Collection Information

Creator : Town of Douglas, Massachusetts

Title : Town of Douglas ByLaws

Abstract : Collection includes Town of Douglas ByLaws, Zoning ByLaws, Sub-Division Laws, and Wetland Laws. Also includes memos regarding votes regarding these laws.

Dates : Bulk 1937 to 2010

Quantity : 11 Folders, 5 Digital Items

Repository : Simon Fairfield Public Library, Town of Douglas Municipal Records & Archive.

Finding Aid : Finding Aid in print form is available in the Repository.

Preferred Citation : [Box #, Item identification], Town of Douglas ByLaws, Simon Fairfield Public Library, Town of Douglas Municipal Records & Archive.

Provenance : Found in the Simon Fairfield Public Library Archival Cabinet in 2016. Current ByLaws were downloaded from the Town of Douglas Website on May 3, 2016. No further accession information is available.

Processing Information : This collection was processed by RLD Lavallee on May 3, 2016.

Administrative History

Douglas is an open town meeting form of government, and is governed by ByLaws. ByLaws are:

written rules for conduct of a corporation, association, partnership or any organization. Bylaws generally provide for meetings, elections of a board of directors and officers, filling vacancies, notices, types and duties of officers, committees, assessments and other routine conduct. Bylaws are, in effect a contract among members, and must be formally adopted and/or amended.1

These ByLaws are voted on at the town meetings.

The Town of Douglas General ByLaws govern the manner in which the town is run, including Town Meetings, Finance, Public Safety, Property, Animals Control, etc. These bylaws are based on Town Meeting Time: A Handbook of Parliamentary Law2. Copies of this work are currently in circulation at Simon Fairfield Public Library. As of 2016, Douglas is governed under General ByLaws that were adopted in 1974 and last updated in May, 2008.

The Town of Douglas Zoning ByLaws “…encourage the most appropriate used of land throughout the town, and to increase the amenities of the town…” in accordance with Massachusetts State Laws. The current (2016) Zoning ByLaws were adopted on October 25, 2004, and have gone through numerous amendments. The ByLaws were last amended on June 21, 2010.

The Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land is according to MGL Ch 41 §81M:

The subdivision control law has been enacted for the purpose of protecting the safety, convenience and welfare of the inhabitants of Douglas by regulating the laying out and construction of ways in subdivisions providing access to the several lots therein, but which have not become public ways, and ensuring sanitary conditions in subdivisions and in proper cases parks and open areas.

Currently (2016), the Subdivision Laws were adopted on September 17, 1974 and last revised on May 26, 2009.

The Wetland By-Law is currently (2016) Article 8 of the General Town ByLaws. It was originally adopted at a Special Town Meeting on January 5, 1983 and was most recently amended on May 20, 2002.

Scope and Content

This collection is comprised of the laws that govern the Town of Douglas. These laws include the General ByLaws, the Zoning ByLaws and the Subdivision Laws. Although the Wetland ByLaws are included in the General ByLaws, a separate Record Group has been created. Also included in this collection are any memos or drafts directly related to Douglas’s laws.

Record Group Descriptions

Record Group RG_010 : Town of Douglas ByLaws

Sub-Record Group RG_011 : General ByLaws

Sub-Record Group Description : General ByLaws of the Town of Douglas. Including ByLaws adopted in 1937, with 1939 revisions, the adoption of the ByLaws in 1974, with revisions from 1983.

Sub-Record Group RG_012 : Zoning ByLaws

Sub-Record Group Description : Zoning ByLaws of the Town of Douglas. Including ByLaws adopted in 1970, with revisions from 1979 and 1996. A zoning map from 1979 is also included.

Sub-Record Group RG_013 : Subdivision Laws

Sub-Record Group Description : Subdivision Laws of the Town of Douglas. Including ByLaws adopted in 1970. A 1997 revision of laws adopted in 1975.

Sub-Record Group RG_014 : Wetland ByLaws

Sub-Record Group Description : Town memo regarding the Wetland ByLaws, drafts of the ByLaws, Town of Douglas ByLaws, adopted in 1983 and unofficial version of current (2016) Wetland ByLaws.

 

Record Group: RG_010, Town of Douglas Bylaws
Sub-Record Group: RG_011, General Bylaws

Box #

Folder #

Collection #

Description

2

1

RG_001.01

By-laws adopted by the town of Douglas, March 15, 1937, approved by the Attorney General, June 22, 1937, to take effect July 1, 1937

2

2

RG_011.02a

By-laws adopted by the Town of Douglas, March 15, 1937; Amendments published in the Millbury Journal June 30, 1939 (The document is a copy of the 1937 Bylaws with the 1939 Amendments written in)

2

2

RG_011.02b

Transcript of the Millbury Journal Article, transcribed by RLD Lavallee on April 27, 2016

2

3

RG_011.03

Town of Douglas Bylaws, adopted January 1, 1974; Includes Wetland By-Law

2

4

RG_011.04

General Bylaws of the Town of Douglas, Massachusetts (ca. 1983)

2

4

RG_011.05

July 15, 1983 - Memo from the Town Clerk regarding Town Meeting of June 25, 1983 - Amendment to General Bylaws of the Town of Douglas, Article III, Section 7 - Licensing of Dogs

Digital

 

RG_011.06

Town of Douglas General Bylaws, Updated: May, 2008 (Adopted: January 1, 1974)

Record Group: RG_010, Town of Douglas Bylaws
Sub-Record Group: RG_012, Zoning Bylaws

Box #

Folder #

Collection #

Description

2

1

RG_012.01

Town of Douglas, Mass.: Zoning By-Laws, September 24, 1970 (2 copies)

2

1

RG_012.02

Town of Douglas: Trailer By-Laws, September 24, 1970

2

2

RG_012.03

Town of Douglas, Mass.: Zoning Bylaws, This Revision, May 1979

2

2

RG_012.04

Zoning Map, Douglas, Massachusetts, May 1979 (Central Massachusetts Regional Planning Commission) - 2 copies

2

3

RG_012.05

Town of Douglas, Mass., Zoning Bylaws, Revised: October 10, 1996

Digital

 

RG_012.06

Zoning By-Law, Town of Douglas, Massachusetts, Adopted by Town Meeting October 25, 2004, Amended May 1, 2006, May 7, 2007, May 4, 2009, May 3, 2010, June 21, 2010

Record Group: RG_010, Town of Douglas Bylaws
Sub-Record Group: RG_013, Rules & Regulations Regarding Subdivision of Land

Box #

Folder #

Collection #

Description

2

1

RG_013.01

Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land in East Douglas, Mass., Adopted June 1970

2

2

RG_013.02

Rules and Regulations Regarding the Subdivision of Land, Douglas, Massachusetts, Adopted September 17, 1975, Revised March 11, 1997

Digital

 

RG_013.03

Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land, Douglas, Massachusetts, Adopted September 17, 1975, Revised November 24, 1998 & May 26, 2009.

Record Group: RG_010, Town of Douglas Bylaws
Sub-Record Group: RG_014, Wetland Bylaws

Box #

Folder #

Collection #

Description

2

1

RG_014.01

October 8, 1982 - Memo from the Town Clerk regarding Town Meeting of October 6, 1982 - Amendment to General By-Laws by Adding Following Wetland By-Laws

2

1

RG_014.02

Wetland By-Laws (October 6, 1982)

2

2

RG_014.03

Town of Douglas, Wetland Bylaws, Adopted January 5, 1983

Digital

 

RG_014.04

Unofficial Version of the Douglas Wetland Bylaw, Article 8 (*The Wetland Bylaw was adopted under Article 6, Section 3, at a Special Town Meeting held on January 5, 1983. Amended under Article 17 at the Annual Town Meeting held on May 20, 2002, and approved by the Attorney General on August 5, 2002.)

Digital

 

RG_014.05

Town of Douglas, Wetlands Protection Regulations, Douglas, Massachusetts, Adopted March 9, 2005, In accordance with the Douglas Wetlands Protection ByLaw.
RG_010, Douglas Bylaws (May 16, 2017).

1. Massachusetts Moderators Association. Town meeting time: a handbook of parliamentary law, 3rd edition. Massachusetts Moderators Association, 2001.

2. West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. S.v. "Bylaws." Retrieved July 19, 2016 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Bylaws.