- Building Department
- Family Suites
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:
- Maternal parents and grandparents
- Paternal parents and grandparents
- Children of the residing owners of the principle dwelling unit
7.1 Family Suite (Tewksbury Zoning Bylaw)
7.1 Family Suite. A family suite is allowed as an accessory use, attached to a single family dwelling in R40, F, TD, MF and VR districts including Cluster Developments, in accordance with the following requirements and by special permit of the Planning Board. Except as noted; these requirements are not subject to relief through a variance.
(A) The Family Suite may have a maximum floor area not to exceed 1,000 square feet upon approval by the Planning Board through Site Plan Review.
(B) Common entries and open decks shall not be included in the square footage calculation of the family suite.
(C) The family suite can have a maximum of 2 bedrooms.
(D) The family suite shall be contiguous with the single-family dwelling with direct access or connected with a common closed entry.
(E) The family suite shall not have its own front door, however, may have a side or rear exit with an open deck and egress.
(F) Any structural addition of a family suite must meet all front, side and rear setbacks and lot coverage requirements for the district unless variances are granted by the Tewksbury Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with MGL § 40A § 10.
(G) There are no more than three related persons occupying the family suite.
(H) A minimum of one additional off-street parking space shall be provided, however, a separate driveway is not permitted.
(I) Annual Certification by notarized affidavit shall be provided to the Town Clerk's Office that the owner of the property, except for bona fide temporary absence, occupies one of the two dwelling units as a primary residence. Failure to provide a certified affidavit on an annual basis shall be sufficient cause for the Planning Board to revoke Special Permit. Failure to provide a certified affidavit on an annual basis shall represent sufficient cause for the Building Commissioner to issue a Notice of Zoning Violation to the owner and to undertake such remedial action as the Building Commissioner may determine is necessary.
(J) The property with a Family Suite must comply with Title V of the State Environmental Code. Hook-up to Town sewer shall be required if the service is available and, if not, as soon as Town sewer becomes available.
(K) Only one Family Suite may be constructed in any dwelling.
(L) The Planning Board may impose any conditions it deems appropriate to satisfy the Town's interest in limiting the number and degree of persons who may occupy a family suite at any one time, together with such other conditions as it may deem appropriate, if any, including but limited to, provisions calling for the termination of the special permit and all rights granted thereunder in the event of a foreclosure sale of the premises for which the special permit has been granted by a mortgagee or any lien holder of record with priority over the special permit
(M) 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 (ADLs) the family suite 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 ADLs is to be submitted to the Building Commissioner.
- A Building Permit Application to be completely filled out by owner or owner's agent.
- A certified plot plan shall be submitted showing all buildings existing and proposed with all measurements, setbacks and driveways.
- Three complete sets of drawings shall be submitted and approved first by the Fire Department.
- IF APPLICABLE, approval form the Board of Health on the septic system.
- The Special Permit shall be recorded with the Registry of Deeds (Recorded Land) or its Land Court Section (Registered Land); and a copy of the recorded Special Permit shall be submitted to the Building Department prior to issuance of a Building Permit.
Any communication concerning family suite permits should be directed to the Building Department.
If a residence has an illegal unit there are two options:
- Remove it
- Make it legal
Please see the following link for instructions on both options: Instructions for Illegal Units (PDF).