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See the Annual Town Meeting appropriations and assessments for the budget.
Under Massachusetts General Laws, the Warrant Committee can authorize transfers from the Reserve Fund for "extraordinary and unforeseen" expenditures. Reserve request forms distributed by the Town Accountant must be used to make a reserve fund request. Supporting information, which provides clear evidence of need should be attached to the form.
The Warrant Committee reserves the right to refuse a request for lack of information.
All meeting agendas & minutes are posted via the Town Clerk. Please visit the Meeting & Agenda Posting Procedure page for more information, guidelines and to submit your agenda or minutes for posting.
With our new Town website, all meetings that have been officially scheduled are displayed on the All Town Meetings Calendar which is displayed on the home page of the website as well as can be found here: All Town Meetings Calendar.
*Keep in mind that on our old Town website, meetings were "posted" once and then official agendas were follow-up posted in the same agenda location. On our new website you will find meeting postings or announcements on the All Town Meetings Calendar as described above and ONLY official agendas & minutes will be officially posted in the site’s Agenda Center.
Please contact the Town Clerk with any questions.
While we have taken great care in transferring all data from the old website to the current new CivicPlus platform, there is always a possibility for missed files or alternate links. Please contact the Town Clerk with the details of the information you feel is missing and we can point you in the right direction or check our archives for anything missed. Keep in mind-ALL official agendas, minutes and records are OFFICIALLY kept in the Town Clerk’s physical records located at the Town House so while we strive to keep everything online 100%, with a new website comes some growing pains.
We will be continuing to update the new site with any old information not brought over as well as everything going forward WILL BE POSTED ONLINE so thank you for your shared patience, collaboration and excitement with our new site!
All official meeting agendas & minutes are posted in the Town’s Agenda Center. You can sign up for email or text notifications for a particular Board or Committee and receive a notification right in your inbox or on your smartphone as soon as an agenda or minutes are posted. Visit our NotifyMe Center to learn more and sign up.
The Town Clerk timestamps agendas in office once received and stores those official physical copies in the Town Clerk’s records at Town Hall. The agenda is then electronically posted online with an online posting time. The timestamped copies are no longer scanned and posted online as they do not meet ADA recommendations for accessibility.
You may view the physical, timestamped copies in the Town Clerk’s office at any time during Town House hours or by contacting the Town Clerk. We look forward to providing a more accessible experience for everyone with this new process.
All meetings scheduled are posted on the All Town Meetings Calendar located on the home page of the Town website and found here: All Town Meetings Calendar.
Meetings are placed on the calendar in anticipation of being held. Agendas are then officially posted 48 hours or more before the actual meeting date/time. Should a meeting be canceled, the meeting will be updated as CANCELED on the Town Calendar and there will be no agenda posted and/or a canceled meeting notification will be posted in the agenda center as CANCELED.
If you have signed up for agenda notifications for a Board/Committee via our NotifyMe Center, you will receive a notification when the meeting is canceled. We encourage everyone to sign up for notifications from the town and stay informed.
Please contact the Town Clerk with any questions.
You can visit each Board/Committee page to see their intended meeting schedule and also view officially scheduled meetings on the All Town Meetings Calendar which is also found on the home page of the Town website.
For emergencies, call 911. For other situations, call 508-785-1130.
It is policy to go to the closest appropriate medical facility, but a specific hospital can be requested.
Yes. In most instances your insurance company will be billed. You will then be billed for any remaining balance.
Please call 508-785-8126, ext. 110.
Real Estate and Personal Property taxes are a source of revenue for all cities and towns in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. They are assessed for a fiscal year, which runs from July 1st of one year to June 30th of the succeeding year.
The tax rate is determined by dividing the net appropriations raised at town meeting by the taxable valuation of the Town. This rate is defined on a per thousand dollar basis and is then multiplied by the assessed full and fair valuation of property.
Voters in Dover chose to issue tax bills four times a year. The first two payments (Preliminary Bills), which are due on August 1st and November 1st, reflect one quarter of the net taxes paid in the previous fiscal year and, by statute, may be increased by 2.5% annually. In November, property valuations are finalized and the tax rate is calculated.
The final two payments (Actual Bills) are determined by subtracting the preliminary payments from the total taxes and dividing by two. These bills are due on February 1st and May 1st.
The assessment date for ownership is January 1st, which is six months prior to the start of a new fiscal year (FY). In your case, the property was assessed to the owner of record on January 1, 2019. That assessment date applies for all of FY 2020 and the ownership may not be changed until January 1, 2020, which will affect bills issued for FY 2021.
As a courtesy, the Tax Collector has historically sent a copy of the bill to the new owner. Unfortunately, it takes about a month for the Assessors to be notified by the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds of a conveyance. If your deed was sent to the Assessors after the bills were issued, it is likely that you did not receive a copy of the bill currently due. Usually attorneys will remind you of the impending tax bill at the closing of the property, or your mortgage lender will escrow the amount needed for the next payment and take responsibility for making it.
All property is assessed on the basis of its full and fair market value as of January 1st. Data related to the sale of property is gathered, analyzed, and then applied to our database to estimate the market value. The process of determining assessed value is the same as an appraiser would utilize for a fee appraisal, although the Assessors must also ensure that assessments are uniform among all the properties in town.
Because our assessment date is January 1st, sales used to estimate the fair market value of property likely occurred in the prior calendar year. In spite of the fact that assessments are updated on an annual basis, by the time the May bill is mailed, sales used in the valuation process could be as much as a year old. In some instances, the factors in our database that describe the property are incorrect. This can result from human error or the lack of an interior inspection.
Once the actual tax bills have been issued in December, a property owner may submit an application for abatement to the Board of Assessors. This application must be filed by the statutory deadline of February 1st and should include all the reasons the property owner feels the value is incorrect. A recent appraisal or information concerning other similar properties that are assessed lower than the property in question may also be included.
The Assessors will review the application and make a visit to the property to measure and inspect the building or view the land. If an abatement is granted, it will be applied to the May 1st bill or, in cases where the taxes are paid in full, a refund will be issued. If a property owner is not satisfied with the Assessors’ decision, he or she may appeal the determination at the Appellate Tax Board in Boston.
Personal "exemptions" authorized by the Massachusetts General Laws may provide property tax relief for certain individuals. There are several types of exemption, including:
The qualification date for all exemptions is July 1st, and each exemption has its own specific requirements. For information on an individual basis, a property owner should contact the Assessors or refer to the back of the tax bill. Personal or financial data submitted for the purpose of applying for an exemption is not a public record.
Motor vehicle excise tax is assessed on a calendar year basis on all vehicles and trailers registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, unless they are exempted under the provision of Chapter 60A of the Massachusetts General Laws. The rate of taxation is $25 per thousand dollars of valuation, and the value is based on the manufacturer’s list price when the vehicle was new.
The list price is depreciated annually by a statutory percentage, until the vehicle or trailer reaches five years of age. At that time, the valuation will have reached 10% of the list price. As long as the vehicle is registered, the valuation will remain at 10%, despite the condition or utility of the vehicle.
Excise tax is apportioned on a monthly basis on vehicles registered after January 1st or disposed of before the end of the year.
When a vehicle is overvalued or sold, traded in, or moved out of state, an abatement application must be filed with the Board of Assessors so a refund can be generated. The disposition of the vehicle and the disposition of the registration must be documented before an abatement can be processed in the case of a sale, trade-in or a move out of state. The manufacturer’s list price must be documented in cases of overvaluation.
The excise tax paid on one vehicle cannot be transferred to another vehicle. By state law, no abatement of less than $5 can be processed, and no excise tax can be reduced to less than $5.
The process of coming before the Board of Appeals is as follows:
You can view Dover’s By-laws and Code.
To inquire about smoke detectors please call the Fire Department at 508-785-1130.
You can call the Board of Health at 508-785-0032, ext. 232, or check the Massachusetts DEP - Certified Labs to test water for a licensed water testing company in Massachusetts.
A percolation (“perc”) test is an evaluation of a site for suitability for the installation of a septic system including a professional evaluation of soils on the property s required by Title 5 and a determination of the rate of absorption of water into that soil. A perc test is required in the process of designing a system compliant with Title 5.
Yes. State Law (Title 5) does not allow the use of cesspools although allowing the continued use of working systems installed before the enactment of Title 5.
Yes. A list of engineers is available in the Board of Health Office.
Yes. A list of installers and haulers is available in the Board of Health Office.
Septic systems should be pumped at least every 2 years on average. It depends on the number of people living in your home.
The Board of Health has information in their office at 5 Springdale Avenue (1st floor), or read through this Public Health Sheet on the prevention of tick bites (PDF).
To get your property sprayed for mosquitoes, you can call the Board of Health Office at 508-785-0032, ext. 232, to provide the address you would like sprayed. The Board of Health will contact Norfolk Mosquito Control on your behalf.
You can fill out and submit our online Mass. Public Health Preparedness Region 4AB or stop by the Board of Health
While Board members do not maintain regular business hours, you may contact the Selectmen’s Office for assistance at 508-785-0032, ext.221.
Contact the related Department directly or for general information call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032 x221
Meeting minutes have been archived on this website for your convenience. You can find all meeting minutes online.
Most documents created or received by the Board of Selectmen are considered "public documents" and are available upon request. To request a copy of a public document in the custody of the Board of Selectmen please submit the following information to the Board in writing:
Please note that Massachusetts General Law protects certain types of documents from public release; for example personnel records and pending litigation are exempt from public disclosure.
Please refer to the town’s meeting calendar for the Board of Selectmen’s next meeting.
As soon as the agenda for the meeting is set it is posted on this website. This is generally 48 hours in advance of the meeting. You can find the agenda by clicking on meeting on the town meeting calendar.
Call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032 x221 or send an email specifying the request to email@example.com.
Call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032 x221 or send an email specifying the request to firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may view Board of Selectmen agendas, board packets & meeting minutes in our Agenda Center: Board of Selectmen Agenda Center, Upcoming meetings are listed on the Town Calendar.
Call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032 x221.
Contact the related Department directly or for general information call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032 x221
Please fill out the online volunteer form to express your interest or call the Selectmen’s Office.
You need a building permit for any project to your home that is not cosmetic.
You need a permit if the fence is over 6 feet in height.
A permit is needed for one-story detached accessory buildings used as tool sheds, playhouses, and similar uses, provided the floor area exceeds 200 square feet.
Use the height of the highest point of the roof above the foundation plus the weighted average of the finished grade to the top of the foundation. This cannot exceed the Town of Dover Bylaw, Section 5.2 Schedule of Dimensional Requirements maximum of 35 feet.
The Zoning Enforcing Officer will check the Schedule of Dimensional Requirements of the Town of Dover for you.
The State board has interpreted the law and the electrical code to require that a photovoltaic system as defined by 527 CMR 12, Article 690.2 and associated apparatus such as but not limited to frames, racks and modules must be assembled and installed by a licensed electrician. This is strictly enforced.
There are 3 classrooms on the 2nd floor and the 1st floor cafeteria of the Caryl Community Center.
You can rent space in the Caryl Community Center! For a small fee you can hold your next event in the Caryl Community Center.
For more information about the gym and library please contact Dover Parks and Recreation at 508-785-0476. For more information about the cafeteria/kitchen and classrooms please contact Karl Warnick, Building Supervisor, at 508-785-0032, ext. 235. If you wish to schedule time in a classroom or the cafeteria please fill out the request form.
People rent space for the following type of activities:
Comcast can be contacted 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 800-COMCAST (800-266-2278). You can also join a live online chat with a customer support representative.
Verizon FIOS is only available in certain areas. To check availability please visit Verizon’s website. Verizon can be contacted Monday through Friday 8 am to 6 pm at 800-VERIZON (800-837-4966).
Board of Selectmen meetings are available for viewing in multiple places.
The following spaces are available to rent:
Access into the building for all spaces is through the rear door near the parking lot.
Spaces at the Caryl Community Center can accommodate a wide range of activities including:
The fee for renting a space for a one-time non-profit use arrangement is $25 per hour for Dover residents and $50 per hour for non-residents.
The fee for renting a space on a continuing non-profit use basis (i.e. regularly scheduled, recurring use, e.g. 1-2 times per week for 2 or more months) is $10 per hour for Dover residents and $20 per hour for non-residents.
For all other users, arrangements may be set up through a special agreement with Dover Parks and Recreation.
To rent a space for a non-profit event, please contact Dover Parks and Recreation at 508-785-0476 or email@example.com. You may indicate the room you would like to rent, for which dates you will need it, and any equipment you will need.
Upon completion of the booking, you will be given further information regarding any equipment you requested.
Events may be held at almost any day and time at the Caryl Community Center. Normal operating hours are Monday-Thursday from 7am-10pm and Fridays from 7am-6pm.
If you are renting a space during a time frame outside of normal operating hours (e.g., weekends, holidays or outside of normal operating hours during the week) a key can be obtained and signed out at the Dover Police Department at the time of your rental.
As a renter you are responsible for any damage to the Caryl Community Center, its equipment, or furniture. You are also responsible for setting up tables, chairs, etc. needed for your use. At the end of your event you will be required to thoroughly clean the area and put all tables and chairs back into storage as you found them.
A fee will be charged if clean-up is not properly performed.
If you have signed out keys, you must turn off the lights, lock and secure the building, and return the keys to the Dover Police Department.
Additionally, children under the age of 14 must be supervised at all times.
Tables and chairs are available for use in the rooms. If requested during booking, the table and chairs will be left in the room to be rented.
Set up and breakdown is the responsibility of the renter. Kitchen facilities include a stove, microwave, and a commercial washing station
Table cloths and flowers are allowed in the rented rooms, but nothing may be hung on or attached to the walls or ceiling. Helium balloon filling tanks are not allowed inside the building by order of the Dover Fire Department. They may be used outside of the building only.
Smoke machines are not allowed.
Food and drink are allowed in the Caryl Room (203), the Community Room (111), and the multi-use rooms (215, 217) as long as the area is properly cleaned up afterward. No food or drink is allowed in the gym (119).
Alcohol is allowed in the rooms in which food and drink are allowed provided a special one-time use permit is obtained through the Selectmen’s Office. The renter is responsible for securing this permit ahead of time.
Yes, provided the rules pertaining to decorations and clean-up are followed.
Vacuum cleaners, brooms, and trash containers are available for use. Be sure to request this equipment during the booking process.
Only current residents who have lived in Dover for at least 5 year are eligible to purchase a cemetery plot.
Anyone designated by the plot owner is eligible to be interred.
To purchase a plot, please contact the Cemetery Supervisor.
Please contact the Cemetery Supervisor to arrange for internment, for a memorial headstone, or marker.
Highland Cemetery no longer allows dogs in the cemetery.
Each property owner is responsible for that determination and must hire a qualified wetlands professional to make such an assessment. If your project involves getting a Building Permit, you will be required to supply a letter signed and stamped by a qualified professional engineer, wetlands scientist or land surveyor stating that "no work will be done within 100 feet of wetlands or within 200 feet of a perennial stream or river."
Any work within a 100 foot Buffer Zone from wetlands or 200 feet from a perennial stream or river requires a permit from the Conservation Commission as required by state and local regulations. If there is a question as to whether your project requires such a permit, please call the Conservation Commission Office at 508-785-0032, ext. 233, for more information before you begin any work.
Most engineering companies have wetlands professionals on their staff. The yellow pages, MACC (Massachusetts Association of Conservation Commissions in Belmont), or the Internet are resources. The Conservation Commission office also has a list.
Once the Conservation Commission receives a complete filing the following time schedule generally applies:
For fees email the Conservation Commission Office or call at 508-785-0032 ext. 233.
For information on walking trails owned or managed by the Conservation Commission and organizations other than the Town of Dover, please visit the Open Space for Walking page.
Dogs are allowed in Wylde Woods as long as they are under owner control at all times and cleaned up after.
Yes, you are welcome to use the trails in Wylde Woods for horseback riding.
The Dover Council on Aging’s Director’s Office and most of its activities are housed at the Caryl Community Center, 4 Springdale Avenue, Dover Center, lower level. Parking is available at the rear of the building off Whiting Road. Parking for the disabled is available on Springdale Avenue in front of the main entrance.
Our hours are Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4:30 pm, and Friday from 9 am to 1 pm.
The Dover Senior Center offers a great selection of programs and activities:
Sign up for the monthly Council on Aging (COA) Newsletter that lists the current activities, or phone the COA at 508-315-5734.
By all means! We welcome anyone, even non-residents.
The Council on Aging would like to provide an informational sheet created by the Chief of Police regarding “How to Stay in Touch (PDF)” when fiber optic phone systems go out during power outages.
The Friends is a non-profit (501 C-3) organization whose sole purpose is to fund raise for the COA’s programs and services. It is made up of dedicated volunteers, and offers membership and programs throughout the year. The "Friends of Dover COA" is always open to volunteers’ suggestions.
There are sign-up sheets at the COA, Room 116 in the Community Center at 4 Springdale Avenue. Also, you can often register for programs online.
That is the perception of most residents, and yes, the staff is dedicated to care for them, but the vast majority of the senior community is healthy and self-sufficient. The Dover Council on Aging serves the entire post-55 community with programs to stimulate every aspect of mind and body while encouraging social interaction with fellow Doverites.
We offer information and assistance, and can connect you to applicable resources accordingly. Phone 508-315-5734, or email the Director.
Yes, we have slightly used medical equipment available for loan to Dover seniors:
Call 508-315-5734 for availability.
Not directly, but we can connect you with a resource. For fuel assistance please contact the Dover Energy Coordinator.
The town has a Veterans Services Officer. Reach Paul Carew via email or at 508-326-6470.
Our SHINE counselor is available to answer questions on Medicare and Social Security, contact the Council on Aging (COA) to set up an appointment.
The DCC annually awards grants that bring cultural enrichment to Dover residents through performances, exhibits, education programs, and demonstrations. These grants are intended to enhance the quality of life and contribute to the cultural vitality of Dover.
All Dover Cultural Council (DCC) funds originate from legislatively appropriated state funds that are allocated by the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) to Local Cultural Councils (LCC). Grant funds are reimbursed to award recipients after the successful completion of their program.
Any individual or non-profit organization is eligible to apply directly to the Dover Cultural Council (DCC) for a Local Cultural Councils (LCC) grant, or to the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) for any of the state agency’s numerous other cultural grant programs.
The size of grant awards depends on the annual funding allocation that the Dover Cultural Council has received from the state Massachusetts Cultural Councils, as well as, the number and quality of LCC applications received during a given year . Grants awarded in recent years have ranged from $100 to $800, with the average being around $300.
Applications for Local Cultural Councils (LCC) grants are available from the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC)’s website. This website also provides LCC grant guidelines, the ability to prepare an LCC application online, as well as information about all of the other grant programs offered by the MCC.
Depending on the Massachusetts Cultural Council (MCC) determined application schedule, award notification and denial letters are sent two to three months following the deadline, as determined by the MCC. In recent years, the application deadline was mid-October, and notification letters were sent out in December and January.
Anyone who is interested in working with the DCC or becoming a member, should contact any of the current DCC members, or a member of the Dover Board of Selectmen.
The Committee will continue to assess the needs for affordable and elderly housing on an ongoing basis (follow up on 1989 report).
The Committee will actively work to review the Town’s zoning bylaws, in conjunction with the Planning Board and other town committees, to foster the development of affordable housing. The Committee should maintain effective communication with non-profit groups and individual townspeople for the purpose of developing and accomplishing its goals.
Dover Emergency Management is a subsection of the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which handles the needs of the town in times of emergency.
The Director of Dover Emergency Management Agency reports to the Selectmen and Area 2 of Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency.
Please call 508-785-1130 to get in touch with the Dover Emergency Management Agency.
Please call the Dover Emergency Management Agency any time a town wide emergency exists and you do not need the immediate assistance of the police, fire department, or ambulance.
In times of emergency, the office is open and operating via the phone and is staffed at the Town Hall when a shelter is possibly needed. Town Hall is located at:5 Springdale AvenueDover, MA 02030
Call 508-654-7778 for help with your utility bills.
It is a step by step process.
Learn more about Smoke Alarm Safety on Mass.Gov.
Please fill out an application with the Town Treasurer’s office, located at:5 Springdale AvenueDover, MA 02030
A $40 fee is required.**Due to COVID19-please use this link for online payment.**
The number of smoke detectors depends on the size of the house. To request locations please contact the Fire Department at 508-785-1130, ext. 225. It is recommended to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks twice a year.
Yes. It operates a Basic Life Support (BLS) ambulance, with Advanced Life Support (ALS) paramedics provided by mutual aid fire departments.
Yes, with a permit during burning season, (January 15th through May 1). Call the Dover Police/Fire Communication Center for a permit at 508-785-1130 on the morning of the day you wish to burn.
No, only brush can be burned.
We must carry the water needed to suppress a fire.
There are 73 miles of road in Dover.
To relocate your driveway, file an application for a street opening permit (PDF).
There is a 5-year pavement management plan. Call the Highway Department at 508-785-0058 to review the plan.
It depends on weather and road conditions. Call us at 508-785-0058 for the weekly schedule.
Stickers are available in the Town Garage Monday through Friday between 8 am and 4 pm, or you can get them directly at the Transfer Station.
If you power goes out, please call NSTAR at 800-592-2000.
Call us at 508-785-0058 and we will notify the Tree Warden or NSTAR if needed.
There is no residential trash pick-up provided by the Town of Dover, but there are private haulers that service Dover.
The Dover Transfer Station accepts household trash, food scraps and many recyclables. It is open to all Dover residents with a Transfer Station sticker (no charge) on their car. Stickers are available at the Transfer Station or online.
Stickers are available at the Transfer Station (211 Powisset Street) or online. Detailed instructions and appropriate application forms are available here.
The Dover Transfer Station is open to all Dover residents with a car sticker. It is located on Powisset Street and is open Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8 am to 3:45 pm
Food waste is one of the heaviest components of your weekly trash. Since the town pays for incineration by weight, you can help to reduce the town’s disposal costs by removing this item from your trash. In addition, overuse of kitchen disposals can adversely affect the functioning of your septic system.
Food waste should be separated from trash and disposed of in the large barrels located next to the compost area at the Transfer Station. This includes bones, shells, corn cobs, tea bags, coffee grounds, and all meats, eggs and fish. All food must be bagged. Residents may use any type of bag - plastic, paper or compostable. The town recommends the use of compostable bags.
Items that are NOT acceptable are recyclables, cooking oil, yard waste, boxes, cups and cartons.
Kitchen countertop containers and 10-gallon garage pails for transport are available for purchase at the Transfer Station. Compostable bags are available at local grocery and hardware stores, Amazon and Target.
The food waste is transported to an anaerobic digester to be converted to biogas. The town’s goal is to turn this waste into a renewable energy source.
The program is available to all residents with a current Transfer Station sticker which is offered for free and can be obtained at the Transfer Station or Town Garage.
The Deposit Shed at the Transfer Station is used to collect deposit cans, and plastic and glass bottles. Prior to the COVID situation, the Recycling Committee assigned a local non-profit organization (garden club, school organization, girl scouts) to man the trailer each month and keep the monthly earnings received by bringing the deposit bottles and cans to a Deposit Center in Medfield. Due to the closing of this redemption centers, the Deposit Shed will now be maintained by the Transfer Station staff and the deposit containers will be delivered to a redemption center by the Dover Highway Department.
The Dover Transfer Station will not accept mattresses or box springs. Twice a year (June and November) there will be designated times that we will have special collection days for these items. Alternatively, residents can bring their mattresses and box springs to Conigliaro Industries, 701 Waverly Street, Framingham and pay a small fee.
The Demolition Review Bylaw was enacted for the purpose of protecting and conserving the architectural, historical and aesthetic resources of the Town of Dover. Its aim is to encourage owners of "preferably-preserved historically significant buildings" to seek ways to preserve, rehabilitate or restore such buildings rather than demolish them.
To achieve these goals, this chapter both empowers the Dover Historical Commission to advise the Inspector of Buildings with regard to the issuance of permits for demolition and regulates the issuance of demolition permits for significant buildings.
When the Inspector of Buildings receives a completed application for a demolition permit for a building, the Inspector of Buildings submits a copy of the application to the Commission within 7 days of filing and notifies the applicant in writing of this action.
Houses, shops, barns, outbuildings and other structures which have a roof and a permanent foundation and serving as a shelter for persons, animals or property come under the Bylaw. The structure must have been wholly or in part constructed during or before 1929.
Within 21 days after the receipt of the application the Commission will meet and determine whether the building or structure is historically significant. The Commission will notify the applicant of the meeting at least 7 days in advance of the meeting, and the applicant for the permit is entitled to make a presentation to the Commission.
The bylaw lists three criteria:
If the Commission so decides, then the Inspector of Buildings will be notified, and the demolition may proceed.
If the Commission determines that the building or structure is historically significant, it will notify the Inspector of Buildings and the applicant in writing that a demolition plan review must be made prior to the issuance of a demolition permit.
Within 60 days after the applicant is notified that the Commission has determined that a building or structure is historically significant, the applicant for the permit will submit to the Commission 5 copies of a demolition plan which shall include the following information:
Within 45 days of the receipt of this demolition plan, the Commission will review the application at a public hearing of the Commission to determine if the structure is preferably preserved. Public notice of such hearing will be published by the Commission at the expense of the applicant in a local newspaper of the time, place and purpose of the hearing once in each of 2 successive weeks, the first publication not less than 14 days before the day of said hearing. The Commission will also mail a copy of this notice to the applicant and to all owners of all property within 300 feet of the applicant’s property as appearing on the most recent tax list.
Any historically significant structure which, because of its importance to the Town’s historical or architectural resources or heritage, is in the public interest to preserve, rehabilitate or restore.
After a public hearing, if the Commission determines that the demolition of the building would result in the demolition of a significant building whose loss would be detrimental to the historical or architectural heritage or resources of the Town, the building will be considered a Preferably Preserved Historically Significant Structure and the Commission shall so advise, in writing, both the applicant and the Inspector of Buildings within 7 days of the hearing, and no demolition permit shall be issued until 1 year after the date of such determination by the Commission.
During the one-year waiting period, the applicant and the Commission will make a good faith effort to find an alternative use for the building that will result in its preservation. The owner will cooperate with the Commission by providing reasonable access to the structure. Alternatives to demolition include, but are not limited to:
The owner is responsible for properly securing the building, if vacant, to the satisfaction of the Inspector of Buildings. Should the owner fail to secure the building to the satisfaction of the Inspector of Buildings, the subsequent destruction of such building through any cause, which destruction could have been prevented by the required security measures, is considered a demolition in violation of the Bylaw.
If no viable alternatives to the demolition of the building are found during the one-year waiting period, the owner of record shall cooperate with the Commission by permitting reasonable access, with prior notice, to the building for archival and documentation purposes for at least 30 days prior to the expiration of the waiting period. Upon the expiration of the waiting period, the Inspector of Buildings may issue a demolition permit.
From September to June, the Commission meets on the first Tuesday of each month. The Commission may also meet at other times necessitated by the strict timelines in the Demolition Review Bylaw. Look at the Meeting Calendar for specific dates and times.
The seven members are appointed by the Board of Selectmen for rotating three-year terms.
The Selectmen determine when the Warrant is open and articles will be accepted. Usually, it opens around the first of December and closes at the end of January for the May Annual Town Meeting. Call the Board of Selectmen’s Office for more information.
The Moderator will recognize you when you raise your hand. It is always helpful to contact the Moderator before Town Meeting or attend the Moderator’s Meeting held the week before Town Meeting if you know that you want to be recognized during the discussion of a particular article.
Dover has open space for recreation owned by
More information can be found on their websites and on our Outdoor Recreation page.
Dover has two boat launching sites:
Different properties have different rules about dogs. Please check the individual property websites for more information.
There are no biking lanes on Dover’s streets. View the state bicycle laws. The Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation Department have information on off-road biking.
There are many conservation options. MassWoods and Land Conservation Options (PDF) are a good place to start .
There are many trails available in Dover. Go to Noanet Woodlands, Wylde Woods or the Norfolk Hunt Club.
Dover’s by-laws, specifically C. 109, speak to hunting regulations within the Town of Dover.
No person shall fire or discharge any firearm within the limits of any park, playground or other public property, except with the consent of the Board of Selectmen, or hunt, trap, fire or discharge any firearm on any private property, except with the written consent, to be in the person’s possession, of the owner or legal occupant thereof.
This by-law serves to prohibit all hunting, regardless of the weapon used, on all public lands of the town. Conversely, it allows hunting only on private property provided, however, the person engaged in hunting has the written permission of the landowner or person in lawful control of the property on his/her person while so engaged.
In addition to local by-laws, Massachusetts has several statutes and regulations dealing with possession and carrying of firearms. Also on the books of the Commonwealth are a whole host of statutes and regulations that govern hunting in Massachusetts. Anyone, even with written permission, hunting upon private lands in Dover must also conform to the strict State laws and regulations addressing these issues.
You can get one in our office for $10. See the Parks and Recreation website for more information.
Visit the Parks and Recreation website for information.
Dover residents may use the courts when they are not scheduled for lessons or tournaments.
Yes. Visit the Conservation Commission page for more information and to find information on Wylde Woods. You can also visit the Parks and Recreation website for information.
Signs can be put on the Town Common if your organization is a non-profit and is located in Dover. Contact Parks and Recreation for details at 508-785-0476.
There are three Residential zones (1/2-acre, 1-acre and 2-acre) as well as zones for:
Refer to the Dover Town Code Chapter 185-6 through 185-8 for information about the zoning districts in Dover. Refer to the end of Chapter 185 in the Dover Town Code for the zoning map.
Any owner wishing to subdivide land for development must present an application to the Planning Board. For a subdivision to be approved all lots must contain the minimum frontage and area requirements for its zoning district and the road must meet certain design standards. A public hearing and notification of abutters is required.
The Planning Board Rules and Regulations (Chapter 248 of the Dover Town Code) include the specific requirements of the design and approval process.
The Dover Town Code Chapter 245-3 lists the roads subject to Scenic Road regulations. Any work planned within the right-of-way on a scenic road may require a Scenic Road hearing before the Planning Board.
The applicant must complete and submit a Determination of Need for a Scenic Road Hearing form. The Planning Board office then will determine whether the hearing is needed.
Hearings are required for plans to alter stone walls and/or removal of trees with a caliper of 1.5 inches or greater. If a hearing is needed, the applicant completes the Scenic Road Application form and submits it to the Planning Board along with the fee.
A plan to remove trees on a scenic road may require a Scenic Road Hearing before the Planning Board. The applicant must complete a Determination of Need for a Scenic Road Hearing form (PDF). The Planning Board office then determines whether the hearing is needed.
The Town does not have jurisdiction over trees on private property unless they are within the buffer zone of wetlands or a perennial stream. In such a case, you should contact the Conservation Commission to determine any approvals needed.
The Planning Board grants Special Permits for development in the Business, Manufacturing and Medical-Professional districts, and for proposed multi-family/elderly housing. On residential property you should check with the Building Department, Zoning Board of Appeals, Board of Health and/or Conservation Commission to determine which if any permits are needed for your proposed work.
The sign bylaw (Town Code Chapter 185-35) determine the types of permanent and temporary signs that may be placed on your property. Certain signs on residential properties and all business signs require approval of the Planning Board.
The Perfect Square refers to the requirement that a buildable lot be large enough to contain a perfect square with dimensions equal to the frontage requirement for that zoning district. For example, in the R-2 District, the lot must have 200 feet of frontage and be capable of containing a perfect square that is 200 by 200 feet. No lot may be narrower than its minimum required frontage between the right-of way line (frontage) and the required perfect square.
Refer to 185a Schedule of Dimensional Requirements (PDF) in the Dover Town Code for the measurements of the minimum frontage required.
See Schedule of Filing Fees and Engineering Review Deposits (PDF).
To determine your property lines, you should hire an engineer to survey your property.
There is a plan known as an ANR (Approval not Required) so you should hire an engineer to survey the two properties and create the ANR and possibly an Attorney to oversee the transfer of land.
According to Section 4-12 of the Code of the Town of Dover, “there shall be a 5-member Planning Board elected on a rotating basis of 1 member each year for a 5-year term. The Planning Board’s duties and authority shall include, but shall not be limited to, those specified in M.G.L. ch. 41, § 81A et seq. An associate member of the Planning Board shall be elected at the Annual Town Election for a two-year term. Any vacancy in the position shall be filled in accordance with the procedure prescribed in Chapter 41, Section 81A, of the Massachusetts General Laws. The Chairman of the Planning Board, when acting as special permit granting authority, may designate the associate member to sit on this Board for the purposes of acting on a Special Permit application in the case of the absence, inability to act, or conflict of interest on the part of any member of the Planning Board or in the event of a vacancy on this board.
Only dogs need licenses in Dover. Dog licenses are issued annually by the Town Clerk’s office. New dogs should be licensed as soon as they arrive in Dover. Proof of an up-to-date rabies vaccination is required for the license.
Call the Dover Police Department at 508- 785-1130 and they will contact the Animal Control Office, if necessary.
Call the Dover Police Department 508-785-1130 and they will notify the Animal Control Officer or the Highway Department, as appropriate.
No, there is no leash law per se. We do have a by-law which mandates the owner to be in control of the animal at all times. If the animal is not within sight of their owner, they are not in control. Various open space recreation properties in Dover have different rules regarding dog walking so please check the rules for specific properties that are available on this website.
Dover does not have a by-law regarding noisy animals. We hope that neighbors will work together to address any problems associated with pets or farm animals. If problems persist, please contact the Dover Police Department at 508-785-1130.
The Dover Board of Health Animal Inspector is responsible for the inspection of barns, livestock, and waterfowl. An inspection is done annually to assess the conditions under which animals are being kept, if they appear free of contagious disease, and to check the status of disease testing and inoculation.
If you have prescription drugs in your medicine cabinet that you no longer need, the Dover Police Department has a drug take-back container; you are invited to use it. The container is self-serve and there is no paperwork or questions involved - it is as easy as returning a library book in a drop box.
The Dover Police Department is located at:3 Walpole StreetDover, MA 02030
No; when we receive noise complaints we try to resolve them without having to determine the offending party a disturber of the peace.
The speed varies depending upon the area. The speed (unless otherwise posted) is 20 miles per hour in a school zone, 30 miles per hour in a thickly settled district, and 40 miles per hour outside the thickly settled. In no case is a speed greater than 40 miles per hour permitted.
Yes! Dover is an extremely safe community. We have one of the lowest crime rates of communities our size in the state.
No; Dover streets, for the most part, are public ways. We cannot bar people from using them but we can, and do, require they observe the laws.
There are no biking lanes on Dover’s streets. State bicycle laws can be accessed on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts website. The Conservation Commission and the Parks and Recreation department have information on off-road biking.
You will receive an electronic confirmation for online registrations ONLY. We do not send or call with confirmations for all other registrations and you will only be notified if:
The chosen program has reached capacity and you have been placed onto the waiting list
There are changes in the status of the chosen program
There are other unforeseen complications with your registration.
Consider yourself or your children enrolled in the programs of your choice when you send in a completed registration form with payment and you do not hear from us.
We will notify you if a program has been filled, cancelled, or changed
Dover Parks and Recreation reserves the right to cancel or consolidate any program that does not meet minimum participation limits and is not responsible for classes missed due to the participant’s inability to attend.
Every attempt will be made to reschedule a class that has been cancelled due to inclement weather, unforeseen circumstances, etc. In most cases, an additional week will be added to the end of the program. Dover Parks and Recreation is not responsible for classes missed due to a participant’s inability to attend.
If a program is cancelled by Dover Parks and Recreation OR you withdraw in writing prior to one week before the start of a program (or stated registration deadline when applicable), you may request a full refund.
PLEASE NOTE: Refunds are issued as a Town of Dover check only, and take approximately 4 - 6 weeks to fully process and mail. If you withdraw within one week of OR after the start of a program’s stated registration deadline, you will receive NO refund. Circumstances may allow us to grant a credit for future Parks and Recreation programs. These decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.
You can download the Absentee Ballot (PDF), or visit the Absentee Voting page for more information.
Visit the Obtaining Birth Certificates page for information on getting a certified copy of a Birth Certificate.
Learn how to obtain a Business Certificate on the Business Certificate ("Doing Business As" (DBA)) page.
Get information on obtaining a Death Certificate on the Copies of Death Certificates page.
Get information on how to get a Dog License on the Dog License page.
To learn about the Town of Dover’s form of government, please visit the Our Form of Government page.
Get information on obtaining a Marriage Certificate on the Copies of Marriage Certificate page.
Get a Marriage License from the Town Clerk. Learn more on the Marriage Licenses page.
Get details on how to obtain a Raffle Permit on the Raffle Permit page.
To find out how to register to vote, visit the Voter Registration page.
Go to the Our Form of Government page for information on the Town Meeting.
For information about how, when, and where to vote, please visit the Voting Process page.
Tax bills are issued quarterly and are based upon Dover’s fiscal year which begins July 1. The due dates for the payments are:
Interest accrues at 14% for all overdue Real Estate tax payments.
Overdue bills are charged the interest rate of 14%.
Real Estate and Personal Property taxes are assessed to the owner of record as of January 1st. If the property is sold, the tax bills cannot be changed until the following fiscal year. The original owner should forward a copy of the tax bill to the new owner.
The law specifies that bills be sent to the owner of record at the Registry of Deeds. Often mortgages are sold or homeowners refinance the property, which can result in an overdue bill. Homeowners should forward a copy of the bill to the Escrow department at their bank/mortgage company.
No. Bills must be received before the due date. Please allow time for delivery.
The charge for a municipal lien certificate is $25.
Call the Treasurer at 508-785-0032, ext. 228 to see if the balance is still owed.
Contact the Treasurer at 508-785-0032, ext. 228. They will order one from the payroll service. It will cost $7.50.
Contact the Assessor’s Office at 508-785-0032, ext. 241 for information on tax relief programs for abatements and exemptions.
Maybe. The town’s right-of-way varies. Please contact the Superintendent of Streets (Highway Department) for a specific determination.
Not without permission from the Tree Warden and/or the Planning Board if your street is a designated scenic road.
Yes. The Tree Warden will do so if it is proximate to or on town property.
Yes, if it is proximate to or on town property.
The Warrant Committee generally meets once a week from September to May. Check the Town Calendar for meeting dates and times.
Yes. All Warrant Committee meetings are open to the public.
Members of the Warrant Committee are appointed by the Moderator.
There is more than one way for an article to get on the Warrant.
The first way is for the Board of Selectmen to determine what items can get on the Town Warrant for Town Meeting. In addition to that, in Massachusetts, residents may place articles on the warrant without approval of the Selectmen by petitioning to insert the article.
Petitions to insert an article on the warrant for an Annual Town Meeting require ten signatures of eligible Dover voters. Petitions to insert an article on the warrant for a Special Town Meeting require 100 signatures or the signatures of 10% of the registered voters in the town, whichever is less.
The Warrant for the Annual Town Meeting is usually open for acceptance of articles in early December and closes in late January. Please call the Selectmen’s Office at 508-785-0032, ext. 221 for more information.
Yes. There is an Open Hearing in March open to all residents of Dover. Also, the Warrant Committee sends out a "blue book" with their recommendations on the articles prior to Town Meeting in May.
The Warrant Committee sends an electronic copy of the blue book to the town’s Information Technology (IT) Department for posting on the homepage of the town website at the same time it is ready in hard copy.
It is made available on the homepage of the Dover Town Website until Town Meeting occurs.
Terms are for 3 years.
Currently, the Town of Dover has no authority (neither its Board of Selectmen nor its Board of Health) to regulate the amount of water usage associated with private wells. Unlike many other towns, Dover has not approved any regulations or bylaws that allow for enforcement of recommended water conservation activities during normal times or during state-declared drought conditions. Massachusetts General Law Ch. 21 Section 67 specifies that 1. irrigation systems include a moisture sensor to shut off systems during and immediately after rain events and 2. registration of systems with the Town which would provide a means of communicating with and educating irrigation system users. However, these regulations have not been implemented in Dover.
At present, the Massachusetts Department of Protection (MassDEP) regulates all Public Water Suppliers (PWSs), like the Colonial Water Company, that has a permit through the Water Management Act (WMA) to pump water. That permit limits the amount of water that the PWS can withdraw from the aquifer and also requires that the companies develop and implement a water conservation program. However, there is little if any enforcement of the permit terms.
There is a statewide Drought Management Task Force that is under the authority of the Secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (MAOEEA) and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The Drought Management Task Force meets frequently during the summer months to assess the condition of water supplies in the state. It then recommends that the Secretary issue various declarations of level of drought situations in the state and ask citizens to adjust their behavior accordingly.
The Dover Board of Health attends the meetings of the Drought Management Task Force and then recommends that Dover residents adjust their water conservation practices voluntarily according to the severity of the drought.
The Dover Board of Health communicates its recommendations for additional water conservation actions using the various social media platforms focused on Dover (e.g., Town of Dover website, the Town of Dover Facebook page, NextDoor), electronic message boards, and signage around town. Colonial Water Company customers should expect to receive communication directly from the company on general conservation activities and specific emergency declarations.
Water use restrictions are especially recommended during seasonal peak demand periods (May-September) due to the impact of irrigation systems on water usage. When MassDEP declares a drought warning or drought emergency, dedicated informational signs are placed throughout the town.
If you are interested in subscribing to the BOH or general Dover newsflash opt-in email system and are not currently registered, you can opt-in by using the following link: https://www.doverma.org/447/2649/Notify-Me
The Drought Management Plan was published in September 2019 with a goal to prepare for and respond to drought conditions in 7 regions within the state. Dover is in the Southeast Region. The drought categories are based on several data indices and address nonessential outdoor watering.
Private well users are requested to voluntarily adhere to the restrictions as well as the customers of Public Water Suppliers like the Colonial Water Company.
The levels and restrictions are:
• Level 0 Normal
• Level 1 Mild Drought: 1 day/week watering 5pm - 9am
• Level 2 Significant Drought: watering limited to hand-held hoses or watering cans and only between 5pm - 9am
• Level 3 Critical Drought: ban on all nonessential outdoor water use
• Level 4 Emergency Drought: ban on all nonessential outdoor water use
Drought declarations in Massachusetts (and elsewhere) are based upon a number of considerations detailed in the state’s Drought Plan and are driven by much more than short term precipitation amounts. Even a large rainfall in a short duration may do very little to recharge our aquifers. During the summer months, for example, most precipitation becomes either soil moisture that returns to the atmosphere through evaporation through the soil and plants, or becomes surface runoff that ends up in streams and rivers. So, we should be happy for the rain (and turn off our irrigation systems).
It is estimated that lawn and landscaping irrigation account for over half of all household water consumption during the months from May through September. While all residents should adopt water conservation methods both indoors and outside throughout the year, saving water during the summer is as simple as turning off your irrigation system and/or adjusting it to use much less water. The watering of gardens, flowerbeds and trees can be accomplished by use of a bucket, spring-loaded spray nozzle, or micro/drip irrigation.
Per state regulations (MGL Ch.21.67), irrigation systems should include a programmable controller that automatically manages the flow and timing of water use, and a moisture sensing device to automatically shut off systems based upon rain events. New smart wifi-based controllers can be monitored and managed remotely by either you or your irrigation provider from a smart phone, tablet, or computer. These devices are promoted to reduce water consumption by about 30%.
Outdoor watering is most efficient between 5pm and 9am. Sunlight significantly increases evaporation, meaning that water that was intended to reach your lawn is lost to the air. Dover recommends outdoor watering between the hours of 5am-7am to maximize uptake and limit the amount of residual surface moisture, which can leave your plants susceptible to mold.
You can also mow your lawn at a taller height, plant native shrubs and trees, use drip irrigation, and use a rain barrel to collect water (available at the Dover Transfer Station and at the Dover Town Garage).
All tree and shrub plantings and new lawns should be planted in the spring or fall to avoid irrigation during the summer months when water use should be limited. In addition, plants native to the region can be used in your landscape design to reduce watering needs.
According to the EPA, the two most water- wasting categories in a house are leaks and inefficient products. High efficiency toilets, dishwashers, clothes washers, aerators, and other low flow devices are effective in conserving water. Just like there are products labelled Energy Saver, there are WaterSense faucets, showerheads, toilets, etc. that have been certified as water reducers by the EPA. Look for these products when buying new and take a look at the provided links for tips on evaluating your indoor water use and improving your water conservation.