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TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 1.00.00 PURPOSE, AUTHORITY AND PROCEDURE 1.10.00 Authority and Purpose 1.10.10 Authority. This By-law which shall be known as the Town of Dracut Zoning By-law is adopted pursuant to Chapter 40A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Article 89 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 1.10.20 Purpose. The purpose of this By-law is to implement the zoning powers granted to the Town of Dracut pursuant to the Constitution of the Commonwealth and Statutes of the Commonwealth and includes, but is not limited to, the following objectives: to lessen congestion in the streets; to conserve health; to secure safety from fire, flood, panic and other dangers; to provide adequate light and air; to prevent overcrowding of land, to avoid undue concentration of population; to encourage housing for persons of all income levels; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, water supply, drainage, sewerage, schools, parks, open space and other public require- ments; to conserve the value of land and buildings, including the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of blight and pollution of the environment; to encourage the most appro- priate use of land throughout the Town of Dracut, including con- sideration of the recommendations of the land use plan adopted by the Planning Board; and the plans of the Northern Middlesex Area Commission; and to preserve and increase amenities; and to preserve and enhance the natural scenic and aesthetic qualities of the Town of Dracut. 1.11.00 Administration 1.11.10 Enforcement. This By-law shall be enforced by the Building Inspector of the Town of Dracut. The Building Inspec- tor, upon being informed in writing of a possible violation of this By-law or on his own initiative, shall make or cause to be made an investigation of facts and an inspection of the premises where such violation may exist. If the Building Inspector is so informed in writing and declines to act, he shall within fourteen (14) days of his receipt of such information give to his informant, in writing, his reasons for refraining from taking any action. The Building Inspector, on evidence of any violation 1 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS after investigation and inspection, shall give written notice of such violation to the owner and to the occupant of such premises, and the Building Inspector shall demand in such notice that such violation be abated within such reasonable time as may be given by mail addressed to the owner at the address appearing for him on the most recent real estate tax records of the Town of Dracut and to the occupant at the address of the premises of such seeming violation. If, after such notice and demand, such violation has not been abated within the time specified, the Building Inspector shall institute appropriate action or proceedings in the name of the Town of Dracut to prevent, correct, restrain or abate any viola- tion of this By-law. 1.11.20 Compliance Certification. Buildings, structures, or signs may not be erected, substantially altered, moved, or changed in use and land may not be changed in principal use without certification by the Building Inspector that such action is in compliance with then applicable zoning, or without review by him regarding whether all necessary permits have been received from those governmental agencies from which approval is required by federal, state, or local law. 1.11.30 Building Permit. No building shall be erected, al- tered, moved razed or added to in Dracut without a written permit issued by the Building Inspector. Such permits shall be applied for in writing to the Building Inspector. The Building Inspector shall not issue any such permit unless the plans for the building and the intended use thereof in all respects fulfill the provi- sions of the Town of Dracut Zoning By-law (and other applicable town by-laws) except as may have been specifically permitted otherwise by action of the Town of Dracut Board of Appeals, provided a written copy of the terms governing any exception so permitted be attached to the application for a building permit and to the building permit issued therefor. One copy of each such permit, as issued, including any conditions or exceptions attached thereto, shall be kept on file in the office of the Building Inspector. In addition to the information required above, a plot plan shall indicate provisions for all other physical requirements of this By-law, including, but not limited to, off-street parking, screening and fencing. 2 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Upon granting a permit the Building Inspector shall cause a copy to be posted on the property to which it relates in a conspicuous place. 1.11.40 Professional Inspection. Construction on projects under a single building permit involving either one or more structures (other than one and two family dwellings) each con- taining 35,000 cubic feet of volume or more, or involving 50 or more dwelling units, irrespective of type, shall be done with the inspection of a registered professional engineer or architect, retained by the developer. Such engineer or architect shall per- iodically, as requested by the Building Inspector, attest that all work being done under his supervision is being done in ac- cordance with the plans as approved for a building permit, in ac- cordance with any stipulations of applicable permits, special permits, or variances, and in accordance with all applicable Town and State codes and regulations. Discrepancies from the above noted by such engineer or architect shall be reported forthwith to the Building Inspector. 1.11.50 Penalty. Any person violating any of the provisions of this By-law, any of the conditions under which a permit is issued, or any decision rendered by the Board of Appeals shall be fined not more than $100.00 for each offense. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. 1.12.00 Reserved 1.13.00 Board of Appeals 1.13.10 Establishment. The Board of Appeals shall consist of five members and two associate members, who shall be appointed by the Town Manager and shall act in all matters under this By-law in the manner prescribed by Chapters 40A, 40B, and 41 of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Within two (2) weeks of the beginning of each calendar year, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall organize and elect a Chairman and Clerk from within its own membership. The length of terms of the members of the Board of Appeals shall be such that the term of one member expires each year. A member of the Board of Appeals may be removed for cause by the Town Manager only after written charges have been made and a public hearing has been held. 3 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Vacancies caused by dismissal, resignation, death or any other cause shall be filled in the same manner as Zoning Board of Ap- peals members are appointed. 1.13.20 Powers and Duties of the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals shall have and exercise all the powers granted to it by Chapters 40A, 40B, and 41 of the General Laws and by this By- law. The Board's powers are as follows: 1.13.21 To hear and decide appeals or petitions for variances from the terms of this By-law, not including variances for use, with respect to particular land or structures. Such variance shall be granted only in cases of where the Board of Appeals finds all of the following: A literal enforcement of the provisions of this By-law would in- volve a substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the petitioner or appellant. The hardship is owing to circumstances relating to the soil con- ditions, shape or topography of such land or structures and espe- cially affecting such land or structures but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located. Desirable relief may be granted without either: (1) substantial detriment to the public good; or (2) nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of this By-law. 1.13.22 To hear and decide other appeals. Other appeals will also be heard and decided by the Board of Appeals when taken by: 1. Any person aggrieved by reason of his inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer un- der the provisions of Ch. 40A, G.L.; or by 2. The Northern Middlesex Area Commission; or by 3. Any person including any officer or board of the Town of Dracut or of any abutting town, if aggrieved by any order or decision of the Building Inspector or other administrative offi- cial, in violation of any provision of Ch. 40A, G.L.; or this By- law. 4 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 1.13.23 To issue comprehensive permits. comprehensive per- mits for construction may be issued by the Board of Appeals for construction of low or moderate income housing by a public agency or limited dividend or non-profit corporation, upon the Board's determination that such construction would be consistent with local zoning, building, health, or subdivision requirements, as authorized by Sec. 20-23, Ch. 40B, G.L. 1.13.24 To hear and decide appeals from any persons by reason of the inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from the Building Inspector and to that end the Board of Appeals shall have all the powers of the Building Inspector and may issue or direct the issuance of a permit. 1.13.25 Effective Date of Variance. No variance or any modification, extension or renewal thereof shall take effect un- til a copy of the decision has been recorded in the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds. Such decision shall bear the certifi- cation of the Town Clerk that 20 days has elapsed after the deci- sion has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such an appeal has been filed, it has been dismissed or denied. 1.13.30 Public Hearings. The Board of Appeals shall hold public hearings in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 40A, 40B, and 41 of the General Laws on all appeals and petitions brought before it. 1.13.40 Repetitive Petitions. Repetitive petitions for Spe- cial Permit, appeals and petitions for variances, and applica- tions to the Board of Appeals shall be limited as provided in Section 16 of Chapter 40A, General Laws. 1.14.00 Amendments. This By-law may from time to time be changed by amendments, additions, or repeal of the Town Meeting in the manner provided in Chapter 40A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth, as amended. 1.15.00 Appeals. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the Board of Appeals or any Special Permit granting authority, whether or not previously a party to the proceeding, or any municipal officer or board may, as provided in Section 17, Ch.40A, G.L., appeal to the Superior Court or to the Land Court by bringing an action within twenty days after the decision has 5 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS been filed in the office of the Town Clerk. 1.16.00 Special Permits. The Board of Selectmen or the Plan- ning Board shall be the special permit granting authorities as specified in the various sections of this By-law and shall hear and decide applications for special permits including Site Plan Review Special Permits upon which they are empowered to act under this By-law. The Planning Board, when acting as a special permit granting authority, shall consist of those members provided pursuant to the Town Charter and one associate member, who shall be appointed by the Town Manager, and when designated by the chairman of the Planning Board, shall sit on the board for the purposes of acting on special permit application in the case of 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 the board. The associate member shall be appointed for a three-year term of of- fice. 1.16.10 General Rules, Regulations and Administration. Application - Any person who desires to obtain a special permit shall submit a written application therefore to the Special Permit Granting Authority. Each application shall be accompanied by the information required by the Special Permit Granting Authority and this By-law. 1.16.11 Rules and Regulations and Fees - The Special Permit Granting Authority shall adopt, and from time to time amend, Rules and Regulations, not inconsistent with the provisions of this By-law or Chapter 40A of the General Laws or other applica- ble provision of the General Laws, and shall file a copy of said Rules and Regulations with the Town Clerk. Such rules shall prescribe as a minimum the size, form, contents, style and number of copies of plans and specifications, the town boards or agencies from which the Special Permit Granting Authority shall request written reports and the procedure for submission and ap- proval of such permits. The Special Permit Granting Authority may adopt, and from time to time amend, fees sufficient to cover reasonable costs incurred by the Town in the review and adminis- tration of special permits. 1.16.12 Reports from Town Boards or Agencies - The Special Permit Granting Authority shall transmit or cause to be transmit- ted pursuant to 1.16.11 forthwith a copy of the application and 6 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS plan(s) to other boards, departments, or committees as it may deem necessary or appropriate for their written reports. At a minimum, unless waived pursuant to Section 1.16.23, all applica- tions for special permits pursuant to this section shall be sub- mitted to the Planning Board, the Board of Selectmen, the Build- ing Inspector, and Conservation Commission. Other referrals may involve at the SPGA's discretion the Police Chief, the Fire Chief, the Highway Surveyor and others who's input it determined to be of value in the decision making process. Any such board or agency to which petitions are referred for review shall make such recommendation or submit such reports as they deem appropriate and shall send a copy thereof to the Special Permit Granting Authority and to the applicant. Failure of any such board or agency to make a recommendation or submit a report within 35 days of receipt of the petition shall be deemed a lack of opposition. 1.16.13 Public Hearing and Decision - The Special Permit Granting Authority shall hold a public hearing no later than 65 days after the filing of an application. The Special Permit Granting Authority shall have the power to continue a public hearing under this section if it finds that such continuance is necessary to allow the petitioner or applicant to provide infor- mation of an unusual nature and which is not otherwise required as part of the special permit application. The Special Permit Granting Authority shall issue a decision no later than 90 days following the close of the hearing. Failure by a Special Permit Granting Authority to take final action upon an application for a special permit said 90 days following the close of the public hearing shall be deemed to be a grant of the permit applied for. 1.16.14 Mandatory Findings by Special Permit Granting Authority - The Special Permit Granting Authority shall not issue a special permit unless without exception it shall find that the proposed use: 1. Is in harmony with the purpose and intent of this By-law. 2. Will not be detrimental or injurious to the neighborhood in which it is to take place. 3. Is appropriate for the site in question. 4. Complies with all applicable requirements of this By-law. 1.16.15 Special Permit Conditions - The Special Permit Grant- ing Authority may impose such conditions, safeguards and limita- 7 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS tions as it deems appropriate to protect the neighborhood or the Town including, but not limited to: 1. Dimensional requirements greater than the minimum required by this By-law; 2. Screening of parking areas or other parts of the premises from adjoining premises or from the street by specified walls, fences, plantings or other devices; 3. Modification of the exterior features or appearances of the structure(s); 4. Limitation of size, number of occupants, method and time of operation, and extent of facilities; 5. Regulation of number, design and location of access drives, drive-up windows and other traffic features; 6. Requirement of off-street parking and other special features; 7. Requirement for performance bonds or other security; and 8. Installation and certification of mechanical or other devices to limit present or potential hazard to human health, safety, welfare or the environment resulting from smoke, odor, particu- late matter, toxic matter, fire or explosive hazard, glare, noise, vibration or any other objectionable impact generated by any given use of land. 1.16.16 Time Limitation on Special Permit - A special permit shall lapse if a substantial use thereof has not commenced except for good cause or, in the case of a permit for construction, if construction has not commenced except for good cause within a period of time to be specified by the Special Permit Granting Authority, not to exceed two years from the date of grant thereof. 1.16.17 Effective Date of Special Permit - No special permit or any modification, extension or renewal thereof shall take ef- fect until a copy of the decision has been recorded in the Mid- dlesex County Registry of Deeds. Such decision shall bear the certification of the Town Clerk that 20 days has elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the Town Clerk and no appeal has been filed, or that if such an appeal has been 8 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS filed, it has been dismissed or denied. 1.16.18 Conditioning by the Special Permit Granting Authority The Special Permit Granting Authority may for valid reason limit the term of a special permit to be conditional upon specific ownership of the property and/or structure. The Special Permit Granting Authority may also require a resubmission of documentation concerning the conditions in evidence at the time of the original granting or subsequent thereto if for said good reason a re-evaluation of items concerning the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Dracut is in order. Said re-evaluation must be so stated and fixed in period during the original granting. 1.16.20 Site Plan Special Permits - A Site Plan Special Per- mit is required for certain uses prior to approval of an ap- plicant for a special permit. 1.16.21 Applicability - A Site Plan Special Permit shall be required in all instances as follows: 1. for the initial development of land specified in section 2.11.30 Table of Permitted Uses as requiring a Site Plan Special Permit and for all accessory uses thereto, or 2. where the gross floor area of an existing building is in- creased 1200 square feet or more for uses designated as requiring a Site Plan Special Permit on the Table of Permitted uses, or 3. where a use designated as requiring a Site Plan Special Permit on the Table of Permitted Uses is expanded in ground area by 1,200 square feet or more of either impervious material, open storage or any area of the site devoted to the conduct of the principal accessory use. 4. for any development of land in excess of 1,200 square feet of gross floor area located in an area along the Merrimack River from the river's edge to 500 feet from Merrimack Avenue (State Route 110) north and west. 1.16.22 Application Contents - Any person who desires to ob- tain a Site Plan Special Permit shall submit a written applica- tion therefore to the Special Permit Granting Authority as shown in Section 2.11.30 of this By-law. Each such application shall 9 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS be accompanied by the following: 1. A written statement detailing the proposed use, the extent of the building coverage and open space, drainage calculations and calculations of the volume of earth to be removed, if any. 2. Site Plan(s) prepared by a Registered Professional Engineer or Registered Land Surveyor, as appropriate to the data, showing all lot lines and setbacks, zoning district boundaries including flood plain; all wetlands and wetland buffer zones; all areas designated as open space; all existing and proposed topography at two foot intervals, buildings, structures, signs, parking and loading spaces; the limits of all paving and open storage areas and all facilities for sewage, waste disposal and drainage. The Site Plan shall include that portion of any adjacent land owned or used by the applicant on which the use is similar to or con- nected with the use for which the Site Plan Special Permit is sought. 3. A Landscape Plan(s) shall be prepared by a Registered Landscape Architect in all cases where the plan(s) specifies a proposed facility of 10,000 square feet or more of gross floor area, or a facility requiring 40 or more parking spaces. In any case, a Landscape Plan(s) shall show the limits of work, the ex- isting tree line and all proposed landscape features and improve- ments including walks, planting areas with size and type of stock for each shrub or tree; walls, fences, outdoor lighting, and ex- isting and proposed contours of the land at two foot intervals. 4. A Building Elevation Plan(s) shall be prepared by a Registered Professional Engineer in all cases where the plan specifies a facility of 10,000 square feet or more of gross floor area. In any case, a Building Elevation Plan(s) shall show the front elevation of the building and its height; and floor plan(s) for the building(s) showing the layout of each floor with a tabular summary of the net floor area used to calculate the required parking and the proposed uses to be conducted on each floor. Such other information as the Special Permit Granting Authority may reasonably require including special studies or reports, such as traffic or hydrological impact studies and any other informa- tion or material required by virtue of any other part of this By- law. 10 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 1.16.23 Site Plan Special Permit Waiver of Application Con- tents - At the time of application for a building or occupancy permit, a site plan, as required in Section 1.16.21 shall be transmitted to the Special Permit Granting Authority in two copies, together with all supporting documentation. The ap- plicant may, prior to submitting his application, request in writing to the Special Permit Granting Authority, a waiver of one or more of the requirements of Section 1.16.22 by submitting a preliminary plan sufficient to describe the proposed development and conferring therein with the Special Permit Granting Authority at a regular meeting. The Special Permit Granting Authority shall prepare a written report, within twenty-one days of its conference with the applicant, on the waiver request which shall accompany the application recommending either 1. that the applicant's preliminary plan is sufficient for review and is either approved, not approved, or approved with certain changes by the Special Permit Granting Authority without further review by them, or, 2. that a site plan under Section 1.16.21 is necessary and must be submitted to the Special Permit Granting Authority or, 3. a modified site plan, with specifically named elements, is necessary and must be submitted to the Special Permit Granting Authority. 1.16.24 Modification, Clarification or Any Other Action Taken with Regard to the Conditions of an Existing Special Permit: All filings for modification, clarification or any other action taken with regard to the conditions of an existing Special Permit granted by the Board of Selectmen, shall be filed with the Board of Selectmen at a “regularly” scheduled meeting, together with a certified list of abutters obtained from the Assessors, a brief setting forth in detail all facts relied upon by the parties. The applicant shall provide for first class postage to notify the interested parties on the abutters list. In addition the applicant shall provide for the cost of the advertising at the prevailing rate for the proper advertisement of the public modification hearing in a newspaper having general circulation in the Town. Notice of Hearings shall be advertised as required by the provisions of the General Laws, Chapter 40A (each of two successive weeks, but the first publication shall be not less than 14 days prior to the hearing date in a newspaper having 11 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS general circulation, and in addition shall provide for a copy to be posted in the Town Hall.) The Board of Selectmen shall hold a public hearing no later than 35 days after the filing of a written petition for modification, clarification, or for any other action requested by the holder of said Special Permit. The Board of Selectmen shall have the power to continue a public hearing under this section if it finds that such continuance is necessary to allow the petitioner or applicant to provide information deemed as necessary and relevant in reaching a decision. Voting – Adoption of any Special Permit modification , clarification or any other action taken with regard to the conditions of an existing Special Permit must have a supermajority vote of at least four members of the Board. The record shall show the vote of each member upon each question or, if absent or failing to vote, indicate such fact. Failure by the Board of Selectmen to take final action within said ninety days or extended time, if applicable, shall be deemed to be a grant of the Special Permit modification. The petitioner who seeks such approval by reason of the failure of the Board of Selectmen to act within such time prescribed, shall notify the city or Town Clerk, in writing within fourteen days from the expiration of said ninety days or extended time, if applicable, of such approval and that notice has been sent by the petitioner to parties in interest by mail and each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 40A, Section Seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date the city or Town Clerk received such written notice from the petitioner that the Board of Selectmen failed to act within the time prescribed. After the expiration of twenty days without notice of appeal pursuant to Section Seventeen, or, if appeal has been taken, after receipt of certified records of the court in which such appeal is adjudicated , indicating that such approval has become final, the city or Town Clerk shall issue a certificate stating the date of approval, the fact that the Board of Selectmen failed to take final action and that the approval resulting from such failure has become final, and such certificate shall be forwarded to the petitioner. The Board of Selectmen shall cause to be made a detailed record of its proceedings, indicating the vote of each member upon each question, or if absent or failing to vote, indicating such fact and setting forth clearly the reason for its decision and of its official actions, copies of all which shall be filed within 12 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS fourteen days in the office of the city or Town Clerk and shall be deemed a public record, and notice of the decision shall be mailed forthwith to the petitioner, applicant or appellant, to the parties in interest designated in Section Eleven, and to every person present at the hearing who requested that notice be sent to him and stated the address to which such notice was to be sent. Each such notice shall specify that appeals, if any, shall be made pursuant to M.G.L.Chapter 40A, Section Seventeen and shall be filed within twenty days after the date of the filing of such notice in the office of the city or Town Clerk, or act in any other way relative thereto. 1.17.00 Applicability 1.17.10 Other Laws. Where the application of this By-law im- poses greater restrictions than those imposed by any other regulations, permits, easements, covenants or agreements, the provisions of this By-law shall control. 1.17.20 Minima. The regulations set by this By-law shall be the minimum regulations and shall apply uniformly to each class or kind of structure or use and, particularly: 1.17.30 No building, structure, or land shall hereafter be used or occupied, and no building or structure shall be erected, raised, moved, placed, reconstructed, extended, enlarged or al- tered except in conformity with the regulations specified herein for the district in which it is located. 1.17.40 No building shall hereafter be used, erected, or al- tered to accommodate or house a greater number of families; to exceed the height or bulk requirements; or to have narrower or smaller rear yards, front yards, side yards, than is specified herein. 1.17.50 No yard or other open space; or off-street parking or loading area, or any portion thereof, provided for any building, structure, or use in conformity with this By-law shall be in- cluded as part of the yard, open space or off-street parking or loading area similarly required for any other building, struc- ture, or use, unless specifically allowed in this By-law. 1.18.00 Validity. The invalidity of any section or provision of this By-law shall not invalidate any other section or provi- sion thereof. 13 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS -------------------- AMENDMENTS - SECTION ONE 1.13.10 – amended – June 5, 1995 – Article 4 1.16.00 – amended – November 6, 1989 – Article 4 1.16.24 – added - June 5, 2005 – Article 23 14 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 2.00.00 DISTRICT REGULATIONS 2.10.00 Establishment of Districts For the purpose of this By-law, the Town of Dracut is hereby divided into the following districts: Residential Residential 1 (R-1) Residential 2 (R-2) Residential 3 (R-3) Business and Business 1 (B-1) Commercial Business 2 (B-2) Business 3 (B-3) Business 4 (B-4) Business 5 (B-5) Industrial Industrial 1 (I-1) Industrial 2 (I-2) Special Overlay Wetland & Water Conservancy (WWC) Districts Flood Plain District (FP) The boundaries of each district are herein established, defined and bounded as shown on the map established as Section 5.00.00 of this By-law and on file with the Clerk of the Town of Dracut. 2.11.00 Regulation of Uses 2.11.10 Application. No building or structure shall be erected and no premises shall be used except as herein set forth in the following sections. 2.11.20 Uses Not Listed. If a particular use or activity is not listed in Section 2.11.30 and further identified in Section 2.11.40, such use is prohibited. If an activity might be classified under more than one of the Principal Use Definitions, the more specific definition shall determine whether the use is permitted. If the activity might be classified under equally specific definitions, it shall not be permitted unless both Principal Uses are permitted in the district. 15 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Principal Use Regulations pertaining to Special Overlay Districts are contained in Sections 2.13.00 and 2.14.00. Uses accessory to the principal use by zone are listed in Section 2.11.47 2.11.40 Principal Use Definitions 2.11.41 General Agriculture - Cultivating and harvesting general crops including the storage of necessary farm equipment on parcels of less than five acres and raising of livestock if on parcels of more than five acres. Conservation - The use of land in its natural state or improved with trails or resource management programs that do not significantly alter its natural state. Earth Removal - The removal of earth products from a lot, including but not limited to, sand, gravel, soil, loam, and mineral products. The removal of earth products which is in- cidental to and in connection with 1) the necessary excavation and grading of a site for a building or structure and its appur- tenant driveways or parking facilities for which a permit has been granted by either the Building Inspector, the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board or the Board of Appeals, or 2) the construction of a street approved under the Subdivision Control Law, shall not be considered as earth removal for the purposes of this By-law. Recreation - Non-commercial outdoor facilities for ac- tivities such as horseback riding, skiing, ice skating, swimming and tennis. Dwelling Unit - A single unit providing complete inde- pendent living facilities for one (1) or more persons including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. 2.11.42 Residential Uses - No more than one building for dwelling purposes shall be located upon a lot; except for multi- family dwellings pursuant to Sections 4.12.00 through and in- clusive of 4.12.30 of this By-law. Single Family Dwelling - A detached dwelling unit designed as the residence of one family. 16 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Two Family Dwelling - A detached dwelling unit designed as the residence for two families. Multi-Family Dwelling - Dwelling attached or detached designed for the residence of 3 or more families on the same lot. 2.11.43 Governmental, Institutional and Public Service Uses Municipal - Use of land, buildings and structures by the Town of Dracut and the Dracut Water District. Educational - Use of land, buildings and structures for providing learning in a general range of subjects on land owned or leased by the Commonwealth or any of its agencies, subdivi- sions or bodies politic; or by a religious sect or denomination; or by a nonprofit educational entity. Religious - Use of land, buildings and structures for religious purposes by a religious sect or denomination. Nursing Home - an extended or intermediate care facility licensed or approved to provide full-time convalescent or chronic care. Public or Private Utility Facilities - Facilities, equipment and structures necessary for generating electricity for commercial purposes, and/or for conducting a service by a public service corporation. (as Amended June 7, 1999, Article #12.) Hospital - Any facility principally designed to provide medical treatment including surgical services and short term to intermediate care so licensed as a hospital of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Correctional Facility - Any facility designed to house, feed and hold persons duly sentenced to be incarcerated in ac- cordance with the penal system of the Commonwealth of Mas- sachusetts, the County of Middlesex or other judicial authority for a period of time exceeding ten days. Cemeteries - Any land or portion thereof used for the purpose of internment by burial or placement in a crypt or mausoleum of deceased humans or animal remains. 17 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Post Office - any facility designed for the sorting, storage, including lock boxes, delivery and/or otherwise the general handling of mail including parcels whether operated publicly or privately. 2.11.44 Business Uses Retail Store - An establishment engaged in displaying and selling goods or merchandise within a building to the general public or to business establishments which goods or merchandise are not intended for resale; except that a garden center, florist or commercial greenhouse may have open air display of horticul- tural products. Business or Professional Office - A business or profes- sional office; a medical office or out-patient clinic, including laboratories incidental thereto. Financial - Bank, loan agency or similar facility. Restaurant - Establishment where food and beverages are sold within a building to customers for consumption 1) at a table or counter, or 2) on a patio closed on all sides with entrance to the patio normally available only from the building, or 3) off the premises as carry-out orders, except that drive-up service shall not be allowed, or 4) any combination of the above. Restaurant-Fast Food - A food establishment where food and beverages are principally sold and packaged individually and or in a self-service manner with no at table service if so equipped. A drive up facility in addition to or in combination with the criteria above shall also be so classified. Hotel, Inn or Motel - A facility providing transient lodging accommodations to the general public by the night for periods generally not exceeding one week per registered guest. Business and Dwelling - A building used for business uses and for not more than two dwelling units. Lodge or Club - A facility used by a non-commercial or- ganization which is characterized by formal written membership requirements. 18 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Funeral Home - Undertaking or funeral establishment. Veterinary Care - A facility where animals are given medical or surgical treatment and where boarding of animals is limited to short term care incidental to the medical or surgical treatment. Commercial Kennel - Establishment where dogs, cats or other pets are kept for the purpose of sale, breeding or boarding care. Personal Service Facility - Establishments providing services involving the care of a person or his or her apparel such as a barber shop, laundry or dry-cleaning shop, diaper serv- ice, shoe repair shop, steam baths, reducing salons and health clubs, and clothing rental shop. General Services - Establishments providing services to the general public or to business establishments such as equip- ment rental and leasing, building cleaning, photocopying, telephone answering, word processing or secretarial services; computer service bureaus; facilities for dancing, martial arts or music instruction; facilities for repair of appliances, office equipment, bicycles, lawnmowers, or similar equipment; and food catering facilities. Studio - A facility used as a place of work by an artist, photographer or artisan. Building Trade Shop - An establishment for use by the practitioner of a building trade such as a carpenter, welder, plumber, electrician, builder, mason or similar occupation. Commercial Recreation - Indoor or outdoor facilities, operated as a business and open to the public for a fee such as facilities for ice skating, roller skating, racquet sports, bowl- ing, horseback riding, swimming and miniature golf. Lounge or Pub - Any facility other than a restaurant designed primarily for the serving of alcoholic beverages within which entertainment may be provided and requiring a license from the Town of Dracut pursuant to Massachusetts General Laws Chap- ter 138 Section 2. 19 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Commercial and Trade School - Private educational facility for profit including training centers, and business schools. Amusement Facility Indoor - Facilities open to the public for a fee or admission charge such as a theater, cinema or video arcade. Amusement Facility Outdoor - An outdoor amusement park; outdoor cinema; stadium; race tracks including horse, dog other animal or vehicular including motorized cycles, and other vehicles whether track is designed for lap racing, elapsed time or a combination. Car Wash - A commercial facility designed for the prin- cipal use of vehicle washing with mechanized equipment whether automatic, semi-automatic, or manual. Motor Vehicle Service Station - Facility for outdoor sale of motor vehicle fuels, related products and services provided that all major maintenance and servicing of vehicles shall be conducted entirely within a building. Motor Vehicle Repair or Body Shop - Establishment where the principal service is the repair of automobiles or similar light motor vehicles provided that all major maintenance and ser- vicing of vehicles shall be conducted entirely within a building. Light Vehicular and Equipment Sales - Salesroom and re- lated facilities, including but not limited to open air display, for the sale of automobiles, motorcycles, recreational vehicles and similar vehicles; boats, or light industrial or farm equip- ment. Parking Facility - Commercial parking open to the public for automobiles and similar light motor vehicles. Commercial Broadcast Facility - Any facility designed and operated so as to provide for radio frequency transmissions including satellite "up link" facilities under the authority of a commercial radio or television station license issued by the Federal Communications Commission. This term does not include a broadcast station's studio/office if said studio/office is separated from the transmission facility and connected by an over the ground, non RF signal transmission link. 20 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Airport-Fixed Wing - Any facility designed for the take off and landing of fixed wing aircraft registered by the Federal Aviation Administration and having a runway in excess of 1,000 feet. Heliport - Any facility designed solely for the take off, landing and/or storage of rotary wing aircraft and encompas- sing no linear runway in excess of 1,000 feet. Rifle Range - Any facility enclosed or open designed and intended for the safe discharge of firearms for the purpose of sport, practice, or training. Boardinghouse - Any structure with one or more rooms designed, occupied or intended for occupancy by the same person for more than one week as separate living quarters with one or more rooms for boarders with sleeping facilities but no kitchen facilities. The term Boardinghouse also refers to rooming houses. Commercial Breeding Facility - Any facility designed solely for the purpose of breeding animals of any sort, including but not limited to, fowl, swine, cattle, primates, rodents, rep- tiles and fish. Zoo - Any facility enclosed or open designed for the purpose of exhibiting live animals for the purpose of profit. This term does not include the exhibition of animals for contest or prize whose primary purpose is part of the operation of a bona fide farm and are considered farm or draft animals. Day Care Facility - Any facility operated on a regular basis which receives children not of common parentage under seven (7) years of age, or under sixteen (16) years of age if such children have special needs, or non-residential custody and care during part or all of the day separate from their parents or the elderly 60 years of age or older. Day Care Center shall not in- clude any part of a public school system; any part of a private organized educational system, unless the services of such system are primarily limited to kindergarten, nursery or related pre- school services; a Sunday school conducted by a religious or- ganization where children are cared for during short periods of time while persons responsible for such children are attending religious services; a family day care home; an informal coopera- tive arrangement among neighbors or relatives; or the occasional care of children without compensation. 21 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Redemption Center: Redemption centers shall be those businesses engaged in the return of beverage containers or products requiring deposits for return. The redemption center may be the full-time business or as an ancillary use regarding the business. Such use shall be authorized in the following business and industrial zones: B-3, B-4, I-1 and I-2. redemption centers with 5000 gross sq.ft. or less shall require a Special Permit by the Planning Board. Redemption centers in excess of 5,000 gross sq.ft. shall require a Special Permit with site Plan Review by the Planning Board. Body Art: shall mean the practice of physical body adornment, alteration, or modification by means including, but not limited to, piercing, tattooing, branding, braiding, beading, or implantation. Body Art Establishment: shall mean any facility that has been inspected and approved by the Board of Health for use in conducting Body Art activities. A Body Art Establishment shall be permitted in, B-3, B-4, B-5, zones upon the issuance of a Special Permit by the Board of Selectmen. Conditions: No Body Art Establishment shall be within: 1. Five Hundred (500) feet of the following zoning districts: R-1, R-2, R-3; or 2. Five Hundred feet of a public or private school. 2.11.45 Industrial Uses Research/Office - Any facility used as technical and general technically related, non-medical office, a research laboratory engaged in research, experimental and testing activ- ities, including, but not limited to biology, chemistry, geology, engineering, electronics, medicine, and physics not including bio-engineering and recombinant DNA research or technology. Warehouse - A facility for the enclosed storage of goods and materials where the wholesale of goods and materials is permitted provided it is incidental to the warehouse use. 22 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Mini-Warehouse - An enclosed facility containing separate storage spaces, no larger than 400 square feet each, leased or rented on an individual basis. Construction Yard - Facility or area for storage, open or enclosed, of construction equipment or materials. Lumber Yard - A facility for the open or enclosed storage and sales of building materials; except that in the General Business District the open or outdoor storage or display of building materials is prohibited. Heating Fuel Sales and Service - A facility for the storage and retail sale of heating fuels and the sales and service of heating equipment where the storage of heating fuel in containers is permitted provided such storage is incidental to the retail sale of heating fuel. Heavy Vehicular Sales or Repair Garage - Salesroom and related facilities, including but not limited to open air display of trucks, buses, construction and industrial equipment; establishments for the repair of trucks, buses, construction and industrial equipment provided that all major repairs shall be conducted within the building. Light Manufacturing - Printing or publishing plant; manufacturing of building systems and components; fabrication and assembly of electronic components, precision instruments, or other high technology products; manufacture of light metal products, hardware and office supplies; or similar light manufac- turing plants and facilities. Heavy Manufacturing - Asphalt, block, bottling, con- crete or fertilizer plants; monument works; paper or pulp mill; refinery; rendering or smelting plants; slaughterhouses. Waste Treatment - Any process designed to treat or al- ter a solid or liquid waste prior to disposal. Waste Recovery - Any process designed to treat, alter, clean, filter, distill, separate, or by any other method recover a usable material of liquid from a waste product prior to or as an alternative to disposal. 23 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS Waste Transfer Facility - Any facility designed for the temporary storage in bulk or containerized form of any solid or liquid waste prior to treatment or ultimate disposal at another location. The term waste transfer facility shall not apply to containers used for the storage of solid waste prior to disposal generated on site by any business or industrial use permitted by this By-law, however, all regulations pertaining to waste storage shall apply. Slaughterhouse and Similar - Any facility designed for the commercial slaughter, butchering, cleaning, skinning, or otherwise killing of animals for food, fur or hide and any sub- sequent related activity such as tanning or rendering. The term abattoir shall also apply. Such uses associated with the normal conduct of farming operations shall not be considered inclusive. Telecommunications Facility - A wireless telecommunication facility, may include tower antennae, panels and structures to facilitate the following types of services: cellular telephone service, personal communication service and enhanced special mobile radio service. Purpose and Intent: A. The purpose of this bylaw is to establish general guidelines for the siting of wireless telecommunication towers and facilities. The goals of this bylaw are to (1) encourage the location of towers on industrial zoned land and minimize the total number of towers throughout the community; (2) encourage users of towers to locate them, to the extent possible, in areas where the adverse impact on the community is minimal; (3) enhance the ability of the providers of telecommunication services to provide such services to the community effectively and efficiently; and (4) to make available all wireless telecommunications facility locations to local municipal agencies. B. A telecommunications tower facility may be located in the Town of Dracut upon the granting of a Special Permit from the Board of Selectman in accordance with the requirements set forth herein. C. If the Board of Selectmen determines that independent review of the Special Permit is required the Board will require the applicant to pay a review fee consisting of reasonable cost to be incurred by the Board for the employment of outside consultants. 24 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS D. Expiration. The Special Permit granted under this By-law shall expire within five (5) years of the date of issuance unless permit is renewed. Submittal Requirement: As part of an application for a Special Permit, applicants shall submit the following: 1. Reports prepared by one or more professional engineers which shall: a. Describe the tower and the technical, economic and other reasons for the tower design and the need for the proposed location; b. Demonstrate that the tower complies with all applicable standards of the Federal and State Governments; c. Describe the capacity of the tower including the number and type of antennae; d. Describe the wireless telecommunication providers master antennae plan, including detailed maps, showing the precise locations, characteristics and all antennas and towers indicating coverage areas for current and future antennas and towers; e. Demonstrate that the tower and facilities comply with this regulation. 2. The information required for an On-Site Demonstration. 3. Information sufficient for the Board of Selectman to make a decision on the compliance of any proposed towers and facilities with the requirements set forth in Purpose and Intent inclusive. On Site Demonstration: The Board of Selectman may require the applicant to perform an on-site demonstration of the visibility of the proposed tower by means of a crane with a mock antenna array raised to the maximum height of the proposed tower. A colored 4-foot minimum diameter weather balloon held in place at the proposed site and maximum height of the tower may be substituted for the crane if approved by the Board of Selectman. This demonstration shall take place after the application for the Special Permit. The applicant shall take care to advertise the date of the demonstration in the newspaper widely circulated in the neighborhood of the proposed site. Failure in the opinion of the Board of Selectmen to 25 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS adequately advertise this demonstration may be cause to require another properly advertised demonstration. Special Permit Requirements A. The tower and its facilities shall be located in accordance with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Regulations in effect at the time of construction. The operation of the Tower and its facilities shall comply with all requirements of these agencies during the entire period of operation. B. The tower and its facilities shall be located within the Town of Dracut as follows: 1. To the extent feasible all service providers shall co-locate on a single tower. Towers and accessory buildings shall be designed to structurally accommodate the maximum number of users. 2. New towers shall be considered only upon a finding by the Board of Selectmen that existing or approved towers cannot accommodate the wireless communications equipment planned for the proposed tower. 3. Siting for proposed facilities will be on I-1, I-2 or in an existing church steeple approved by the Board of Selectman. 4. The base of all towers shall be no closer than three hundred (300) feet to a dwelling in a residential district. Facilities shall comply with existing setback requirements. 5. Tower height shall not exceed 100 feet measured from the base of the tower at ground level to the highest point of the tower or its projection. 6. Fencing shall be provided to control access to the base of the tower which fencing shall be compatible with the scenic character of the town and shall not be of barbed wire or razor wire. 7. Access shall be provided to a tower site by a roadway which respects natural terrain, does not appear as a scar on the landscape and is approved by the Planning Board and the Fire Chief to assure emergency access at all times. Consideration shall be given to design that minimizes erosion, construction on unstable soils and steep slopes. 8. The applicant shall demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Board of Selectmen that the location of the tower is necessary and that the size and height is the minimum necessary for the purpose. 26 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 9. There shall be no signs, except for announcement signs, no trespassing signs and a required sign giving a phone number where the owner can be reached on a twenty-four (24) basis. All signs shall conform to the sign requirements of this by- law. 10. To the extent feasible all network interconnections from the communications site shall be installed underground. 11. The tower shall minimize, to the extent feasible, adverse visual effect on the environment. The Board of Selectman imposes reasonable conditions to ensure this result, including painting, lighting standards and screening. 12. Removal of Abandoned Towers and Facilities. Any tower or facility that is not operated for a continuous period of twelve (12) months shall be considered abandoned, and the owner of such tower and facility shall remove same within ninety (90) days of receipt of notice from the governing authority notifying the owner of such abandonment. 13. There shall be no lighting on the tower except for security at the base of the tower. If such tower or facility is not removed within said ninety (90) days; the Town may cause such tower or facility to be removed at the owner’s expense. If there are two or more users of a single tower, then this provision shall not become effective until all users cease using the tower. Performance Guarantees. A. An initial cash bond in a reasonable amount determined and approved by the Board of Selectmen shall be in force to cover removal when discontinued or obsolete. B. A maintenance bond shall be posted for the access road, site and tower(s) in amounts approved by the Planning Board. Site Plan Approval Site Plan Approval by the Board of Selectmen is required for the siting and construction of a wireless telecommunication towers, antennae, and facilities. If modification of a special permit is sought, the Board of Selectmen may require approval of a new site plan. A site plan submitted to the Board of Selectmen for approval shall contain ten (10) copies of a plan conforming to the requirements of this by-law in addition to the following documentation: 27 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS a. Tower, antennae, and facility location (including guy wires, if any), and tower and antennae height. b. Eight- (8) view lines in a one- (1) mile radius from the site, shown beginning at True and North and continuing clock- wise at forty-five (45) degree intervals. 2.11.46 Other Uses Storage - Non-municipal dump; salvage materials yard, including non-operable motor vehicles. Containerized Temporary Storage - Storage related to the primary use of the land which includes, but is not limited to, trailer units and non wheeled storage units not exceeding six months in duration. Truck Terminal – A facility designed primarily for the storage, origination, destination, temporary layover of trucks exceeding a gross vehicle weight of 10,000 pounds including those facilities designed for the transfer or forwarding of goods shipped by trucks. Amended June 7, 1999, Article 25 from permitted in I-1 and I-2 Zones by Special Permit with a Site Plan Review (code SS- R) to Prohibited use in I-1 and I-2 Zones (code 0). Solid Waste Disposal - Sanitary landfill, refuse trans- fer station, refuse incinerator with grate area in excess of ten (10) square feet, composting plant, solid waste recycling opera- tion, and any other works or use for processing, handling, treat- ing, and disposing of solid waste materials, including garbage, rubbish, junk discarded bulk items, and sludges but not raw sewage, and similar waste items. Biological Research - Any facility or operation engaged in the production or use as an end product or as an intermediate or ancillary product any material, organism, cellular or sub-cellular classified as a biological hazard to humans by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Adult Entertainment Establishments - Shall include and be defined as follows: 1.Adult Bookstore - An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock and trade in printed matter, 28 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS 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 General Laws Chap- ter 272, Section 31; or an establishment having for sale sexual devices which shall mean any device primarily designed, promoted or marketed to physically stimulate or manipulate the human geni- tals, pubic area or anal area, or an establishment with a segment or section devoted to the sale or display of such materials. 2.Adult Motion Picture Theater - An enclosed building with a capacity of 50 or more persons used for presenting material dis- tinguished or characterized by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to "Sexual Conduct" as defined in the General Laws Chapter 272, Section 31, for observation by patrons therein. 3.Adult Mini Motion Picture Theater - An enclosed building with a capacity for less than 50 persons used for presenting material distinguished or characterized by emphasis on matter depicting, describing or relating to "Sexual Conduct" as defined in the General Laws Chapter 272, Section 31, for observation by patrons therein. 4.Adult Live Entertainment Establishments - Establishments which feature live entertainment which consists of entertainers engag- ing in "Sexual Conduct" or "Nudity" as defined in the General Laws Chapter 272, Section 31. 5.Massage Service Establishments A. Massage - Any method of pressure on or friction against, or stroking, kneading, rubbing, tapping, pounding, vibration, 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. 29 TOWN OF DRACUT - ZONING BY LAWS B. The practice of massage shall not include the following individuals who engage in the personal performance of duties of their respective professions: 1) Physicians, surgeons, chiropractors, osteopaths, or physi- cal 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 Common- wealth of Massachusetts. 3) Barbers and beauticians who are duly licensed under 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. 2.11.50 Accessory Use Regulations - Accessory uses shall be permitted in all districts on the same lot with the principal use subject to the following provisions: Accessory Uses Permitted in the Residential Districts and Dwellings in the Non-Residential Districts Private garage or carport for not more than four motor vehicles, solar system, greenhouse, tool shed or barn; swimming pool or tennis court provided that such recreational facilities are used only by the residents and their guests. A home occupation, other than retail sales, conducted entirely within the dwelling unit or an accessory building by a resident and employing no persons other than the residents. The keeping of more than one small animal per four- thousand square feet of lot area upon wh
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