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Welcome to our Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some answers to common questions We hope you find these helpful. If you don't find your answer here please visit the Contact Town Hall page and let us know.

Abatements: How do I virtual for an abatement?
Obtain an abatement request form by calling 781-581-0212, writing, or stopping by the Assessor's Office. The office must receive the forms no later than thirty days from the date of making the third quarter bill. The Board of Assessors will review and respond to your abatement request within 90 days of your filing.

My neighbor says to virtual an abatement application even if my property valuation appears correct. Is he right?
No. The fact is that only about one in four taxpayers filing an abatement request receives an abatement. The Board of Assessors grants only taxpayers who have demonstrated that a property data error exists or a significant unusual condition was not recognized when appraising the property an abatement.

If I virtual an abatement request, do I have to attend a hearing with the Board of Assessors?
No. If you wish to have a hearing, you may request one. A hearing is neither necessary nor desirable in most cases; if the facts warrant a change in value, we will change it, whether you meet with us or not.

Absentee Ballots: How do I get an absentee ballot?
To request an absentee ballot, registered voters must complete an absentee ballot application or submit a written request, including the address at which the voter is registered to vote and the address the ballot should be mailed to. This application must be given to the Town Clerk's Office. If you have questions call the Town Clerk's Office at 781-581-0018

Alarms: Are there any town regulations regarding home security alarms?
Security alarms (burglar/holdup) may not be connected with the lines of the Police Department to transmit alarm activations. Any alarm which produces an audible signal shall emit a signal not to exceed ten minutes and shall not cycle more than twice during any activation. The third and subsequent false alarms responded to by police in a single calendar year are subject to a $50 service fee. If an alarm is accidentally activated, there is a procedure to cancel police response to avoid being credited with a false alarm response. Contact the Alarm Officer at the Police Station for further information.

All-night Services: Where can I find a 24-hour gas/diesel service station?
Not available in Nahant. Try the Lynnway in Lynn.

Are there any 24-hour pharmacies in Nahant?
No. The closest is the CVS in Swampscott, Vivinn Square

Animals: Do dogs and cats have to be licensed?
Dogs must be licensed annually. The license year is from January 1 to December 31 (a late fee is charged after March 31). Current rabies certificate and proof of neutering/spaying are required. For further information and fees, call the Town Clerk's Office at 781-581-0018. There are currently no license requirements for cats, but they must be vaccinated against rabies.

What can I do about a stray dog that is annoying people in my neighborhood?
Dogs must be leashed or under effective control by their owners. You may call the Animal Control Officer at 781-581-0026 to report complaints or problems with dogs or other animals. On weekends call the Police Station 781-581-1212.

What should I do to protect my family from rabies?
Have dogs and cats vaccinated against rabies. Do not feed pets or put garbage outside. Instruct your children to stay away from all wild animals and to report to you immediately if they see any animal behaving strangely.

Will the Town dispose of dead animals?
The Animal Control Officer picks up dead dogs. The Highway Division of the DPW disposes of other dead animals, except squirrels.

Assessments: My property assessment seems high, but I'm not sure if I'm over assessed. What should I do?
The Assessor's Office makes valuation and sales reports available for public inspection. Feel free to conduct a review of your assessment. If you find that your valuation is significantly out of line with sales of similar homes, or valuations of neighboring properties, you may have just cause for filing an abatement request.

My valuation appears to be a little less than what I believe it is worth. How come?
The Assessor's Office attempts to be conservative in estimating the value of your property.

Does someone actually inspect my home before appraising it?
Cursory exterior inspections of all properties are conducted to track major property changes. In 1994 the Assessor's Office began a program of periodic inspections, with the goal being to perform a complete interior and exterior inspection of each property once every ten years. Of necessity, annual reevaluation's of Nahant's approximately 1,500 properties are conducted using computers and mass appraisal processes. Property values are based to a significant degree on sales dates.

I verified the assessor's property data for my property and found no errors, yet my valuation seems to be higher than what I believe it could be sold for. Is there anything I can do?
Probably not, unless there are grounds for filing an abatement request. Realize that the market for real estate can be highly erratic, and nearly identical houses in similar neighborhoods may sell for widely differing prices. Independent appraisals on a given property may vary significantly from each other and from actual sales prices. Our system of valuation attempts to average all types of sales including sales below, at, or above the theoretical 'fair' market value. Taxpayers' concerns should focus on whether the Assessor's Office has a reasonable and consistent approach to valuing properties.

Automobile Registration: How long can I drive in Massachusetts with out-of-state plates?
A legal resident of Massachusetts must be licensed, and have owned vehicles registered, in Massachusetts. There is no grace period.

Where do I register my car?
Car registration is handled at any Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Office. Some insurance companies will handle this for you (you need insurance in order to register your vehicle). The nearest Registry office is located in Beverly Mass.

Ball Fields: How do I make a ball field reservation?
Any request for the use of Town owned Ball fields must be made in writing to the Board of Selectmen, The individual reserving the field or picnic area must be a resident of Nahant, or the company must be based in Nahant with a majority of players residing in Nahant.

Bailey's Hill: Can I use the bandstand for wedding photos or other private use?
Yes. Contact the Town Manager's Office at 781-581-9927 regarding cost and to make reservations for use of the bandstand and adjacent area.

Block Parties: Can our neighbors close off a block on our street to have a block party?
Yes, if written permission is granted by the Board of Selectmen.

Building Permits: Do I need a building permit to build a deck? To add a patio?
A building permit is required to construct a deck; however, a permit is not required for a patio or a walkway.

Burning: Can I burn brush in Nahant?
Open burning is strictly controlled according to state law. The open burning dates are from January 15 to April 30 each year. Persons desiring permission to burn must call the Fire Department on the day they desire a permit. There is no permit fee. Open burning rules prohibit the burning of leaves, grass, stumps, large limbs, and trash. Fires must be kept 75 feet away from buildings and not cause a smoke nuisance to neighbors. In addition, the fire must be attended and a hose made available. Burning must take place between 10:00 a.m. and4:00 p.m. High winds or dry or poor atmospheric conditions may require the Fire Department to prohibit burning at certain periods.

Bus Service: Can I obtain information about MBTA service in Nahant from the Transportation Services Office?
Yes. There is also information available on this website.

Cable TV: What control does the town have over the cable TV company?
The Town grants a non-exclusive franchise for operating cable TV service within the town. The franchise is renegotiated periodically. During the term of each franchise agreement, the Town oversees cable operations under the franchise via the Cable TV Advisory Committee appointed by the Town Administrator.
Where do I complain about cable TV service?
You should first call the Cable TV company, AT&T Broadband, at 978-927-5700. If they are not responsive, you can contact the Town Administrator's office at 781-581-9927.

Day Care: Where can I obtain a list of day care providers?
A list of licensed day care providers may be obtained by contacting the state Office for
Children.

Deed: How do I get a copy of my deed?
A copy of your deed may be obtained at the Assessor's Office (781-581-0212), which has copies of deeds dating back to 1965.

Driveways: Is a permit needed to resurface my driveway?
Only if you require a curb cut or other street opening purpose. Call the DPW at 781-581-0026

Employment: Where are notices of town job openings posted?
Notices of job openings are posted on bulletin boards in the Town Hall

Where do I go to get working papers for my teenager?
You should take your child to the High School office to obtain working papers.

Emergency Numbers: What emergency phone numbers should I post near my telephone? See our Emergencies and Disaster Preparedness page

Excise Taxes: Can I appeal the amount of excise taxes I was billed for on my new car?
Yes, under unusual circumstances. When in doubt, pay your bill and contact the Tax
Collector's Office at 781-581-0212 for more specific information.

Fireworks: Is it legal to have fireworks in Nahant?
Massachusetts's law strictly prohibits all firecrackers, cherry bombs, M80's, poppers, and even sparklers. Penalties exist for those convicted of failure to comply with the law.

Garage or Yard Sales: Do l need a permit to have a garage sale?
Yes. Contact the Selectmen's Office.

Golf: Where do I find information pertaining to the Kelley Greens Golf Course in town?
Questions or concerns about the Kelley Greens Golf Course should be directed to the Golf Pro at the course at 781-581-0840.

Hang-up Calls: How do I discourage harassing or hang-up phone calls?
The telephone company publishes their procedures in the front of most phone books in the "Consumer Rights and Responsibilities" section. Please follow these guidelines before calling the Police Station.

Hazardous Materials: How do I dispose of hazardous materials?
THere are many resources for disposal of hazardous materials. Click on this link for Mass DEP resources and links.

What can I do with hazardous waste if I am moving or cannot wait?
Paints with the covers removed, filled with speedy dry or cat litter will dry out quickly and then can be placed at curbside with regular rubbish. If you don't have time to do that or you have sprays, insecticides, or other materials that are hazardous.

Other resources:
- National Pesticide Office at 1-800-858-7378
- Safe Waste Management of Boston
- Mass State Recycling Info

Historic Sites: What historic sites in Nahant are open to the public?
Many areas and buildings throughout the Town of Nahant are historic. For a complete listing contact the Nahant Historical Commission or Historical Society.

Holiday Closings: Which holidays are mandatory for businesses to close? Can businesses open for part of the day on any holidays?
A listing of businesses that are open/closed on holidays is usually printed in the daily newspaper. Laws pertaining to Sundays and holidays are found in Chapter 136 of Massachusetts General Laws. They are complex and include many exemptions.

Housing: Where can 1 find out about housing assistance?
Call the Nahant Housing Authority at 781-581-9623, or the Metropolitan Boston Housing Partnership at 859-0400 for openings.

Library: How can I get a Library card?
Residents of Nahant may obtain a library card at the Library. You must show identification that has your name and Nahant address on it. Children can obtain a library card when they are 5 years old. There is no charge for a library card.

Licenses: Where can I get a license to have a business in my house?
If you wish to operate a business from your home, first check with the Building Inspector to see if the type of business is permitted in your zoning district. Then
you may obtain a d/b/a (doing business as) certificate from the Town Clerk's Office. (Note: You may be liable for personal property taxes. Check with the Assessor's Office, 781-581-0212). Check the Clerk's webpage for more information and forms.

Maps: Where can I get a map of the town?
A street map of Nahant is available in the Town Administrator's Office.

Mosquito Control: Does Nahant spray to kill mosquitoes?
Nahant is a member of the Essex County Mosquito Control Project, which concentrates on drainage and larval control during winter and early spring. Summer spraying is limited and notice is given via available media.

No School Announcements: When it snows, can I call the Police or Fire Department to find out if school is closed?
NO!! Please listen for "No School" announcements on the radio or television, or call the recorded message for Nahant schools at 781-581-1600. Calling the town's emergency services ties up telephone lines that may be needed for vital emergencies.


Noise Complaints: Where can I complain about noisy neighbors?
Contact the Police at 781-581-1212.

Noise Complaints (Logan): Where can I complain about noisy aircraft? The Massport Noise Complaint Line number is 781-561-3333. Call this number every time a plane disturbs you. Records are kept of each complaint, noting time, location, and type of plane. You can call in more than one event at a time, as long as you give exact date and time of each.

Notary Public: Is there a Notary Public in the Town Hall?
Town employees with a Notary Public seal work in the Town Administrator's. The offices are open from 8 AM to 4 PM. weekdays and 5 PM. to 8 PM on Thursday, but lunch schedules vary for each individual. Town employees do not charge for Notary services.

Override: Who can put a Proposition 2-1/2 override question on the ballot?
Only the Board of Selectmen.

Parks and Playgrounds: Where can I find information about parks and playgrounds near my house?
Contact the Town Hall at 781-581-9927. Also, check the Recreation facilities page lists of facilities.

Can I have a party in a town park?
It depends on the nature of the party. Contact the Town Administrator's office at 781-581-9927.

Parking: Where do I get a parking permit?
The Parking Clerk at the Town Hall issue parking permits. In order to be eligible for parking sticker you must be current on all money owed the Town.

Am I allowed to park on the street at night?
Check the parking section in our website.

Parking Violations: I want to protest a parking ticket. What do I do?
The Parking Clerk conducts hearings on request at the Nahant Town Hall. Please call the Parking Clerk at 781-581-0018, to schedule a hearing or for further information. Citizens requesting a hearing may elect to appear in person or forward a signed statement in lieu of appearing to challenge the validity of a parking ticket.

Polling Places: How do I find out where I vote?
Voting takes place at the Nahant Town Hall. See website on voting procedures

Potholes: Should I report dangerous potholes to the town?
Yes. Call the Department of Public Works at 781-581-0026.

Is the town liable for damages to my car from hitting a pothole?
No.

Power Outages: To whom do I report a power outage?
Call National Grid at 1-800-867-5222

Recycling: What do I have to recycle?
Town-wide mandatory curbside recycling is every other week (see our homepage for the current schedule). The following items go into the recycling bins: Glass food and beverage jars, bottles and containers; tin food and beverage cans (aluminum foil and containers are not permitted); PET #1 plastic soda bottles; HDPE #2 plastic natural and pigmented narrow neck beverage, detergent and food containers; juice and milk cartons.

The following go on top of the glass, metal, plastic containers and juice/milk cartons: Newspapers, including glossy inserts, in brown paper bags; magazines and catalogs may be either bundled with string or packed in brown grocery bags; telephone books placed in bin as is; recyclable office paper bagged in clear plastic bags or mixed in with newspaper; and corrugated cardboard boxes, flattened, bundled and tied with string.

Yard waste such as leaves, grass and hedge clippings, dead vegetable and flower plants, wood chips, brush and branches up to 1" in diameter is collected at curbside during specified weeks in the spring and fall.

At other times, yard waste should be taken to the Nahant Compost Area on Spring Road on Wednesdays and Saturdays. You must bring proof of residence, e.g. a driver's license. White goods are picked up curbside by appointment only Town Hall at 781-581-0026.

Where do I get a recycling sticker?

Recycling Stickers can be picked up at the Nahant Town Hall. You must be a participant in the Trash Program and be up to date on payment.

Registry of Motor Vehicles: How do I get to the Registry of Motor Vehicles?
Visit the DMV website for the latest DMV branch locations and wait times.

The nearest branch to Nahant is in Revere at 9C Everett Street.
Mon, Tues, Weds. and Friday | 9 AM to 5 PM
Thursday | 10 AM unti 6 PM

Restraining Order: How can I get a restraining order against someone who is harassing me?
Persons who are or were married to one another; are or were residing together in the same household; are or were related by blood or marriage; having a child in common regardless of whether they have ever lived together; are or have been in a substantive dating or engagement relationship may request an Abuse Prevention Order (Restraining Order) against the other when one or more of the following acts occurs: attempt to cause harm or causing physical harm; placing another in fear of imminent physical harm; causing another to engage involuntarily in sexual relations by force, threat, or duress. Contact the Police Department at 781-581-1212, or the Lynn District Court, for further information or assistance.

School Buses: How do I find out about school bus routes?
Call the School Administration Building at 781-581-1600.

Selective Service: Where do I register for the draft?
Selective Service registration for 18-year-old males is at the Nahant Post Office.

Senior Citizens Services: What are the different groups in the town, which serve older people?
The Council on Aging are located in the Tiffany Room at Town Hall. Their telephone number is 781-581-7557. For Transportation alternatives for senior citizens contact the Council on Aging.

Setback Requirements: Can I put a shed at the edge of my property?
No. A shed must comply with zoning setback requirements.

Sewer: Is there a requirement for all residences to connect to Town sewer?
Yes, Any residence that is within 200 feet of a Town sewer must connect.

Signs: What can I do if I think a sign is blocking visibility on a street?
Make a report to the Department of Public Works at 781-581-0026.

Smoke Detectors: Am I required to have smoke detectors in my house?
Smoke detectors are required in all dwellings.

Also on the smoke detector section it should read that smoke detectors are required for all dwellings.

I am selling my house. What must I do to comply with the smoke detector law?
State law requires that the seller of any residential property receive a certificate of inspection from the Fire Department certifying that smoke detectors are installed and working properly. For normal homes the requirement is a battery or hard-wired smoke detector on each level of the home. Floors that exceed 1,200 square feet require additional detectors. The basement detector must be located at the foot of the cellar stairs.

Persons needing advice about the proper location of smoke detectors may call the Fire Department's business number, 781-581-1235, to get further information. Requests for detector inspections should be made to the department after 8:00 a.m. on the day the inspection is wanted. Appointments are normally scheduled during the afternoon of that day. There is a $25.00 fee for the inspection.

Snow Plowing: What can I do about damage to my mailbox or lawn from snowplows?
You may report it to the Public Works Department at 781-581-0026 and they will make repairs.

Solicitations: Can the town prohibit people from soliciting door-to-door?
The town may regulate, but in most cases may not prohibit soliciting. You should call the
Police Department if you have concerns about illegal or unsafe activities.

Street Lights: How do I report a burned out streetlight?
Call Call National Grid at 1-800-867-5222. If present, please indicate the number on the pole. The number is found on the part of the pole facing the street at about 8 feet from the ground. If no number is present, please indicate the closest address and/or street intersection to best describe the location of the outage. Instructions are also on our website homepage.

Do I need a permit to connect my sump pump or house gutters to the storm drain?
Yes. You will need to obtain a list of Licensed Drain layers from the DPW, 781-581-0026. Once you choose a contractor from that list, they will be required to apply for a permit prior to beginning the word.

Swimming: Are people who do not live in Nahant allowed to use beaches in Nahant?
Yes! All beaches in Nahant are open to the public; however, parking is restricted to Nahant residents.

Taxes: I thought Proposition 2-1/2 limited my tax increase to 2-1/2 percent, so why did my tax bill increase by more than that amount?
The total tax levy should increase no more than 2-1/2 percent, plus amounts for new growth and any overrides and debt exclusions. Higher increases in individual tax bills may result from tax burden shifts (your assessed valuation may have increased more than average), tax rate shifts (classification among residential, commercial, and personal property is voted by the Board of Selectmen), or additions or renovations, which increase the valuation of your property.

My tax bill is up more than the average town-wide increase. Does this mean I am
Over assessed?

Not necessarily. Different residential properties experience different rates of appreciation at
different times.

Town Hall: Can I reserve meeting rooms or the auditorium in Vary Hall?
Nonprofit groups and organizations may reserve the meeting rooms in the Town Hall. Fees depend whether police and fire personnel will be required. Call the Town Administrator's Office at 781-581-9927 for further information or to reserve a room.
Census
Can I prevent my date of birth from being made public?
No. Date of birth is public record under law except for those ages 17 and under.

Town Meeting: When does Town Meeting happen?
The annual Town Meeting takes place on the last Saturday of April. For more information about the Town Meeting see the Clerk's webpage on this website.

Trash Pickup: What can I do if my trash isn't picked up?
If it was put out before 7:00 a.m., call the Public Works Department at 781-581-0026 or the contractor. Refer to your recycling brochure for the number.

Is trash collected on holidays?
When a scheduled collection day falls on one of the following hoildays; New Year's Day, Fourth of July, Veterans Day and Christmas Day, there shall be no collection on that day. Collection for those days and all remaining days of the week shall occur one day late.

Voting: Where do I register to vote?
You may register to vote at any Town Clerk's Office or Board of Registrars in the Commonwealth. Your form will be forwarded to the city or town of your residency.

What is the deadline for registering to vote in an election?
For all elections, voters must register 20 days before the date of the election.

Water: Is there a way to avoid paying sewer charges on water I use to water my lawn?
Yes, contact the Water and Sewer Division of the Department of Public Works at 781-581-0026.

Whom should I call if my plumber tells me the outside water pipes need to be upgraded or renewed?
Call the Town Hall a list of Licensed Drain layers in the Town.

Yard Sales: Do I need a permit to have a yard sale?
Yes. You should obtain a permit from the Selectmen's Office. There is a $5 fee for the permit.

Zoning: How do I find out what zoning district I am in?
Call Town Hall for a zoning map.

How do I obtain a copy of the Zoning By-Laws?

Call the Town Clerk at 781-581-0018. The Zoning By-laws are also available on this website.

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