the Select Board for a three-year term.
The Commission's primary responsibility is to administer both local and state wetlands protection statutes (the Wetlands Protection Act, MGL Chapter 131, s. 40 and the Chatham Wetlands Protection Bylaw, Chapter 272). This means that the Commission reviews proposed projects to be undertaken in areas of its jurisdiction. The Commission's objective is to permit projects while protecting the natural resources and the public interests they provide.
The Commission is also responsible for overseeing several town-owned conservation lands.
Both freshwater and coastal wetlands are protected. In addition to the obvious wetlands such as marshes, ponds, bogs, etc., other areas considered wetland resource areas include coastal banks, inland banks, and land subject to coastal storm flowage (the 100-year flood plain). Additionally, the upland within 100 feet of any of these resource areas and the land within 200 feet of a river or perennial stream are protected.
Generally, any activity that would constitute altering, removing, filling, dredging, or building upon an area under the jurisdiction of the Commission as described above requires Conservation Commission approval. An application is to be filed with the Commission prior to undertaking the activity. For small projects, an "Administrative Review" may be all that is needed. Any questions about whether a proposed activity requires Commission review should be directed to the Conservation office. Please note that alteration includes the cutting of trees and/or vegetation.
A copy of Chapter 272, Chatham's Wetlands Protection Bylaw, and the regulations can be purchased for $10 and is available at the Town Annex, 261 George Ryder Road. It may also be downloaded at no charge from this website on the Conservation Division's webpage.
A complete application must be submitted by noon 15 days prior to a scheduled meeting.
The Board meets on Monday evenings at 4 pm at:Town Hall Annex261 George Ryder RoadLower Level Small Meeting RoomChatham, MA 02633
Meetings are generally held on the 2nd and 4th Monday of each month (unless posted otherwise, please confirm with the Health Department Secretary).
The Health Department has files on most properties in Chatham. Call the Health Department to see if one is available for your property. If we have the information, we will make copies for you to pick up.
The Chatham Board of Health's Interim Nitrogen Loading Regulation states that for any new construction or additions to an existing dwelling, one bedroom per 10,000 square feet of lot area is allowed. Repairs to existing Title 5 septic systems are allowed to be designed and installed only for the existing number of bedrooms on the property.
Pumping the septic system every two to three years is recommended for most properties under normal use.
The septic tank must be 10 feet away and the leaching area must be 20 feet away from a foundation wall. All components can be 10 feet away from a slab foundation or a frost wall (the leaching area must be at an elevation below the slab or footings of frost wall). An in-ground swimming pool is required to have the same setbacks as a full foundation.
In accordance with Chatham Board of Health regulations, Title 5 inspections are valid for 18 months. If the dwelling is a part of a condominium complex with greater than five units, then the condominium association is required to have all its septic systems inspected every three years. Therefore, these inspections are valid for three years. Town of Chatham regulations require the system to be inspected within sixty days of the sale, or a waiver must be received from the Health Department.
Certificates of compliance are accepted in lieu of Title 5 inspections for two years from the date the compliance was issued.
The system should not be pumped in the two weeks before the inspection. The tank may be pumped after the inspection is completed for maintenance purposes.
Cesspools are considered an automatic failure criterion for real estate transfers within the Town of Chatham. They must be upgraded to Title 5 as part of the transfer of the property.
Transfers between spouses are not required to have a Title 5 inspection completed. The introduction of new parties or beneficiaries to a trust, including any change in ownership or form of ownership is subject to the inspection and upgrade requirements of the real estate inspection regulation.
If the Bird appears to be recently deceased and is in good condition then call the Health Department for instructions.
All public beaches are tested weekly by the Town of Chatham Water Quality Laboratory during the summer season. Test results are posted at the Town Offices, Annex Permit Department, and on the Towns website.
The Health Department staff inspects all restaurants in Chatham at least twice a year.
The Health Department has a completer list of licensed septic installers; licensed septic pumpers and engineers available at the office.
The Health Department recommends that residents connected to a private well have their water tested annually. Testing options include private laboratories listed in the phone book or at the Barnstable County Laboratory. If you choose the latter option, you may pick up a water sample bottle at the Health Department office, and they will provide details on where to bring the sample once collected.
The Chatham Health Department sponsors flu shot clinics every fall and early winter. You may call the Health Department for details beginning in September. As information is available it will be posted in the local paper and Town website.
Some vaccines are supplied by the State Department of Public Health are available to town residents by calling the Visiting Nurse Association of Cape Cod at 508-957-7423.
Native, or indigenous plants, are plants that have evolved over thousands of years in a particular region. They have adapted to the geography, hydrology, and climate of that region. They occur in communities, meaning they have evolved together with other plants. As a result, a community of native plants provides habitat for a variety of native wildlife species.
Native plants provide a beautiful, hardy, drought-resistant, low maintenance landscape while benefiting the environment. Once established, they save time and money by eliminating or significantly reducing the need for fertilizers, pesticides, water, and maintenance.
An invasive plant is a term for a plant species that has been introduced into a local area from other parts of the country or another continent and has become an environmental weed pest. Characteristics of harmful invasive plant species include:
Invasive plants pose a long-term threat to biodiversity, ecosystem stability, and the balance of nature on which all species depend. They spread into natural areas where they crowd out native plants and the wildlife that depend on them. These weeds disrupt ecosystem patterns and processes, such as hydrology, natural plant succession, and soil erosion.
Invasive plants are difficult to control and can be a real nuisance in landscaped areas. Japanese Bamboo, for example, spreads aggressively both by seed and vegetatively and is extremely difficult to manage.
Invasive species can interfere with the enjoyment of public and private conservation lands. Their tall growth habitat and ability to decrease the diversity of wild areas by creating a monoculture (solid stands where nothing else can grow), can greatly diminish scenic views and vistas. Phragmites are just one example, commonly seen impeding the view of freshwater wetlands and salt marshes.
Harmful invasive plants have the potential to adversely alter the ecological balance of the Cape's sensitive and globally unique coastal plain ponds. Freshwater ponds are threatened by the invasion of exotic pondweeds. One such weed, hydrilla, has the potential to completely choke ponds, making it impossible for people to swim and fish. Therefore, invasive species have a negative impact, both on aesthetics and recreational activities.
Further introduction of invasive plants and a failure to manage invasive plant populations will result in the reduction of biological diversity. In addition, it will have adverse impacts on ponds and marshes by altering significant ecosystems and habitats. Ultimately, invasive plants pose a threat to fisheries, outdoor recreation, tourism, and the character of the Cape. See a list of invasive plant species for Massachusetts and Cape Cod.
The Planning Board meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of each month for regular business, and the first and third Tuesday of each month to discuss the comprehensive revision of the Protective (Zoning) Bylaw. The regular business meetings are held in the Town Annex starting at 7 pm. The Bylaw revision meetings are held at the Town Hall Meeting Room, also starting at 7 pm.
Planning Board Page
The regular business meeting agendas close at 4 pm on the Friday following the previous Tuesday night regular business meeting. The agenda is posted on the Town's website and advertised in the Cape Cod Chronicle.
A subdivision involves the division of land into two or more lots. An ANR plan is the division of land into lots with frontage on existing roads, whether those roads are public or private. Since the latter type does not create new roads, endorsement of an ANR plan by the Planning Board is a certification that Approval under the Subdivision Control Law is Not Required.
This would depend on the zoning district the property is located, and any environmental or physical impediments that may affect the development potential of any given site. That determination can be best made by a Registered Professional Land Surveyor. We cannot recommend a land surveyor but suggest you ask friends for their recommendations or look in the phone book for a list of surveying firms.
No use, other than single-family dwellings and their accessory structures, approved home occupations, agricultural and fishing uses, roadside stands, and those uses permitted in the Conservancy Districts as set forth in Section IV. A of the Zoning Bylaw shall be established, erected, enlarged, or changed except in conformity with a Site Plan approved by the Planning Board.
The Town Meeting votes on zoning articles, which must be approved by a two-thirds vote. Prior to the Town meeting, the Planning Board holds public hearings for the purpose of public comment. Once the amendment to the zoning bylaw is approved at Town Meeting, it becomes effective immediately.
All are available at the Town Hall Annex counter, for a fee. The Zoning Bylaw is also available on the Town’s website.
Planning Division Page
Contact the Building Department for applicable forms and requirements.
Building Department Staff Directory Page
View a current list of the Planning Board
The Building Commissioner who is also the Chief Zoning Officer.
Building Commissioner Staff Directory Page
Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances are a group of chemical compounds called PFAS. Two PFAS chemicals, perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) and perfluorooctanesulfonic acid (PFOS), were extensively produced and are the most studied and regulated of these chemicals. Several other PFAS that are similar to PFOS and PFOA exist. These PFAS are contained in some firefighting foams used to extinguish oil and gas fires. They have also been used in a number of industrial processes and to make carpets, clothing, fabrics for furniture, paper packaging for food and other materials (e.g., cookware) that are resistant to water, grease and stains. Because these chemicals have been used in many consumer products, most people have been exposed to them.
While consumer products and food are the largest source of exposure to these chemicals for most people,drinking water can be an additional source of exposure in communities where these chemicals havecontaminated water supplies. Such contamination is typically localized and associated with a specific facility,for example, an airfield at which they were used for firefighting or a facility where these chemicals wereproduced or used.
On October 2, 2020, MassDEP published its public drinking water standard or Massachusetts MaximumContaminant Limit (MMCL) of 20 nanograms per liter (ng/L) or parts per trillion (ppt) – for the sum of theconcentrations of six PFAS. The six PFAS are: perfluorooctane sulfonic acid (PFOS); perfluorooctanoic acid(PFOA); perfluorohexane sulfonic acid (PFHxS); perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA); perfluoroheptanoic acid(PFHpA); and perfluorodecanoic acid (PFDA). MassDEP abbreviates this set of six PFAS as “PFAS6.” Thisdrinking water standard is set to be protective against adverse health effects for all people consuming thewater.
For information on the PFAS6 drinking water standard see: 310 CMR 22.00: The MassachusettsDrinking Water Regulations. For more information about the technical details behind the MMCL, see MassDEP’s technical support document at: Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS): An Updated Subgroup Approach toGroundwater and Drinking Water Values.
The MassDEP drinking water standard is based on studies of the six PFAS substances in laboratory animals andstudies of exposed people. Overall, these studies indicate that exposure to sufficiently elevated levels of thesix PFAS compounds may cause developmental effects in fetuses during pregnancy and in breastfed infants.Effects on the thyroid, the liver, kidneys, hormone levels and the immune system have also been reported.Some studies suggest a cancer risk may exist following long-term exposures to elevated levels of some ofthese compounds.
It is important to note that consuming water with PFAS6 above the drinking water standard does not meanthat adverse effects will occur. The degree of risk depends on the level of the chemicals and the duration ofexposure. The drinking water standard assumes that individuals drink only contaminated water, whichtypically overestimates exposure, and that they are also exposed to PFAS6 from sources beyond drinkingwater, such as food. To enhance safety, several uncertainty factors are additionally applied to account fordifferences between test animals and humans, and to account for differences between people. Scientists arestill working to study and better understand the health risks posed by exposures to PFAS. If your water hasbeen found to have PFAS6 and you have specific health concerns, you may wish to consult with your doctor.
If you get your water from a public water system, you should contact them for this information. For a contactlist for all public water systems in the Commonwealth you may visit:
https://www.mass.gov/lists/drinking-water-health-safety#contacts then under “Contacts” click on “MA Public Water Supplier contacts sorted By Town.” For private well owners see the Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances (PFAS) in Private Well Drinking WaterSupplies FAQ for more information.