Frequently Asked Questions

  • Frequently Asked Questions
Assessing Department City Clerk Conservation Council on Aging Engineering Fire Department Health Department Human Resources Inspectional Services Mayor’s Coalition Against Substance Abuse Mayor’s Office Planning Board Police Department Public Works Senior Center Treasurer & Collector Veterans

Assessing Department

The property characteristics the Assessors use to value you property are available for you to review online. Simply follow the link below and search for your home or business. You make look up a parcel entering its location, ownership or the parcel identification number. If you discover an error kindly notify this office so that corrections may be made.

No, Proposition 2.5 pertains to the total amount of monies raised by taxation also know as the tax levy. Generally speaking, the tax levy may not increase greater that 2.5 percent over the prior year’s levy. However, this limitation does not pertain to individual tax bills. Your bill may increase or decrease by any amount in any given year.

The Fiscal Year for the City of Woburn runs from July 1st to June 30th and the effective date for taxation is January 1st. Therefore, if a house is constructed after January 1st, then it is not included on the tax bill for that fiscal year. Conversely, a property damaged or demolished after January 1st is liable of the tax for the entire fiscal year since it was in place on the assessment date of January 1.

The City of Woburn issues tax bills on a quarterly billing cycle. The cycle begins with the determination of the Preliminary Tax Bill. The Preliminary bill is based upon one-half of the prior year’s net tax bill plus 2.5 percent. This amount is divided into two payments (Quarter 1 and Quarter2). The Third Quarter or actual bill contains the property assessment for the fiscal year and the new tax rate. Applying the tax rate to the assessment results in the total taxes for the year. The first two quarter bills (providing they have been paid) are then deducted from the total bill and this amount is in turn divided into two quarterly bills. The process is summarized below:

Quarter Bill Due Date
First (Preliminary) August 1
Second (Preliminary) November 1
Third (Actual Bill) February 1
Fourth (Final Bill) May 1

The Assessors are required by law to send the tax bill to the owner of record as of January 1 of the tax year. The tax year is a fiscal cycle which runs from July 1st to June 30th. Therefore, if you receive a tax bill in Quarter 1 which is due August 1st and you did not own the property as of January 1st the Assessors are obligated by statute to send the bill to the owner of record as of that date.
As a courtesy to new property owners, the Assessors may send the tax bill to the prior owner in care of the new owner such as:

Prior Property Owner (Owner as of Jan. 1st)
New Property Owner
123 Any Street
Woburn, MA 01801

If you are a new property owner kindly contact this office so that we can make the appropriate address correction.

Assessors are required by Massachusetts law to value all real and personal property within their community which includes every property from single-family residences to commercial and industrial enterprises.
Every three years Assessors must submit these values to the state Department of Revenue for certification. Assessors must also maintain the values in the years between certifications. This is done so that each property taxpayer in the community pays their fair share of the cost of local government – no more or less – in proportion to the amount of money the property is worth.

Assessors also have responsibility for the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax bills originated by the Registry of Motor Vehicles. Assessors adjust excise bills on vehicles which may have been issued in error or where the vehicle has been traded-in or sold outright in no longer owned by the person assessed.

Assessors do not make the laws that affect property owners. Tax laws are enacted by the Massachusetts Legislature. Various guidelines and regulations to implement the legislation are established by the Department of Revenue. Assessors follow the procedures established by others to set the value of property. Value is actually set by buyers and sellers as they establish the worth of comparable properties through their transactions in the real estate marketplace.
Assessors do not determine taxes. The level of property taxation is determined by the municipality itself, through its City Council. Similarly, Assessors do not decide who is entitled to relief on their property tax bills through exemptions; rather they follow the state law.

In Massachusetts Valuation is based on “full and fair cash value” (“market value”) which is the amount a willing buyer would pay a willing seller on the open market. Assessors must collect, record and analyze a great deal of information about property and market characteristics in order to estimate the fair market value of taxable properties in their communities. Properties such as churches and educational institutions are also valued even though they are exempt from taxation.
Characteristics of land and buildings contribute to a properties’ (sp) value. Finding the “full and fair cash value” or “market value” of a residential properties involves discovering what similar properties sold for (both improved properties and vacant land), what the property would cost today to replace and what financial factors, such as interest rates, may be affecting the real estate market. Valuation techniques for commercial and industrial properties also include analysis from an investment perspective, since the purchase price the buyer is willing to pay depends in part on the return they expect to receive.

Assessors do not create value, rather they have the legal responsibility to discover and reflect the changes that are occurring in the marketplace.

The assessed value (or assessment) is the value of property to be used for local taxation, as determined by the Assessors according to Massachusetts law and regulations set by the Commissioner of Revenue.
Since assessments must be set at market value, rising real estate values in the community will be reflected in higher assessments. All properties, however, do not change in value to exactly the same degree. Many factors influence values and the value of some properties may well increase more rapidly than others.

Before Proposition 2.5 went into effect in Massachusetts in Fiscal Year 1982, the amount to be raised by the property tax in each community was basically determined by what the community decided to spend in the coming year. Basically, budgets were determined, and then tax rates were set to raise that amount.
With Proposition 2.5 in effect, the process is reversed. The tax limitation law sets the maximum amount a community may collect from the property tax; budgets must be made to fit within that limit (or within the increased limits of any overrides adopted by the voters).

The City Council adopts a budget that reflects the funds to be raised through the levy and the additional funds from other sources, such as state aid and local receipts from fees and user charges. The amount to be collected from the property tax (called the “levy”) is divided among the local taxpayers in proportion to the value of their property.

Once the Assessors have calculated the current total valuation of property and know the amount the City Council has voted to come from the levy, the Assessors prepare a document that shows how much of the value and how much of the proposed levy would come from each of the different classes of property (residential, commercial, industrial, open space and personal). They provide this document to the City Council members (and the Mayor) who must then vote on whether to apply the same tax rate or separate rates to the different property classes.
If the community officials choose to utilize different tax rates, a residential rate could, for example, be $10 per thousand of value and the commercial/industrial/personal property rate $22 per thousand of value. The tax rate is expressed in dollars per thousand of value. A tax rate of $25 per thousand then would result in a tax of $2,500 for a property valued at $100,000.

Next, the Assessors prepare various documentation which is submitted to the Department of Revenue for certification of the tax rate. Once the rate is certified, the tax bills are mailed.

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City Clerk

The link below will allow you to check your voting status. You will enter your first and last name, date of birth and zip code. You must also check off a block agreeing that you are using the page to check only your own record. According to the Secretary of State, access or attempted access to information that is exempt from public disclosure other than the voter may subject the user to criminal prosecution or civil liability.

Once in, the site shows your voting status, party enrollment, whether an ID is required at the polls, voting location, current State and Federal elected officials, and contact information to the city clerk’s office. If your voting status is “inactive”, contact the city clerk’s office to update your information, otherwise you will have to complete an affidavit and show an ID at the polls on election day. At the top of the page there is a disclosure that tells you when the information was last updated.

Are you registered to vote? Click here to find out: Am I registered?

Not registered? Click here to register to vote on-line: On-Line Voter Registration

Follow this link to register to vote online: Online Voter Registration

Follow this link to find your polling place: Where do I vote?  

 

Follow this link to track your absentee ballot: Track my absentee ballot 

 

Absentee Ballot
If a voter will be absent from the city during the hours the polls are open, has a physical disability preventing her from going to the polling place, or a religious belief that does not permit her to vote on the day of the election, or if the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12 noon on the fifth day before the election, or if the voter qualifies as a non-registered voter who is:

  • A Massachusetts citizen absent from the state, or
  • An active member of the armed forces or merchant marines, their spouse or dependent, or
  • A person confined in a correctional facility or jail except if by reason of felony conviction, then she can vote by absentee ballot. NO other reason is sufficient to vote by absentee ballot.

Application for Absentee Ballot Voting
Application for an absentee ballot must be made in writing, signed by the voter and received by the City Clerk by no later than 12 noon the day before the election. The ballot will be mailed to the voter. In the alternative, the voter can go to the Office of the City Clerk, fill out an application for an absentee ballot and vote in person at the Office of the City Clerk. NO ballot can be taken out of the Office of the City Clerk in hand, unless the voter has entered a health care facility anytime after 12 noon on the fifth day before the election and files an appropriate application.

  • If a ballot is mailed to the voter, after voting the ballot can be returned by mail to the Office of the City Clerk or delivered in person in hand by the voter or a family member of the voter to the Office of the City Clerk.
  • If delivered in hand to the Office of the City Clerk, the ballot must be given in hand to a member of the staff of the Office of the City Clerk and cannot be left with anyone other than the staff of the Office of the City Clerk.
  • If a family member delivers the ballot to the Office of the City Clerk, they must sign their name and relationship on the outer envelope in which the ballot is delivered.
  • The Affidavit on the front of the inner envelope in which the absentee ballot is placed MUST be completely and correctly filled out by the voter or the ballot may be rejected by the Board of Registrars.
  • Illegal absentee voting, including making a false application, is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000 and up to five years in prison.

Application for Absentee Ballots

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Conservation

A wetland is an area where water (groundwater, surface water, or ice) is present in significant enough quantity to support a dominance of vegetation that occurs in primarily saturated conditions. Commonly thought of as wet meadows, marches, swamps and bogs, wetlands are transitional areas between water bodies and uplands, and are defined by their plant communities, hydrology and soils. Wetlands are areas that may be publicly or privately owned.
For a long time, wetlands have been dismissed as wasteland. Sadly, they have been used as dumping grounds, or filled in and channeled to “reclaim” them. Wetlands are now recognized as beautiful places with vital ecological functions and values. Wetlands play an important role in improving water quality and protecting water supply by filtering out pollutants, sediments and contaminants. Wetlands help to prevent storm and storm water damage by storing and slowly releasing floodwaters to rivers and streams. This is beneficial because it allows water to have a place to go during heavy storm events other than flooding basements and roadways. Wetlands protect fisheries and important habitat to wildlife, providing breeding and nesting places, protective cover, food and water. Most rare animal species depend in some way on wetlands for survival.

An official copy can be obtained in person from DEP or at the state bookstore in Boston. An unofficial copy of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act can be found online at DEP’s website.

Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act 

Unofficial copies of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act Regulations 310 CMR 10.00, are available online from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection. An official copy may be obtained from the state bookstore.

DEP Regulations Unofficial Copy

Forms are available from the Conservation Commission office. Forms are also available online.

Wetland Forms

The Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act identifies eight “interests” or functions and values of resource areas that are protected.They are:
1) Protection of public and private water supply
2) Protection of groundwater supply
3) Flood control
4) Storm damage prevention
5) Prevention of pollution
6) Protection of land containing shellfish
7) Protection of fisheries
8) Protection of wildlife habitat
Protected wetlands values identified in the Woburn Wetlands Ordinance are:
1) Public or private water supply
2) Groundwater
3) Flood control
4) Erosion and sediment control
5) Storm damage prevention
6) Fisheries
7) Recreation
8) Agriculture
9) Aquaculture
10) Historic Values
The Woburn Conservation Commission has jurisdiction over all earthwork proposed within a resource area and/or the 150-foot buffer zone.
A resource area is an area subject to protection by the Conservation Commission. In Woburn they are inland areas which include:Banks; Land Under Water Bodies or Waterways; Bordering Vegetated Wetlands; and Riverfront Areas
The Woburn Conservation Commission recognizes two buffer zones. The “state” buffer zone is the area within 100 feet of bank and/or bordering vegetated wetland. The “local” buffer zone is the area within 150 feet of bank and/or bordering vegetated wetland.

A river is any natural flowing body of water that empties into any ocean, lake, or other river and that flows throughout the year. The definition includes all perennial rivers, including streams and brooks that flow throughout the year. Rivers end where they meet the ocean, a lake, or pond. Intermittent streams are not subject to the Rivers Protection Act.

Explanation of the Rivers Protection Act

In Woburn, the riverfront area is the area between the river’s mean annual high-water line and a parallel line located 200 feet away measured horizontally outward from the river.

The Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)is a state agency responsible for protecting human health and the environment. DEP’s Wetlands Program administers and enforces the Wetlands Protection Act.

Massachusetts DEP website 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is a federal agency whose stated mission is to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment – air, water, and land – upon which life depends.

EPA’s Office of Water is responsible for the Agency’s water quality activities including the development of national programs, technical policies, and regulations related to drinking water, water quality, ground water, pollution source standards, and the protection of wetlands, marine, and estuarine areas.

EPA website

Yes. The Applicant is required to notify (by mail or in person) immediate abutters when a submission is made to the Conservation Commission that requires a Public Hearing.
No. Since wetlands change over time, a wetlands map would need to be continually re-assessed and revised. The City does have topographic mapping, aerial photographs, and floodplain maps, which can be useful tools in making a general determination of the possible presence of wetlands. To make a determination of the precise boundaries of a wetland, the area in question would need to be flagged by a botanist or wetland scientist. The wetland delineation should be surveyed onto a plan. The Conservation Commission will make a formal determination through a Public Hearing process after the plan and appropriate forms have been filed with the Commission.
For new filings –
The filing deadline is 12:00 Noon, ten business days prior to the meeting.For Continued Public Hearings –
The deadline to submit additional information is 12:00 Noon, five business days prior to the date to which the Hearing is continued.
Unless otherwise posted, Conservation Commission Meetings are held in the City Council Chamber at City Hall. Meetings are open to the public.
The Engineering Department in City Hall has the groundwater protection district map, and can provide copies for a fee.
Federal floodplain maps (June 4, 2010) are on display at City Hall (outside the Conservation Commission office). Federal floodplain maps are available for purchase by contacting FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) at (617) 223-9561. These maps are generally used for flood insurance purposes. These maps indicate the areas of possible inundation during 100 and 500-year storm events. The City of Woburn also has a Local Floodplain Map (June 4, 2010) which includes some areas known to flood that were not covered in the FEMA study. Areas of flooding shown are limited to specific areas studied, so there may be areas that experience flooding which are not shaded on the maps. A Professional Land Surveyor and/or Professional Engineer can make a precise determination.
No. The City of Woburn has an Ordinance prohibiting the feeding of wild waterfowl. Feeding wild animals is harmful to them and to humans. Feeding wild waterfowl can spread disease, and contaminate water supplies. For more information, ask for the brochure “Please Do Not Feed Wild Ducks, Geese, and Swans” which is available from the Conservation Commission office.
Many people use the terms “conservation land” and “wetlands” interchangeably, but they actually have different meanings.
Conservation land refers to land that is publicly owned, and generally preserved as open space to protect our natural resources. In some cases conservation land may be used for passive recreation, or it may be kept natural to protect wildlife habitat, wetlands, riverfront areas and/or land subject to flooding. Conservation land may or may not contain wetlands.
A wetland is an area that may be publicly or privately owned. It is an area where water (groundwater, surface water, or ice) is present in significant enough quantity to support a dominance of vegetation that occurs in primarily saturated conditions. Commonly thought of as wet meadows, marshes, swamps, and bogs; wetlands are transitional areas between water bodies and uplands, and are defined by their plant communities, hydrology, and soils.
Woburn’s main conservation lands with passive recreation are: the Horn Pond Area, Shaker Glen Conservation Area, Rag Rock Conservation Area, Battle Road Woodlands, and the Cranberry Bog Conservation Area. Maps of the City showing the location of Conservation Areas, and trail maps for some areas are available from the Conservation Commission office.
Rules for the use of Conservation Areas are stated in title 12-40 of the municipal code. They are written below.As conservation areas are meant to be preserved in their natural state for their environmental value, their aesthetic importance and the public enjoyment, the following rules and regulations are established for the areas under the control of the Woburn Conservation Commission:

A. These regulations apply to all areas in the city under the control of the Woburn conservation commission either by deed provision, city ordinance, or formal arrangement with other officials or departments.

B. Signs designating the areas to be Woburn conservation lands are to be posted at normal entrances to each area.

C. The city conservation areas are open without charge or special permit (unless otherwise noted) to the general public in conformity with these regulations.

D. The following are expressly prohibited:

1. The use of firearms. Fishing is allowed in accordance with state and local regulations. Hunting and trapping is allowed with the express permission of the Conservation Commission, the Chief of Police and the Superintendent of Public Works and in accordance with state law and local regulations;

2. Open fires;

3. Any form of littering or dumping;

4. The use of motor vehicles, including off-the-road vehicles such as trail bikes and snowmobiles, except for authorized city vehicles;

5. The cutting, removing, damaging or defacing of any plant life, animal life, rocks or soils, except by the written permission of the conservation commission;

6. The defacement, destruction or removal of conservation commission signs and property or other structures such as dams, walls, fences, gates, etc., except by the written permission of the conservation commission;

7. Posting of unauthorized signs, selling or giving away of goods or circulars, or engaging in commercial activities of any nature;

8. The making of loud or disturbing noise.

E. The conservation commission alone may authorize trails being cut or marked, dams to be built or any structure such as a bridge, tower or handrail to be constructed, or any other change or addition on conservation land.

F. Dogs or other pets must be fully controlled at all times, either by leash or verbal control.

G. Overnight camping in designated areas is allowed only by written permit of the conservation commission to be obtained in the office of the chief of police.

H. The conservation commission cannot assume for itself or for the city any liability of any kind for injuries to persons or damage done to their property while on conservation lands; persons entering thereon do so at their own risk.

I. These rules supplement applicable state and other local regulations.

J. Visitors to conservation areas are urged to leave them cleaner than they were found, and to report violations of these rules to the conservation commission and the Woburn police.

K. Vehicles commonly known as ski-mobiles are excluded from all areas under the control or direction of the recreation commission, and the conservation commission. (C.2-1971.)

L. Violations of these regulations may be punishable by a fine of fifty dollars. (Prior Ch., sec. 9-A 5).

The Community Gardens are located at the Horn Pond Conservation Area. They are accessible from a gravel roadway off Lexington Street. Limited parking is available by permit (issued to gardeners only).
First preference is given to returning gardeners who rented a garden plot the previous year. Garden sign-ups are held in the spring. Garden plots may be available after the initial registration period through the Conservation Commission office. Returning gardeners will be notified of the registration date(s) by mail. If you are interested in becoming a new gardener, mail a postcard with your name address and telephone number to the Conservation Commission office (Attn.: Community Gardens).
A copy of Rules for the Community Gardens will be available at the garden plot registration. A copy of the rules will be given to all gardeners who are assigned a plot.
Conservation Day is an annual community event organized and run by the Commission at various Conservation lands in the City. Each Conservation Day, the Conservation Commission, Department of Public Works, City Officials, local business organizations, service clubs, scout troops, students and scores of volunteers come together to work on projects and clean up the Conservation Areas. In past years projects have included: building and repairing bridges, clearing trails, spreading and raking woodchips, planting and pruning trees, painting signs, gates, and bridges, and general cleanup removing trash and debris. Conservation Day is held on the first Saturday in May. All are welcome to join us.
For a long time, there was a belief that because there was such an abundance of natural resources, the supply would never run out. We are discovering, however, that there is not an endless supply of resources. We have to face the reality of possible shortages in our lifetime and the lifetime of our children. But beyond the problem of shortages, the depletion of our natural resources has also caused other problems. The over-exploitation of our natural resources has led to the destruction of habitat, the extinction and threatened extinction of species of flora and fauna, and the pollution of our air, soils, and water. Sadly, our continent has lost much of its natural wealth and ecological stability.By conserving our natural resources, we are preserving our world not only for ourselves, but also for our children. The first step is to realize the importance of our environment. It is easy to take for granted the delicate ecosystems that make life on our planet possible. This is true both globally and locally. The Conservation Commission recognizes our wetlands and waterways, in particular, as a very precious resource, for without them life cannot persist.
• Teach your children to value and protect the environment.
• If possible, leave some of your land in a natural condition. Avoid disturbing steep slopes and stripping vegetation.
• Minimize the use of pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers.
• Limit the use of salt for ice-control, and consider using environmentally friendly ice-control products.
• Don’t dump debris (including landscaping debris) into a wetland or water body.
• Set up a compost pile away from wetland areas.
• Never dump oil, chemicals or waste of any kind down a storm drain.
• Don’t litter.
• Pick up after your pets.
• Participate in Woburn’s recycling program.
• Conserve energy by turning of lights and appliances when they are not needed, and use energy efficient products. Look for products with the EPA’s Energy Star. www.energystar.gov
• Conserve water by turning off water faucets when not in use. Hire a plumber to fix leaky faucets, and inquire about installing water saving devices.
• Plant trees.
• Volunteer at Conservation Day.
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Council on Aging

Our SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) volunteer offers appointments every Monday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon to assist seniors and their family members with health insurance questions and concerns. Call 781-897-5960 to request an appointment

An attorney donates time at the Senior Center every month to offer half-hour appointments, free of charge, to seniors seeking answers to legal questions. In addition, seniors are encouraged to contact the Boston Bar Association free public service lawyer referral service at 617-742-0625 or 1-800-552-7046. More…

A good place to start is to attend our open Council on Aging meeting, which meets the first Monday of the month at 10am. The following Thursday at 10am, our “Friends Helping Seniors” group meets to discuss volunteer opportunities and charitable work. All are welcome to attend these meetings or to drop by the Senior Center for a tour. Contact the Woburn Senior Center at 781-897-5960.

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Engineering

There are several methods of obtaining a plot plan. The Engineering Department house numerous plot plans for the individual lots in the city. The
Building Department may also have a copy in their records, the registry of
deeds in Cambridge, MA. Or you can hire a professional land surveyor to
prepare a certified copy.

A partial list of Engineers and Surveyors can be obtained in the Engineering
Department.

The Engineering Department has all of the Assessor maps in digital format on a computer at the counter and on CD. Residents can come in and specify the information that is desired and custom maps can be printed.

To determine if you are in a flood zone, you will need to have a Land
Surveyor perform a survey and complete and elevation certificate delineating the areas of the property which may be in a flood zone.

The Engineering Department has record locations of the water and sewer mains within the right of way and individual house service connections. Water service locations can also be obtained from the Water Department at the Department of Public Works.

The only way to accurately determine is a fence or any other structure may or may not be on your property is to hire a registered land surveyor. The will conduct an instrument survey and determine what is on your land.

If you think that a tree is within the city right of way, you can contact the Superintendent of Public Works/Tree Warden. If the location is to close to determine by visual inspection, the Engineering Department will take field measurements to determine its location. A written determination will be sent to the Superintendent of Public Works/Tree Warden for further action.

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Fire Department

Accepted methods of payment are check or money order. We do not accept cash or credit cards.Payment is made payable to : City of Woburn.

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Health Department

Please call the office at 781-897-5920 or send an email to [email protected]

If you are a tenant and wish to schedule a housing inspection you may call the Board of Health at (781)897-5920 .

You may call the office at (781) 897-5920 or you may also send an email with your questions and request to [email protected]

Report a Complaint about an Establishment (ie. Stable, Restaurant, pool, housing, tanning, retail food stores)?:
You may call the office at (781)897-5920 or you may also send an email with your complaint to  [email protected]

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Human Resources

We have our available jobs posted on this site. Access them by clicking on the following link.

Employment Opportunities 

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Inspectional Services

The Building Commissioner is responsible for the enforcement, administration and interpretation of the Woburn Zoning Ordinances. If the Building Commissioner is informed that any provision of the Zoning Ordinance is being violated he/she may investigate and take appropriate action as allowed.

Each offense of the Zoning Ordinance is punishable by fine up to three hundred dollars per day.

You can call or visit the Inspectional Services Department to file a complaint or you may also send a communication either by mail or electronic mail. Once this is received the complaint will be looked into and the department will notify you of outcome provided contact information has been left.

Woburn Zoning Ordinances section 5.1 tables of use regulations line 57 allows for one trailer, one unregistered automobile or one boat.

The Woburn Zoning Ordinances Section 5.1 table of use regulations specifies uses designated as “x” for a by right use, “p” which requires a special permit and “-“which would not be a permitted use. We encourage all that if they have questions regarding uses to contact Inspectional Services.
Accessory Structures are allowed within Residential Zoning Districts.Required Setbacks are 25 ft front, 12’side, 4 ft rear such structures that are within this category are sheds, pools, detached garages no larger than 900 sq ft and a maximum height of 20 ft.

The Massachusetts State Building Code states that “it shall be unlawful to construct, reconstruct, alter, repair, remove or demolish a structure: or to change the use or occupancy of a building or structure; or to install or alter any equipment for which provision is made or the installation of which is regulated by this code” without first obtaining a building permit. This includes, but not limited to, new structures, additions, dormers, chimneys, decks, roofing, siding, swimming pools, wood stoves, antenna and sheds. The only exception is an ordinary repair which does not require a building permit, if unsure of ordinary repair we recommend you contact the office and speak with a Building Inspector.

All applications and instructions are available at the Inspectional Services Department lower level City Hall and are also on the City of Woburn Website in the Inspectional Services page

Work cannot proceed without a permit being issued

The State Building Code allows a maximum of 30 days in which to issue or deny a building permit, actual time can vary depending on complexity of project from 1 day to maximum of 30 day limit for large scale projects.

Yes, you will be required to obtain a permit and fee will be doubled.

Any referral from the City of Woburn would be considered a conflict of interest. There is a list of permits issued within the Inspectional Services Office that lists contractor’s name, address and phone number.

There are provisions in the State Building Code for homeowners to allow for such provided it is properly documented on the permit application and all other applicable forms.

A homeowner is defined as a person who owns a parcel of land on which he/she resides on or intends to reside, on which there is intended to be a dwelling. A person who constructs more than one home in a two year period shall not be considered a homeowner.

It is advised to visit the Inspectional Services and request the file for the property address, all files are public record and can be viewed within the Department, and copies of documents can be made at a reasonable charge per page.
A licensed Plumber and Electrician are responsible for obtaining these permits; Applications are available in the Inspectional Services Office and are also on the City of Woburn Web Site Inspectional Services Folder located in the download center. If there are questions pertaining to these types of permits you can contact the Inspectional Services Department and you will be referred to appropriate inspector.
The Inspectional Services Department is available to assist persons in answering general questions with regard to what is required to apply for permits, we encourage you to contact the office to speak with an inspector or to arrange a time that is suitable for you to come into office and discuss.
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Mayor’s Coalition Against Substance Abuse

Winchester Hospital Emergency Room:

781-729-9000

*If it is an emergency call 911

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Mayor’s Office

Please submit your proclamation requests via the online form here.

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Planning Board

The Planning Board usually meets on the second and fourth Tuesday of every month.
Special Permit and Definitive Plans are scheduled for a public hearing usually four to five weeks after the application is received. Site Plan Reviews are scheduled two to four weeks after receipt. Approval Not Required plans are scheduled within two weeks of receipt.
Woburn Planning Board Land Subdivision Rules & Regulations can be obtained at the Planning Board Office on the second floor of City Hall.
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Police Department

Unless otherwise regulated, parking is allowed on City streets during the winter on the ODD numbered side of the street.
Parking is NOT allowed on City streets on the even numbered side between 2AM and 6AM. This is in effect from 15 November until 31 March.
If a snow storm is expected, a Snow Emergency might be declared. Please see the information about Snow Emergencies.
Please refer to the City Traffic Ordinances of 1935, as amended, Section 7-4. The full text reads:

It shall be unlawful for the driver of any vehicle other than one acting on an emergency, to park said vehicle on the even side of any street between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM of any day each year during the period beginning at 12:00 midnight November 15 and ending at 12:00 midnight the following March 31. (amended 8/6/1964; amended 2/8/1966; amended 1/8/1969; amended 7/24/1978, amended 11/19/1982; amended 10/4/2001)

A Snow Emergency is declared by the Department of Public Works. It is advertised on most Boston TV and radio stations.

Please park in your driveway, allowing room for street and sidewalk plows to do their work.

If you do not have a driveway, the Public Works Department allows parking in municipal lots. They ask that you move your car once the storm is over, so they can clean up the lot for the next business day.

Level 3 Sex Offenders are considered the most dangerous and are posted here on the police web site.

To get information about Level 2 Sex Offenders, click on the link below, print and complete the form, and take it to the Police Station with a photo ID. There is no fee.

Click on the link below for information from the state regarding gun permits.
Massachusetts has very strict laws governing who may be issued gun permits.

https://malegislature.gov/Laws/SessionLaws/Acts/2014/Chapter284

Generally, any person convicted of a drug offense, domestic violence or violation of a
gun law is NOT eligible to obtain a permit.

For the Woburn Police staff member who processes gun permit applications and renewals, please call 781-932-4510 x888.

Each driver involved in a motor vehicle crash is required to complete a report if:
– someone was injured, or:
– damge to a vehicle or other property will exceed $1,000.
You must send your reports, within 5 business days after the crash.
– One report must be sent to the Registry of Motor Vehicle, the address is in on the form;
– One report must be sent to your insurance company;
– One report must be sent to the police department where the crash occurred;
– Reports from crashes on a state highway like Interstate 93 or Route 128 / Interstate 95 should go to the MA State Police.
– It is a good idea to keep a copy for your own records.
Click on the link below to download a report form, or go to any local police station or state police barracks and ask for a form.

There is a secure disposal box in the lobby of the station that is available 24 hours. It is bright green, and located just inside the front doors.

Yes you do. The City of Woburn has an Ordinance that requires every residential and commercial alarm system to be registered.

Please click on the link to register your residential or commercial alarm system on line.
A brief summary of the Alarm Ordinance:
– All Alarms must be registered.
– No alarms that dial the police can be installed.
– Each location is allowed 3 accidental activations of the alarm system each calendar year, after that each activation is fined by a fee of $25.00.
– There is an appeal system if a charge is issued.
– The fine for failing to register with the Police Department is $100.00.
The Alarm Registration office can be reached at 781-932-4510 x882.

To obtain a copy of a report you can come to the station or call 781-932-4510 x812 during the business day. We do not currently charge a fee to obtain a copy of an incident report.

As of Monday September 13, 2009, the Department instituted a $5.00 fee to obtain a copy of a crash report at the station. Crash Reports area available on-line at http://woburnma.policereports.us . . There will be a convenience fee added to the on-line reports.

The Massachusetts Public Records Law restricts some reports from public access. Reports containing information about juveniles, sexual assaults, matters still under investigation, and arrest reports are usually NOT available.

Parking fines may be paid in person at the Police Station, Monday through Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., or through the mail to:
Attn: Parking Clerk
Woburn Police Department
25 Harrison Avenue
Woburn, MA 01801

Please look at the back of the ticket. The ticket will explain your options. The different options available to you have different time limits in which you must act, so read the ticket as soon as you get it.
If ALL CIVIL INFRACTIONS is checked, you have 20 days to decide on your course of action.
If CRIMINAL APPLICATION is checked, you have 4 days to decide on your course of action.
Make your decision and follow the instructions.
Follow the link below for contact information about the Woburn District Court.

Local police cannot provide this information. You must request this information from the Registry of Motor Vehicles. See the Form in the Documents section.

Local police cannot provide this information. You must contact the MA Criminal History Systems Board in writing to obtain this information. More information in the links section.

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Public Works

Contact Lori Scalesse at 781-897-5944 or 5945 Monday through Thursday from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM and Friday from 8:30 AM to 1:00 PM.

Contact the Public Works Department at 781-897-5945 Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

Please report the issue here

or

Contact the Public Works Department at 781-897-5992 Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

Contact the Public Works Department at 781-897-5995 Monday through Friday between 7:00 AM and 3:30 PM.

The Board of Health.
Phone number 781-897-5920.

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Senior Center

Our SHINE (Serving Health Information Needs of Everyone) volunteer offers appointments every Monday, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., Tuesday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. and Thursday, 9 a.m. to 12 noon to assist seniors and their family members with health insurance questions and concerns. Call 781-897-5960 to request an appointment

An attorney donates time at the Senior Center every month to offer half-hour appointments, free of charge, to seniors seeking answers to legal questions. In addition, seniors are encouraged to contact the Boston Bar Association free public service lawyer referral service at 617-742-0625 or 1-800-552-7046.

A good place to start is to attend our open Council on Aging meeting, which meets the first Monday of the month at 10am. The following Thursday at 10am, our “Friends Helping Seniors” group meets to discuss volunteer opportunities and charitable work. All are welcome to attend these meetings or to drop by the Senior Center for a tour. Contact the Woburn Senior Center at 781-897-5960.

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Treasurer & Collector

30 calendar days after issuance of a bill.

All real estate property tax bills are issued on a quarterly basis on the following dates:

July 1 (preliminary)
October 1 (preliminary)
January 1 (actual)
April 1 (actual)

August 1st bill: July 1-September 30 (preliminary bill)
November 1st bill: October 1-December 31 (preliminary bill)
February 1st bill: January 1-March 31 (Actual bill)
May 1st: April 1-June 30 (Actual bill)

Failure to receive your tax bill does not excuse you from payment of taxes, or from the interest and fees that accrue on the outstanding balance(s). A tax bill is generated and mailed for every parcel in the City. It is the responsibility of the property owner to pay taxes regardless of receipt of a bill. Contact the Treasury Department to have a duplicate bill mailed to you. By operation of law, the tax bill is mailed to the record owner as of January 1 of the previous fiscal year. New property owners can have their name added to the bill (shows as “c/o” on the bill) by contacting the Assessing Department @ 781-897-5830.

Yes. Follow the “Online Bill Pay” link on the City main page. We currently accept payment of real estate property tax, personal property tax, excise and water/sewer taxes. Payment can be made either by credit card or an ACH check transfer. A processing fee will be assessed for all credit card payments. All ACH transfers are free of charge.

Yes, interest is assessed at a rate of 14% per annum from the due date of the bill.

In order to update your address for your real estate or personal property tax bill, please contact the Assessor’s office at 781-897-5830.

To update a water bill address, please contact the Water Department at 781-897-5944.

You may eligible for an abatement, such as a widow/widowers, elderly or disabled veteran’s abatement. There is also a law that lets you defer your taxes at an 4% interest rate. The Assessor’s Office can help you with any of these programs.

No. Any sales of property or tax title possessions must be done in accordance with certain provisions set forth in M.G.L. Chapter 60

According to Chapter 60A Section 2 of the Massachusetts General Laws, “failure to receive notice shall not affect the validity of the excise”. A person who does not receive a bill is still liable for the excise plus any charges. Therefore it is important to keep the Registry (www.state.ma.us/rmv), Assessor’s Office and the post office informed of a current name and address so that excise bills can be delivered promptly. All owners of motor vehicles must pay excise tax; therefore it is the responsibility of the owner to contact the local assessor if he/she has not received a bill. The largest mailing of excise bills generally happens in February each year.
Pay the bill. Your old bill is eligible to be abated through the Assessor’s Office (781-897-5830) from which you will receive a refund from the Collector. Follow abatement instructions on the back of the bill. The Registry prorates your excise on a monthly basis. The annual excise due on a car registered after January 1 will be reduced, therefore, by one twelfth of the full years excise for every month prior to the one in which the vehicle was registered. Conversely, you will be due a refund of one twelfth the excise you paid on you old car by the number of months it was not registered to you, in most cases.

All permits (ie. building, electrical, plumbing, common victualer license etc.) applied for with the City of Woburn must have a f tax payment history review performed by the Treasurer/Collector’s office. The Treasurer/Collector form must be completed in entirety and signed by the applicant (property owner or tenant ONLY) including the parcel ID and ALL other parcel ID’s that the property owner and tenant, if any, have any beneficial interest in within the City of Woburn. Any incomplete forms may be delayed in processing.

Parcel I.D. (map, block, lot) may be found in records located in Assessors, Inspectional Sevices, and Collectors departments. This information is also listed on tax bills or online at: http://data.visionappraisal.com/WoburnMA

It is the responsibility of the applicant to retrieve this information.

All invoices submitted to the City must follow the following process: The department paying the invoice must submit a voucher to the City Auditor; the Auditor then confirms that funds are available and submits vouchers to the City Council Accounts and Audits Committee; When vouchers are approved by the committee, the Auditor submits a warrant to pay the bills to the Treasurer and Mayor; the Treasurer then prints checks but will not release them until the Mayor signs the warrant. You should track the invoice through the department you submitted it to in the first place.
Generally, you may not. Due to the large volume of requests for property tax information, the City of Woburn requires you to order an Municipal Lien Certifiate (MLC).
The cost is $25.00 for residential property and $100.00 for commercial property.

The average turnaround time for a municipal lien request is 48 hours from the time of request receipt and payment. However during periods
of heavy volume it could be slightly longer.

The Collector’s office post receipts daily and municipal lien certificates are calculated to the day they are printed.
The municipal lien certificate includes per diem data for all outstanding amounts.
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Veterans

The veterans’ office has access to the Massachusetts military records database and can look up a DD214/discharge record if one enlisted in the military while living in Massachusetts. If a record isn’t in this database, our office can assist you completing a request (SF 180) that we send to the National Military Archives in St. Louis, Missouri. Download the Standard Form 180 in the Documents Tab.

Massachusetts General Laws, c. 4, sec. 7, cl. 43rd as amended by the Acts of 2005, ch. 130: (See Full Definition in Documents Tab)

If you served in the active military, naval or air service and are separated under any condition other than dishonorable, you may qualify for VA health care benefits. The first step is to apply. The Veterans’ Services office can assist you completing the four page application.

A lot of companies offer discounts if you show a veteran identification (i.d.) card. This i.d. card is actually your picture i.d. that you get when enrolling in the VA health care system. Our office can assist you with the application (VA Form 10-10EZ) for applying for the VA health care system.

The United States Flag: Federal Law Relating to Display
and Associated Questions (U.S.Congress, Updated April 14, 2008.)
Visit the related link to read about proper flag display, flag condition and more.

The United States Code,Title 4 Chapter 1, Section 8, says “The flag, when it is in such condition that it is no longer a fitting emblem for display, should be destroyed in a dignified way, preferably by burning.” You can leave old and worn flags at the Veterans Office, at the bin at the lower level of City Hall, or the bin at front entrance of the Senior Center and the Veterans’ Office will burn the flags on site.

We will be updating the wall with additional names on a yearly basis. Those names will not be in alphabetical order. The next deadline date to submit an application is August 1, 2014 in order for a name to be added by November 11th, 2014. Please visit the Veterans’ Office with assistance filing an application.

Under Chapter 115 of Massachusetts General Laws (M.G.L. ch. 115), the Commonwealth provides a uniform program of financial and medical assistance for indigent veterans and their dependents. Qualifying veterans and their dependents receive necessary financial assistance for food, shelter, clothing, fuel, and medical care in accordance with a formula which takes into account the number of dependents and income from all sources. Eligible dependents of deceased veterans are provided with the same benefits as if the veteran were still living. For applications, contact the local Veterans’ Service Officer (VSO) in the city or town where the veteran lives.

Veterans and survivors who are eligible for a VA pension and require the aid and attendance of another person, or are housebound, may be eligible for additional monetary payment. These benefits are paid in addition to monthly pension, and they are not paid without eligibility to Pension. Please visit the Veterans’ Service office for assistance with the Aid and Attendance application process.

Disability Compensation is a tax free monetary benefit paid to Veterans with disabilities that are the result of a disease or injury incurred or aggravated during active military service. Compensation may also be paid for post-service disabilities that are considered related or secondary to disabilities occurring in service and for disabilities presumed to be related to circumstances of military service, even though they may arise after service. Generally, the degrees of disability specified are also designed to compensate for considerable loss of working time from exacerbations or illnesses. Please visit the Veterans’ Services office for assistance with the application for VA Disability Compensation.

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