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CODE OF THE TOWN OF LITTLETON, MASSACHUSETTS, v39 PART II, GENERAL LEGISLATION Chapter 173, ZONING OFFICIALS OF THE TOWN OF LITTLETON Town Offices 37 Shattuck Street Littleton, Massachusetts 01460 Telephone: (978) 540-2400 2010 Planning Board MARK MONTANARI, CHAIR JANET LaVIGNE, VICE CHAIR RICHARD CROWLEY, CLERK DON MACIVER, MEMBER STEVE WHEATON, MEMBER Town Clerk DIANE CRORY Town Administrator KEITH A. BERGMAN Town Attorney THOMAS HARRINGTON, ESQ. J. RAYMOND MIYARES, ESQ. Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer ROLAND BERNIER Planning Administrator/Permit Coordinator MAREN TOOHILL TABLE OF CONTENTS ARTICLE PAGE I. Purpose ……………...………………………………………………………… 1 II. Definitions ..…………………………………………………………………… 1 III. Administration and Procedures ……...……………………………………… 5 IV. Site Plan Requirements ..……………………………………………………….. 9 V. Use Regulations ..……………………….……………………………………… 12 VI. Intensity of Use Regulations ..…………………………………………….…… 15 VII. Parking and Loading Requirements ..…………………………………………… 17 VIII. Signs ..………………………………………………………...………………… 18 IX. Landscaping and Screening ..……………………………………….…………… 22 X. Exterior Lighting ..………………………….…………………………………… 22 XI. Motor Vehicle Service Stations ..……………………………..………………… 22 XII. Accessory Uses ..………………………………………………………….….… 23 XIII. Accessory Dwellings ..………………………………………...……………..… 24 XIV. Aquifer and Water Resource District ..………………………………….……… 24 XV. Conversion of Buildings ..…………………………………….………………… 29 XVI. Wetlands and Floodplain Regulations ..………………………………………… 29 XVII. Noise ..……………………………………………………..…………………… 32 XVIII. Major Commercial or Industrial Use ..……………………………………..…… 34 XIX. Open Space Development ..……………………………….……………….…… 38 XX. Shared Residential Driveways ..………………………………………...…… 44 XXI. Wireless Telecommunications Towers and Facilities ..………………….… 46 XXII. Adult Uses ..…………………………………………………………………..… 49 XXIII. Over 55 Housing Developments ..……………………………………..……… 51 XXIV. Mixed Use .........................................................59.................................................. XXV. Littleton Village Overlay District West-Beaver Brook Area ..........60............... Intensity of Use Schedule ..……………………………………………….…..............… 68 i [HISTORY: Adopted 5-9-1988 Annual Town Meeting, Art. 11. Amendments noted where applicable.] ARTICLE I, Purpose § 173-1. Purpose. [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] For the benefit of the Town of Littleton, Massachusetts, and to keep our Town a good place in which to live and work, preserve its historic rural character and its agricultural open land, and for the purposes stated in Chapters 40A, 40B and 41 of the General Laws as amended and under the authority thereof and Article 89 of the Amendments to the Constitution, the use of land, buildings and structures in this Town is hereby regulated as herein provided. ARTICLE II, Definitions § 173-2. Terms defined. In this chapter, the following terms shall have the following meanings unless other meanings as required by the context or are specifically prescribed: ACCESSORY BUILDING OR USE -- A building not attached to any principal building, or a use customarily incidental to and located on the same lot with the principal building or use. ACCESSORY DWELLING -- A separate dwelling unit created within or as an extension to a single-family dwelling. ADULT USE ESTABLISHMENTS - [Added 9-22-1997 STM, Art. 9] The following are businesses classified as "adult use" establishments: A. ADULT USE -- Adult Use means a use (whether partially or in its entirety) of a building or business for the purpose of engaging in the sale, display, hire, trade, exhibition, or viewing of materials or entertainment depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c.272, § 31. B. ADULT BOOKSTORE -- An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, books, magazines, and other matter which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c.272, § 31. For purposes herein, "substantial or significant portion of stock" shall mean more than twenty percent (20%) of the subject establishment's inventory stock or more than twenty percent (20%) of the subject premise's gross floor area. C. ADULT LIVE ENTERTAINMENT ESTABLISHMENTS -- An establishment, which as a form of entertainment, regularly features: (1) person or persons to perform in a state of nudity as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31; or allows a person or persons to work in a state of nudity as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31; or; (2) films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides, or other photographic reproductions which are characterized by the depiction of description of anatomical areas or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31. 1 D. ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER -- An enclosed building with a capacity of 50 persons or more used for presenting material (motion picture films, video cassettes, cable television, slides or any other such visual media) distinguished by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to nudity, sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31 and which excludes minors by virtue of age. E. ADULT MINI MOTION-PICTURE THEATER -- An enclosed building with a capacity for less than 50 persons, or single booths, or video screens, used for presenting material distinguished by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to nudity, sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31 and which excludes minors by virtue of age. F. ADULT VIDEO STORE -- An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock in trade, for sale or rent, motion picture films, video cassettes and similar audio/visual media, which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in G.L. c. 272, § 31. For purposes herein, "substantial or significant portion of stock" shall mean more than twenty percent (20%) of the subject establishment's inventory stock or more than twenty percent (20%) of the subject premise's gross floor area. AGRICULTURAL SIGNS -- Signs associated with an agricultural use as referenced in Section 3 of M.G.L., Ch. 40A, offering for sale, produce and other farm products, with the sign identifying the farm and indicating only the name and price of the farm products which are for sale during the season that the sign is displayed. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] BUILDING HEIGHT -- The vertical distance from the mean finish grade of the ground adjoining the building to the highest point of the roof (or parapet) for flat or shed roofs, to the deckline for mansard roofs and to the mean height between eaves and ridge for gable, hip and gambrel roof. Not included are spires, cupolas, television antennas or other parts of structures which do not enclose potentially habitable floor space. CAMPGROUND -- Premises used for travel trailers, campers, tents or temporary overnight facilities of any kind where a fee is charged. CAMPING, SUPERVISED -- Facilities for a continuing supervised recreational, health, educational, religious and/or athletic program, with persons enrolled for periods of not less than one (1) week and with group dining if overnight accommodations are included. COMMERCIAL POWER GENERATION -- Premises principallyused for the generation of electric power, other than by a municipal or other public utility. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] CONCEPT PLAN – [Added 5-5-2007 ATM, Art. 14] A development plan, building plans, impact analyses and other materials as required herein, subject to approval by two-thirds vote of the Town Meeting; CONFERENCE CENTER -- Premises principally used for business or professional conferences, seminars or training, with less than on-third of the floor area on the premises devoted to room rental for transient trade. (If the percentage is larger, the use is considered a hotel or motel.) [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] DATA-PROCESSING CENTER -- Premises principally used for the storing or processing of information by computer. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] 2 DWELLING -- A building or part of a building used exclusively as the living quarters for one (1) or more families. DWELLING, SINGLE-FAMILY -- A dwelling other than a mobile home, singly and apart from any other building, used exclusively for residential purposes for one (1) family. EXTENSIVE RECREATION -- Golf courses laid out substantially in accordance with the usual requirements or specifications of the United States Golf Association, ski areas and other recreational uses of similar nature which primarily use and preserve open space, together with clubhouses and appurtenant facilities, whether or not operated for profit. Such appurtenant facilities may include provisions for recreational activities not directly connected with the use of open space, provided that in no event shall structures occupy more than five percent (5%) of the lot area. EXTERIOR SURFACE WALL AREA -- The surface area of a single side of a building, including glass and doors, but not including roof area. FAMILY -- Any number of individuals living and cooking together as a single housekeeping unit, plus no more than three (3) boarders or lodgers. [Amended 9-14-1992 STM, Art. 13] FLAGS -- A piece of fabric identifying a nation, state, city or town, expressing a political statement, but not advertising sales, special events, or changes in the nature of an operation. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] INSIGNIA -- An identifying symbol. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] LODGING HOUSE -- A dwelling in which rooms are rented as an accessory use to more than three (3) and fewer than ten (10) unrelated individuals. [Amended 9-14-1992 STM, Art. 13] LOT -- A continuous parcel of land, in single or joint ownership, with legally definable boundaries. LOT AREA -- The horizontal area of the lot exclusive of any area in a street or recorded way open to public use. At least ninety percent (90%) of the lot area required for zoning compliance or thirty-six thousand (36,000) square feet, whichever is less, shall be land not under water nine (9) months or more in a normal year and not wetland as defined by the Wetland Protection Act [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] LOT COVERAGE -- The percentage of lot area covered by structures and roofs or by structures, roofs, and paving. [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] MANUFACTURING -- Transformation of materials or components into new products, including fabrication, processing, finishing or packaging. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] MIXED USE – [Added 5-3-2010 STM, Art. 4] A combination of residential and commercial uses, arranged vertically (in multiple stories of buildings), or horizontally (adjacent to one another in one or more buildings within a lot). MOBILE HOME -- A movable or portable dwelling unit on a chassis, designed for connection to utilities when in use and designed without the necessity of a permanent foundation for year-round living. MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE STATION -- Premises devoted to retail sale of fuel and lubricants and/or washing of motor vehicles and/or repair services and/or sales or storage of motor vehicles. [Amended 5-8-1995 ATM, Art. 30] 3 MUNICIPAL EDUCATION STRUCTURE -- A building used bythe Town of Littleton for public education purposes. [Added 6-15-2000 STM, Art. 2] REMOTE SECONDARY ACCESS -- Property access to a business or group of businesses in addition to the principle property access. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT -- Industrial or commercial experimentation, design, nonroutine testing or construction of prototypes, but with any continuous production limited to pilot plant use of not more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the floor area on the premises. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] RESIDENTIAL SOCIAL SERVICE FACILITY -- A dwelling where care and supervision, either licensed, contracted or supervised by a federal or state agency, is provided to individuals who are handicapped, aged, disabled or undergoing rehabilitation. The term includes halfway houses but not nursing homes or foster homes. SELF-STORAGE FACILITY -- An establishment consisting of a structure or group of structures containing separate storage spaces, possibly of varying sizes, leased or rented for dead storage as individual leases. Individual storage spaces shall be leased or rented to tenants who are to have access to said space for the purpose of storing or removing personal property. No individual storage space shall exceed nine hundred (900) square feet of gross floor area. [Added 5-8-2000 ATM, Art. 27] SETBACK -- An area open to the sky, located between a street or other property line and any structure or element thereof, other than a fence, wall, other customary yard accessory or projection allowed to encroach on building lines by the State Building Code, measured perpendicular to the street or property line. SIGN -- Any device displaying, or any display of, any letter, work, picture, symbol or object designed to inform or attract the attention of persons not on the premises on which such device or display is located, including billboards and any such internally or decoratively illuminated building surface other than unobstructed window glass. SIGN AREA -- The surface area within a single continuous perimeter enclosing all of the display area, but not including structural members not bearing advertising matter, unless internally or decoratively lighted. One side only of flat, back-to-back signs shall be counted. STRUCTURE -- A combination of materials assembled at a fixed location to give support or shelter, such as a building, retaining wall which retains four (4) or more feet of unbalanced fill, fences over six (6) feet high, swimming pools that contain water over twenty-four (24) inches in depth and two hundred and fifty (250) square feet of surface area or the like. The word "Structure" shall be construed, where the context requires, as though followed by the words "or parts thereof." [Amended 5-7-2001, ATM, Art. 20] TEMPORARY SIGNS -- Any sign displayed for up to a maximum of 30 days. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] TOXIC OR HAZARDOUS MATERIALS -- All liquid hydrocarbon products, including but not limited to gasoline, fuel and diesel oil, and also any other toxic, caustic or corrosive chemicals, radioactive materials or other substance controlled as being toxic or hazardous by the Division of Hazardous Waste under the provisions of Chapter 21(c) of the General Laws. TRUCK TERMINAL -- Premises principally used for the parking, dispatching and maintenance of trucks and/or loading or unloading of cargo into vehicles, but with only incidental storage on the 4 premises, and not including such activities if accessory to a principal use, such as a warehouse or processing operation. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] WAREHOUSING, DISTRIBUTION CENTER -- Premises used primarily for indoor storage of goods and materials for later distribution or use but not for sale on the premises, with or without accessory truck terminal facilities. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] WHOLESALING -- Sale of commodities in quantity for resale or further processing, with only incidental retail sales, if any. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] WINDOW SIGNS -- Signs painted or fastened to window glass and signs immediately inside window glass. [Added 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] WIRELESS TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWER AND FACILITIES -- A wireless telecommunications facility, shall include towers, antennae, panels, and appurtenant structures designed to facilitate the following types of services: cellular telephone service, personal communications services, and enhanced specialized mobile radio service. [Added 2-10-1997 STM, Art. 3] ARTICLE III, Administration and Procedures § 173-3. Enforcement authority. This chapter shall be enforced by the Building Inspector. § 173-4. Certification required. Buildings or structures may not be erected, substantially altered, moved or changed in use, and land may not be substantially altered or changed in principal use as defined in § 173-26A, 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. Issuance of a building permit or certification of use and occupancy, where required under the Commonwealth of Massachusetts State Building Code, may serve as such certification. § 173-5. Enforcement actions; violations and penalties. [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] The Building Inspector shall take such action as may be necessary to enforce full compliance with the provisions of this chapter and of permits and variances issued hereunder, including notification of noncompliance and request for legal action through the Selectmen to the Town Counsel. Any person violating any provision of this chapter, any of the conditions under which a permit is issued or any decision rendered by the Board of Appeals may be fined not more than three hundred dollars ($300.) for each offense. Each day that such violation continues shall constitute a separate offense. § 173-6. Board of Appeals. A. Establishment. A Board of Appeals of five (5) members shall be appointed by the Selectmen and act in all matters under this chapter in accordance with the provisions of Chapters 40A, 40B and 41 of the General Laws, as amended. The Board of Selectmen shall also appoint in like manner four (4) associate members of the Board of Appeals; and, in case of a vacancy, absence, inability to act 5 or conflicts of interest on the part of a member of said Board, his place may be taken by an associate member designated by the Chairman of the Board of Appeals. B. Powers. 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 chapter. The Board's powers shall include the following: (1) To hear and decide applications for special permits upon which the Board is empowered to act under this chapter, in accordance with § 173-7. (2) To hear and decide appeals or petitions for variances from the terms of this chapter, including variances for use, with respect to particular land or structures. Such variances shall be granted only in cases where the Board finds all of the following: (a) That a literal enforcement of the provisions of this chapter would involve a substantial hardship, financial or otherwise, to the petitioner or appellant. (b) That the hardship is owning to circumstances relating to the soil conditions, shape or topography of such land or structures and especially affecting such land or structures but not affecting generally the zoning district in which it is located. (c) That desirable relief may be granted:  Without substantial detriment to the public good; or  Without nullifying or substantially derogating from the intent or purpose of this chapter. (3) To hear and decide other appeals. Other appeals will also be heard and decided by the Board of Appeals when taken by: (a) Any person aggrieved by reason of his inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer under the provisions of Chapter 40A of the General Laws; or (b) The Metropolitan Area Planning Council; or (c) Any person, including an officer or board of the Town of Littleton or of any abutting town, if aggrieved by any order or decision of the Building Inspector or other administrative official in violation of any provision of Chapter 40A of the General Laws or this chapter. (4) To issue comprehensive permits. Comprehensive permits 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 nonprofit corporation upon the Board's determination that such construction would be consistent with local needs, whether or not consistent with local zoning, building, health or subdivision requirements, as authorized by MGL C. 40B, §§ 20 through 23. (5) To issue withheld building permits. Building permits withheld by the Building Inspector acting under MGL C. 41, § 81Y as a means of enforcing the Subdivision Control Law may be issued by the Board of Appeals where the Board finds practical difficulty or unnecessary hardship and if the circumstances of the case do not require that the building be related to a way shown on the subdivision plan in question. 6 § 173-7. Special permits. A. Special permit granting authority. Unless specifically designated otherwise, the Board of Appeals shall act as the special permit granting authority. B. Public hearing. Special permits shall only be issued following public hearings held within sixty- five (65) days after filing with the special permit granting authority an application, a copy of which shall forthwith be given to the Town Clerk by the applicant. C. Criteria. Special permits shall only be granted if it appears to the special permit granting authority that no significant nuisance, hazard or congestion will be created and that there will be no substantial harm to the neighborhood or derogation from the intent of this chapter. D. Conditions. Special permits may be granted with such reasonable conditions, safeguards or limitations on time or use as the special permit granting authority may deem necessary to serve the purposes of this chapter. E. Expiration. Special permits shall lapse twenty-four (24) months following the grant thereof (except such time required to pursue or await the determination of an appeal referred to in MGL C. 40A, § 17) if a substantial use or construction has not sooner commenced, except for good cause. § 173-8. Effect of other provisions. Where the application of this chapter imposes greater restrictions than those imposed by any other regulations, permits, restrictions, easements, covenants or agreements, the provisions of this chapter shall control. § 173-9. Conformance with amendments. Construction or operations under a building or special permit shall conform to any subsequent amendment of this chapter, unless the use or construction is commenced within a period of six (6) months after the issuance of the permit, and in cases involving construction, unless such construction is continued through to completion as continuously and expeditiously as is reasonable. § 173-10. Nonconforming uses and structures. A. [Amended 9-18-1995 STM, Art. 16] Nonconforming single- or two-family residential structures lawfully in existence at the time of the enactment of this Amendment may be extended, altered or restored if the following conditions apply: (1) The proposed changes, with the exception of the existing nonconformity, comply with the current Zoning Bylaw; (2) The proposed changes do not prevent compliance with any other applicable laws or regulations; (3) There is no change in use of the structure; and (4) The proposed changes do not intensify the existing nonconformity. The word intensify shall include any increase in any exterior dimension of that part of the structure which is nonconforming. 7 Such extension, alteration or restoration is deemed not to increase the nonconforming nature of the structure, does not involve any change of use, and is allowable as of right. The building permit shall state that the extension, alteration or restoration is allowed under § 173-10A. B. [Amended 9-18-1995 STM, Art. 16] Any use or structure not conforming to § 173-10A of this chapter may be continued if the use or structure was lawfully existing at the time that it became nonconforming, subject to the following: (1) Change, extension or alteration. As provided in MGL C. 40A, § 6, such preexisting nonconforming structures or uses may be extended or altered on special permit by the special permit granting authority, provided that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the special permit granting authority that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming use. Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall be permitted to revert to a nonconforming use. (2) Restoration. Any legally nonconforming building or structure may be reconstructed if destroyed by fire or other accidental or natural cause if reconstructed within a period of two (2) years from the date of the catastrophe, or else such reconstruction must comply with this chapter. (3) Abandonment. A nonconforming use which has been abandoned, discontinued for a period of two (2) years or changed to a conforming use shall not be reestablished, and any future use of the premise shall conform with this chapter. § 173-11. Isolated lots and subdivisions. Under MGL C. 40, § 6, lots not held in common ownership with any adjoining land are generally not subject to subsequent amendments in dimensional requirements, and land shown on subdivisions or other plans endorsed by the Planning Board are exempted from subsequent zoning amendments in certain respects for a limited period of time (See MGL C. 40A, § 6). Building upon, but not subdivision of, any lot, if nonconforming but having an area of five thousand (5,000) square feet or more and frontage of fifty (50) feet or more and held in ownership separate from all adjacent land, shall be governed by those lot area, frontage and side or rear setback requirements applicable to it at the time of its recording by plan or deed as a lot in separate ownership, except in cases where those requirements have subsequently been reduced through amendment of the Zoning Bylaw and in cases of building for multifamily dwellings, in both of which cases current requirements shall apply. Nonconforming lots may be changed in size or shape or their land recombined into fewer lots. In doing so, such lots will not lose this exemption from current requirements, so long as the change does not increase the frontage or area of a conforming lot by reducing the frontage or area of a nonconforming one. § 173-12. Severability. The invalidity of any section or provision of this chapter shall not invalidate any other section or provision of this chapter. §§ 173-13 through 173-15. (Reserved) 8 ARTICLE IV, Site Plan Requirements § 173-16. Site plan review. [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14; 9-27-1993 STM, Art. 9] Site plan approval by the Planning Board is required for the creation of, addition to, or substantial alteration of all non-residential and non-agricultural structures, of a parking area having eight (8) or more spaces, and for any substantial deviation from an approved site plan, or when any of the above situations is subject to a change of use. In addition the Building Commissioner may require a site plan review if he deems it necessary in order to determine zoning compliance. Building permit applications subject to site plan review shall be accompanied either by six (6) copies of a site plan conforming to § 173-19, to be transmitted to the Planning Board by the Building Inspector, or by a copy of a site plan signed by the Planning Board or by a written statement from the Planning Board that the site plan has been submitted to but not acted on by the Planning Board. The Building Inspector shall notify the Planning Board thirty (30) days prior to the date by which he must take action on such plans and shall not approve any building permit subject to this section without written site plan approval of the Planning Board or its designated agent, unless by that date no notice of action has been received from the Planning Board. § 173-17. Preparation of plans. Plans subject to site plan review shall be prepared by a registered architect, landscape architect or professional engineer. Such plans shall show the boundaries of the lot, existing and proposed topography, existing and proposed structures, walkways and principal drives and service entries, parking, landscaping, screening, park or recreation areas, utilities and storm drainage. § 173-18. Design requirements. The Planning Board shall approve a site plan only upon its determination of the following: A. Internal circulation and egress are such that traffic safety is protected, and access via minor streets servicing single-family homes is minimized. B. Visibility of parking areas from public ways and residences is minimized, and lighting of these areas avoids glare on adjoining properties. C. Major topographic changes or removal of existing trees is minimized. D. Adequate access to each structure for fire and service equipment is provided. E. Utilities and drainage in the vicinity either are or will be made adequate, based on the functional standards of the Planning Board's Subdivision Regulations. F. Methods of stormwater control and treatment as outlined in the Town of Littleton Low Impact Design/Best Management Practices Manual (latest edition) are utilized to the maximum extent practicable. [Added 5-5-2007 ATM Art 15] § 173-19. Review and approval. [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] The Planning Board shall indicate its approval, conditional approval or disapproval in writing to the Building Inspector. The Planning Board shall also so endorse the plans, forwarding one (1) endorsed copy to the Building Inspector if submitted by the Building Inspector or to the applicant if submitted 9 by the applicant and one (1) to the Town Clerk and retaining one (1) endorsed copy for its own use and records. §173-20. Special Design Provisions for the Village Common District. [Added 5-3-2010 STM, Art. 4.] The Planning Board shall consider the following additional design criteria in conducting Site Plan Review for projects in the Village Common zoning district. The Planning Board may adopt additional Design Guidelines to advance the goals of the Village Common. A. Design Goals. Buildings and renovations shall be of a design similar to or compatible with traditional architecture in the Town of Littleton in terms of scale, massing, roof shape, spacing and exterior materials. The design standards are intended to promote quality development consistent with the Town’s sense of history, human scale and pedestrian-oriented village character. B. Building Scale. The size and detailing of buildings shall reflect the community preference for moderate-scale structures that resemble houses or barns, and do not resemble “big box shopping centers”. New buildings and/or substantial alterations shall incorporate features to add visual interest while reducing the appearance of bulk or mass. Such features include varied facades, rooflines, roof heights, materials, and details such as brick chimneys or shutters. Buildings shall relate to the pedestrian scale by: · Including appropriate architectural details to add visual interest along the ground floor of all facades that face streets, squares, pedestrian pathways, parking lots, or other significant pedestrian spaces. · Articulate the base, middle, and top of the facade separated by cornices, string cornices, step-backs or other similar features. · Continuous lengths of flat, blank walls adjacent to streets, pedestrian pathways, or open spaces shall not be permitted. C. Roof Form. New construction, including new development above existing buildings and/or substantial alterations, shall incorporate gables or other traditional pitched roof forms which will be consistent with the historic architecture of the Town of Littleton. Flat roofs are discouraged. Mechanical equipment located on roofs shall be screened, organized and designed as a component of the roof design, and not appear to be a leftover or add-on element. D. Entrances. All primary commercial and residential building entrances shall be visible from the right-of-way and the sidewalk, and shall have an entrance directly accessible from the sidewalk. Doors shall not extend beyond the exterior facade into pedestrian pathways. E. External Materials and Appearance. Predominant wall materials shall have the appearance of wood, brick or stone painted or coated in a [natural] non-metallic finish. Cladding materials should be consistent on all facades with the exception of special design elements such as gables or dormers. 10 Awnings and canopies shall be compatible with the architectural style of the building. Colors and patterns used for awnings and canopies shall be subdued and compatible with existing awnings on adjacent buildings. Except for minor trim, the building shall avoid the appearance of reflective materials such as porcelain enamel or sheet metal. Window panes shall be non-reflective. Ground floor commercial building facades facing streets, squares, or other significant pedestrian spaces shall contain transparent windows encompassing a minimum of 40 percent of the facade surface. Wherever possible, existing historic structures on the site shall be preserved and renovated for use as part of the development. Any alteration of or addition to an existing historic structure shall employ materials, colors and textures as well as massing, size, scale and architectural features that are compatible with the original structure. Distinctive features, finishes, and construction techniques or examples of craftsmanship that characterize a historic property shall be preserved. F. Landscaping. To the maximum extent possible projects in the Common Area shall provide pedestrian-friendly amenities, such as wide sidewalks/pathways, outdoor seating, patios, porches or courtyards. Site landscaping shall be maximized. Links/sidewalks designed to connect parking areas with adjacent developments are encouraged to further the goal of providing safe pedestrian access to businesses within the Littleton Common. G. Service Areas, Utilities and Equipment. Service and loading areas and mechanical equipment and utilities shall be unobtrusive or sufficiently screened so that they are not visible from streets or primary public open spaces and shall incorporate effective techniques for noise buffering from adjacent uses. Waste disposal areas shall follow all relevant requirements of the current Littleton zoning by-law. H. Sustainable Building Design. It is desirable that new buildings constructed in the Littleton Common Area comply with the current Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) criteria, as promulgated by the U.S. Green Building Council to the maximum extent feasible. I. Vehicle and Pedestrian Features. Vehicle, pedestrian and bicycle features shall be designed to provide a network of pathways, and promote walking within the Littleton Common area. Curb cuts shall be minimized. J. Parking: To maintain a pedestrian-friendly environment, motor vehicle parking spaces shall be located behind or beside buildings wherever possible. Parking located directly between the building and the street alignment shall be discouraged. K. Bicycle Parking: Bicycle parking shall be provided for all new development, shall be at least 50 percent sheltered from the elements, and shall be located as close as possible to the building entrance(s). Any property required to have bicycle parking may establish a shared bicycle parking facility with any other property owner within the same block. 11 L. Appointment of Design Advisory Team (DAT). The Planning Board may, at its option, appoint a Design Advisory Team to assist in the review of any project in the Littleton Village Common zone that requires Site Plan Review pursuant to Section 173-20. Members of the DAT shall include: one or more Planning Board member(s); professional architect(s); landscape architect(s) or design related professional(s); Historical Commission member(s); business owner(s). The DAT will provide advisory professional design review assistance to the Planning Board. The DAT may also submit a written report to the Planning Board. The DAT will be appointed at a regularly scheduled meeting where public notice has been provided. At the direction of the Planning Board, a project applicant may be required to meet with the DAT to discuss resolution of design concerns. 173-21. (Reserved) ARTICLE V, Use Regulations § 173-22. Establishment of districts. A. Districts enumerated. (1) For the purpose of this chapter, the Town of Littleton is hereby divided into the following types of zoning districts [Amended 5-3-2010 STM, Art. 4]: Residence District R Business Districts Village Common VC Business B Industrial Districts Industrial A I-A Industrial B I-B (2) In addition, there are Wetlands, Floodplains, Aquifer Water Resource, and Litteton Village Overlay District West—Beaver Brook Area Districts. [Amended 5-3-2010 STM, Art. 5] B. Zoning Map. The boundaries of these districts are defined and bounded on the set of maps entitled "Zoning and Property Maps, Littleton, Mass.," originally dated May 10, 1980, as most recently amended, on file with the Town Clerk. These maps and all explanatory matter thereon are hereby made part of this chapter. Zoning boundaries, except for wetlands, shown on the map entitled "Zoning Map," dated February 1, 1973, as most recently revised, shall be for information only. C. Boundary lines. Except when labeled to the contrary, boundary or dimension lines shown approximately following or terminating at street, railroad or utility easement center or layout lines, boundary or lot lines or the channel of a stream shall be construed to be actually at those lines; when shown approximately parallel, perpendicular or radial to such lines shall be construed to be actually parallel, perpendicular or radial thereto. When not locatable in any other way, boundaries shall be determined by scale from the map. Whenever the exact location of zoning boundary lines cannot be determined under the provisions stated above, the location of such lines shall be determined by the Board of Appeals.§§ 173-23 through 173-24. (Reserved) 12 § 173-25. Use regulations. A. General. No building or structure shall be erected or used, and no land shall be used, except as set forth in the Use Regulations Schedule or as exempted by §§ 173-8 through 173-11 or by statute. Symbols employed shall mean the following: (1) Permitted uses: Y -- A permitted use. N -- An excluded or prohibited use. (2) Uses authorized under special permit as provided for in § 173-7: A -- Acted on by Board of Appeals. P -- Acted on by Planning Board. S -- Acted on by Board of Selectmen. B. More than one (1) use. Where an activity might be classified under more than one (1) of the following uses, the more specific classification shall determine permissibility; if equally specific, the more restrictive shall govern. § 173-26. Use Regulations Schedule. [Amended 5-3-10 STM, Art. 4.] A. Principal uses. Districts Uses R VC B IA IB AGRICULTURAL USES Farm, greenhouses Y Y Y Y Y RESIDENTIAL USES Single-family dwelling Y Y Y N N 2-family dwelling (new) N N N N N 2-family dwelling (conversion) A A A N N Multifamily dwelling N N N N N Mixed Use [Added 5-3-2010 STM, ArN. 4] P N N N Nursing home A Y Y N N Lodging house Y Y Y N N Mobile home park N N N N N Residential social service faciliAy A A N N Over 55 Housing Development P N N N N [Added 11-8-2005 STM, Art. 4] COMMERCIAL USES [Amended 5-9-1988, Art. 12] Major commercial use (Article XVNII) P P P P If not a major commercial use: Office, bank, data-processing cNnter Y Y Y Y Theater or cinema N P P N P Retail sales, service N Y Y N8 Y Motel, hotel, conference centerN N N P N 13 Districts Uses R VC B IA IB Motor vehicle service station N A A A A Restaurant N Y 4 Y 4 Y4 Y4 Adult use establishments N N N P N [Added 9-22-1997 STM, Art. 9] INDUSTRIAL USES [Amended 5-9-1988, Art. 12] Major industrial use (Article XVINI) P P P P If not a major industrial use: Wholesaling, warehousing, N N N Y7 Y7 distribution center Manufacturing N N N Y7 Y7 Research and development N N N Y Y Asphalt batching plants N N N N N Open storage and bulk storage N N N Y5 Y Truck terminal 4 or fewer trucks on premises N N N Y Y More than 4 trucks N N N N N Public utilities N Y Y Y Y Wireless telecommunications toweN 9 N 9 N 9 P P and facilities [Added 2-10-1997 STM, Art. 3] Commercial power generation N N N N N Self-storage facilities N N N P P [Added 5-8-2000 ATM, Art. 27] INSTITUTIONAL USES School Exempt by statute (MGL C. 40, § Y) Y Y Y Y Other N Y Y Y Y Church or other religious use Y Y Y Y Y Fraternal, charitable and A Y Y Y Y nonprofit organization Library, museum, hospital Y Y Y Y Y Conversion of municipal building P P P P P Municipal use not elsewhere more Y Y Y Y Y specifically cited RECREATIONAL USES Indoor sporting area, health clubN Y Y Y Y bowling, tennis or similar uses Camping, supervised A A A A A Campground N A A N A Extensive recreation S Y Y S Y Other principal uses with exter- A A A A A nally observable attributes similar to uses permitted above Other principal uses N N N N N On-site disposal of toxic or N N N N N hazardous materials [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] 14 B. Accessory uses. (See Articles XII and XIII.) Districts Uses R VC B IA IB Roadside stands (agricultural) Y Y Y Y Y Home occupations (See § 173-54) Y Y Y Y Y Accessory dwelling (See Article XIIIA A A N N Parking in compliance with § 173-32 Y Y Y Y Y Signs in compliance with Article VIIY Y Y Y Y Wholesale and retail mercantile N Y Y Y Y business accessory to manufacturing Accessory scientific uses (§ 173-55)A A A A A On-site disposal of toxic or hazardoNs N N N N materials [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] Helicopter landing facility [Added N N N N N 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] Mobile home (§ 173-56) [Added A A A A A 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 15] 9 9 9 Wireless telecommunications tower N N N P P and facilities [Added 2-10-1997 STM, Art. 3] Other customary accessory uses Y Y Y Y Y NOTES: 1See § 173-68, Conversion of dwellings. 2A special permit for a nursing home in a residential area shall not be granted unless the plans, in accordance with which the nursing home is to be constructed, show that it will comply with the following conditions: no structure is to be erected within six hundred (600) feet of a street line or within two hundred (200) feet of a side line or rear line; ingress and egress are onto a street over a way or a right-of-way with a width of fifty (50) feet or more; there is a lot area of ten thousand (10,000) square feet for each bed in the facility; no building facade or roof has length exceeding one hundred fifty (150) feet without a horizontal break of at least three (3) feet. 3 Provided that all building code, health and Zoning By-Law requirements are met and that the specific premises are not unsuitable in relation to the needs of the persons being cared for. [Amended 5-3-1993 ATM, Art. 20] 4However, food may not be sold directly to persons remaining in their vehicles, and the use requires a special permit if food is to be sold packaged for takeout (other than where the takeout is clearly incidental to service for on-premises consumption). [Amended 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] 5Only if screened. See § 173-27B. 6See § 173-69, except when proposed use is permitted by the existing zoning. 7 No maintenance or service of trucks as an accessory use if more than four (4) trucks on premises. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 12] 8Except "P" if there is more than fifty thousand (50,000) square feet gross floor area in other nonresidential uses on the lot or within two thousand (2,000) feet of the boundary of the lot and the use is contained in a structure chiefly devoted to other permitted uses and the use occupies not more than ten percent (10%) of the structure's floor area. [Added 5-9- 1988 ATM, Art. 12] 9 Except if the proposed location is on municipally owned or controlled land, or fully enclosed within an existing Church steeple, then a special permit is required from the Planning Board. [Added 2-10-1997 STM, Art. 3] ARTICLE VI, Intensity of Use Regulations § 173-27. General regulations. A. General. All structures hereafter erected in any district shall be located on a lot such that all of the requirements set forth in the following table are complied with, except where specifically exempted by this chapter or by the General Laws. 15 B. Changing lot dimensions. No existing lot shall be changed in size or shape so as to result in violation of the requirements set forth below. C. Statutory exemptions. MGL C. 40A, § 6, exempts certain residential lots from some of those requirements and exempts for some time certain lots on approved subdivision plans. (See also § 173-11.) D. Street setback. On corner and through lots, street setbacks shall be maintained from each abutting street or way which qualifies to provide lot frontage for division of a parcel into lots. Except where stated to the contrary, all street setbacks shall be measured from the legal boundary of the way, but, where no such boundary is established, the setbacks shall be measured from a line twenty-five (25) feet from the center of the traveled roadway. § 173-28. Street frontage exception. Lots having less than the normally required lot frontage may be created and built upon for residential use, provided that such lots are shown on a plan endorsed by the Planning Board "Approved for Reduced Lot Frontage." Plans shall be so endorsed if meeting each of the following, but not otherwise: A. Each lot shall have frontage of at least thirty-five (35) feet. B. Egress over that frontage shall create no greater hazard owing to grade and visibility limitations than would be normal for a standard lot in the same area. C. Each lot must contain at least forty thousand (40,000) square feet more than the minimum otherwise required, without counting the area within any access strip. "Access strip" in this case shall mean any portion of the lot between the street and the point where lot width equals one hundred (100) feet or more. D. All other normal lot requirements as specified in the Intensity of Use Schedule shall be met. E. Each lot with less frontage than normally required shall be capable of containing a square with sides equal to the normally required lot frontage. Said square shall be shown on the plan submitted to the Planning Board for endorsement. F. No lot having less than normally required frontage shall be endorsed by the Planning Board if its access strip abuts another such lot. G. Plans of reduced frontage lots shall show the frontage of each lot abutting its access strip and, if any such lot is a reduced frontage lot, shall show the location of that lot's access strip. [Added 5-9- 1988 ATM, Art. 14] § 173-29. Lot Shape. [Added 5-4-1998 ATM, Art. 33] The shape of all lots shall conform to the following requirement: 16A > 0.4 2 P Where A = The lot area in square feet. P = The lot perimeter in feet. § 173-30. (Reserved) 16 § 173-31. Intensity of use schedule. [Inserted at end of the Chapter.] ARTICLE VII, Parking and Loading Requirements § 173-32. Parking requirements. A. General. Adequate off-street parking must be provided to service all parking demand created by new construction, whether through new structures or additions to old ones, and by change of use of existing structures. Such parking shall be either on the same premises as the activity it services or within three hundred (300) feet on a separate parcel, which may be jointly used with other premises for this purpose, provided that the continued joint use of such parcel is ensured through an agreement recorded in the Registry of Deeds. B. Schedule of parking area requirements. In applying for a building permit or certificate of use and occupancy, the applicant must demonstrate that the following minimums will be met, unless, in performing site plan review (see § 173-16), the Planning Board determines that special circumstances render a lesser provision adequate for all parking needs. If such lesser provision is allowed, the Planning Board may impose such conditions as it deems necessary. Applicant is encouraged to consider shared parking as a possible means of reducing total parking area, subject to Planning Board approval. [Amended 5-8-1995 ATM, Art. 32; 5-4-1998 ATM, Art. 34; 5-8-2000 ATM, Art. 27; 11-8-2005 STM, Art. 5] (1) Dwellings: two (2) spaces per dwelling unit. (2) Motels, hotels, lodging houses: one (1) space per guest unit, plus one (1) space per employee. (3) Retail stores: one (1) space per one hundred fifty (150) square feet of leasable floor area. (4) Offices: one (1) space per two hundred fifty (250) square feet of gross floor area, or, if the Planning Board determines that the occupancy can adequately be predicted and controlled, one (1) space per one and twenty-five hundredths (1.25) employees on the largest shift. (5) Industrial, wholesale: one (1) space per one and twenty-five hundredths (1.25) employees on the largest shift. (6) Restaurants: one (1) space per four (4) seats, plus one (1) space per employee on the larger shift. (7) Places of assembly: one (1) space per four (4) seats. (8) Hospitals: three (3) spaces per bed. (9) Nursing homes: one (1) space per four (4) beds. (10) Bowling alleys: four (4) spaces per lane. (11) All others: one (1) space per two hundred fifty (250) square feet of gross leasable area. (12) Motor Vehicle Service Stations: one (1) space per pump plus one (1) space per employee, plus three (3) spaces per service bay. 17 (13) Motor Vehicle Service Station with Retail Store: one (1) space per pump, plus one (1) space per employee, plus three (3) spaces per service bay, plus one (1) space per 50 square feet of gross floor area. (14) Self-storage facilities: two (2) spaces per 10,000 square feet of gross floor area. C. Parking area design. No off-street parking area shall be maintained within ten (10) feet of a street line. Required parking areas shall be paved and have bumper or wheel guards where needed unless serving a single-family residence or unless, in performing site plan review (see § 173-16), the Planning Board determines that, because of seasonal or otherwise limited use, an alternative surface will adequately prevent dust, erosion, water accumulation or unsightly conditions. For parking areas of eight (8) cars or more, the following shall apply: (1) Parking area use shall not require backing onto a public way. (2) There shall not be more than one (1) entrance and one (1) exit from such lots per two hundred (200) feet of street frontage or fraction thereof. No entrance or exit shall be less than fifty (50) feet from the intersection of side lines of intersecting streets. Wherever possible, lanes of entry shall be separated from lanes of egress by not less than forty (40) feet and shall be clearly distinguished by directional signs or markers. If necessary to meet these egress requirements, uses shall arrange for shared access. (3) Parking lots for eight (8) or more cars shall be screened from any abutting residential use or public way by a four-foot width of densely planted shrubs or a fence of not less than four (4) feet in height. (4) Parking spaces shall each provide space adequate to park an automobile, plus means of access, with dimensions meeting standards established by the Planning Board for standard, compact and handicapped spaces. (5) Parking areas for eight (8) or more vehicles shall be drained through catch basins equipped with oil and grease traps and sediment traps unless the topography of the site prevents their use. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14] (6) To reduce stormwater discharge and improve the attenuation of pollutants, applicants are required to use stormwater control Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in parking lot design (i.e., interior landscaping, vegetated/grassy swales, infiltration planters, permeable pavement, rain gardens, etc.). [Added 11-8-2005 STM, Art. 5] § 173-33. Loading requirements. Adequate off-street loading facilities and space must be provided to service all needs created by new construction, whether through new structures or additions to old ones, and by change of use of existing structures. Facilities shall be so sized and arranged that no trucks need back onto or off of a public way or be parked on a public way while loading, unloading or waiting to do so. ARTICLE VIII, Signs [Amended 5-4-1996 ATM, Art. 23] § 173-34. General regulations. A. Except for indicators of time and temperature, no sign or part of any sign shall flash, rotate, move 18 or make noise. B. Signs shall be illuminated internally or by external shielded light directed solely at the sign in such a manner as to prevent glare for motorists and pedestrians, and such that the light source and lenses shall not be visible from any residential district. C. No sign shall be placed within or projecting over a public way or on public property, except with a permit from the Board of Selectmen. D. No sign shall be illuminated between the hours of 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. unless indicating time or temperature or an establishment open to the public during those hours. E. Provisions of this chapter do not limit flags, insignia, legal notices, agricultural, directional or traffic signs erected or required by governmental bodies. § 173-35. On-premises signs in business and industrial districts. Signs whose contents relate exclusively to the premises on which they are located or to products, accommodations, services or activities on those premises shall be allowed as follows: A. Number of signs. (1) Principal signs. (a) On any one (1) lot, one (1) freestanding sign. (b) For any one (1) business or other discrete activity, one (1) attached wall sign to each building side having both a public entrance and orientation to a street. [For store groups, however, see Subsection C(3).] (2) Secondary signs. (For lots with remove secondary access, one (1) secondary freestanding sign so arranged as to be not less than three hundred (300) feet measured horizontally from the principal freestanding sign. B. Height of signs. (1) Freestanding signs shall not exceed eighteen (18) feet in height. (2) Any attached sign shall not project above or beyond the limits of the building on which it is viewed. C. Sign areas. (1) Principal freestanding signs shall not exceed fifty (50) square feet in area. (2) Secondary freestanding signs shall not exceed twenty-five (25) square feet in area. (3) No group of attached signs on any single face of the building on which they are viewed shall exceed fifteen percent (15%) of that exterior surface wall area. No attached sign shall exceed (50) square feet. D. Window signs. Window signs painted or fastened to window glass and signs immediately inside window glass are subject to the provisions of this chapter. Sips shall not exceed fifty percent (50%) of the glass area on which they are viewed. 19 E. Business groups. Groups of three (3) or more businesses on a single lot, such as a plaza or shopping center, may, as an alternative to Subsections A(1)(a) and C(1) observe the following: ne (1) principle freestanding sign of twelve (12) square feet in area identifying the plaza or center name with no more than an additional twelve (12) square foot panel for each business for the purpose of identification. Total aggregate sign area shall not exceed fifty (50) square feet. § 173-36. On-premises signs in residential districts. Signs whose contents relate exclusively to the premises on which they are located or to products, accommodations, services or activities on those premises shall be allowed as follows: A. Number of signs. On any one (1) lot, one (1) freestanding or attached sign. Agricultural signs are exempt. B. Size of signs. Freestanding or attached signs shall not exceed three (3) square feet. Signs located on a lot with more than three hundred (300) feet of frontage and conforming to the setbacks for principal structures shall not exceed nine (9) square feet. Agricultural signs shall be limited to fifty (50) square feet aggregate total. C. Signs advertising accessory use of residences or residential lots, including signs pertaining to the lease or sale of such residence of lot, shall not be lighted. Such signs shall not be located in a required side or rear setback. D. Signs shall be limited to one (1) background color, which shall be natural wood, white or the same color as the principal structure or its trim, and one (1) other color for lettering and designs. E. Signs shall be limited to name and nature of the activity and its hours of operation and shall not contain slogans or prices. F. Chimney monograms, house numbers, identification name plaques bearing the name of the occupants and similar decorative devices
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