Prior to the issuance of a building permit for a single family dwelling on an undersized lot, documentation
must be provided showing that the lot is protected. Therefore, a single letter of detailed explanation along
with copies of research/documentation is required on order to process the application. The burden of
proof that the lot is protected is on the applicant, not the Town. Please provide full and documented
proof, including the applicable section(s) of the zoning by-law and/or Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts
General Laws, which provides protection to the lot in question. If the lot in question abuts a commonly
owned lot on which a house is built a certified plot plan must be provided for both lots showing the
location of the septic system and all structures.
The following information is provided to assist you in researching the lot: To begin, it is necessary to go
to the Planning Board for a copy of the subdivision plan, which created the lot. Please be sure the dates
and signatures relative to the Planning Board Approvals are included on the copy. Once you have
determined the date of the subdivision plan and have located the lot in question read through the list
below of possible ways the lot may be protected. When you find one that you feel applies to the lot you
must provide the necessary documentation or explanation as to why the Section protects your lot. If the
lot is protected under number 5, 6, or 7, which refers to lots shown on a plan prior to 1/1/81, you must
complete the entire work sheet on page 5 of this packet. A list of the 1/1/81 property owners, as well as
the Assessor’s map, section and parcel information, is available in the Building/Zoning Department or
through the Assessor’s office. If you feel your lot is protected under number 3 then the schedule of
requirements prior to April 2, 1984 is on page 4 of this packet. You must state the zoning district and the
required lot area, width and frontage based on the 1984 schedule on the worksheet on page 5. All
research must be done by the applicant. A letter of explanation stating which section of the zoning
bylaw provides protection for the lot, a copy of the subdivision plan with dates and signatures, the
worksheet on page 5 with applicable sections filled out. The following information may assist you in this
1. If the lot meets the Schedule of Requirements in Section 240-67 (per Town of Falmouth
Code) it is conforming. See Schedule of Requirements on page 3.
2. If the lot has at least 5,000 square feet of area and 50 feet of street frontage (street as
defined in the Falmouth Code) and was not held in common ownership with an adjoining
land at the time of a zoning increase, it may be protected per Massachusetts General Law,
Chapter 40A, Section 6 (MGL C.40A, Sec. 6). This protection only applies to a lot
shown on a plan and in single Ownership prior to 1926.
3. If the lot was shown on a plan endorsed by the Planning Board as of April 2, 1984 and
conformed to zoning requirements in existence on that date, it may be protected per
Section 240- 67A. See 1984 Schedule of Requirements on Page 4.