The Zoning Enforcement Officer is responsible for enforcing the Canton Zoning By-laws, MGL Chapter 40A. These by-laws are used to control, among other things, density, parking, height and location of buildings and structures, uses of buildings and structures, requirements for buildable lots, signs, earth removal and overlay districts.
This office accepts, reviews and schedules hearings for all Zoning Board of Appeals applications. A hearing is required when an individual's property or structure does not meet the requirements set forth in the Canton Zoning By-laws or the by-law dictates a certain approval is needed due to the scope of a project (i.e. Site Plan Approval, Special Use Permit, Standing Sign Permit, etc.).
Another responsibility of the zoning officer is to review structures for conformity to the zoning setbacks. When a new building or addition is constructed or perhaps a homeowner would like to install an accessory shed, a pool or a pool house on their property, they would first come to our office so that the zoning officer can review the location of the structure to make sure it meets the minimum setback distances for that zoning district. Whenever this is done, a certified plot plan is required showing the location of the new structure(s), to scale, on the plot plan.
Another responsibility of the zoning officer is to make sure the proper uses are maintained in the proper zoning district. If a new business comes into the Town or a homeowner wants to start a home-occupation business, they would first come to our office so that the zoning officer can determine if the use is allowed within that zoning district. If it is not, the individual may have to go before the Zoning Board of Appeals for a hearing.