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ZONING BOOK City of Lowell, Massachusetts Adopted by the Lowell City Council December 7, 2004. This document includes all approved amendments through November 16, 2010. Page 2 Chapter 290 of the City Code of Ordinances Lowell Zoning Ordinance CONTENTS* ARTICLE I. PURPOSE AND AUTHORITY 1.1 TITLE 1.2 PURPOSES OF CHAPTER 1.3 AUTHORITY 1.4 APPLICABILITY 1.5 INTERPRETATION 1.6 EFFECT OF CHAPTER ON COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS 1.7 AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER 1.8 SEVERABILITY ARTICLE II. DEFINITIONS ARTICLE III. DISTRICTS 3.1 ESTABLISHMENT 3.1.1 Residential Districts 3.1.2 Commercial Districts 3.1.3 Office, Industrial, and Special Purpose Districts 3.1.4 Planned Development Districts 3.1.5 Overlay Districts 3.2 ZONING MAP 3.3 INTERPRETATION OF MAP 3.3.1 General ARTICLE IV. USE REGULATIONS 4.1 GENERAL 4.2 TABLE OF USE REGULATIONS 4.2.1 Key * Editor’s note – Printed herein is the zoning ordinance of the city formerly codified as Chapter 31 in the Code of Ordinances, and re-codified in December 2008 as Chapter 290 of the Code of Ordinances. The source of this appendix is the pamphlet compiled by the city entitled “Lowell Zoning Ordinance” certified as a true copy of the Zoning Code of the City of Lowell in effect on December 8, 2004, and supplemented through November 24, 2009. All ordinances amending the zoning code since 2004 have been included in the appropriate sections and are indicated in the history notes immediately following the amended sections. Section 10.3 is available under separate cover. The absence of a history note indicates the section remains unchanged from the pamphlet. Diagrams have been included in this zoning book for illustrative purposes only and have not been formally adopted as part of the Lowell Zoning Ordinance. The diagrams shall not be construed as altering any regulations expressed herein. Where a conflict exists, the expressed regulations in the Zoning Ordinances shall have precedence over the diagrams. [Ord. 07-13-04] Except that diagrams within the Hamilton Canal District Form-Based Code (HCD-FBC), Section 10.3 of the Zoning Ordinance, have been formally adopted as a part of the Zoning Ordinance and shall be construed as a mandatory portion of the regulatory requirements within the HCD Zoning Districts. [Ord. 02-24-09] Cross references – Planning board established aseq.; advertising, Ch. 3 animals, Ch. 4: buildings and building regulations, Ch. 5; swimming pool regulat§o5-46 et seq.; wetlands reg§l5-120; fire protection and prevention, Ch., 8; garbage and refuse, Ch. 9; health and sanitation, Ch. 10; throwing or depositing§l10-67; licenses and business regulations, Ch. 11; adult entertainment establishments regulated,6 et seq.; motor vehicles and traffic, Ch. 13; traffic regula§i13-81 et seq.; parks and, recreation, Ch. 14; Lowering, removing edgeston§17-1; utilities, Ch. 18. Page 3 4.2.2 Definition of Uses 4.2.3 Mixed-Use 4.3 ACCESSORY USES 4.3.1 General 4.3.2 Table of Accessory Uses 4.3.3 Home Occupation – As of Right 4.3.4 Home Occupation – By Special Permit 4.3.5 Special Rules 4.3.6 Temporary Building or Use 4.3.7 Conditions 4.4 ACCESSORY STRUCTURES 4.4.1 Conditions 4.5 NONCONFORMING USES AND STRUCTURES 4.5.1 Applicability 4.5.2 Nonconforming Uses 4.5.3 Nonconforming Structures 4.5.4 Variance Required 4.5.5 Nonconforming Single and Two Family Residential Structures 4.5.6 Abandonment or Non-Use 4.5.7 Reconstruction After Catastrophe or Demolition 4.5.8 Reversion to Nonconformity 4.5.9 Infectious Invalidity ARTICLE V. DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS 5.1 TABLE OF DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS 5.1.1 Notes to Dimensional Table 5.1.2 Computation of Lot Area 5.1.3 Lot with Multiple Buildings 5.1.4 Grandfathered Lots 5.1.5 Lots in the HRC District 5.1.6 Yards 5.1.7 Projections 5.1.8 Building Bulk 5.1.9 Reduction of Lot 5.1.10 Lot Width 5.2 SPECIAL DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS 5.2.1 Certain Residential Uses 5.2.2 Number of Dwellings on a Lot 5.2.3 Construction Near Wetlands (See also section 5-120 of the Code of Ordinances) 5.2.4 Lots with More than One Frontage 5.2.5 Reserved. 5.2.6 Exceptions to Yard Requirements 5.2.7 Exceptions to Height Requirements 5.2.8 Corner Clearance 5.2.9 Frontage Reduction for Large SSF Lots 5.3 OPEN SPACE 5.3.1 Landscaped Open Space in Residential Districts 5.3.2 Usable Open Space 5.3.3 Reserved. ARTICLE VI. GENERAL REGULATIONS 6.1 OFF-STREET PARKING 6.1.1 Intent of Parking Requirements Page 4 6.1.2 Applicability 6.1.3 Special Regulations 6.1.4 Table of Parking Regulations 6.1.5 Notes to Parking Table 6.1.6 Location and Layout of Parking Facilities 6.1.7 Standards 6.1.8 Screening 6.1.9 Landscaped Open Space in Parking Lots 6.1.10 Table of Dimensional Requirements for Off-Street Parking 6.1.11 Notes to Table of Dimensional Requirements for Off-Street Parking 6.1.12 Prohibition 6.2 LOADING REQUIREMENTS 6.2.1 Intent of Loading Requirements 6.2.2 Applicability 6.2.3 Special Regulations 6.2.4 Table of Loading Requirements 6.2.5 Special Requirements 6.2.6 Location and Layout of Loading Facilities 6.3 SIGNS 6.3.1 Applicability 6.3.2 Permitted Sign Types 6.3.3 Special Requirements 6.3.4 Table of Sign Regulations 6.3.5 Prohibited Signs 6.3.6 Variance 6.3.7 Special Permit 6.3.8 Maintenance 6.3.9 Energy Shortage 6.3.10 Nonconforming Signs 6.4 ILLUMINATION 6.5 LANDSCAPING 6.6 REFUSE CONTAINERS 6.7 DRIVEWAY REGULATIONS 6.7.1 General 6.7.2 Maximum Distance 6.7.3 Grade 6.7.4 Common Driveways ARTICLE VII. SPECIAL REGULATIONS 7.1 STATEMENT OF PURPOSE 7.2 ADULT ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENTS 7.2.1 Conditions 7.3 BODY ART ESTABLISHMENTS 7.3.1 Conditions 7.4 MASSAGE THERAPY ESTABLISHMENTS 7.4.1 Required Affiliation 7.5 REMOVAL OF MATERIAL 7.5.1 General 7.5.2 Criteria 7.5.3 Conditions 7.5.4 Time Limit 7.5.5 Exemption 7.6 TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES Page 5 7.6.1 Purpose 7.6.2 Applicability 7.6.3 Special Permit Procedures 7.6.4 Additional Criteria 7.6.5 Submittal Requirements 7.6.6 Design and Performance Standards 7.6.7 Co-Location 7.6.8 Maintenance Guarantee 7.6.9 Removal of Abandoned Facilities 7.7 NARCOTIC DETOXIFICATION AND/OR MAINTENANCE FACILITIES 7.7.1 Purpose 7.7.2 Use 7.7.3 Criteria for Special Permit 7.7.4 Conditions 7.8 PRIVATELY DEVELOPED AND/OR OPERATED DORMITORIES 7.8.1 Purpose 7.8.2 Applicability 7.8.3 Conditions ARTICLE VIII. SPECIAL RESIDENTIAL REGULATIONS 8.1 CONVERSION OF LARGER BUILDINGS 8.1.1 Purpose 8.1.2 Applicability 8.1.3 Conditions 8.1.4 Variance Required 8.1.5 Downtown Conversions 8.2 PLANNED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT (PRD) 8.2.1 Purpose 8.2.2 Eligibility Requirements 8.2.3 Application 8.2.4 Procedures 8.2.5 Permitted Land Use Activities in a PRD 8.2.6 Dimensional Requirements 8.2.7 Open Space Requirements 8.2.8 Signage and Parking Requirements 8.2.9 Screening Requirements 8.2.10 Conservation Commission 8.2.11 Decision 8.2.12 Variances 8.2.13 Lapse 8.2.14 Additional Restrictions 8.2.15 Applicability of Other Sections of this Ordinance 8.3 RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN AN HRC DISTRICT 8.3.1 General 8.3.2 Criteria 8.3.3 Burden of Proof 8.3.4 Technical Review ARTICLE IX. OVERLAY DISTRICTS 9.1 FLOOD PLAIN OVERLAY DISTRICT (FPOD) 9.1.1 Purpose 9.1.2 Location 9.1.3 Applicability 9.1.4 Definitions Page 6 9.1.5 Floodway Data 9.1.6 Procedures; Building Commissioner 9.1.7 Procedures; Conservation Commission 9.1.8 Minimum Conditions 9.1.9 FIRM Elevations 9.1.10 Floodway 9.1.11 Denial 9.1.12 Permitted Uses 9.1.13 Variance from FPOD Regulations 9.1.14 Variance Policy 9.1.15 Health Regulations in the FPOD 9.1.16 Federal Flood Insurance Study 9.2 ARTIST OVERLAY DISTRICT (AOD) 9.2.1 Purpose 9.2.2 Location 9.2.3 Special Permit Required 9.2.4 Criteria 9.2.5 Conversion of Existing Buildings 9.2.6 Penthouse Units 9.3 Reserved 9.4 NEIGHBORHOOD CHARACTER SPECIAL PERMIT 9.4.1 Requirements 9.5 PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT SITES 9.5.1 Purpose 9.5.2 Applicability 9.5.3 Special Permit and Site Plan Review Decisions 9.5.4 Concurrent Filings 9.6 DOWNTOWN LOWELL SMART GROWTH OVERLAY DISTRICT 9.6.1 Purpose 9.6.2 Definitions 9.6.3 Establishment of District 9.6.4 Application of the District 9.6.5 Permitted Uses 9.6.6 Housing and Housing Affordability 9.6.7 Dimensional Requirements 9.6.8 Parking Requirements 9.6.9 Other Applicable Regulations of Zoning 9.6.10 Plan Approval of Projects: General Provisions 9.6.11 Plan Approval Procedures 9.6.12 Plan Approval Decisions 9.6.13 Change in Plans After Approval by PAA 9.6.14 Design Standards 9.6.15 Administration 9.6.16 Severability ARTICLE X. SPECIAL DISTRICTS 10.1 Reserved 10.2 PLANNED DEVELOPMENT-MEDICAL/INSTITUTIONAL (PD-MI) 10.2.1 Purpose 10.2.2 Minimum Requirements 10.2.3 Use Regulations 10.2.4 Development Standards 10.2.5 Subdivision of Land 10.2.6 Rezoning Procedure Page 7 10.2.7 Review 10.2.8 Decision 10.3 HAMILTON CANAL DISTRICT FORM-BASED CODE (HCD-FBC) ARTICLE XI. ADMINISTRATION AND PROCEDURES 11.1 ADMINISTRATION 11.1.1 Permits 11.1.2 Plans 11.1.3 Enforcement 11.1.4 Penalties 11.1.5 Right of Entry 11.1.6 Noncriminal Disposition 11.1.7 Notification of Application for Building Permits 11.2 BOARD OF APPEALS 11.2.1 Establishment 11.2.2 Powers 11.2.3 Variance Prerequisites 11.2.4 Plans 11.2.5 Repetitive Petitions 11.2.6 Withdrawal of Applications 11.2.7 Regulations 11.2.8 Fees 11.2.9 Notification of Application before the ZBA 11.3 SPECIAL PERMITS 11.3.1 Special Permit Granting Authority 11.3.2 Criteria 11.3.2a Criteria for Special Permits in the Table of Uses 11.3.3 Procedures 11.3.4 Conditions 11.3.5 Plans 11.3.6 Regulations 11.3.7 Fees 11.3.8 Lapse 11.3.9 Notification of Application Before the Planning Board or ZBA 11.4 SITE PLAN REVIEW 11.4.1 Purpose 11.4.2 Applicability 11.4.3 Exemptions 11.4.4 Procedures 11.4.5 Pre-Application Scoping 11.4.6 Application 11.4.7 Narratives 11.4.8 Review by Other Agencies 11.4.9 Waiver of Technical Compliance 11.4.10 Decision 11.4.11 Effect 11.4.12 Lapse 11.4.13 Regulations 11.4.14 Fee 11.4.15 Appeal 11.4.16 Notification of Application for Site Plan Review ARTICLE XII: TABLE OF USES 12.1. Residential Uses Page 8 12.2. Conversion of Dwelling Structure 12.3. Institutional, Recreational and Educational Uses 12.4. Retail, Restaurant, and Consumer Service Uses 12.5. Open air or Drive-in Retail and Service 12.6. Automotive and Related Uses 12.7. Utilities, Telecommunications, and Public Service Uses 12.8. Office and Laboratory Uses 12.9. Industrial Uses 12.10. Special Uses 12.11. Uses Prohibited or Not Covered by Table 12.12. Scientific Accessory Uses 12.13. Artist Uses ARTICLE XIII: TABLE OF ACCESSORY USES Page 9 ARTICLE I. PURPOSE AND AUTHORITY SECTION 1.1 TITLE This ordinance, ordained in accordance with the provisions of Chapter 40A of Massachusetts General Laws shall be known as the “Lowell Zoning Ordinance.” SECTION 1.2 PURPOSES OF CHAPTER The purposes of this chapter are to promote the health, safety, convenience, morals, and general welfare of the city; to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the city; to prevent overcrowding of the land; to conserve the value of the land and buildings; to lessen congestion in the streets; to avoid undue concentration of population; to provide adequate light and air; to facilitate adequate provisions for transportation, water, sewage, schools, parks and other public requirements, and to preserve and increase the amenities of the city, all as set forth in Section 2A of 1975 Mass. Acts 808. SECTION 1.3 AUTHORITY This chapter has been enacted pursuant to authority granted by G.L. c. 40A,, the Zoning Act, and the Home Rule Amendment, Article 89 of the Massachusetts Constitution. SECTION 1.4 APPLICABILITY The provisions of this chapter shall apply to all buildings, structures or land within the boundaries of the city. SECTION 1.5 INTERPRETATION In interpreting and applying the provisions of this chapter, the requirements contained herein are declared to be the minimum requirements for the purposes set forth, and also, as further set forth by G.L. c. 40A, as amended. SECTION 1.6 EFFECT OF CHAPTER ON COVENANTS AND AGREEMENTS This chapter shall not nullify the more restrictive provisions of covenants, agreements or other ordinances or laws, but shall prevail notwithstanding such provisions which are less restrictive. SECTION 1.7 AMENDMENT OF CHAPTER The city council may from time to time amend this chapter or a district boundary indicated upon the zoning map in the manner prescribed by G.L. c. 40Aand all amendments thereto. A person making application to the city council for a zoning change in accordance with this amendment, shall prepayto the cityclerk at the time of filing of such application, such fee as may be required by the city clerk. SECTION 1.8 SEVERABILITY It is herebydeclared to be the intention of the citycouncil that the actions, paragraphs, sentences, clauses and phrases of this ordinance are severable, and if anyphrase, clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this ordinance shall bedeclared unconstitutional or otherwise invalid by the valid judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction, such unconstitutionality or invalidity shall not affect any of the remaining phrases, clauses, sentences, paragraphs, and sections of this ordinance. Page 10 ARTICLE II DEFINITIONS For the purpose of this chapter, certain words and terms are hereby defined. The definitions set forth in the state building code of the city are also applicable, where appropriate, with respect to words and terms not defined herein. Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number includes the plural and the plural the singular; the word "lot" includes "plot"; the word "building" includes "structure"; the word "occupied" includes the words "designed, arranged or intended to be occupied." Where the verb "use" is employed, it shall be construed as if followed by the words "or is intended, arranged, designed, built, altered, converted, rented or leased to be used"; the word "shall" is mandatory and is not directory. However, all definitions must be in conformity with G.L. c. 40A, as amended. ABANDONED USE: A use which has been discontinued for twenty-four (24) consecutive months. ACCESSORY BUILDING: A building devoted exclusively to a use subordinate to the principal use and, customarily, incidental to the principal use of the lot. ACCESSORY SIGN: A sign which is subordinate to the principal use and customarily incidental to, and on the same lot as, the principal use. ACCESSORY USE: A use subordinate to the principal use, and customarily incidental to, and on the same lot as the principal use. ADULT ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENT: Any of the following businesses: Adult bookstore: An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade printed matter, books, magazines, picture periodicals, motion picture films, video cassettes, or coin operated motion picture machines for sale, barter or rental which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to “sexual conduct” as that term is described in G.L., c. 272, s.31; “sexual devices” or an establishment having for sale sexual devices, objects, tools, or toys which are distinguished or characterized by their association with sexual activity, including sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c. 272, s.31, or an establishment with a segment or section devoted to the sale or display of such materials. Adult motion picture theatre: An enclosed building with a capacity of 50 or more persons used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to “sexual conduct” as defined in G.L. c. 272, s. 31 for observation by patrons therein. Adult mini motion picture theatre: An enclosed building with a capacity for less than fifty (50) persons used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to “sexual conduct” as defined in G.L., c. 272, s. 31 for observation by patrons therein. ANTENNA: Any exterior apparatus designed for telephonic, radio, television, personal communications services (PCS), pager network, or any electromagnetic waves of any bandwidth. An antenna can either be attached to a tower or attached to a building. ARTIST: A person regularly engaged in and who derives a substantial portion of his/her annual income from art or creative work either written, composed, created or executed for a "one of a kind, limited" production exclusive of any piece or performance created or executed for industry oriented distribution or related production. ARTIST LIVE/WORK SPACE: The use of all or a portion of a building for both art use and the habitation of artists. Page 11 ART USE: The production of art or creative work either written, composed, created or executed for a "one of a kind, limited" production exclusive of any piece or performance created or executed for industry oriented distribution or related production. Such use may include the fine and applied arts including painting or other like picture, traditional and fine crafts, sculpture, writing, creating film, creating animation, the composition of music, choreography and the performing arts. ART/CRAFT STUDIO: A facility for art use as defined above that is separate from any residential uses, occupied by no more than three (3) individuals at any one time. ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY (ALF): A facility as defined in 651 CMR 12.02. AUTOMOTIVE USES: As the term is used in the Table of Use Regulations herein shall mean motor vehicles of any kind, including but not limited to automobiles, trucks, sport utility vehicles, motorcycles, mopeds, recreational vehicles, snowmobiles, travel trailers, and the like. Autobody or Paint Shop shall mean a painting facility provided all servicing and repairs are carried out inside the building. Automotive Repair Garage shall mean a repair facility not including autobody or paint shops, provided all servicing and repairs are carried out inside the building. Automotive Sales, indoor shall mean a sales place for new or used cars conducted entirely with a building, or rental agency for autos, trailers, or motorcycles conducted entirely within a building provided no major repairs are made. Automotive Sales, outdoor shall mean a sales place or storage place for new or used cars conducted partly or wholly on an open lot, or rental agency for automobiles, trailers, motorcycles conducted partly or wholly outdoors. Automotive Service Station shall mean a filling station, with or without self-service gasoline pumps, where no major repairs are made provided that all lubrication and minor repairs are carried out inside the building. Car Washing Establishment shall mean a facility using mechanical equipment for purposes of cleaning automobiles and other vehicles. BANNER: A temporary or permanent sign made of fabric or fabric-like material which may be free-hanging or attached at all corners. BOARDING OR LODGING HOUSE: a house where lodgings are let to four or more persons not within second degree of kindred to the person conducting it, and shall include fraternity houses and dormitories of educational institutions, but shall not include dormitories of charitable or philanthropic institutions or convalescent or nursing homes licensed under G.L. c. 111, s. 71 or rest homes so licensed, or group residences licensed or regulated by agencies of the commonwealth. BUILD: The word "build" shall include the words "erect," "construct," "alter," enlarge," "modify," "excavate," "fill," and any others of like significance. BUILDING: The word "building" shall include the word "structure" unless the context unequivocally indicates otherwise. "Building" shall also mean any three-dimensional enclosure by any building materials of any space for use or occupancy, temporary or permanent, and shall include foundations in the ground, also all parts of any kind of structure above ground except fences and field or garden walls or embankment retaining walls. Page 12 BUILDING HEIGHT: The vertical distance of the highest point of the roof beam in the case of a flat roof and of the mean level of the highest gable of a sloping roof as measured from the mean ground level at all elevations of a building. BUILDING-MOUNTED WIND ENERGY FACILITY: A wind energy facility shall be considered to be building integrated if it is designed to be permanently mounted on a building or other inhabitable structure. This definition applies to wind turbines of any capacity that are designed to be operated in direct contact with a building. This definition also covers, for the purposes of this zoning provision, other wind energy facilities primarily used for land-based applications which may be permanently mounted and operated on a building. [Ord. 5-25-10] BUSINESS OR PROFESSIONAL OFFICE: A building or part thereof, for the transaction of business or the provision of services exclusive of the receipt, sale, storage, or processing of merchandise, including banks and other financial institutions. CHILD CARE FACILITY: A day care center or school age child care program, as those terms are defined in G.L. c. 28A, s. 9 and exempt from regulation pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, s. 3. CLUB OR LODGE, PRIVATE: Buildings, structures and premises used by a nonprofit social or civic organization, or by a nonprofit organization catering exclusively to members and their guests for social, civic, recreational, or athletic purposes and provided there are no vending stands, merchandising, or commercial activities except as may be required generally for the membership and purposes of such organization. COMMERCIAL RECREATIONAL FACILITY, INDOOR: A structure for recreational, social or amusement purposes, which may include as an accessory use the consumption of food and drink, including all connected rooms or space with a common means of egress and entrance. Such facilities shall include theatres, concert halls, dance halls, skating rinks, bowling alleys, health clubs, dance studios, or other commercial recreational centers conducted for or not for profit; provided, however, that activities connected therewith shall be at least 45 feet from any lot line in residential districts. COMMERCIAL RECREATIONAL FACILITY, OUTDOOR: Golf course, driving range, bathing beach, sports club, horseback riding stable, boathouse, game preserve, marina or other commercial recreation carried on in whole or in part outdoors, whether for profit or nonprofit, except those activities more specifically designated in this ordinance. CONTRACTOR’S GARAGE: A garage or storage unit, which may also include an office and serve as an official business address, where a licensed building tradesman or contractor stores supplies, vehicles, tools, and other equipment that is normally part of their commercial activities, provided that no major manufacturing or repair activity occurs on the premises. [Ord. 07-13-04] CORNICE: The exterior trim of a structure at the meeting of a roof and a wall. DECK: A horizontal platform supported by any combination of posts, beams, foundations, and/or joists with or without handrails, steps or terraces and not covered by a permanent roof. DOOR, FRONT: An entry that serves as the principal entrance for residents or visitors to one or more offices, dwelling units or retail establishments on a lot, and includes obvious design elements that identify it as a primary entrance. Page 13 DORMITORY: A building used as group living quarters for individuals enrolled and/or employed by a university, college, boarding school or convent. A dormitory shall be owned and operated by a sponsoring institution, except that a dormitory for a minimum of fifty (50) college and/or university students may be developed and/or operated by a separate private for-profit entity. Where a dormitory is privately developed and/or operated, programs and services must meet the standards of Section 7.8 of the Zoning Code. [Ord. 11-24-09] DRAINAGE STRUCTURE: A detention or retention area designed to hold stormwater beyond the time when a storm occurs for discharge into the ground, into wetlands, into streams, or into a public or private drain system. Drainage systems, such as infiltration trenches or pipes, located entirely underground are not considered surface drainage structures. DRIVEWAY: A vehicular passageway providing access between a street or way and a parking space, parking area, garage, or loading area, or between two such areas on a lot or lots. DWELLING, ATTACHED: A dwelling unit designed for or occupied as a residence and separated from another dwelling unit on one (1) or more sides of a vertical party wall. DWELLING, DETACHED: A building designed for or occupied as a residence and separated from any other building except accessory buildings by side yards. DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY: A building containing three (3) or more dwelling units, and wherein units may be located on more than one (1) floor. DWELLING, SINGLE FAMILY: A detached dwelling, other than a mobile home designed for or occupied by one (1) family. DWELLING, TWO- FAMILY: A freestanding building designed, or intended exclusively for residential use, containing two (2) dwelling units, each family occupying a single-dwelling unit typically situated one (1) above the other but may also be two (2) attached dwelling units. DWELLING UNIT: Any room or suite of rooms forming a habitable unit for one (1) family with its own cooking and food storage equipment and its own bathing and toilet facilities and its own living, sleeping and eating areas wholly within such room or suite of rooms. EDUCATIONAL USE, EXEMPT: Use of land or structures for educational purpose exempt from regulation pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, s. 3. EDUCATIONAL USE, NONEXEMPT: Use of and or structures for educational purpose not exempt from regulation pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, s. 3. FAÇADE: The exterior face of building which is treated in an architectural fashion. FAMILY: An individual, or two (2) or more individuals related by blood, marriage, or adoption living together, or not more than three (3) individuals not related by blood, marriage, or adoption living together. FLASHING SIGN: An illuminated sign in which the artificial light is not maintained in a stationary or constant intensity. FLOOR AREA, GROSS: The sum, in square feet, of the gross horizontal areas of all the floors of a building, as measured from the exterior faces of the exterior walls or centerlines of walls separating two (2) buildings, including: 1. Roofed porches and balconies, whether enclosed or unenclosed and unroofed porches and balconies Page 14 above the second floor. 2. Elevator shafts and stairwells on each floor. 3. Accessible attic space with clear headroom of at least five feet, whether finished or unfinished, except as hereafter excluded. Accessible attic space includes spaces that are only accessible via a pull-down stair or ceiling hatch. 4. Interior balconies, mezzanines and penthouses. 5. Basement and cellar areas, except as hereafter excluded. The following areas are excluded from the gross floor area: 1. Areas used for parking garages, accessory parking or off-street loading purposes. 2. Basement and cellar areas devoted exclusively to uses accessory to the operation of a commercial or industrial building. 3. Open or lattice-enclosed exterior fire escapes, and unroofed porches and balconies no higher than the second floor. 4. Attic space and other areas for elevator machinery in any building or mechanical equipment accessory to the operation of a commercial or industrial building. 5. Attic space that is not accessible and attic space with less than five feet of clear headroom. [Ord. 07-13-04] FLOOR AREA RATIO: The ratio of gross floor area of a structure to the total area of the lot. GARAGE DOOR, RESIDENTIAL: The door to a residential garage that provides access for a vehicle to be driven into or out of that garage. HOME OCCUPATION: An activity customarily carried on by the permanent resident of a dwelling unit, inside the dwelling unit, requiring only customary home or hobby-type equipment, but excluding the following: 1. The sale of articles produced elsewhere than on the premises for the purpose of sale; 2. The storage of materials or products outside of a principal building; 3. Motor vehicle repair, landscaping yard or contractor’s yard. Home occupations include but are not limited to activities conducted by recognized professions, fine art studios, dressmaking, and teaching of not more than four (4) pupils simultaneously. HOTEL or MOTEL: A building or buildings intended and designed for transient, overnight or extended occupancy, divided into separate units within the same building with or without a public dining facility. If such hotel or motel has independent cooking facilities, such unit shall not be occupied by any guest for more than four (4) continuous months, nor may the guest reoccupy any unit within thirty (30) days of a continuous four-month stay, nor may the guest stay more than six (6) months in any calendar year. LARGE WIND ENERGY FACILITY: All equipment, machinery and structures utilized in connection with the conversion of wind to electricity with a tower taller than 100 feet. This includes, but is not limited to, transmission, storage, collection and supply equipment, substations, transformers, service and access roads, and one or more wind turbines. [Ord. 5-25-10] LIGHT MANUFACTURING: Fabrication, assembly, processing, finishing work or packaging. LINTEL: Is the horizontal support member across the head of a door or window. Page 15 LOT: The whole area of a single parcel of land with ascertainable boundaries in single or joint ownership, undivided by a street, approved and established by deed(s) or record, or a segment of land ownership defined by lot boundary lines on a land subdivision plan duly approved and recorded. LOT AREA: The horizontal area of the lot exclusive of any area in a public or private way open to public use and exclusive of any land below the high water line of any water body contained therein. At least seventy (70) percent of lot area required for zoning compliance shall be land other than wetland. LOT AREA (HRC DISTRICT) : See Section 5.1.5. LOT COVERAGE: The area of a lot covered by the aggregate of the maximum horizontal cross-section area of all buildings on a lot exclusive of cornices, eaves, gutters, chimneys, bay windows, balconies and terraces. LOT FRONTAGE: A continuous line between side lot lines measured along the edge of a street and also provided that there are both rights of access and potential safe year-round practical vehicular access, unimpeded by: 1. wetlands, unless a wetlands crossing has been approved by the Conservation Commission; or 2. topography which prevents a proposed driveway from meeting the requirements of Section 6.7 of this ordinance, unless the Planning Board has granted an exception as provided in said Section 6.7.2 and 6.7.3; or 3. other natural barriers between the street line and a potential building site, and the street has been determined by the Planning Board to provide adequate access to the lot under the provisions of the Subdivision Control Law and the City of Lowell Subdivision Regulations. On any lot bounded on more than one (1) side by a street or streets, frontage requirements shall apply for at least one (1) of the abutting streets. LOT LINE, FRONT: A line dividing a lot from a street. LOT LINE, REAR: Except for triangular lots, corner lots, and other such lots, the lot line opposite the front lot line. MANUFACTURING: A use engaged in the basic processing and manufacturing of materials, or the manufacture from previously prepared materials, of finished products or parts, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment, packaging, incidental storage, sales and distribution of such products, including, but not limited to, the following types of industries: food and kindred products, apparel, textiles and related products, electronic and electrical products, furniture and fixtures, printing and publishing, paper and allied products, plastic and allied products, primary and fabricated metal products, machinery, transportation and related equipment products, instruments and related products, including the storage of raw materials and containers used in or incidental to any of the foregoing provided that any open lot storage shall not exceed 12 feet in height and that the area so used shall be enclosed by a tight wall or fence of at least the same height of the material so stored. MASSAGE: Any method of pressure on or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, vibrating, or stimulating of external parts of the human body with the hands or with the aid of any mechanical or electrical apparatus or appliances, with or without such supplementary aids as rubbing alcohol, liniments, antiseptics, oils, powder, creams, lotions, ointment or other such similar preparations commonly used in the practice of massage under such circumstances that it is reasonably expected that the person to whom the service is provided, or some third person on his or her behalf, will pay money or give any other consideration or any gratuity therefor. The practice of massage shall not include the following individuals while engaged in the personal performance of duties or their respective professions: Page 16 1. Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, osteopaths, or physical therapists who are duly licensed to practice their respective professions in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 2. Nurses who are registered under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 3. Barbers and beauticians who are duly licensed under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, except that this exclusion shall apply solely to the massage of the neck, face, scalp and hair of the customer or client for cosmetic or beautifying purposes. MEDICAL OR DENTAL CENTER OR CLINIC: A building designed and used for the diagnosis and treatment of human patients that does not include overnight care facilities. METEORLOGICAL TOWER: A temporary tower equipped with devices to measure wind speed and direction, to determine how much electricity a wind energy facility can be expected to generate. [Ord. 5-25-10] MUNICIPAL FACILITY: Government office, service, or facility, including police and fire stations, libraries, and administrative offices, owned or operated by the City of Lowell, the Lowell School Department, or any of their departments or any non-residential facilities of the Lowell Housing Authority. NARCOTIC DETOXIFICATION AND/OR MAINTENANCE FACILITY: A non-residential drug treatment program that assists individual addicted to drugs by administration of a substitute drug. Any facility that dispenses, prescribes, administers, allocates, delivers, hands out, or uses in any way a substitute drug, with or without providing other treatment services, shall be deemed a ‘Narcotic Detoxification and/or Maintenance Facility’ and subject to the regulations under section 7.7 of this ordinance. [Ord. 4-18-06] NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE: Any structure which does not conform to the dimensional requirements in this chapter or to the parking and loading requirements of this chapter for the district in which it is located; provided, that such structure was in existence and lawful at the time the applicable provisions of this or prior zoning ordinances became effective. NONCONFORMING USE: A use of a building, structure or lot that does not conform to the use regulations of this ordinance for the district in which it is located; provided, that such use was in existence and lawful at the time the applicable provisions of this or prior zoning ordinances became effective. OPEN SPACE, LANDSCAPED: The parts of a lot designed and developed for pleasant appearance in trees, shrubs, ground cover and grass, including other landscaped elements, such as natural features of the site, walks and terraces. Such space shall not include rooftops or areas of lot used for parking, access drives or other hard-surfaced areas except walks, and terraces as noted above, designed and intended for non-vehicular use. Such hard-surfaced walks and terraces shall not exceed twenty-five (25) percent of the total required landscaped open space. OPEN SPACE, USABLE: The parts of a lot designed and developed for outdoor use by the occupants of the lot for recreation, including swimming pools, tennis courts or similar facilities, for gardens or for household service activities such as clothes drying, which space is at least seventy-five (75) percent open to the sky, free of automotive traffic and parking and readily accessible to all those for whom it is required. Open space shall be deemed usable only if at least seventy-five (75) percent of the area has a grade of less than eight (8) percent. PARKING GARAGE OR PARKING AREA, NONRESIDENTIAL: A building, structure, lot or part of a lot designed or used for the shelter or storage of commercial or noncommercial motor vehicles used by the occupants or users of a lot or lots devoted to use or uses not permitted in a residence district, in which space is available either to long-term or to transient or casual parkers. PARKING GARAGE OR PARKING AREA, RESIDENTIAL: A building, structure, part of a building or structure, lot or part of a lot designed or used for the shelter or storage of noncommercial motor vehicles used by the occupants Page 17 or users of a lot or lots devoted to a use or uses permitted in a residence district and in which no space is rented for casual or transient parkers. For all parking areas, the following definitions shall apply. Access drive shall mean the portion of a private parking area or commercial parking lot or structure used to provide access from the street to the parking spaces, but which does not abut a parking space on any side. Angle parking shall mean parking spaces placed at an angle less than 90 degrees from a drive lane. Drive lane shall mean the portion of a private parking area or commercial parking lot or structure which abuts a parking space on one or more sides, which is not used for vehicular parking, and which provides access from the parking space to a street with or without the use of an access drive. Perpendicular parking shall mean parking spaces placed at an angle of 90 degrees from a drive lane. PERMANENT SIGN: A sign intended to be used for a period greater than thirty (30) days. PLANNED RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT: A land use category allowed by special permit that may include the subdivision of land for multiple residential buildings and other compatible land use activities as outlined in Section 8.2 herein. PLANNED UNIT DEVELOPMENT: A mixed use development on a plot of land containing a minimum of the lesser of sixty thousand (60,000) square feet or (5) five times the minimum lot size of the zoning district or as otherwise indicated in this Code, in which a mixture of residential, open space, commercial, industrial or other uses as permitted in the underlying zoning district and a variety of building types to be allowed by special permit as provided for herein. PORCH: A horizontal platform supported by any combination of posts, beams, foundations, and/or joists with or without handrails, steps or terraces covered by a permanent roof, but not enclosed with walls, windows or screens any higher than 4 feet from the platform. PROJECTION: An architectural feature, often containing window and/or door assemblies, including bay windows, door porticos, eaves, and balconies, that protrudes beyond the primary wall plane of a building. They may be semi- circular, faceted or rectangular and often have their own roof. They are used to provide a wider view, bring in more light, and contribute to the articulation of a building’s exterior. PUBLIC SERVICE FACILITY: Public facilities including but not limited to transformer stations, substations, pumping stations, telephone exchanges, provided that in residence districts such public service facility is considered essential to service such a residential area and that no public business office, storage yard or storage building is operated in connection with the facility. RECOGNIZED PROFESSION: Architecture, engineering, law, medicine, dentistry or other activity in which specialized services to clients are performed by persons possessing a degree from a recognized institution of higher learning demonstrating successful completion of a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction and study, and possessing evidence of professional capability such as membership in a professional society requiring standards of qualification for admission or licensing by the Commonwealth. RECYCLING FACILITIES: A facility in which recyclables, such as newspapers, magazines, books and other paper products; glass; metal; asphalt products; and other materials are recycled, reprocessed, and treated to return such products to a condition in which they may be again used as a new product; provided, however, that motor vehicle salvage yards and graveyards; junkyards; and solid waste transfer facilities shall not be deemed a “recycling facility” for the purposes of this definition. Page 18 RELIGIOUS USE, EXEMPT: Use of land or structures for religious purpose exempt from regulation pursuant to G.L. c. 40A, s. 3. RESTAURANT: A building, or portion thereof, including but not limited to a lunch room, cafeteria, ice cream parlor, containing tables and/or booths for at least two-thirds (2/3) of its legal capacity, which is designed, intended and used for the indoor sales and consumption of food prepared on the premises, except that food may be consumed outdoors in landscaped terraces, designed for dining purposes, which are adjuncts to the main indoor restaurant facility. Alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages may be served, subject to local licensing. Entertainment shall be limited to music with no dancing. No drive-up or drive-through window shall be employed. RESTAURANT, TAKE-OUT: Any establishment which has as its principal business the preparation of food, frozen dessert, or beverage for sale to be consumed away from the premises of the establishment, or at ten or fewer seats at tables, benches or counters. This does not apply to restaurants that occasionally sell such items for consumption away from the premises, and does not apply to drugstores or grocery stores. Restaurants of a size greater than 1500 square feet cannot be considered take-out restaurants. Take out restaurants may have drive- through windows, by special permit, if drive-through windows are an allowed use in the district in which the restaurant is located, as defined under 12.4 (g) in Article XII: Table of Uses in the Lowell Zoning Ordinance. [Ord. 4-3-07] RETAIL: A facility selling goods but not more specifically listed in the Table of Use Regulations. SELF-STORAGE FACILITY or MINI-WAREHOUSE: A facility where individual portions of the space are rented to consumers for the temporary storage of business or personal items. SENIOR CONGREGATE HOUSING: A form of housing in which each individual or two-person family is provided with separate quarters which contain living and sleeping space and which maycontain kitchen and bath facilities. Such housing shall also contain common dining, kitchen and social facilities. The provisionofmeals,housekeeping,personal care and limited support services may also be provided. A minimum of 80 percent of the separate living quarters shall be restricted to families of not more than two persons with at least one member sixty-two(62)yearsofageor older. [Ord. 11-29-05] SERVICE BUSINESS: Any of the following uses: 1. Barber, beauty shop, salon for hail, nails, or tanning, laundry and dry cleaning pick-up agency, shoe repair, self-service laundry or other similar uses; 2. Hand laundry, dry cleaning or other similar use, provided personnel on premises is limited to five employees; 3. Printing shop, photographers studio, career, or other similar use, provided personnel on premises is limited to five employees. SETBACK, FRONT: The shortest horizontal distance between the boundary separating a parcel, lot or block of land from the street or way that it fronts on and a building or feature of a building. Where the front portion of a lot is encumbered by an easement for a public sidewalk or roadway, all front setback dimensions are measured from the boundary Page 19 separating the easement area from the unencumbered lot. This code regulates the following front yard setbacks. Front garage setback: The shortest horizontal distance measured between the boundary of the parcel, lot or block bordering a street or way and a residential garage door visible from a street or way. Front porch setback shall mean the shortest horizontal distance measured between the boundary of the parcel, lot or block bordering a street or way to the closest point of a covered porch attached to the front of a building. Front projection setback shall mean the shortest horizontal distance measured between the boundary of the parcel, lot or block bordering a street or way to the closest point on a building projection but excluding covered porches. Maximum front yard setback shall mean the longest permitted horizontal distance measured between one boundary of the parcel, lot or block bordering a street or way to a front-facing façade of the building including a front door. Minimum front yard setback shall mean the shortest horizontal distance measured between the boundary of the parcel, lot or block bordering a street or way to the closest point on a building excluding projections or covered porches. SIDEWALK: A paved, surfaced, or leveled area, paralleling and usually separated from the street, used as a pedestrian walkway. SIGN: A structure which consists of a device, light, letter, word, model, banner, pennant, trade flag, logo, insignia, or representation which advertises , directs, or announces a use conducted, goods, products, services, or facilities available which influence persons, or conveys information, including electric signs, but excluding window displays or merchandise and signs which are incidental to the displayed merchandise. SIGN, AREA OF: The area of a sign shall be measured as follows: 1. For a sign, either freestanding or attached, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background, whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed, but not including any supporting framework and bracing which are incidental to the display itself. 2. For a sign painted upon or applied to a building, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, wording and accompanying designs or symbols, together with any background of a different color than the natural color of the building. 3. For a sign consisting of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted on a surface, building, wall or window, the area shall be considered to be that of the smallest rectangle or other shape which encompasses all the letters and symbols. SIGN, ON PREMISES: Sign or other advertising device which advertises or indicates only the person occupying the premises on which it is located, the merchandise for sale or the activity conducted thereon. SILL: The horizontal exterior member below a window. SMALL WIND ENERGY FACILITY: All equipment, machinery and structures utilized in connection with the conversion of wind to electricity with a tower shorter than 100 feet. This includes, but is not limited to, transmission, storage, collection and supply equipment, substations, transformers, service and access roads, and one or more wind turbines. [Ord. 5-25-10] Page 20 SPECIAL PERMIT GRANTING AUTHORITY: Unless, specifically designated otherwise herein, the Board of Appeals of the City of Lowell. [Ord. 8/10/04] STATE BUILDING CODE (SBC): The latest edition of the Massachusetts State Building Code. STORY: That part of a building or structure between any floor and the floor or roof above. A cellar, basement or parking area will count as a story only if a) more than half of the clear height is above the average elevation of the finished lot grade, OR, b) more than five feet of the front elevation is above the grade at the front of the structure. Steeples and projections used or intended to be used exclusively for utility service or access to the roof shall not be deemed a story. Attic areas used for storage or structural support where no portion of the attic can be converted to a living area under the Massachusetts Building Code shall not be considered a story. [Ord. 11-29-05] STORY, HALF: A partial story under a roof which has the line of intersection of the roof and the wall face not more than three feet above the floor level, and in which space the floor area with headroom of five feet or more occupies no more than 80 percent of the area of the story directly beneath. Where such floor area occupies more than 80 percent it shall be considered a story. Dormers are included in determining the story status. Attic areas used for storage or structural support where no portion of the attic can be converted to a living area under the Massachusetts Building Code shall not be considered a half-story. [Ord. 11-29-05] STREET: An accepted city way, or a way established by or maintained under county, state, or federal authority, or a way built to the specifications of a subdivision plan approved in accordance with the subdivision control law, or a way determined by the planning board to have sufficient width, suitable grades, and adequate construction to provide for the needs of vehicular traffic in relation to the proposed use of the land, and for the installation of municipal services to serve such land and the buildings erected or to be erected thereon. TELECOMMUNICATIONS FACILITY: Any structure, antenna, tower, or other device used for commercial purposes and which provides mobile wireless services, unlicensed wireless services, cellular phone services, specialized mobile radio communications (ESMR), personal communications service (PSC), or common carrier wireless exchange access services. Page 21 TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER: Any structure that is designed and constructed primarily for the purpose of supporting one or more antennas. The term telecommunications tower shall include self-supporting lattice towers, guy towers, monopole towers, radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common-carrier towers, cellular phone towers, and the like. TEMPORARY SIGN: A sign intended to be used for a period of thirty (30) days or less. TERRACE: A paved surface on grade intended for private or shared use between residences. Not included are porches, decks or balconies. TOWER HEIGHT: The vertical distance from the mean grade (average grade around the perimeter) to the highest point of the structure. TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENT: Development of individual dwelling units in a row of at least three such units in which each unit has its own access to the outside, no unit is located over another unit, and each unit is separated from any other unit by one or more vertical common fire-resistant walls. TRAILER: A highway vehicle designed, constructed and equipped for use as a dwelling and which is capable of being hauled or towed, or is self-propelled, including any such vehicle so converted as would make it immobile. TRANSIENT: A person or stay which is brief or temporary as a guest. USE: The purpose for which land or a building is arranged, designed or intended, or for which either land or a building is or may be occupied or maintained. VETERINARY ESTABLISHMENT: A place for the treatment of animals, including kennels and pet shops, provided that in business districts all animals are kept indoors and there are no noise or odors perceptible from adjoining establishments or buildings. WAREHOUSE: A building used primarily for the storage of goods and materials, for distribution, but not for sale on the premises, but not including open storage or bailing of junk, scrap metal, rags, waste paper or used rubber. WETLAND: That area of land which may not be excavated or filled as of right and is subject to federal, state, county or town regulations governing lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, fresh water swamps and other wetlands features as identified by the Wetland Protection Act, as determined by the conservation commission or DEP. WHOLESALE: The sale of goods in large quantity for the purpose of resale and completely enclosed in a building. Such uses shall not include the sale or transfer of flammable liquids, gas, explosives or other potentially hazardous materials. WIND ENERGY FACILITY: All equipment, machinery and structures utilized in connection with the conversion of wind to electricity. This includes, but is not limited to, transmission, storage, collection and supply equipment, substations, transformers, service and access roads, and one or more wind turbines. [Ord. 5-25-10] YARD, FRONT: The yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the front street line, or the building line and the nearest part of a building, excluding front porches and projections. YARD, REAR: The yard extending across the full width of the lot and lying between the rear line of the lot and the nearest part of a building. YARD, SIDE: The yard between the side line of the lot and the nearest part of a building and extending from the front yard to the rear yard, or in the absence of either such yards, to the front or rear lot line as may be. Page 22 ARTICLE III DISTRICTS SECTION 3.1 ESTABLISHMENT For the purpose of this chapter and consistent with the goals and objectivesofthe City’sComprehensiveMasterPlan,the cityis herebydivided into seven (7) types of Residential, six (6) types of Commercial and Mixed-Use and five (5) types of Office, Industrial, and Special Purpose Districts as follows: 3.1.1 Residential Districts Three groupings of residential districts are established to reinforce the three types of neighborhoods that are found in Lowell: suburban areas, traditional neighborhoods, and urban communities. 1. Suburban Neighborhood Residential Districts are designed to preserve, promote, and enhance the neighborhood character of Lowell’s newer residentialareas. TheSSFdistrictemphasizessingle-familyhomes, while the SMF encourages suburban-scale apartment and condominium developments. SSF: Suburban Neighborhood Single Family SMF: Suburban Neighborhood Multi Family 2. Traditional Neighborhood Residential Districts are designed to preserve, promote, and enhance the pedestrian-scale character of Lowell’shistoricresidentialneighborhoods. Allthreeencourage moderately-sized lots and prohibit large-scale developments. The TSF district emphasizes single-family homes,theTTFdistrict also allows two-family homes, while the TMF also allows three-family homes and up to 6-unit multi-family developments by special permit. To encourage neighborhood stability and owner-occupancy, special provisions are provided for single-family developments in the TTF and TMF zones. TSF: Traditional Neighborhood Single Family TTF: Traditional Neighborhood Two Family TMF: Traditional Neighborhood Multi-Family 3. Urban Neighborhood Residential Districts are designed to preserve, promote, and enhance the ch
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