Town of Ashland, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town of Ashland Special Town Meeting 11-19-2008, Art. 19,[1] as amended through 5-4-2016 Annual Town Meeting, Art. 23. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Demolition delay — See Ch. 125.
Noise — See Ch. 204.
Retail establishments — See Ch. 227.
Sewer betterment assessments — See Ch. 235.
Soil removal — See Ch. 242.
Stormwater management — See Chs. 247 and 343.
Subdivision of land — See Chs. 252 and 344.
Wetlands protection — See Ch. 280.
[1]
Editor's Note: This enactment also repealed former Ch. 282, Zoning, adopted as amended through the 5-7-2008 Annual Town Meeting.

SECTION 1.0 PURPOSE AND AUTHORITY

1.1 
TITLE. The full title of these regulations shall be the "Zoning By-laws of the Town of Ashland, Massachusetts." These regulations shall be referred to herein as the "Zoning By-laws" or "these By-laws."
1.2 
PURPOSE. These regulations are enacted to promote the general welfare of the Town of Ashland, to protect the health and safety of its inhabitants, to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the town, and to increase the amenities of the town, all as authorized by, but not limited by, the provisions of the Zoning Act, G.L. c. 40A, as amended, and Section 2A of 1975 Mass. Acts 808.
1.3 
AUTHORITY. This Zoning By-Law is enacted in accordance with the provisions of the General Laws, Chapter 40A, any and all amendments thereto, and by Article 89 of the Amendments to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
1.4 
SCOPE. For these purposes, the construction, alteration, reconstruction, height, number of stories, and size of buildings and structures, the size and width of lots, the percentage of lot area that may be occupied, the size of yards, courts, and other open spaces, the density of population, and the location and use of buildings, structures, and land in the Town are regulated as hereinafter provided.
1.5 
APPLICABILITY. All buildings or structures hereinafter erected, reconstructed, altered, enlarged or moved, and the use of all premises in the Town, shall be in conformity with the provisions of the Zoning By-Law. No building, structure or land shall be used for any purpose or in any manner other than is expressly permitted within the district in which such building, structure or land is located. Where the application of this By-Law imposes greater restrictions than those imposed by any other regulations, permits, restrictions, easements, covenants, or agreements, the provisions of this By-Law shall control. Nothing herein shall be construed to supersede the provisions of the State Building Code, 780 CMR 1.00, et seq.
1.6 
AMENDMENTS. This By-Law may from time to time be changed by amendment, addition, or repeal by the Town Meeting in the manner provided in G.L. c. 40A, s.5, and any amendments thereto.
1.6.1 
Conformance Required. 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.
1.7 
SEVERABILITY. The invalidity of any section or provision of this By-Law shall not invalidate any other section or provision herein.

SECTION 2.0 DISTRICTS

2.1 
ESTABLISHMENT.
For the purposes of this By-Law, the Town of Ashland is hereby divided into the following zoning districts:
Residential Districts
Residence A
RA
Residence B
RB
Residence Multifamily
RM
Commercial Districts
Highway Commerce
CH
Downtown Commerce
CD
Village Commerce
CV
Neighborhood Commerce
CN
Office Commerce
CO
Industrial
I
Special Districts
Wildwood Mixed Use Special District
WMUSD
Rail Transit District
RTD
Ashland Downtown District
ADD
Quarry Remediation District
QRD
Such districts shall be created and amended only by vote of the Town Meeting amending the Zoning Map.
2.2 
OVERLAY DISTRICTS
[Amended 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 18; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22]
In addition, the following overlay districts are also hereby established in Section 8.0:
Ashland Downtown District A
Floodplain Overlay District (FPOD)
Groundwater Protection Overlay District (GPOD)
Photovoltaic Installations Overlay District (PIOD)
Pond Street Mixed Use Overlay District (PSMUOD)
2.3 
ZONING MAP. The boundaries of these districts are defined and founded on the map entitled, "Town of Ashland, Massachusetts Zoning Map Index FY 2009," scale: 1" = approx. 1000', effective date 9/7/72, revised date June 2008, a copy of which is on file in the office of the Town Clerk, and that the map and all explanatory matter thereon is hereby made a part of this chapter.
2.4 
BOUNDARIES OF DISTRICTS. The following rules shall apply to the interpretation of the Zoning Map.
2.4.1 
Boundary Lines within Public or Private Ways. Where the boundary line (or portion of a boundary line) of a zoning district is shown on the Map within the street line of a public or private way, the center line of such public or private way shall be the boundary line.
2.4.2 
Boundary Lines Shown Approximately. Where the boundary line or portion of a boundary line of a zoning district is shown approximately on the location of a property or lot line, and the exact location of the property, lot, or boundary line is not indicated by means of dimensions shown in figures, then the property or lot line existing at the time of adoption of these Bylaws shall be the boundary line.
2.4.3 
Boundary Lines Outside Public or Private Ways. A boundary line (or portion of a boundary line) of a zoning district located outside of a street line and shown to be approximately parallel to the street line shall be regarded as parallel to such street line, and any dimensions shown in figures on the Map between such boundary line and the street line shall be regarded as the distance in feet between such boundary lines and the street line, with the distance being measured at right angles to the street line unless otherwise indicated.
2.4.4 
Location of Other Boundary Lines. In all cases which are not covered by other provisions of this Section, the location of boundary lines shall be determined by the distance in feet, if given, from other lines upon the Zoning Map, by the use of identifications as shown on the Zoning Map, or by the scale of the Zoning Map.
2.4.5 
Lot Split by District Lines. Where a district boundary line between a residential, commercial, or industrial district divides any lot existing at the time such line is adopted, the regulations for the less restricted portion of such lot shall extend no more than 50 feet into the more restricted portion, provided the lot has frontage on a public way in the less restricted district.

SECTION 3.0 USE REGULATIONS

3.1 
PRINCIPAL USES. Except as provided by law or in this By-law in each district, no building or structure shall be constructed, used or occupied, nor shall land be used or occupied, except for the purposes permitted as set forth in the accompanying Table of Use Regulations.
[Amended 11-16-2009 STM, Art. 14; 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 23; 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 24; 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 25; 11-29-2010 STM, Art. 15; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 16; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 17; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 18; 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 25; 5-6-2015 ATM, Art. 19; 5-6-2015 ATM, Art. 20]
3.1.1 
By Right. A use listed in the Table of Use Regulations is permitted as of right in any district under which it is denoted by the letter "Y" subject to such restrictions as may be specified elsewhere in this Bylaw.
3.1.2 
Special Permit: Board of Appeals. A use designated in the Table by the letters "BA" may be permitted as a special permit only if the Board of Appeals so determines and grants a special permit therefor as provided in Section 9.4 of this Bylaw subject to such restrictions as are set forth elsewhere in this Bylaw, and such restrictions as said Board may establish.
3.1.3 
Special Permit: Planning Board. A use designated in the Table by the letters "PB" may be permitted as a special permit only if the Planning Board so determines and grants a special permit therefor as provided in Section 9.4 of this Bylaw subject to such restrictions as are set forth elsewhere in this Bylaw, and such restrictions as said Board may establish
3.1.4 
Special Permit: Board of Selectmen. A use designated in the Table by the letters "SB" may be permitted as a special permit only if the Board of Selectmen so determines and grants a special permit therefor as provided in Section 9.4 of this Bylaw subject to such restrictions as are set forth elsewhere in this Bylaw, and such restrictions as said Board may establish.
TABLE OF PRINCIPAL USE REGULATIONS
PRINCIPAL USES
A. RESIDENTIAL USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Single-family dwelling
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Mobile home or trailer
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Two-family dwelling
N
Y
Y
BA
Y
BA
Y
N
N
Conversion of single-family to two-family dwelling
N
Y
Y
BA
Y
BA
Y
N
N
Conversion of single or two family to dwelling with not more than four units
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
N
N
Multifamily dwelling
N
N
BA
N
N
N
N
N
N
Lodging or boarding house
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
N
Assisted living facility
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
N
BA
N
N
See Section 7.4
Cluster development
PB
PB
PB
N
N
N
N
PB
N
Planned multifamily development
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
N
Senior residential community
PB
PB
N
PB
PB
N
N
PB
N
See Section 7.2.5
Nursing or convalescent home
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
N
Mixed residential units and commercial uses in the same building
N
N
N
PB*
N
N
N
PB*
N
*Number of dwelling units permitted shall not exceed a maximum of five (5) units per acre.
 
PRINCIPAL USES
B. EXEMPT AND INSTITUTIONAL USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Use of land or structures for religious purposes
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Use of land or structures for educational purposes on land owned or leased by the commonwealth or any of its agencies, subdivisions or bodies politic or by a religious sect or denomination, or by a nonprofit educational corporation
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Child care facility
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal buildings and facilities, including vehicle storage, fire and police station
BA
BA
BA
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal sanitary waste disposal facility
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
Essential services
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
Hospital
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
N
N
Philanthropic institution with less than 10,000 square feet gross floor area
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Philanthropic institution with more than 10,000 square feet gross floor area
BA
BA
BA
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
 
PRINCIPAL USES
C. AGRICULTURAL USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Use of land for the primary purpose of agriculture, horticulture, floriculture, or viticulture on a parcel of more than five acres in area
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Facilities for the sale of produce, and wine and dairy products, provided that during the months of June, July, August, and September of every year, or during the harvest season of the primary crop, the majority of such products for sale, based on either gross sales dollars or volume, have been produced by the owner of the land containing more than five acres in area on which the facility is located
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Nonexempt agricultural use
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Section 3.2
Nonexempt farm stand
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Greenhouse or nursery
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
 
PRINCIPAL USES
D. COMMERCIAL USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Nonexempt educational use
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
N
N
BA
Animal clinic or hospital; kennel
BA
BA
BA
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
Y
Section 3.2
Private nonprofit club or lodge
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
N
N
Funeral home
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
N
N
Motel or hotel
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Bed and breakfast
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
N
Retail establishment not more specifically defined
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA*
N
Y
Convenience store
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Open air vending
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
General service establishment
N
N
N
Y
N
BA
BA
N
Y
Personal service establishment
N
N
N
Y
N
Y
BA
N
Y
Restaurant
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Restaurant, fast-food
N
N
N
BA**
BA**
BA**
N
N
BA
Business or professional office
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y*
Y
Y
Medical or dental office or clinic
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
N
Medical marijuana dispensary
N
N
N
PB
N
N
N
N
PB
Bank; financial agency
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
N
Catering service
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Indoor commercial recreation
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Outdoor commercial recreation
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
Y
Golf course
BA
BA
BA
N
N
N
N
N
N
Campground, nonprofit or supervised camping
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Boat rental
BA
BA
BA
N
N
N
N
N
N
Adult entertainment use
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
BA
N
BA
See Section 6.1
Wireless communication facility
PB
PB
PB
PB
PB
PB
PB
PB
PB
See Section 6.4
Tattoo parlor/body piercing studio
N
N
N
BA
N
BA
BA
N
BA
Copy shop
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
BA
N
Y
Print shop
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
* UNDER 2,000 SQ. FT. GROSS FLOOR AREA
** NO ACCESS VIA POND STREET
 
PRINCIPAL USES
E. MOTOR VEHICLE USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Motor vehicle, trailer and boat sales, service and rental
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
Y
Motor vehicle general and body repair
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
Y
Motor vehicle light service
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
BA
 
PRINCIPAL USES
F. INDUSTRIAL USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Earth removal
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Light manufacturing
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Wholesale, warehouse, or distribution facility
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Mini-storage warehouse facility
N
N
N
Y
N
PB
PB
N
Y
Manufacturing
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Construction yard or landscaping business
N
N
N
Y
N
PB
PB
N
Y
Junkyard or automobile salvage or graveyard
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Land transportation terminal
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
BA
Assembly or packaging
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Research, laboratories, and development facilities
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Publishing and printing
N
N
N
N
N
Y
N
N
BA
Computer software development
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Computer hardware development
N
N
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Y
Food and beverage manufacturing, bottling or processing facility
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Alternative energy and renewable energy manufacturing facilities
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
N
Y
Alternative energy and renewable energy research and development facilities
N
N
N
PB
N
N
N
N
Y
PRINCIPAL USES
G. ACCESSORY USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Accessory scientific uses
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Rooming and boarding not more than 2 persons
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Home occupation
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Adult day care
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Child day care, small
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
N
Y
N
Child day care, large
BA
BA
BA
N
N
N
N
Y
N
Accessory family dwelling unit
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
BA
Y
BA
N
Drive-through
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
BA
PRINCIPAL USES
H. OTHER USES
RA
RB
RM
CH
CD
CV
CN
CO
I
Drive-through only facility
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
N
N
BA
Commercial parking facility
N
N
N
BA
BA
BA
BA
N
BA
3.2 
ACCESSORY USES AND STRUCTURES. Except as provided by law or in this By-law in each district, no accessory use, building or structure shall be constructed, used or occupied, nor shall land be used or occupied, except for the purposes permitted as set forth in the accompanying Table of Use Regulations.
3.2.1 
Home Occupations. Home occupations are permitted if no more than twenty-five percent (25%) of the floor area of the residence is used for the occupation, not more than one (1) person not a member of the household is employed on the premises in the occupation, there is no exterior display or storage or other variation from the residential character of the premises, traffic generated does not exceed that normally expected in a residential neighborhood and all parking required to service the occupation is provided off-street, other than within a required front yard.
3.2.2 
Mobile Homes and Campers. A mobile home or camper may be temporarily occupied by nonpaying guests of the owner of the premises for a period not to exceed two (2) weeks in any calendar year; or as a temporary office incidental to the construction or development of the premises on which it is located, upon prior approval of the Building Inspector, who may seek advisory from the Planning Board or its designated agent, for a period of one (1) year, renewable annually.
(A). 
Storage of campers belonging to residents on the premises shall be considered a customary accessory use on residentially used premises.
(B). 
An owner, or occupier with permission of the owner, of a residence which has been destroyed or otherwise, made unlivable by fire or natural holocaust may temporarily place a mobile home on the site of such residence and reside in such temporary quarters for a period not to exceed twelve (12) months. Such temporary quarters may be placed within required front or rear yards only and shall be subject to the provisions of the State Sanitary Code.
3.2.3 
Keeping of Animals. No more than one (1) farm animal or no more than ten (10) rabbits or poultry shall be kept on less than one (1) acre and no more than two (2) farm animals or one hundred (100) rabbits or poultry shall be kept on less than two (2) acres. Numbers of farm animals or poultry on two (2) acres or larger shall be limited only by Board of Health requirements and by the performance standards of Section 5.8.
3.2.4 
Scientific Uses. The Board of Appeals may grant a special permit for a use accessory to a scientific research, scientific development or related production activity, whether or not on the same parcel as such activity. A special permit shall be granted where the Board of Appeals finds that the proposed accessory use does not substantially derogate from the public good.
3.2.5 
Residential Accessory Uses. The following accessory uses are allowed in the Residential Districts, as set forth in the Table of Principal Use Regulations.
(A). 
Rooming and boarding not more than 2 persons.
(B). 
Family daycare, large and small.
(C). 
Adult day care.
3.3 
NONCONFORMING USES AND STRUCTURES.
3.3.1 
Applicability. This zoning by-law shall not apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a building or special permit issued before the first publication of notice of the public hearing required by G.L. c. 40A, s. 5 at which this zoning by-law, or any relevant part thereof, was adopted. Such prior, lawfully existing nonconforming uses and structures may continue, provided that no modification of the use or structure is accomplished, unless authorized hereunder.
3.3.2 
Nonconforming Uses. The Board of Appeals may award a special permit to change a nonconforming use in accordance with this section only if it determines that such change or extension shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood. The following types of changes to nonconforming uses may be considered by the Board of Appeals:
(A). 
Change or substantial extension of the use;
(B). 
Change from one nonconforming use to another, less detrimental, nonconforming use.
3.3.3 
Nonconforming Structures. The Board of Appeals may award a special permit to reconstruct, extend, alter, or change a nonconforming structure in accordance with this section only if it determines that such reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood. The following types of changes to nonconforming structures may be considered by the Board of Appeals:
(A). 
Reconstructed, extended or structurally changed;
(B). 
Altered to provide for a substantially different purpose or for the same purpose in a substantially different manner or to a substantially greater extent.
3.3.4 
Variance Required. Except as provided in subsection 3.3.5, below, the reconstruction, extension or structural change of a nonconforming structure in such a manner as to increase an existing nonconformity, or create a new nonconformity shall require a variance; provided, however, that the extension of an exterior wall at or along the same nonconforming distance within a required yard, shall require the issuance of a special permit from the Board of Appeals.
3.3.5 
Nonconforming Single and Two Family Residential Structures. Nonconforming single and two family residential structures may be reconstructed, extended, altered, or structurally changed upon a determination by the Building Inspector that such proposed reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change does not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure. The following circumstances shall not be deemed to increase the nonconforming nature of said structure:
(A). 
alteration to a structure located on a lot with insufficient area which complies with all current setback, yard, building coverage, and building height requirements,
(B). 
alteration to a structure located on a lot with insufficient frontage which complies with all current setback, yard, building coverage, and building height requirements.
(C). 
alteration to a structure which encroaches upon one or more required yard or setback areas, where the alteration will comply with all current setback, yard, building coverage and building height requirements.
In the event that the Building Inspector determines that the nonconforming nature of such structure would be increased by the proposed reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change, the Board of Appeals may, by special permit, allow such reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change where it determines that the proposed modification will not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood.
3.3.6 
Abandonment or Non-Use. A nonconforming use or structure which has been abandoned, or not used for a period of two years, shall lose its protected status and be subject to all of the provisions of this zoning by-law; provided, however, that by the grant of a special permit, the Board of Appeals may reestablish such nonconforming structure or use where such reestablishment shall not be substantially detrimental to the neighborhood or the Town.
3.3.7 
Reconstruction after Catastrophe or Demolition. Any nonconforming structure may be reconstructed after a catastrophe or after demolition in accordance with the following provisions:
(A). 
Reconstruction of said premises shall commence within two years after such catastrophe or demolition.
(B). 
Building(s) as reconstructed shall be located on the same footprint as the original nonconforming structure, shall be only as great in volume or area as the original nonconforming structure.
(C). 
In the event that the proposed reconstruction would (a) cause the structure to exceed the volume or area of the original nonconforming structure or (b) exceed applicable requirements for yards, setback, and/or height or (c) cause the structure to be located other than on the original footprint, a special permit shall be required from the Board of Appeals prior to such demolition.
3.3.8 
Reversion to Nonconformity. No nonconforming use shall, if changed to a conforming use, revert to a nonconforming use.

SECTION 4.0 DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS

4.1 
GENERAL DIMENSIONAL REQUIREMENTS
4.1.1 
Table of Dimensional Requirements. No building or structure shall be constructed nor shall any existing building or structure be enlarged or altered except in conformance with the Table of Dimensional Requirements as to lot coverage, lot area, land area per dwelling unit, lot width, front, side and rear setbacks, and maximum height of structures except as may otherwise be provided elsewhere herein.
[Amended 11-16-2009 STM, Art. 14]
Minimum Lot Area
(sq.ft.)
Minimum Lot Frontage
(ft.)
Minimum Front Yard
(ft.)
Minimum Side Yard
(ft.)
Minimum Rear Yard
(ft.)
Maximum Height
(stories)-(feet)
RA
30000
150
40
10
30
N/A-35
RB
20000
125
30
10
20
N/A-35
RM
30000
150
40
10
30
N/A-35
CH
30000
150
30
10
30
3-35 for dwellings 5 for otherwise
CD
20,000 for dwellings 10,000 otherwise
125 for dwellings 0 for otherwise
30 for dwellings 0 for otherwise
10 for dwellings 0 for otherwise
20 for dwellings 0 for otherwise
3-35 for dwellings 5 for otherwise
CV
15000
100
20
10
20
2.5-35 for dwellings 4 for otherwise
CN
5000
50
15
8
35
N/A-30 feet
CO
30000
150
40 for dwellings 30 for otherwise
30 for dwellings 10 for otherwise
30
3-35 for dwellings and 3-35 for otherwise
I
30000
150
40
30
30
2-35 for dwelling 5 for otherwise
4.1.2 
Notes to Table of Dimensional Requirements
1. 
For two-family dwellings in the RB District, increase minimum lot area by fifty percent (50%).
2. 
For all requirements for multifamily dwellings, see Section 7.5.
3. 
Excluding lots of thirty thousand (30,000) square feet or greater, no single or two-family structure shall be greater than four thousand five hundred (4,500) square feet excluding basement and finished attic unless a waiver on the size requirement is approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals by the grant of a special permit.
4. 
In the CD District, increase minimum lot area for two-family dwellings.
5. 
In the CN District, access to the rear of the lot shall be via 16' drives.
6. 
In the CH, CD, and CV Districts: for single-family dwellings not connected to municipal water and sewer, increase minimum lot area by 50%; for two-family dwellings not connected to municipal water and sewer, increase minimum lot area by an additional 50%.
7. 
In the CN District, lot coverage by buildings shall not exceed 15%.
8. 
In the CO District, lot coverage by buildings shall not exceed 30% and minimum building separation shall be 20 feet.
9. 
In the CO District, the front, side and rear setback for office use shall be increased to 60' when all or any part of the front, side or rear yard includes the 100 foot buffer area provided for herein being a separate landscape buffer area along the northern edge of the zoning district, running easterly from a point on Chestnut Street, adjacent to land now or formerly of Frank Summers, a distance of 63.82 feet, and then running northerly along said land of Frank Summers a distance of 110 feet, and then running easterly along the northern boundary of the zoning district perpendicular to Mount View Drive, a distance of 566.31 feet, (the "Northernmost Zone Line").
10. 
In the CO District, the Front, Side and Rear Setbacks for Parking and Signs shall be increased to 100 feet when all or any part of the front, side, or rear yard includes the 100 foot buffer area provided for herein being a separate landscape buffer area along the northern edge of the zoning district, running easterly from a point on Chestnut Street, adjacent to land now or formerly of Frank Summers, a distance of 63.82 feet, and then running northerly along said land of Frank Summers a distance of 110 feet, and then running easterly along the northern boundary of the zoning district perpendicular to Mount View Drive, a distance of 566.31 feet, (the "Northernmost Zone Line").
4.1.3 
Accessory structures. Accessory structures may not be placed within required yards, except that permitted signs or roadside stands may be located within a required front yard area, and a permitted one-story accessory structure may be located within a required rear yard, and a permitted one-story accessory structure may be located within a required rear yard, provided that it occupies not more than thirty percent (30%) of either the required or the actual yard, and further provided that it is not located within ten (10) feet of any property line.
4.1.4 
Lot Shape. No lot shall be so irregularly shaped or extended that the square of the lot perimeter exceeds twenty-two (22) times the gross lot area except for the following two exemptions:
[Added 5-6-2009 ATM, Art. 26]
1. 
Lots greater than two (2) acres: or
2. 
One individual lot within an approved subdivision on file and recorded at the Massachusetts Land Court or the Middlesex South District Registry of Deeds after May 31, 1972, that shares at least one (1) boundary with a property outside of said subdivision.
4.1.5 
Average of Building Setbacks. No building need provide a front setback greater than the average of the setbacks provided by existing buildings on abutting lots, fronting on the same street.
[Added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 26]
4.1.6 
Dimensional Requirements for Multiple Principal Uses. Multiple Principal Uses on the same lot irrespective of whether such uses are in the same building or multiple buildings, each must meet the dimensional requirements of Residential, Commercial, Industrial and other zoning districts as applicable, without counting any area, frontage or yard twice. Not more than one (1) principal building shall be erected on a lot unless each such building is serviced by access and services determined by the Inspector of Buildings to be functionally equivalent to those required for separate lots by the Planning Board in Chapter 344, Subdivision of Land.
[Added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 20]
4.2 
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR VILLAGE COMMERCE (CV) DISTRICT
4.2.1 
General. In order to encourage clustering of uses, provision for efficient vehicular circulation and parking and ease of pedestrian access, the following special provisions apply in the Village Commerce (CV) District.
4.2.2 
Principal Buildings. More than one (1) principal building may be constructed on a single lot. However, the maximum floor area for individual buildings and uses shall be as follows:
1. 
Individual retail use: four thousand (4,000) square feet.
2. 
Individual office use: four thousand (4,000) square feet.
3. 
Individual personal services: three thousand (3,000) square feet.
4. 
Building (total all uses): eight thousand (8,000) square feet.
4.2.3 
Abutting Lots. Where two (2) abutting lots share a unified off-street parking area and where the continued existence and use of the shared parking area is guaranteed through appropriate mechanisms, a special permit may authorize deviations from the regulations otherwise applicable to the lots, as follows:
1. 
Reduction or waiver of requirements for side and rear yards between the two (2) lots.
2. 
Reduction in the required number of off-street parking spaces for one (1) of the lots, provided that the total number of required spaces for all lots sharing a common parking area are provided within the total area of such lots.
3. 
Increase in the maximum building coverage, up to fifty percent (50%) of total lot area, subject to the specified limitations on total floor area.
4.2.4 
Pond Street. For lots fronting on Pond Street (Route 126), site plans should indicate the location of the future street (right-of-way) line and should demonstrate that the required landscaping and off-street parking areas, together with necessary vehicular and pedestrian circulation facilities, can be provided within the area of the lot defined by such street line. If no future right-of-way line has been designated by the Planning Board or the Board of Selectmen, the presumed line shall be located twenty-five (25) feet from the center line of the existing right-of-way.
4.3 
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR NEIGHBORHOOD COMMERCE (CN) DISTRICTS
4.3.1 
General. In order to encourage clustering of uses, provision for efficient vehicular circulation and parking and ease of pedestrian access, the following special provisions apply in the Neighborhood Commerce (CN) District.
4.3.2 
Lot Waivers. Where two (2) abutting lots share a unified off-street parking area and where the continued existence and use of the shared parking area is guaranteed through appropriate mechanisms, a special permit may authorize deviations from the regulations otherwise applicable to the lots, as follows:
1. 
Reduction or waiver of requirements for side and rear yards between the two (2) lots.
2. 
Reduction in the required number of off-street parking spaces for one (1) of the lots, provided that the total number of required spaces for all lots sharing a common parking area are provided within the total area of such lots.
3. 
Increase in the maximum building coverage of ten percent (10%) of the total lot area, subject to the specified limitations on total floor area.
4.3.3 
Performance Standards.
1. 
No interior display shall be visible from any property line.
2. 
Outdoor storage or display of goods or materials is prohibited.
3. 
Warehousing of goods or materials except as expressly provided in this By-law is prohibited.
4. 
Not more than thirty-five percent (35%) of any front or exterior side yard shall be used for driveways.
5. 
No lighting fixture shall be located and directed as to be a hazard to traffic safety.
6. 
All incandescent light sources shall be shielded from view of adjacent residential zones and abutting properties.
7. 
Noise levels shall not exceed fifty-five (55) db in the day or forty-five (45) db at night or shall not exceed the ambient noise level, whichever is greater. All noise-producing equipment, fans, vents, etc., shall be oriented away from residential areas and/or appropriately screened.
4.3.4 
Architectural and Design Review.
1. 
When the exteriors of existing structures are to be remodeled or enlarged or when new buildings or structures are constructed, including signs, walls, fences and exterior lighting fixtures, the design shall be subject to site plan review procedures in accordance with Section 9.4.
2. 
This shall include the determination that the plans submitted are visually harmonious and compatible with the surrounding land uses, vegetation and topography in order to promote quality design, reduce the adverse impact of uncoordinated development and protect and enhance the surrounding neighborhoods.
3. 
Plans shall conform with specific plans for the areas of Route 126 and Route 135.

SECTION 5.0 GENERAL REGULATIONS

5.1 
OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS
5.1.1 
General. Except in the Downtown Commerce (CD) District, which is exempt from these requirements, adequate off-street parking must be provided on paved surfaces 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. In applying for a building or occupancy permit, the applicant must demonstrate that the following minimums will be met unless these are reduced on special permit as per 5.1.7.
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 27]
5.1.2 
SCHEDULE OF PARKING AREA REQUIREMENTS
Boardinghouse, Lodging
1 space per guest unit
Bed-and-breakfast
2 spaces plus one space per guest room
Commercial accommodations
1-1/8 spaces per guest unit
Dwellings
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Offices, stores
1 space per 180 square feet of leasable floor space
Restaurant, place of assembly
1 space per 4 seats
Bowling alley
4 spaces per lane
Golf course
10 spaces per hole, plus spaces required for accessory use as determined by the Building Inspector advisory report of the Planning Board where required in compliance with Section 9.4, Site Plan Review.
Animal hospital, veterinary
2 spaces per exam room plus 1 space per staff employee but not less than 5 spaces
Nursing home
1 space per 6 beds plus 1 space per employee
Hospital
1 space per bed
Medical and dental offices and clinics
2 spaces per exam room or chair plus 1 space per staff employee but not less than 5 spaces
Financial offices (banks)
1 space per 200 sq. ft. of gross floor area, 1 space per employee, 5 waiting spaces per drive-thru teller
Industrial, Wholesale
1 space per 1.3 employees per shift
Day care and nursery schools
1 space per employee; 1 space per 5 children; drop area; 4 spaces up to 20 children, 1 space per additional 10 children
Others
Individually determined by the Building Inspector upon advisory report of the Planning Board where required in compliance with Section 9.4, Site Plan Review.
5.1.3 
Setback. No off-street parking area shall be maintained within ten (10) feet of a street.
5.1.4 
Parking Areas with Eight or More Spaces. For parking areas of eight (8) cars or more, the following shall apply:
1. 
Parking area use shall not require backing on a public way.
2. 
There shall be not more than one (1) entrance and one (1) exit from such lots per two hundred (200) feet of street frontage or fraction thereof. If necessary to meet this requirement, uses shall arrange for shared egress.
3. 
In a Residential District, no such parking lot shall extend into a required yard.
4. 
In Village Commerce (CV) and Neighborhood Commerce (CN) Districts, no such parking lot exclusive of access shall be located between the street and the front line of the principal structure on the lot or within the required front yard, whichever is less. If there is no structure on the lot, no parking lot shall extend into a required front yard.
5. 
Drive-thru Facilities. Sufficient on site reserved space to permit the stacking of vehicles waiting to be served at a drive-thru window shall be provided to eliminate conflicts with parking vehicles and eliminate interference with the flow of traffic on the adjacent roadway.
6. 
Restaurant, fast food, drugstore. There shall be at least four spaces provided between the pick up window and order point, at least four spaces provided in advance of the menu board, one space at the order point, and one space at the menu board.
7. 
Banks. There shall be at least five spaces (including the banking machine, machine/teller window for each drive-thru lane).
5.1.5 
Special Provisions for Village Commerce (CV) and Neighborhood Commerce (CN) Districts. The following provisions are intended to support commercial development in Commerce Districts by establishing a mechanism for provision of public off-street parking lots in lieu of private off-street parking facilities.
1. 
Except for buildings or parts of buildings designed, intended to be used, used or occupied for residential use, all or a portion of the required off-street parking may be waived by the Zoning Board of Appeals by special permit when the property is located within the Village Commerce District, provided that:
a. 
The Board finds that there are sufficient public parking spaces in the vicinity of the property to justify the relief without detriment to the public health, welfare and safety.
b. 
The owner or occupant of the property on which the waiver is to be applied pays to the town a fee to the fair market value of the waived parking spaces [the area of which shall be determined by the number of waived spaces times four hundred (400) square feet], plus the cost of converting such spaces into a parking lot, as estimated by the Planning Board, with the advice of the Director of the Department of Public Service.
c. 
In the Neighborhood Commerce District only, an increase of the maximum building coverage of ten percent (10%) of total lot area, subject to the specified limitations on total floor area.
2. 
All fees collected under this section, and all interest earned thereon, shall be deposited in a separate Parking Facilities Fund established by the Board of Selectmen and shall be used only for the acquisition of land, improvement or maintenance of municipally-owned off-street parking facilities for the benefit of those buildings, structure and uses in the Village Commerce and Neighborhood Commerce districts and adjacent areas.
3. 
Any relief of off-street parking approved under this section shall run with the land, and any subsequent change of use that requires more parking shall require subsequent action to satisfy the additional parking requirement. No refund of any payment shall be made when there is a change to a use requiring less parking. Such payment shall be made to the town in total prior to the issuance of a building permit.
5.1.6 
Special Provisions for the Office Commerce (CO) District. The following parking regulations shall control in the Office Commerce district notwithstanding the existence of any conflicting requirements contained herein.
1. 
Adequate off-street parking must be provided on paved surfaces 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.
2. 
Schedule of Parking Area Requirements.
Use
Minimum Number of Spaces Required
Dwellings
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Offices, research facilities
3 spaces per 1,000 square feet of leasable floor space
Others
Individually determined by the Building Inspector upon advisory report of the Planning Board where required in compliance with 9.4
3. 
For parking areas of eight (8) cars or more, the following shall apply:
a. 
Parking area use shall not require backing on a public way.
b. 
There shall be not more than one (1) entrance and one (1) exit from such lots per two hundred (200) feet of street frontage or fraction thereof. If necessary to meet this requirement, uses shall arrange for shared egress.
4. 
Parking areas shall be illuminated to provide appropriate visibility and security during hours of darkness.
5.1.7 
Special Permit. The Planning Board may authorize by special permit fewer parking spaces than are required by this Section for a use to be constructed when the Board determines that special circumstances render a lesser provision adequate for all parking needs. In consideration of a request for fewer parking spaces, the Planning Board shall consider the following:
1. 
that the hours of operation and parking demand, or the uses which are proposed to share parking spaces are sufficiently different so as not to require the use of parking spaces at the same time; or
2. 
that the uses which are proposed to share parking spaces are expected to remain in place and the sharing of parking spaces can be expected to continue for the foreseeable future.
The Planning Board may require that the spaces to be un-constructed shall be delineated on the site plan and indicated as future parking spaces. All or part of said spaces shall be constructed if so required by the Board at a future date or may be constructed by the property owner/tenant at any time without prior Board approval.
5.2 
LOADING REQUIREMENTS.
5.2.1 
General. Adequate off-street loading spaces or loading areas shall be provided and maintained by the owner of the property for each nonresidential building or use which is erected, enlarged or altered after the effective date of this By-law, according to the following regulations.
5.2.2 
Same Lot. All loading spaces or loading areas required by this By-law shall be on the same lot as the building or use which they are intended to serve, and in no case shall any required loading area be part of an area used to satisfy the off-street parking requirements of this By-law.
5.2.3 
No Queues or Backing onto Street. No loading facility shall be designed to require trucks to queue on a public way while awaiting to off-load. No loading facility shall be designed to require vehicles to back onto a public way; all turning maneuvers shall be accommodated on the premises.
5.2.4 
Shared Loading. No part of an off-street loading area required by this By-law for any nonresidential building or use shall be included as part of an off-street loading area similarly required for another building or use, unless the type of buildings or uses indicates that the usage of such loading area would not occur simultaneously, as determined by the Planning Board.
5.2.5 
Screening. Loading areas shall be screened in accordance with Section 5.4.
5.2.6 
Size. Where required, loading bays shall not be less than twelve (12) feet in width, sixty-five (65) feet in length, and fourteen (14) feet in height, exclusive of driveway and maneuvering space.
5.2.7 
Location. No loading dock or bay shall be located within twenty (20) feet of the boundary of any residential district.
5.2.8 
Special Permit. Any loading requirement set forth herein may be reduced upon the issuance of a special permit by the Planning Board if the Board finds that the reduction is not inconsistent with public health and safety, or that the reduction promotes a public benefit.
5.3 
SIGNS
5.3.1 
Purposes and Goals of Sign Regulations. The purposes and goals of the sign regulations shall be to:
1. 
Preserve and enhance the character of Ashland as directed in the 1988 Comprehensive Plan by regulating signs and other advertising devices within the town.
2. 
Require new replacement signs which are compatible with their surroundings and which are appropriate to the type of activity to which they pertain.
3. 
Promote safety and to reduce distractions for motorists.
4. 
Avoid excessive competition for signs, so that permitted signs provide adequate identification and direction while minimizing clutter and unsightliness.
5. 
Phase out and replace existing signs which do not meet the goals and standards defined herein.
6. 
Ensure a sign review process and an enforcement mechanism for compliance.
7. 
Encourage the development of a healthy business environment in town.
5.3.2 
Compliance Required.[1]
1. 
All signs, excluding those specifically exempted from this Section, must comply with the regulations of this Section. All nonexempt signs, except as specified, shall be submitted through the sign permit process defined herein.
2. 
All signs must comply with local and state building and electrical codes.
3. 
Specified requirements of this section are considered to be minimum requirements. In the event that they are at variance with other statutes, bylaws or regulations, the most restrictive provisions govern.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 5.3.2, Definitions, was deleted 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22, and the contents moved to Section 10.0, Definitions. Article 22 also renumbered former Sections 5.3.3 through 5.3.21 as Sections 5.3.2 through 5.3.20, respectively.
5.3.3 
Prohibited Signs. The following signs are prohibited in the Town of Ashland:
1. 
Signs imitating official traffic signs or obscuring official traffic signs.
2. 
Signs with intermittent or flashing lights.
3. 
Signs obstructing doors or a public right-of-way.
4. 
Signs on trees or utility poles, unless warning of danger or prohibiting trespass.
5. 
Search lights or beacons.
6. 
Signs placed on public property without prior approval.
7. 
Signs that move or give the appearance of moving.
8. 
Pennants, specialty hot air balloons and streamers, except as permitted for business openings as specified herein.
9. 
Roof signs.
10. 
Portable or wheeled signs.
11. 
Signs on parked vehicles or trailers where the sign is the primary use of the vehicle.
12. 
Signs which cast a glare onto any residential premises or onto any portion of a public way so as to create a traffic hazard.
13. 
Non-accessory signs of any size.
5.3.4 
(Reserved)
5.3.5 
Construction and Maintenance.
1. 
No sign shall be painted or posted directly on the exterior surface of any wall, but all signs must be painted, posted or otherwise securely affixed to a substantial, intermediary, removable surface which shall be securely affixed to the building. The foregoing, however, shall not prevent installation of a sign consisting of individual raised letters or devices securely affixed to the exterior wall of the building.
2. 
All signs and their supporting sign structure shall be maintained in good repair and in a proper state of preservation to the reasonable satisfaction of the Building Inspector.
5.3.6 
Illumination Standards.
1. 
External illumination shall be by white, steady, stationary light, shielded and directed solely or by silhouette at the sign. The foregoing is applicable to signs exterior to a building and to permanent interior signs designed to be visible through a door or window. No externally lit sign shall utilize translucent panels, letters, devices or other similar components to create an image by allowing light to pass through.
2. 
Internal illumination shall be by steady, stationary light directed on translucent materials to illuminate the sign. No more than three (3) colors shall be used. Black and white shall not be considered colors.
5.3.7 
Maximum Number of Signs.
1. 
There shall not be more than one (1) permanent exterior sign of each business establishment affixed to the building itself. If a business establishment has more than one (1) street level public entrance or occupies more than one (1) building, there may be a secondary street sign affixed to the wall, in the vicinity of each entrance, other than the wall to which the principal sign is affixed. The secondary sign or signs for each business establishment shall not exceed in the aggregate fifty percent (50%) of the maximum permissible area for a single sign for said business establishment as specified herein. In addition to the foregoing sign or signs, one (1) directory of business establishments occupying a building may be affixed to the exterior wall of the building or may stand alone at a principal entrance to the building. The dimensions of such a building directory are specified herein.
2. 
Any sign which is attached to and extends wholly outside the supports or frame of the principal sign shall be considered a separate sign.
5.3.8 
Placement of Signs. No sign shall be placed within a required side or rear yard or be placed within or project over a public way or, in the case of wall signs, exceed the height of the building to which it is attached.
5.3.9 
 Maximum Total Area of Signs in Commercial and Industrial Zones. Subject to the provisions of this section, the maximum total area of signs in Commercial and Industrial Zones shall be determined as follows:
Zoning Districts
Maximum Total Sign Area per Foot of Lot Frontage on the Street Towards Which the Building is Oriented
(square feet per foot)
Commercial Highway "CH"
2.0
Commercial Downtown "CD"
2.0
Commercial Neighborhood "CN"
1.0
Commercial Village "CV"
1.0
Commercial Office "CO"
1.0
Industrial "I"
2.0
1. 
In the case of a shopping center, the lot frontage of an individual business establishment shall be based proportionally on the building frontage occupied by the business compared to the shopping center building as a whole. Freestanding signs for business establishments in a shopping center must be placed on one (1) common frame. The limitations of this Section may be waived at the discretion of the Building Inspector if all business establishments submit a joint sign permit request which presents a unified facade for all signs in the shopping center.
5.3.10 
 Temporary Signs.
1. 
Temporary signs pertaining to the sale or lease of the premises or the construction on the premises may be posted as restricted by zone. In no case may such a temporary sign be lighted.
2. 
Temporary signs pertaining to the opening of a new business may be posted as restricted by zone. Such signs may include the temporary display of pennants, specialty hot air balloons and streamers and may be posted for a period not to exceed two (2) weeks. Such signs shall conform to the illumination standards set forth herein.
3. 
Temporary signs relating to business sales, events and promotions, for a time period not to exceed one (1) month, as restricted by zone, may be posted.
4. 
Temporary signs other than the above, such as advertising for events, shall be allowed only within the limits prescribed for permanent signs, not to exceed six (6) square feet each and shall be erected not more than forty-five (45) days before the event and shall be removed within one (1) week of the termination of the event. No permit is required.
5.3.11 
 Residential Districts. Permitted signs shall be as follows:
1. 
One (1) sign for each family residing on the premises indicating the owner or occupant or pertaining to a permitted accessory use, provided that no sign shall exceed two (2) square feet in area. No permit is required.
2. 
One (1) sign not over nine (9) square feet in area pertaining to permitted buildings and uses of the premises other than dwellings and their accessory uses.
3. 
One (1) temporary unlighted sign not over sixteen (16) square feet in area pertaining to the sale, rent or lease of the premises or the construction on the premises. Temporary signs, other than political or civic signs as specified herein, shall be allowed only within the limits prescribed for permanent signs.
4. 
One (1) permanent sign at each entrance to a residential subdivision or complex identifying the subdivision or complex, with the sign not to exceed three (3) feet in height and twelve (12) square feet in area. Such a sign shall be freestanding and in no manner attached to any building or structure.
5. 
No sign shall be internally lit.
6. 
No sandwich signs shall be permitted, except for municipal signs or signs on municipal properties.
5.3.12 
 Downtown Commercial Districts (ADD and CD). Permitted signs shall be as follows:
1. 
A directory of business establishments as permitted herein, which shall not exceed an area determined on the basis of one (1) square foot for each establishment occupying the building or six (6) square feet, whichever is less.
2. 
One (1) sign attached to a building per business establishment, no larger than fifty (50) square feet in area and not exceeding fifteen percent (15%) of the wall area it is viewed with. This shall include a secondary sign or signs as permitted herein.
3. 
One (1) freestanding sign per lot not more than sixty (60) square feet in area, not to exceed fifteen (15) feet in height. This shall include one (1) sandwich sign placed adjacent to the business establishment, not to exceed four (4) feet in height or eight (8) square feet in area, provided that such a sign does not impede pedestrian traffic on the sidewalk.
4. 
Permanent and temporary window signs, the aggregate sign area of which may not exceed forty percent (40%) of the ground floor window space.
5. 
One (1) temporary sign pertaining to the sale or lease of the premises or the construction on the premises and temporary signs, exclusive of window signs, with a sign area no larger in aggregate than ten percent (10%) of the wall area it is viewed with, advertising a temporary business sale, event or promotion, to be displayed for a period not to exceed one (1) month. Temporary signs other than the above as defined herein, shall be allowed only within the limits prescribed for permanent signs.
6. 
No sign shall be internally lit.
7. 
Electronic message board signs may be allowed by Special Permit from the Planning Board.
5.3.13 
 Highway Commercial and Industrial Districts. Permitted signs shall be as follows:
1. 
A directory of business establishments as permitted herein, which shall not exceed an area determined on the basis of four (4) square feet for each establishment occupying the building or thirty (30) square feet, whichever is less. In the case of a shopping center, the directory shall not exceed an area greater than sixty (60) square feet.
2. 
One (1) sign attached to a building per business establishment, provided that it is no larger than one hundred fifty (150) square feet in area and does not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the wall area it is viewed with. This shall include a secondary sign or signs as permitted herein.
3. 
One (1) freestanding sign per lot not more than sixty (60) square feet in area, not to exceed thirty (30) feet in height.
4. 
Permanent and temporary window signs, the aggregate sign area of which may not exceed forty percent (40%) of the ground floor window space.
5. 
One (1) temporary sign pertaining to the sale or lease of the premises or the construction on the premises and temporary signs, exclusive of window signs, with a sign area no larger in aggregate than ten percent (10%) of the wall area it is viewed with, advertising a temporary business sale, event or promotion, to be displayed for a period not to exceed one (1) month. Temporary signs other than the above, as defined herein, shall be allowed only within the limits prescribed for permanent signs.
6. 
No sandwich signs are permitted.
7. 
Electronic message board signs may be allowed by Special Permit from the Planning Board.
5.3.14 
 Permit Application; Required Information. An applicant for a sign permit shall submit the following information to the Building Inspector prior to the erection, movement or alteration of any sign:
1. 
The name, address and phone number of the applicant.
2. 
The location of the building, structure or lot to which the sign is to be attached.
3. 
The written consent of the property owner, if different from the applicant.
4. 
The proposed location of the sign on the building and/or lot in relation to nearby structures.
5. 
The plans, specifications and method of construction of the sign and its supports, showing proposed dimensions; materials; colors; weight; distance from doors, windows and fire escapes; and the type and intensity of the sign's illumination.
6. 
The name of the individual or firm erecting the structure.
7. 
Copies of calculations prepared and stamped by a qualified Massachusetts engineer showing dead load and wind pressure design, if required by the Inspector of Buildings.
5.3.15 
 Procedures. The Building Inspector must approve or deny a sign permit application within thirty (30) calendar days of its submission. Failure to do so within the thirty-day period will allow the applicant to follow appeal proceedings as provided for G.L. c. 40A, ss. 8 and 15. The thirty-day time period begins anew following any amendment to the sign permit request which changes the physical characteristics of the proposed sign.
1. 
The work allowed by any permit granted by the Building Inspector must be commenced within six (6) months of issuance and completed within a reasonable period of time. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of the permit and fines to be determined from time to time by the Board of Selectmen.
2. 
A nonrefundable fee, to be determined from time to time by the Board of Selectmen, is payable upon submission of a sign permit application.
3. 
Where a permit is required for a sign located at a Priority Development Site (PDS), an application therefor shall be submitted to the Building Inspector no later than one hundred twenty (120) days following the date of submittal of any other permit application(s) required by the Code of the Town of Ashland, including these Zoning By-laws, relating to the use or development of the PDS or the buildings and/or structures located thereon, and not otherwise exempted by G.L. c. 43D.
[Added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 17]
5.3.16 
 Exempt Repairs and Alterations. Only the following repairs and alterations are excluded from the permit requirement for nonexempt signs:
1. 
Changing copy on signs specifically designed for the use of replaceable copy.
2. 
Normal sign repairs, repainting or cleaning.
5.3.17 
 Appeal of Permit Decisions. An applicant for a sign permit may appeal an adverse decision by the Building Inspector by submitting a written request for an appeal to the Zoning Board of Appeals as set forth in G.L. c. 40A, ss. 8 and 15.
5.3.18 
 Nonconforming Signs. Any nonconforming sign legally erected prior to the adoption of this section or any amendment thereof may continue to be maintained but shall not be enlarged, reworded [other than signs as specified herein], redesigned or altered in any way unless it is brought into conformity through the sign permit application process. Any such sign which has been destroyed or damaged to such an extent that the cost of restoration would exceed fifty percent (50%) of the replacement value of the sign at the time of the destruction or damage, as determined by the Building Inspector, shall not be repaired or rebuilt or altered unless in conformity with this Section. The exemption herein granted shall terminate with respect to any sign which:
1. 
Shall have been abandoned, as defined herein;
2. 
Advertises or calls attention to any products, businesses or activities which are no longer carried on or sold, whether generally or at that particular premises; or
3. 
Shall not have been repaired or properly maintained within sixty (60) calendar days after notice to that effect has been given by the Building Inspector.
The obligation to remove or repair a sign in one (1) of the categories set forth above is that of the sign permit grantee. Failure to remove or repair a sign in such category may result in fines and penalties.
5.3.19 
 Penalties. Individuals, businesses and other organizations which fail to adhere to the sign regulations as described in this section may be assessed fines and penalties until the violation is corrected. If the violation is not corrected within sixty (60) days of notification of the violation by certified mail, the sign shall be removed by its owner on order of the Building Inspector.
Fines shall be imposed for the following:
1. 
Any type of prohibited sign.
2. 
Failure to obtain a sign permit.
3. 
Oversized signs.
4. 
Improper illumination.
5. 
Excessive window signs.
6. 
Excessive number of wall or freestanding signs.
7. 
Illegal placement of signs.
8. 
Improper construction.
5.3.20 
 Special Permit. Notwithstanding the provisions set forth in this Section, the Planning Board may authorize larger signs or a greater number of signs by the grant of a special permit, where such relief is not detrimental to the neighborhood or the town.
5.4 
GENERAL LANDSCAPING REQUIREMENTS
5.4.1 
General. Landscaped buffer areas are required in all side and rear setbacks with no more than minor removal of existing trees and ground vegetation. The following shall be observed in all districts:
1. 
Screening and perimeter landscaping. Commercial, service and industrial uses shall be separated from the street and from adjacent residential districts by landscaped buffer areas.
2. 
All parking areas shall be screened at the front lot line with landscaped buffers, which shall be at least six (6) feet in depth and shall create a strong impression of separation between the street and the developed area of the site without necessarily eliminating visual contact between them. Buffer area shall be continuous except for vehicular and pedestrian circulation facilities.
5.4.2 
Buffering Between Residential and Nonresidential Uses.
1. 
Where a lot containing a nonresidential use adjoins or faces a residential district or residential use, landscaped buffers shall be provided at the perimeter of the lot to screen parking and other vehicular service areas.
2. 
In a Neighborhood Commerce District only, a continuous landscaped buffer shall be required on the lot containing the nonresidential use immediately adjacent to the residential property along the rear and side lot lines.
3. 
Such screening shall consist of a landscaped area at least six (6) feet wide and shall create an effective visual barrier from ground level to a height of at least five (5) feet.
5.4.3 
Buffer Areas. Buffer areas and screening required by this section may be comprised of brick or stone-faced walls, planted berms, wood fences, planted vegetation and/or existing vegetation or any combination thereof. Walls or fences exceeding four and one-half (4 1/2) feet in height shall have plantings on the side facing the lot line.
1. 
Buffer areas along street lines shall be continuous except for driveways and sidewalks; shall contain at least one (1) tree per thirty (30) linear feet of street frontage (or portion thereof) and shall include lower-level elements such as shrubs, hedges, fences, walls and/or planted berms.
2. 
In a Neighborhood Commerce District, the buffer strip shall include evergreen plantings with at least one (1) tree for each ten (10) feet of buffer length as measured parallel to the property line. There shall be a maximum mixture of seventy-five percent (75%) evergreen and twenty-five percent (25%) deciduous trees which are visually impermeable within two (2) seasons of growth.
5.4.4 
Interior Landscaping in Parking Areas. Parking areas containing eight (8) or more spaces shall contain or be bordered by at least one (1) tree per eight (8) spaces. Such trees shall be in any case not further than five (5) feet from the parking cell. In Commercial H and Commercial V Districts for parking areas containing twenty-five (25) or more spaces, the following shall also apply:
1. 
Parking areas shall be broken into units containing not more than twenty-five (25) cars per cell. Parking units shall be separated by landscaped islands or buffer areas to provide visual and climatic relief.
2. 
Internal landscaping shall be designed to define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
3. 
Landscaped islands and buffers shall have a minimum area of one hundred fifty (150) square feet and minimum width of eight (8) feet and shall contain at least one (1) tree per one hundred (100) square feet.
4. 
In situations where the Planning Board determines that it is impractical to provide internal landscaped area meeting the above requirements, the parking area may instead be provided with additional landscaped area that more effectively screens it from public view by providing greater depth and/or density to perimeter landscaping.
5.4.5 
Planting Standards.
1. 
Deciduous trees in required buffer strips or interior landscaping shall be a minimum of two-inch caliper and evergreen trees shall be a minimum of five (5) feet to a maximum of ten (10) feet in height when planted, depending on topography as determined by the Planning Board.
2. 
The evergreen trees shall be planted at ten (10) feet on center. Non evergreen planting and/or screen berm, hedge, fence or wall at least five (5) feet in height may be used in conjunction with the evergreen trees.
3. 
The evergreen trees may be grouped at staggered intervals, provided that the spacing between groups is in-filled with lower level elements such as shrubs, hedges, planted berms, fences or walls at least five (5) feet in height. All trees shall be surrounded by a height of at least thirty-six (36) square feet of an unpaved soil area per tree and shall be protected from damage.
5.4.6 
Use of Existing Plant Material. In instances where healthy plant material exists on a site prior to its development, in part or in whole, for purposes of off-street parking or other vehicular use areas, the Planning Board may adjust the application of the above standards to allow credit for such plant material if, in its opinion, such an adjustment is in keeping with and will preserve the intent of these standards.
5.4.7 
Special Permit. By special permit, the Planning Board may authorize a reduction in the requirements of this section, where such reduction will not result in substantial detriment.
5.5 
LANDSCAPING AND SCREENING IN THE OFFICE COMMERCE DISTRICT
5.5.1 
General. Landscaped buffer areas are required in all side and rear setbacks the Office Commerce district with no more than minor removal of existing trees and ground vegetation as specified in Section 5.5 except as follows. In the event of a conflict between this section and Section 5.7, the terms and conditions of this section shall control.
5.5.2 
Screening and Perimeter Landscaping. All commercial uses shall be separated from the street and from adjacent residential districts by landscaped buffer areas.
1. 
All parking areas shall be screened at the front lot line with landscaped buffers, which shall be at least ten (10) feet in depth and shall create a strong impression of separation between the street and the developed area of the site without necessarily eliminating visual contact between them. Buffer area shall be continuous except for vehicular and pedestrian circulation facilities.
5.5.3 
Buffering between Office Commerce and Adjoining Districts.
1. 
Landscaped buffers shall be provided at the perimeter of the Office Commerce district to screen parking and other vehicular service areas.
2. 
Except as provided below in Sub-section 5.5.3.3, such landscape screening shall consist of a landscaped area at least ten (10) feet wide along Chestnut Street and at least ten (10) feet wide along all other boundaries of the zoning district and shall create an effective visual barrier from ground level to a height of at least five (5) feet.
3. 
A separate landscape buffer area shall exist along the northern edge of the zoning district, running easterly from a point on Chestnut Street, adjacent to land now or formerly of Frank Summers, a distance of 63.82 feet, and then running northerly along said land of Frank Summers a distance of 110 feet, and then running easterly along the northern boundary of the zoning district perpendicular to Mount View Drive, a distance of 566.31 feet, (the "Northernmost Zone Line"). This separate landscape buffer area shall be at least 50 feet wide, from such Northernmost Zone Line and shall create an effective visual barrier from ground level to a height of at least five (5) feet.
4. 
The landscape buffer areas may only be used for conservation uses, aesthetic uses, non-commercial uses, not for profit uses, and municipal purposes. The landscape buffer areas may not be used for any of the following purposes:
Construction of buildings or structures on or above the ground
Storing or dumping of materials
Removal of trees, shrubs or other existing vegetation
Removal of loam, rock, or other earthen materials
Activities which will interfere with the area remaining predominantly in a natural condition
Activities detrimental to drainage, flood control, water conservation, erosion control or soil conservation
5.5.4 
Buffer Areas. Buffer areas and screening required by this section may be comprised of brick or stone-faced walls, planted berms, wood fences, planted vegetation and/or existing vegetation or any combination thereof. Walls or fences exceeding four and one-half (4 1/2) feet in height shall have plantings on the side facing the lot line and other than such walls or fences, shall not include pavement or impervious surfaces.
5.5.5 
Interior Landscaping in Parking Areas. Parking areas containing eight (8) or more spaces shall contain or be bordered by at least one (1) tree per eight (8) spaces. Such trees shall be in any case not further than five (5) feet from the parking cell. The following shall also apply to parking areas containing twenty-five (25) or more spaces:
1. 
At least 3% of the interior of any parking lot containing twenty-five (25) or more spaces shall be maintained with landscaping including trees, in planting areas of at least eight (8) feet in width to provide visual and climatic relief unless a lesser percentage is allowed by the Planning Board as per the Site Plan Review process.
2. 
Interior landscaping shall be designed to define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular circulation.
3. 
Landscaped islands and buffers shall have a minimum width of eight (8) feet and shall contain at least one (1) tree per one hundred (100) square feet.
5.6 
CORNER CLEARANCE. Landscaping, buffers, fencing, and screening shall be designed so as not to restrict sight distances at intersections or driveway entrances. No structure, sign, fence, wall, hedge or other obstruction shall be allowed to block vision between two and one-half (2 1/2) and eight (8) feet above the street grade within an area bounded by the sidelines of intersecting street and/or driveways and a straight line joining points on such sidelines twenty (20) feet back from their point of intersection except in the Neighborhood Commerce District where the distance shall be no closer than ten (10) feet from the edge of existing pavement of the driveway and twenty (20) feet along the street line.
5.7 
ENVIRONMENTAL STANDARDS
5.7.1 
General. No use shall be allowed if it will cause sound, noise, vibration, odor or flashing (except for warning devices, temporary construction or maintenance work, parades, recreational activities or other special circumstances) perceptible without instruments more than four hundred (400) feet from the boundaries of the originating premises, if in an Industrial District, or more than two hundred (200) feet from the boundaries of the originating premises, if in a Commercial District, or more than forty (40) feet from the boundaries of the originating premises, if in a Residential District.
5.7.2 
Pollution Control. All requirements of Article XI of the Sanitary Code of the Department of Public Health and all regulations of the Metropolitan Air Pollution Control District shall be strictly complied with by all uses. Evidence of compliance may be required in issuing permits.
5.7.3 
Erosion Control. Site design and materials and construction processes shall be designed to avoid erosion damage, sedimentation or uncontrolled surface water runoff.
1. 
No grading or construction shall take place on slopes in excess of a horizontal of three (3) and a vertical of one (1) slope except under special permit from the Planning Board, which shall be granted only upon demonstration that adequate provisions have been made to protect against erosion, soil instability, uncontrolled surface water runoff or other environmental degradation.
2. 
All slopes exceeding ten percent (10%) resulting from site grading shall either be covered with topsoil compacted to a minimum depth of four (4) inches and planted with vegetative cover to prevent erosion and/or be retained by a wall constructed of masonry, reinforced concrete, stone, or other suitable materials or methods and designed and certified by a qualified structural engineer and/or a civil engineer specialized in geotechnical engineering.
3. 
The Building Inspector shall require information of the applicant as necessary for him to ensure compliance with these requirements, including, if necessary, elevations at key locations, description of vegetative cover and the nature of impoundment basins proposed, if any.
4. 
Where resultant site grades will exceed that referenced herein, they shall be constructed in accordance with this Section and shall require a performance bond to ensure compliance with these requirements.
5. 
Hillside areas shall be retained with vegetative cover as follows:
Average Percentage Slope
Minimum Percentage of Land to Remain In Vegetation
10.0 to 14.9
25
15.0 to 19.9
40
20.0 to 24.9
55
25.0 to 29.9
70
30.0 and above
85
5.7.4 
Performance Standards. The performance standards set forth in this subsection are designed to encourage a high standard of development by providing assurance that uses within the Office Commerce district shall be compatible with neighboring land uses in the vicinity.
1. 
Noise levels shall be in conformance with the noise bylaw. (Chapter 204 of the Ashland Code.)
2. 
Vibration shall not be discernible to any human's sense of feeling for three (3) minutes in any one (1) hour for a total of 15 minutes in any one day, or producing an acceleration of more than one-tenth (0.1) G.
3. 
Heat, glare or electrical disturbance shall not be discernible from the outside of any structure.
4. 
Smoke shall not be visible beyond a shade darker than No. 1 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart.
5. 
Air pollution shall not be detectable for any emission of solid or liquid particles in concentrations exceeding three-tenths (0.3) grains per cubic foot of the conveying gas or air at any point.
6. 
Emissions shall not endanger human health, or cause damage to animals, vegetation or property, or cause spillage at any point beyond the boundaries of the lot.
7. 
Odor shall not be detectable by the human senses without the aid of instruments beyond the structure boundaries of the lot.
5.7.5 
Special Provisions for the Office Commerce (Commercial O) District.
1. 
No lighting fixture shall be located and directed as to be a hazard to traffic safety.
2. 
All incandescent light sources shall be constructed to direct light directly downward such to minimize the impact on any adjacent residential zones and abutting properties.
3. 
All noise generating machinery, including but not limited to fans, generators, and air conditioning units, shall be oriented away from residential areas and/or appropriately screened.
4. 
More than one (1) principal office building may be constructed on a single lot provided that the Planning Board during the Site Plan Review process determines that each building is served by access and services that are functionally equivalent to those required for separate lots in Chapter 344, Subdivision of Land.
5.8 
SITE ALTERATION SPECIAL PERMIT
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 17; 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 24]
5.8.1 
Intent and Purpose. The intent of this section is to promote and protect the public health, safety, and welfare through the preservation and protection of the environment and by recognizing the vital importance of free and vegetation growth in the ecological system. It is further the purpose of this section to:
1. 
Preserve and protect the natural scenic beauty and related natural resources in the Town of Ashland;
2. 
Limit land clearing and alteration of natural topography prior to site plan, preliminary plan, and/or definitive plan approval;
3. 
To protect, preserve, and promote the aesthetic appeal, character, and value of the surrounding neighborhoods; and,
4. 
To regulate prior to development plan approval, the removal of natural vegetation, especially major trees, and excavation and alteration of land, in order to minimize any danger of erosion, sedimentation, flooding, water pollution, unnecessary detraction from natural visual setting, obstruction of significant views, and other adverse impacts of development.
5.8.2 
Applicability.[2] No person shall undertake the following land clearing/grading activities without first obtaining a Site Alteration Special Permit from the Planning Board:
1. 
Clearing of an area greater than 5,000 square feet; or,
2. 
Grading if involving more than one hundred (100) cubic yards of earth.
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Section 5.8.2, Definitions, was deleted 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22, and the contents moved to Section 10.0, Definitions. Article 22 also renumbered former Sections 5.8.3 through 5.8.8 as Sections 5.8.2 through 5.8.7, respectively.
5.8.3 
Exemption. The provisions of this bylaw shall not apply to the following activities:
1. 
Clearing of land zoned residential when such parcel is included in a submission for development to the Planning Board;
2. 
Removal of hazardous trees;
3. 
Routine maintenance of vegetation and removal of dead or diseased limbs and/or trees necessary to maintain the health of cultivated plants, to contain noxious weeds and/or vines in accordance with Department of Environmental Management (DEM) approved Forest Management Plan, or to remedy a potential fire or health hazard or threat to public safety;
4. 
Maintenance of public and private streets and utilities within town-approved roadway layouts and easements;
5. 
Agricultural activities on land zoned for agriculture, work conducted in accordance with an approved Natural Resource Conservation Service Agricultural Plan or agricultural uses on parcels of land of more than five acres as specified in G.L. c. 40A, Section 3.
5.8.4 
Application. Any person seeking a Site Alteration Special Permit shall submit an application and plan including appropriate fees to the Planning Board which includes the following:
1. 
Reason for site alteration;
2. 
Photographs of the site of development taken from at least three significant public vantage points exterior to the project together with a map to indicate the location of points and approximate distance to the proposed development;
3. 
The present location and size of all major trees and vegetation, with a designation of major trees and vegetation sought to be removed;
4. 
The location, size and description of landscaping materials proposed to be placed on the lot in order to comply with a Landscape Plan;
5. 
The location and boundaries of the lot and adjacent streets or ways and showing owners' names of all adjacent properties;
6. 
Existing and proposed topography, including contours, the location of the wetlands, streams, water bodies, drainage swales, areas subject to flooding and unique natural land features;
7. 
A timetable indicating estimate startup and completion dates; and,
8. 
A written narrative indicating how runoff will be controlled and erosion avoided. Either a constructed surface or cover vegetation will be provided not later than the first full spring season immediately following completion of the stripping operation. No stripped area or areas which are allowed by special permit shall remain through the winter without a temporary cover of winter rye or similar plant material being provided for soil control, except in the case of agricultural activity where such temporary cover would be infeasible.
5.8.5 
Review. The maximum period of review and decision for Site Alteration Special Permit shall be sixty (60) days, unless the review period is extended by written mutual agreement of the Planning Board and applicant. The Planning Board shall hold a fact finding and public information meeting within thirty (30) days of the receipt of the application and a completed submission. The applicant or his/her agent shall attend the public information meeting in order to assist the Planning Board in responding to public questions and concerns. Failure to attend shall be deemed lack of compliance with the requirements of this section.
5.8.6 
Other Permits. Issuance of a Site Alteration Special Permit does not exclude the applicant from applying for an Order of Conditions in Areas Subject to Protection under the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act. These areas include bank, bordering vegetated wetlands, riverfronts and the 25-foot and 100-foot buffer zones.
5.8.7 
Priority Development Site(s). Where a Site Alteration Special Permit is required in connection with the development of a Priority Development Site (PDS), an application therefor shall be submitted simultaneously with any other permit application(s) required by the Code of the Town of Ashland, including these Zoning By-laws, relating to the use or development of the PDS or the buildings and/or structures located thereon, and not otherwise exempted by G.L. c. 43D, and a decision thereon shall be rendered no later than one hundred eighty (180) days from said date of submittal.

SECTION 6.0 SPECIAL REGULATIONS

6.1 
ADULT ENTERTAINMENT USES
6.1.1 
Purpose. The intent and purpose of this section is to better serve Town interests to prevent the grouping and/or concentration of adult entertainment establishments as defined in Section 10 pursuant to Sections 9 and 9A of G.L. Chapter 40A. It has been documented that Adult Entertainment uses are distinguishable from other business uses because the location of these uses degrade the quality of life in the areas of the community in which they are located, with impacts including increased levels of crime, blight and late hours of operation resulting in noise and traffic. These detrimental effects are deemed to run counter to effective land use planning. The Town has great interest in preserving and protecting the quality of its residential neighborhoods, and quality of life expectancy of its citizens.
6.1.2 
Standards. A special permit shall be required for the establishment of Adult Bookstores, Adult Video Stores, Adult Paraphernalia Stores, Adult Motion Picture Theaters and Adult Live Nudity Establishments as so defined in Section 10 pursuant to the following conditions:
1. 
Adult entertainment use locations shall be separated from any zoning district serving residentially zoned parcels, public and private schools, public libraries, child day care facilities, religious facilities, public/private playgrounds, parks and recreational areas for a distance not less than five hundred (500) feet from all property lines of the proposed Adult Entertainment location. A minimum of eight hundred (800) feet distance shall be maintained from any other Adult Bookstore, Adult Video Store, Adult Paraphernalia Store, Adult Motion Picture Theater or Adult Live Nudity Establishment use or from any other establishment licensed under provisions of G.L. Chapter 138, Section 12, measured from the aforesaid property lines.
2. 
No pictures, signs, publications, videotapes, movies, covers or other implements, items or advertising that falls within the definition of Adult Bookstore, Adult Video Store, Adult Paraphernalia Store, Adult Motion Picture Theater or Adult Live Nudity Establishment, merchandise or which are exotic, prurient or related to violence, sadism or sexual exploitation shall be displayed in the windows of, or on the building of, any such establishment or be visible to the public from any pedestrian sidewalks or walkways or from other areas, public or semipublic, outside such establishments.
3. 
No special permits shall be issued to any person convicted of violating the provisions of G.L. Chapter 119, Section 63 or G.L. Chapter 272, Section 28.
6.1.3 
Existing Adult Entertainment Establishments. All existing Adult Bookstores, Adult Video Stores, Adult Paraphernalia Stores, Adult Motion Picture Theaters and Adult Live Nudity Establishments shall apply for such special permit within ninety (90) days following the adoption of this Section by the Town.
6.2 
MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICES
6.2.1 
Location Requirements. Motor vehicle service stations shall be granted a special permit only in conformity with the following and with Section 5.7.
1. 
No location shall be approved if a vehicular entrance or exit will be so located as to create unusual hazard. Egressing vehicles shall have at least four hundred (400) feet of visibility in each travel direction, and no vehicular entrance or exit shall be located within ten (10) feet of a side lot line or within fifty (50) feet of the intersection of side lines of intersecting streets. Entrances and exits shall occupy not more than forty percent (40%) of lot frontage and shall be clearly channeled through use of curbed planting areas or similar devices.
2. 
No location shall be approved if a vehicular entrance or exit will be so located as to cross a major pedestrian flow, such as on sidewalks servicing churches, schools, recreation areas or compact retail districts.
6.2.2 
Queues. There shall be adequate space off-street for not fewer than two (2) cars to await service per filling station, and no service building or pumps shall be located within forty (40) feet of a street line.
6.2.3 
Car Wash Requirements. Automatic car washes shall provide space for not fewer than fifteen (15) cars per washing lane to queue off-street and, where wastewater does not discharge directly into a public sewer, shall provide positive means of preventing water pollution and ensure against wastewater drainage off the lot.
6.3 
DRIVEWAYS
1. 
General. For the purpose of promoting the safety of the residents of the Town, an application for a building permit for a residential structure shall include a plan, at a scale of 1" = 100 ft., showing the driveway serving the premises, and showing existing and proposed topography at 10 foot or 3 meter contour intervals. All driveways shall be constructed in a manner ensuring reasonable and safe access from the public way serving the premises to within a distance of 100 feet or less from the building site of the residential structure on the premises, for all vehicles, including, but not limited to, emergency, fire, and police vehicles. The Building Inspector shall not issue a building permit for the principal structure on the premises unless all of the following conditions have been met:
2. 
Location. Wherever possible, a driveway shall not be located within five (5) feet of any side or rear lot line excluding cluster development lots.
3. 
Grade. The grade of each driveway where it intersects with the public way shall not exceed six percent (6%) for a distance of 20 feet from the travel surface of the public way unless the Planning Board shall grant a special permit after a determination that said driveway will provide safe and reasonable access for fire, police and emergency vehicles. Cluster development lots are excluded.
4. 
Access. Driveways serving the premises shall provide access through the required frontage of the serviced lot with the following exceptions:
1. 
Access can be provided to the serviced lot from adjacent property when easements or other appropriate legal devices over said adjacent property are in place and recorded at the registry of Deeds. Nothing herein shall be construed to exclude the frontage requirement.
5. 
Common Driveways. Common driveways serving not more than two (2) lots may be allowed on special permit by the Planning Board. A common driveway must satisfy all of the conditions in this Section, as well as all of the following conditions:
1. 
The center line intersection with the street center line shall not be less than 45 degrees;
2. 
A minimum cleared width of 12 feet shall be maintained over its entire length of the common driveway;
3. 
Proposed documents shall be submitted to the Planning Board demonstrating that, through easements, restrictive covenants, or other appropriate legal devices, the maintenance, repair, snow removal, and liability for the common driveway shall remain perpetually the responsibility of the private parties, or their successors-in-interest.
6.4 
[1] WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS FACILITIES.
[Amended 11-29-2010 STM, Art. 15; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22]
6.4.1 
Purpose and Intent. This Section is designed to provide guidance for the installation of new towers, antennas and other communication structures for all types of Wireless Communications Facilities (WCF) within the Town of Ashland or for the replacement, expansion, upgrade or modification of said equipment. The Bylaw will establish standards to protect the interests of the general public, provide for public safety, preserve character and property values, and minimize visual and environmental impacts throughout the town as well as adjacent towns and especially on Residential Districts. The Bylaw enables the review and approval of Wireless Communications Facilities by the Town's Planning Board, acting as the Special Permit Granting Authority, in keeping with the Town's existing bylaws and historic development patterns, including the size and spacing of structures and open spaces. This bylaw is intended to be used in conjunction with other regulations adopted by the Town, including historic district regulations, site plan review and other local bylaws designed to preserve the character of the town, preserve quality of life, and encourage appropriate land use, environmental protection, and provision of adequate infrastructure development in Ashland.
6.4.2 
District Regulations.
1. 
New or modified WCFs in Ashland's zoning districts shall require a special permit from the SPGA. These include ground mounts, building (roof or side) mounts, and WCFs mounted on other existing structures. These also include replacement, expansion, upgrade, modification, or significant change in appearance of a WCF such as an extension in height or width; addition of cells, antennae, or panels; upgrade of technology; or a new replacement of a facility. The Applicant shall submit documentation of the legal right, physical need, and structural capacity to install and/or use the proposed facility mount at the time of application of the special permit.
2. 
In commercial and industrial zoning districts, WCFs are allowed in all areas, subject to the exceptions listed below.
3. 
In residential zoning districts, WCFs are not allowed in any areas unless the Applicant can show that the proposed location is necessary to close a significant gap in wireless service AND no feasible alternative, location, or technology exists, subject to the exceptions listed below.
4. 
Under no conditions will the SPGA allow a new or modified WCF located:
a. 
Within 300 feet of a residential building in Ashland's residential zoning districts;
b. 
Within 300 feet of a building in Ashland licensed by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to educate persons under the age of 18; and
c. 
On land for which there is a permanent conservation restriction as authorized under Sections 31-33 of Chapter 184 of the General Laws of Massachusetts OR there are active/ fixed recreational activities including but not limited to playgrounds, ball fields, and tennis courts.
5. 
Notwithstanding any of these regulations, the Town encourages co-location on existing structures, including but not limited to existing WCFs, buildings, water towers, utility poles and towers, and related facilities, provided such installations preserve the character and integrity of those structures. In particular Applicants are urged to consider use of existing telephone and electric utility structures.
6. 
WCFs on existing structures shall:
a. 
Not extend the height of the existing structure unless the structure meets all requirements of this Bylaw;
b. 
not project above the existing structure by more than ten feet;
c. 
be finished in a manner designed to be aesthetically consistent with the exterior finish of the structure;
d. 
be mounted so that it does not obscure any window or other exterior architectural feature; and
e. 
not exceed fifty (50) square feet of front surface facing surrounding streets and adjacent properties, individually or in aggregate. In reviewing an application the SPGA may increase this surface if it finds that a substantially better design will result from such increase. In making such a finding the SPGA shall consider both the visual and safety impacts of the proposed use.
7. 
WCFs in new locations shall:
a. 
be allowed only if the Applicant has definitively demonstrated that there are no feasible existing structures upon which to locate;
b. 
be camouflaged to the greatest extent possible, including but not limited to the use of compatible building materials and colors, screening, and landscaping; and
c. 
include a "fall zone" equal to 150% of the height of the facility/ mount, including any antennae or other appurtenances. Within this fall zone there shall be no habitable structure and the Applicant shall demonstrate control of the land (via lease or ownership) to prohibit future habitable construction. In reviewing an application the SPGA may reduce the required fall zone by as much as 50% of the required distance if it finds that a substantially better design will result from such reduction. In making such a finding the SPGA shall consider both the visual and safety impacts of the proposed use.
8. 
All WCFs shall:
a. 
be no higher than ten feet above the average height AGL of buildings, tree canopy, or other structures within 300 feet OR, if on an existing structure, ten feet above the height of the existing structure, whichever is higher;
b. 
be no higher than ten feet above the height limit of the zoning district within which the WCF is located, unless the WCF is completely camouflaged such as within a flagpole, steeple, chimney, or similar structure; and
c. 
meet the setback requirements of the underlying zoning district.
6.4.3 
Special Permit Regulations. All Wireless Communications Facilities shall comply with the Requirements and Performance Standards set forth in this section.
1. 
The following types of wireless communications facilities are exempt from the Special Permit requirement of this bylaw and may be constructed, erected, installed, placed and/or used within the Town subject to the issuance of a building permit by the Building Commissioner:
a. 
Amateur radio towers used in accordance with the terms of any amateur radio service license issued by the Federal Communications Commission, provided that:
i. 
the tower is not used or licensed for any commercial purpose;
ii. 
the tower must have a cost or replacement value of less than $10,000.00;
iii. 
if the tower is a free-standing device, such device shall be installed in the rear yard only, outside the setback; and
iv. 
the tower must be removed if the use is discontinued for one (1) year.
b. 
Towers used for the purposes set forth in M.G.L. C.40A, Section 3.
c. 
Satellite dishes less than 1 meter in diameter.
2. 
The SPGA shall not grant a Special Permit for lattice towers and similar facilities requiring three (3) or more legs and/or guy wires for support. Only monopoles, with associated antenna and/or panels, are allowed.
3. 
Any new free-standing towers shall be designed to structurally accommodate the maximum number of foreseeable users (within a ten (10) year period) as technically practicable. The intent of this requirement is to reduce the number of facilities which will be required to be located within the community.
4. 
Design Standards.
a. 
Site Design Standards.
i. 
All wireless communications facilities shall minimize, to the extent feasible, adverse visual effects on the environment, the community and surrounding communities. The SPGA may impose reasonable conditions to ensure this result, including painting, screening and lighting standards.
ii. 
Access shall be provided to a tower site by a roadway which respects the natural terrain, does not appear as a scar on the landscape and is approved by the SPGA, the SPGA and the Fire Chief to assure emergency access at all times. Consideration shall be given to design which minimizes erosion, construction on unstable soils and steep slopes.
iii. 
There shall be a minimum of one (1) parking space for each WCF to be used in connection with the maintenance of the site, and not to be used for the permanent storage of vehicles or other equipment.
iv. 
Traffic associated with the tower and accessory facilities and structures shall not adversely affect abutting ways.
b. 
Visibility/Camouflage. All WCFs shall be sited in such a manner that the view of the facility from adjacent abutters, residential neighbors and other areas of the Town or Adjacent Towns shall be as limited as possible. All monopoles and dishes shall be painted or otherwise colored so as to blend in with the landscape or the structure on which they are located. A different color scheme shall be used to blend the structure with the landscape below and above the tree or building line.
Satellite dishes and/or antennae shall be situated on or attached to a structure in such a manner that they are screened, preferably not being visible from abutting streets. Free-standing dishes or antennae shall be located on the landscape in such a manner so as to minimize visibility from abutting streets and residences and to limit the need to remove existing vegetation. All equipment shall be colored, molded and/or installed to blend into the structure and/or the landscape.
Wireless Communications Facilities shall be camouflaged as follows:
i. 
Camouflage by Existing Buildings or Structures. When a Wireless Communications Facility extends above the roof height of a building on which it is mounted, every effort shall be made to conceal the facility within or behind existing architectural features to limit its visibility from public ways. Facilities mounted on a roof shall be stepped back from the front facade in order to limit their impact on the building's silhouette. Wireless Communications Facilities which are side mounted shall blend with the existing building's architecture and shall be painted or shielded with material which is consistent with the design features and materials of the building.
ii. 
Camouflage by Vegetation. If Wireless Communications Facilities are not camouflaged from public viewing areas by existing buildings or structures, they shall be surrounded by buffers of dense tree growth and understory vegetation in all directions to create an effective year-round visual buffer. Ground-mounted Wireless Communications Facilities shall provide a vegetated buffer of sufficient height and depth to effectively screen the facility. Trees and vegetation may be existing on the subject property or installed as part of the proposed facility or a combination of both. Existing on-site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent practicable. The SPGA shall determine the types of trees and plant materials and depth of the needed buffer based on site conditions.
iii. 
Color. Wireless Communications Facilities which are side-mounted on buildings shall be painted or constructed of materials to match the color of the building material directly behind them. To the extent that any Wireless Communications Facilities extend above the height of the vegetation immediately surrounding it, they shall be painted in a light grey or light blue hue which blends with sky and clouds. The portion of a building-mounted WCF extending above the building shall be painted to blend with sky and clouds.
c. 
Equipment Shelters. Where feasible, the equipment to relay the wireless transmission or to transfer the wireless transmissions to the phone system shall be located inside an existing structure. Otherwise, such equipment shall be located in a new structure in a location where the visual impact to the community and surrounding communities will be minimized. The SPGA may impose conditions on the siting and screening of such structure.
Equipment shelters for Wireless Communications Facilities shall be designed consistent with one of the following design standards:
i. 
Equipment shelters shall be located in underground vaults;
ii. 
Equipment shelters shall be designed to be consistent with the architectural context, styles and materials, of the surrounding neighborhood as determined by the SPGA.
iii. 
Equipment shelters shall be camouflaged behind an effective year-round landscape buffer, equal to the height of the proposed building, and/or wooden fence. The SPGA shall determine the style of fencing and/or landscape buffer that is compatible with the neighborhood.
d. 
Lighting and Signage:
i. 
Wireless Communications Facilities shall be lighted only if required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Lighting of equipment structures and any other facilities on site shall be shielded from abutting properties. There shall be total cutoff of all light at the property lines of the parcel to be developed, and footcandle measurements at the property line shall be 0.0 initial footcandles when measured at grade.
ii. 
There shall be no signs, except for announcement signs, danger signs, "No Trespassing" signs and a required sign giving the telephone number where the owner may be reached on a twenty-four-hour (24-hr.) basis. All signs shall conform with the Town of Ashland Sign Bylaws.
e. 
Historic Buildings and Districts:
i. 
Any Wireless Communications Facilities located on or within an historic structure shall not alter the character-defining features, distinctive construction methods, or original historic materials of the building.
ii. 
Any alteration made to an historic structure to accommodate a Wireless Communications Facility shall be fully reversible.
iii. 
Wireless Communications Facilities within an historic district shall be concealed within or behind existing architectural features, or shall be located so that they are not visible from public roads and viewing areas within the district.
f. 
Scenic Landscapes and Vistas:
i. 
Wireless Communications Facilities shall not be located within open areas that are visible from public roads, recreational areas or residential development. As required in the Camouflage section above, all ground-mounted Wireless Communications Facilities which are not camouflaged by existing buildings or structures shall be surrounded by a buffer of dense tree growth.
ii. 
Any Wireless Communications Facility that is located within 300 feet of a scenic vista, scenic landscape, or scenic road as designated by the town shall not exceed the height of vegetation at the proposed location. If the facility is located farther than 300 feet from those elements, the height regulations described elsewhere in this bylaw will apply.
g. 
Service Utilities. All utilities, which will service the proposed personal wireless service facility, shall be located below ground from the facility's property line.
h. 
Environmental Standards:
i. 
Wireless Communications Facilities shall not be located in wetlands. Locating of wireless facilities in wetland buffer areas shall be avoided whenever possible and disturbance to wetland buffer areas shall be minimized and subject to approval of the Conservation Commission.
ii. 
No hazardous waste shall be discharged on the site of any Wireless Communications Facility. If any hazardous materials are to be used on site, there shall be provisions for full containment of such materials. An enclosed containment area shall be provided with a sealed floor, designed to contain at least 110% of the volume of the hazardous materials stored or used on the site.
iii. 
Stormwater run-off shall be contained on-site. Any WCF or related groundwork shall comply with Chapter 282 sec 9.4 (Site Plan Review) and Chapter 247 Stormwater Management of the Codes of the Town of Ashland.
iv. 
Ground-mounted equipment for Wireless Communications Facilities shall not generate noise in excess of 50 db at the property line.
v. 
Roof-mounted or side-mounted equipment for Wireless Communications Facilities shall not generate noise in excess of 50 db at ground level at the base of the building closest to the antenna.
i. 
Safety Standards:
i. 
Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR) Standards. All equipment proposed for a Wireless Communications Facility shall be authorized per the FCC Guidelines for Evaluating the Environmental Effects of Radiofrequency Radiation (FCC Guidelines), as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health standards with respect to emissions from wireless facilities.
ii. 
All ground-mounted WCFs shall be surrounded by a security barrier. The security barrier shall be a minimum of eight (8) feet in height. All fencing, walls and gates shall be compatible with the context of the existing neighborhood and community as determined by the SPGA and the Building Inspector.
6.4.4 
Application Procedures.
1. 
All persons desiring to erect, replace, upgrade or modify a WCF shall apply for a Special Permit from the SPGA. As part of any application for a permit, applicants shall submit the information required for special permit approval as set forth herein and by the Town of Ashland.
2. 
If the SPGA determines that independent review of the special permit is required, the Board will require the applicant to pay a review fee consisting of reasonable costs to be incurred by the Board for the employment of outside consultants pursuant to SPGA rules as authorized by G.L. c. 44, Section 53G.
3. 
Fees for permits shall be established and amended periodically by the Special Permit Granting Authority.
4. 
No application shall be accepted or acted upon until all the required information as set forth in this bylaw is provided by the applicant and all required fees are paid.
5. 
The Building Commissioner or his agent shall perform a field inspection on all applications for a WCF prior to the hearing for the Special Permit. The results of the inspection shall become a permanent part of the applicant's file on a form prescribed by the Building Commissioner, and shall bear the date of inspection, comments and the signature of the inspecting officer.
6. 
The SPGA may impose written conditions on the Special Permit.
7. 
Pre-Application Conference. Prior to the submission of an application for a Special Permit under this regulation, the applicant is strongly encouraged to meet with the SPGA at a public meeting to discuss the proposed Wireless Communications Facility in general terms and to clarify the filing requirements. The SPGA shall meet with an applicant under this regulation within twenty-one (21) days following a written request submitted to the SPGA and the Town Clerk. If the SPGA fails to meet with an applicant who has requested such a meeting within twenty-one (21) days of said request and said meeting has not been postponed due to mutual agreement, the applicant may proceed with a Special Permit application under this regulation without need for a pre-application conference.
8. 
Pre-Application Filing Requirements. The purpose of the conference is to inform the SPGA as to the preliminary nature of the proposed Wireless Communications Facility. As such, no formal filings are required for the pre-application conference. However, the applicant is encouraged to prepare sufficient preliminary architectural and/or engineering drawings to inform the SPGA of the location of the proposed facility, as well as its scale and overall design.
9. 
Application Filing Requirements. Ten copies of the following shall be included with an application for a Special Permit for all Wireless Communications Facilities:
a. 
General Filing Requirements:
i. 
Name, address and telephone number of applicant and any co-applicants as well as any agents for the applicant or co-applicants.
ii. 
Co-applicants may include the landowner of the subject property, licensed carriers and tenants for the Wireless Communications Facility.
iii. 
A licensed carrier shall either be an applicant or a co-applicant.
iv. 
Original signatures for the applicant and all co-applicants applying for the Special Permit. If the applicant or co-applicant will be represented by an agent, original signature authorizing the agent to represent the applicant and/or co-applicant. Photoreproductions of signatures will not be accepted.
v. 
The owner of the WCF shall provide to the Town a certificate of insurance on a Commercial General Liability (CGL) form. The CGL insurance must be on an occurrence basis and at a limit as established and as may be amended from time to time by the Town of Ashland.
b. 
Location Filing Requirements:
i. 
Identify the subject property by including the Town as well as the name of the locality, name of the nearest road or roads, and street address, if any.
ii. 
Tax map and parcel number of subject property.
iii. 
Zoning district designation for the subject parcel (Submit copy of Town zoning map with parcel identified).
iv. 
A line map to scale showing the lot lines of the subject property and all properties within 300 feet and the location of all buildings, including accessory structures, on all properties shown.
v. 
A town-wide map showing the other existing Wireless Communications Facilities in the Town and outside the Town within one mile of its corporate limits.
vi. 
The proposed locations of all existing and future Wireless Communications Facilities in the Town on a Town-wide map for this carrier.
c. 
Plan Filing Requirement. A one-inch-equals-40 feet vicinity plan showing the following:
i. 
Property lines for the subject property.
ii. 
Property lines of all properties adjacent to the subject property within 300 feet.
iii. 
Tree cover on the subject property and adjacent properties within 300 feet, by dominant species and average height, as measured by or available from a verifiable source.
iv. 
Outline of all existing buildings, including purpose (e.g. residential buildings, garages, accessory structures, etc.) on subject property and all adjacent properties within 300 feet.
v. 
Proposed location of antenna, mount and equipment shelter(s).
vi. 
Proposed security barrier, indicating type and extent as well as point of controlled entry.
vii. 
Location of all roads, public and private, on the subject property and on all adjacent properties within 300 feet including driveways proposed to serve the Wireless Communications Facility.
viii. 
Distances, at grade, from the proposed Wireless Communications Facility to each building on the vicinity plan.
ix. 
Contours at each two feet above mean sea level for the subject property and adjacent properties within 300 feet.
x. 
All proposed changes to the existing property, including grading, vegetation removal and temporary or permanent roads and driveways.
xi. 
Representations, dimensioned and to scale, of the proposed mount, antennas, equipment shelters, cable runs, parking areas and any other construction or development attendant to the Wireless Communications Facility.
xii. 
Lines representing the sight line showing viewpoint (point from which view is taken) and visible point (point being viewed) from "Sight Lines" sub-section below.
d. 
Sight Line Filing Requirement:
i. 
Sight line representation. A sight line representation shall be drawn from any public road within 300 feet and the closest facade of each residential building (viewpoint) within 300 feet to the highest point (visible point) of the Wireless Communications Facility. Each sight line shall be depicted in profile, drawn at one inch equals 40 feet. The profiles shall show all intervening trees and buildings. In the event there is only one residential building within 300 feet there shall be at least two sight lines from the closest habitable structures or public roads, if any.
ii. 
Existing (before condition) photographs. Each sight line shall be illustrated by one eight by ten inch color photograph of what can currently be seen from any public road within 300 feet.
iii. 
Proposed (after condition). Each of the existing condition photographs shall have the proposed Wireless Communications Facility superimposed on it to show what will be seen from public roads if the proposed Wireless Communications Facility is built.
e. 
Elevations Filing Requirement. Siting elevations, or views at-grade from the north, south, east and west for a 50-foot radius around the proposed Wireless Communications Facility plus from all existing public and private roads that serve the subject property. Elevations shall be at either one-quarter inch equals one foot or one-eighth inch equals one foot scale and show the following:
i. 
Antennas, mounts and equipment shelter(s), with total elevation dimensions and AGL of the highest point.
ii. 
Security barrier. If the security barrier will block views of the Wireless Communications Facility, the barrier drawing shall be cut away to show the view behind the barrier.
iii. 
Any and all structures on the subject property.
iv. 
Existing trees and shrubs at current height and proposed trees and shrubs at proposed height at time of installation, as well as estimated height and breadth in five (5) years, with approximate elevations dimensioned.
v. 
Grade changes, or cuts and fills, to be shown as original grade and new grade line, with two-foot contours above mean sea level.
f. 
Design Filing Requirements:
i. 
Equipment brochures for the proposed Wireless Communications Facility such as manufacturer's specifications or trade journal reprints shall be provided for the antennas, mounts, equipment shelters, cables as well as cable runs, and security barrier, if any.
ii. 
Materials of the proposed Wireless Communications Facility specified by generic type and specific treatment (e.g., anodized aluminum, stained wood, painted fiberglass, etc.). These shall be provided for the antennas, mounts, equipment shelters, cables as well as cable runs, and security barrier, if any.
Colors of the proposed Wireless Communications Facility represented by a color board showing actual colors proposed. Colors shall be provided for the antennas, mounts, equipment shelters, cables as well as cable runs, and security barrier, if any.
Dimensions of the Wireless Communications Facility specified for all three directions: height, width and breadth. These shall be provided for the antennas, mounts, equipment shelters and security barrier, if any.
iii. 
Appearance shown by at least two photographic superimpositions of the Wireless Communications Facility within the subject property. The photographic superimpositions shall be provided for the antennas, mounts, equipment shelters, cables as well as cable runs, and security barrier, if any, for the total height, width and breadth.
iv. 
Landscape plan including existing trees and shrubs and those proposed to be added, identified by size of specimen at installation and species.
v. 
Specifications for construction, lighting and wiring in accordance with State and National building codes, including a description of the capacity of the WCF, including the number and types of panels, antennas and/or transmitter receivers that it can accommodate and the basis for these calculations. Describe the technical, economic and other reasons for the tower design, and the need for the tower at the proposed location.
vi. 
A statement of the services to be supported by the proposed communications structure;
vii. 
Describe the wireless telecommunications provider's master antenna plan, including detailed maps, showing the precise locations, characteristics of all antennas and towers and indicating coverage areas for current and future antennas and towers;
viii. 
Evidence, if applicant is sole user of a structure, that all possible means of co-location for multiple use of antennae elsewhere have been exhausted.
ix. 
If lighting of the site is proposed, the applicant shall submit a manufacturer's computer-generated point-to-point printout, indicating the horizontal footcandle levels at grade, within the property to be developed and twenty-five (25) feet beyond the property lines. The printout shall indicate the locations and types of luminaires proposed.
x. 
Demonstrate that the tower and facilities comply with this regulation.
xi. 
The SPGA 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' 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 SPGA. This demonstration shall take place after the application for Special Permit has been made, but prior to the close of the public hearing on said Special Permit and shall be maintained for a 10 hour period. The date, time and location of such test shall be advertised in a newspaper of general circulation in the Town at least 14 days, but not more than 21 days prior to the test. Failure, in the opinion of the SPGA, to adequately advertise this demonstration may be cause for the SPGA to require another, properly advertised demonstration.
g. 
Noise Filing Requirements. The applicant shall provide a statement listing the existing and maximum future projected measurements of noise from the proposed Wireless Communications Facilities, measured in decibels Ldn (logarithmic scale, accounting for greater sensitivity at night), for the following:
i. 
Existing, or ambient: the measurements of existing noise.
ii. 
Existing plus proposed Wireless Communications Facilities: maximum estimate of noise from the proposed Wireless Communications Facility plus the existing noise environment.
Such statement shall be certified and signed by an acoustical engineer, stating that noise measurements are accurate and meet the Noise Standards of this Bylaw.
h. 
Radiofrequency Radiation (RFR) Filing Requirements. Massachusetts Department of Public Health regulation 105 CMR 122.000 requires that the Department of Public Health approve all sites for wireless facilities with respect to emissions. Applicant must submit a copy of the approval letter from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health prior to project approval as part of their application package.
The applicant shall provide a statement listing the existing and maximum future projected measurements of RFR from the proposed Wireless Communications Facility, for the following situations:
i. 
Existing, or ambient: the measurements of existing RFR.
ii. 
Existing plus proposed Wireless Communications Facilities: maximum estimate of RFR from the proposed Wireless Communications Facility plus the existing RFR environment.
iii. 
Certification signed by a RF engineer stating that RFR measurements are accurate and meet FCC Guidelines as specified in the Radiofrequency Radiation Standards sub-section of this Bylaw.
i. 
Federal Environmental Filing Requirements. The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) applies to all applications for Wireless Communications Facilities. NEPA is administered by the FCC via procedures adopted as Subpart I, Section 1.1301 et seq. (47 CRF Ch. I). The FCC requires that an environmental assessment (EA) be filed with the FCC prior to beginning operations for any Wireless Communications Facility proposed in or involving any of the following:
i. 
Wilderness areas.
ii. 
Wildlife preserves.
iii. 
Endangered species habitat.
iv. 
Historical site.
v. 
Indian religious site.
vi. 
Flood plain.
vii. 
Wetlands.
viii. 
High intensity white lights in residential neighborhoods.
ix. 
Excessive radiofrequency radiation exposure.
At the time of application filing, an EA that meets FCC requirements shall be submitted to the Town for each Wireless Communications Facility site that requires such an EA to be submitted to the FCC.
The applicant shall list location, type and amount (including trace elements) of any materials proposed for use within the Wireless Communications Facility that are considered hazardous by the federal, state or local government.
j. 
The Special Permit Granting Authority may waive one or more of the application filing requirements of this section if it finds that such information is not needed for a thorough review of a proposed Wireless Communications Facility.
k. 
Application Processing Requirements:
i. 
When submitting an application to the SPGA the Applicant shall provide a copy to the Board of Selectmen and submit proof of submission to the SPGA.
ii. 
Within 5 days of receipt of a complete WCF application, the SPGA shall submit a request for an Advisory Opinion from any Boards it deems appropriate.
iii. 
Within 35 days of receipt of a complete WCF application, the SPGA shall request Advisory Opinion responses from those Boards. These responses shall be considered in the decision of the SPGA, at its discretion.
iv. 
Within 65 days of receipt of a complete WCF application, the SPGA shall hold a Public Hearing.
v. 
Within 90 days of receipt of a complete WCF application, the SPGA must issue a final decision, unless an extension is agreed to by the applicant.
vi. 
The Applicant may request an extension of time for action on any application.
6.4.5 
Co-location.
1. 
Licensed carriers shall share Wireless Communications Facilities and sites where feasible and appropriate, thereby reducing the number of Wireless Communications Facilities that are stand-alone facilities. All applicants for a Special Permit for a Wireless Communications Facility shall demonstrate a good faith effort to co-locate with other carriers. Such good faith effort includes:
a. 
A survey of all existing structures that may be feasible sites for co-locating Wireless Communications Facilities;
b. 
Contact with all the other licensed carriers for commercial mobile radio services operating in the County; and
c. 
Sharing information necessary to determine if co-location is feasible under the design configuration most accommodating to co-location.
2. 
In the event that co-location is found to be not feasible, a written statement of the reasons for the infeasibility shall be submitted to the Town. The Town may retain a technical expert in the field of RF engineering to verify if co-location at the site is not feasible or is feasible given the design configuration most accommodating to co-location. The cost for such a technical expert will be at the expense of the applicant. The Town may deny a Special Permit to an applicant that has not demonstrated a good faith effort to provide for co-location.
3. 
If the applicant does intend to co-locate or to permit co-location, the Town shall request drawings and studies which show the ultimate appearance and operation of the Wireless Communications Facility at full build-out.
4. 
If the SPGA approves co-location for a Wireless Communications Facility site, the Special Permit shall indicate how many facilities of what type shall be permitted on that site. The addition of any facilities shall require a new Special Permit.
Estimates of RFR emissions will be required for all facilities, including proposed and future facilities.
6.4.6 
Modifications. A modification of a Wireless Communications Facility may be considered equivalent to an application for a new Wireless Communications Facility and will require a Special Permit when the following events apply:
1. 
The applicant and/or co-applicant wants to alter the terms of the Special Permit by changing the Wireless Communications Facility in one or more of the following ways:
a. 
Change in the number of facilities permitted on the site;
b. 
Change in technology used for the Wireless Communications Facility.
c. 
Change in the appearance of the specified facilities.
2. 
The applicant and/or co-applicant wants to add any equipment or additional height or width not specified in the original design filing.
6.4.7 
Monitoring and Maintenance.
1. 
After the Wireless Communications Facility is operational, the applicant shall submit, within 90 days of beginning operations, and at annual intervals from the date of issuance of the Special Permit, existing measurements of RFR emitted from the WCF in aggregate worst case conditions at 50' foot intervals from the WCF up to 1000' on an annual basis to the SPGA. The report will compare the measured results to the applicant's calculated worst case scenario provided with its original application, to previous annual measurements and to stated FCC limits. The report will be made available to the public on the town web site. If the RFR levels are higher than what was indicated in its application the applicant will be asked to provide details as to why the levels are higher and what will be done to lower RFR to the levels approved by the SPGA. Such measurements shall be signed and certified by a RF engineer, stating that RFR measurements are accurate and meet FCC Guidelines as specified in the Radiofrequency Standards section of this Bylaw. At the request of the SPGA, the applicant shall pay for an independent and qualified third party hired by the Town to measure and report on the levels of RFR.
2. 
After the Wireless Communications Facility is operational, the applicant shall submit, within 90 days of the issuance of the Special Permit, and at annual intervals from the date of issuance of the Special Permit, existing measurements of noise from the Wireless Communications Facility. Such measurements shall be signed by an acoustical engineer, stating that noise measurements are accurate and meet the Noise Standards provisions of this Bylaw.
3. 
The applicant and co-applicant shall maintain the Wireless Communications Facility in good condition. Such maintenance shall include, but shall not be limited to, painting, structural integrity of the mount and security barrier, and maintenance of the buffer areas, landscaping and trash removal. Verification of maintenance and structural integrity by a certified structural engineer shall be required at the request of the Building Commissioner on a biannual basis.
4. 
The WCF shall be subject to ongoing monitoring by the building commissioner with respect to adherence to all zoning ordinances and special permit conditions, including, but not limited to hours of operation, noise, lighting and on-site activity.
6.4.8 
Abandonment or Discontinuation of Use.
1. 
At such time that a licensed carrier plans to abandon or discontinue operation of a Wireless Communications Facility, such carrier will notify the Town by certified U.S. mail of the proposed date of abandonment or discontinuation of operations. Such notice shall be given no less than 30 days prior to abandonment or discontinuation of operations. In the event that a licensed carrier fails to give such notice, the Wireless Communications Facility shall be considered abandoned upon such discontinuation of operations. If more than one WCF is located on the same structure, the facility is not considered abandoned unless all carriers have discontinued operations. In that case, each carrier shall be responsible for physically removing only the equipment specific to that carrier, in accordance with the provisions of this Bylaw.
2. 
Upon abandonment or discontinuation of use, the carrier shall physically remove the Wireless Communications Facility within 90 days from the date of abandonment or discontinuation of use, "Physically remove" shall include, but not be limited to:
a. 
Removal of antennas, mount, equipment shelters and security barriers from the subject property.
b. 
Proper disposal of the waste materials from the site in accordance with local and state solid waste disposal regulations.
c. 
Restoring the location of the Wireless Communications Facility to its natural condition, except that any landscaping and grading shall remain in the after-condition.
3. 
If a carrier fails to remove a Wireless Communications Facility in accordance with this section of this Bylaw, the town shall have the authority to enter the subject property and physically remove the facility. The SPGA shall require a maintenance and removal guarantee bond for all wireless communications facilities subject to Special Permit under this Section in the event the Town must remove the facility. The Building Commissioner may also require such bond for facilities which are exempt from Special Permits.
6.4.9 
 Reconstruction or Replacement of Existing Towers and Monopoles. Modifications to pre-existing conforming WCFs shall comply with the requirements of this Bylaw. Modifications to pre-existing non-conforming WCFs shall meet the requirements of Section 3.3.3 of the Zoning Bylaw (Nonconforming Structures).
6.4.10 
 Independent Engineering Review. The Town may retain a technical expert to review any of the Special Permit submission requirements required in this Bylaw and for other technical review and advice as may be required during the Special Permit process and required by the conditions of the Special Permit. The cost for such a technical expert will be at the expense of the applicant.
6.4.11 
 Permit to Construct. Upon receipt of a Special Permit from the SPGA, and site plan approval from the SPGA, the applicant shall apply to the Building Commissioner for a permit to construct, upgrade, replace or modify a WCF and shall provide written evidence that all preconstruction conditions as may be a part of the Special Permit decision have been satisfied.
6.4.12 
 Term of Special Permit. A Special Permit issued for any Wireless Communications Facility over fifty (50) feet in height shall be valid for fifteen (15) years. At the end of that time period, the Wireless Communications Facility shall be removed by the carrier or a new Special Permit shall be required.
6.4.13 
 Fines And Penalties. Violations by the Applicant of above conditions, regulations, standards or restrictions, or violation of any conditions contained in the Special Permit or Site Plan decisions, may be subject to fines in the amount of $300 per day, at the discretion of the SPGA and the Building Commissioner.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 6.4, Large Scale Photovoltaic Installations, added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 21, was repealed 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 18.
6.5 
MEDICAL MARIJUANA DISPENSARY REQUIREMENTS
[Added 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 16]
6.5.1 
Purpose.
The purpose of this section is to ensure that those entities permitted to operate a Medical Marijuana Dispensary, as defined at Section 10.0 herein, comply with all of the provisions of Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012.
6.5.2 
Special Permit and Special Permit Granting Authority
A Special Permit shall be required for the establishment of a Medical Marijuana Dispensary. For the purposes of this section, the Special Permit Granting Authority shall be the Planning Board.
6.5.3 
Performance Standards
1. 
No Medical Marijuana Dispensary shall be permitted within 750 feet of a public or private school, daycare facility, or playground, public park and public forest;
2. 
The cultivation of medical marijuana within the Town of Ashland shall only occur on the same property as an establishment that sells and dispenses medical marijuana to a qualified patient or personal caregiver. A dispensary may operate without cultivation occurring on-site as long as the applicant can provide proof of an existing cultivation registration at another location;
3. 
Cultivation and storage of medical marijuana shall be in a secure, enclosed, locked area. Medical marijuana shall not be visible from the street or other public areas;
4. 
An applicant must demonstrate compliance with the application requirements for the Registration of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries as set forth in the regulations promulgated by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (or referred to herein as "DPH");
5. 
A Special Permit shall only be valid for use by the applicant and will become null and void upon the sale or transfer of the Medical Marijuana Dispensary registration or license;
6. 
In the event that the DPH revokes, fails or refuses to issue a license or registration, a special permit issued by the Town for the medical marijuana dispensary shall be deemed null and void;
7. 
In the event that the DPH suspends the license or registration of a medical marijuana dispensary, the special permit shall be so suspended by the Town until the matter is resolved to the satisfaction of the DPH;
8. 
The provisions of this Ordinance are severable and if any clause, sentence, paragraph or section of this measure, or an application thereof, shall be adjudged by any court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder thereof but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, section or application adjudged invalid. [Section 17 of Chapter 369 of the Acts of 2012].
6.5.4 
Additional Criteria
In addition to the Performance Standards set forth herein, the provisions of Section 9.3 shall apply to Special Permit requests filed under this Section 6.5.
6.5.5 
Exemptions
1. 
There may be instances where the DPH determines that a patient is eligible for a hardship registration that would allow the cultivation of medical marijuana at their own residence for their own personal use. In such case, the provisions of Section 6.5 shall not apply.

SECTION 7.0 SPECIAL RESIDENTIAL REGULATIONS

7.1 
DWELLING CONVERSION
7.1.1 
General. A special permit may be granted for conversion of an existing structure to accommodate additional families in districts where allowed under the Table of Uses, provided that the following are complied with:
1. 
No extension to the principal structure shall be made or additional exterior entrances created within sight from a street.
2. 
Lot area shall be not less than the minimum required for a single-family dwelling at that location, plus fifty percent (50%) of the required area for each dwelling unit in excess of one (1).
3. 
The added dwelling units shall be served by the town sewerage system or by a new on-site disposal system meeting the requirements of Title V of the State Environmental Code.
4. 
No parking space provided to meet the requirements of Section 5.1 shall be located within a required front yard or block egress from another parking space.
5. 
Floor area shall equal at least seven hundred (700) square feet per dwelling unit.
7.2 
SENIOR RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITY (SRC)
7.2.1 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to:
1. 
promote alternative housing for a maturing population;
2. 
provide a type of housing which reduces residents' hardships of property maintenance and which reduces demands on municipal services; and
3. 
promote flexibility in land use planning in order to improve site layouts, safety, protection of natural attributes and environmental values and utilization of land in harmony with neighboring properties.
7.2.2 
Administration. The Planning Board may grant approval for the construction and occupancy of a senior residential community, supplemented by appropriate amenities as agreed to by the owner, of a parcel of land in excess of five (5) contiguous acres located in a Residential District, subject to the following regulations and conditions.
7.2.3 
Age Restriction. Any application for a SRC shall indicate, and ensuing use shall sustain, compliance with G.L. c. 151B, sections 4 and 6. Provided housing shall be individually owned and occupied by at least one (1) person who is fifty-five (55) years of age, or older; and no more than one (1) additional occupant who shall be under fifty-five years of age, unless otherwise qualifying as a handicapped adult, or as herein further provided. In addition, and only in proven cases of family emergency, as determined by majority vote of any homeowners' association management board, no more than two (2) additional persons, above the number which is specifically herein authorized, who are under age fifty-five (55) and directly related, shall be allowed to be an occupant of any dwelling unit for more than six (6) months duration. Extensions of such minimum time duration may be granted by majority vote of such board. Occupancy requirements shall be exclusive of nurses or other persons to provide health care services to any occupant of said dwelling unit. In the event of the death of the qualifying owner/occupant of a dwelling unit, or foreclosure or other involuntary transfer of a dwelling unit in a SRC, a two (2) year exemption shall be allowed for the transfer of the unit to another eligible household.
7.2.4 
Definitions. The proposed dwellings/structures meant to be provided in this Section commonly are not constructed within the separate lot framework associated with the definitions of the terms "Lot," "Lot Area," "Lot Coverage," "Lot Frontage," and "Yard (front, rear and side)" as listed in Section 10. Such terminology, as used in this Section is meant only to associate with the definitions as if the included dwellings/structures were to be provided on separate lots. LOT shall mean a parcel of land upon which dwelling units are to be constructed, which need not have legally defined bounds.
7.2.5 
General Requirements. A Senior Residential Community consisting of single-family residences, with appropriate amenities as described herein, shall be allowed in the RA, RB, CH, CD, and Mixed Use Special District upon the grant of a special permit issued by the Planning Board, if the application is in compliance with the following provisions:
1. 
the Subdivision Rules and Regulations adopted by the Planning Board, at time of Preliminary Plan submittal, shall be in force (see Chapter 344, Subdivision of Land), except as herein otherwise provided; and
2. 
the site is reasonably protected from excessive noise, traffic, air pollution and other harmful physical influences; and
3. 
the proposed use shall be served by municipal water and sewer services unless the Planning Board, with advice from the Ashland Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works, deems that alternative services shall meet the long term needs of such proposed use and the Town of Ashland; and
4. 
the Planning Board deems that the requirements of Section 9.3 have been satisfied; and
5. 
the requirements of Section 9.4, site plan review, shall be in force; and
6. 
the site, when utilized for the purposes of this Section and combined with any other use or uses allowed in the underlying zoning district, is of sufficient size, shape, topography and location to be capable of accommodating such multiple uses, as determined by the Planning Board; and
7. 
the special permit applicant for a SRC shall be the owner of any parcel(s) proposed for such development or an applicant showing proof in writing by the owner of such parcel(s) to be authorized to apply for and be issued such special permit, and shall establish to the satisfaction to the Planning Board that the applicant has the knowledge, experience and financial resources sufficient to construct and complete the development.
7.2.6 
Site Requirements. For the purposes of this Section the following site requirements shall be met:
1. 
Parcel Area/Frontage Requirements - minimum parcel area and minimum parcel frontage requirements shall coincide with that of the zoning district.
a. 
the land under construction shall be located on one (1) or more contiguous parcels, whether or not separated by a public or private way, with definite boundaries ascertainable from a recorded deed or recorded plan.
2. 
each dwelling unit lot area shall have no more land than ten (10) percent which is underwater land, or is qualified as a wetland resource as defined in G.L. c. 131, s. 40, or in the Wetlands Protection By-Law, Chapter 280 of the Ashland Code, and contains no slopes greater than twenty-five (25) percent, singularly or combined;
3. 
larger lot sizes may be required, as determined by the Planning Board with advice from the Board of Health, where municipal sewerage is not available, and considering soil conditions, water table and slope conditions;
4. 
Open Space. All remaining land in the development not contained in single/attached dwelling lots, or within rights-of-way and municipal easements, shall be held in common use of the residents of the development and, in some circumstances, of the Town, as open space, as determined by the Planning Board, and shall meet the following requirements:
a. 
all such open space parcels, together, shall equal not less than thirty (30) percent of the total parcel area and shall serve passive recreational purposes.
b. 
wetlands, as determined by the Conservation Commission, shall not qualify as open space, except to the extent that such wetlands are situated in the development perimeter buffering area;
c. 
the open space areas shall maximize the value of wildlife habitat, shall be contiguous, have not less than twenty (20) feet of handicapped accessible frontage on each right-of-way and internal drive, of the development and shall be configured to preserve large blocks of undisturbed land;
d. 
landscape plantings shall not be permitted, except in areas where re-vegetation may be necessary to increase buffering/screening, as determined by the Planning Board; and,
e. 
desirable qualities of open space reservations are continuity of open space within the development and into existing or potential adjoining developments, protection of watercourses, wetlands and other ecologically sensitive areas, configuration reflecting land forms and existing vegetative patterns and handicapped accessibility from at least fifty (50) percent of the abutting dwelling lots.
7.2.7 
Building and Dwelling Unit Requirements.
1. 
Number of Dwelling Units Permitted. Written computation shall be provided to the Planning Board, at the time of application submittal, based on a maximum average of five (5) dwelling units per acre of such land dedicated to dwelling unit building lots, with the maximum number of bedrooms in each dwelling unit limited to two (2): the method of distribution of allowable dwelling units per acre shall determine the total number of allowable dwelling units;
2. 
Dwellings may be provided as detached single units, or attached in groups of two (2), with such attachments located side-by-side. Each dwelling unit shall include garaged parking for two (2) vehicles, positioned in line, front to back or as site conditions allow side by side as determined by the Planning Board; and one (1) exterior paved parking space.
a. 
single dwelling unit lot sizes shall be eight thousand (8,000) square feet, minimum;
b. 
attached dwelling unit lot sizes shall be fifteen thousand (15,000) square feet, minimum;
3. 
Maximum Building Height (including accessory buildings): One (1) story, except two (2) story structures may be permitted as an incentive for providing smaller building footprints for dwellings; provided that only a second bedroom with adjoining bath and closet(s) may be provided at such second story level to the extent that the dwelling footprint, as well as the second floor area does not increase beyond that of the first floor.
All areas under the roof may provide appropriate second floor living area and mezzanine/lofts as regulated by the State Building Code.
4. 
One (1) Bedroom Limitation: no more than twenty (20) percent of the maximum number of allowable dwelling units shall have less than two (2) bedrooms.
5. 
The positioning of buildings shall be staggered a minimum of ten (10) feet along each right-of-way, preferably in a non-regular pattern, while maintaining setback requirements. Such positioning shall be depicted on Definitive Plans.
7.2.8 
Allowable Accessory Buildings, Structures and Preferred Amenities.
1. 
Individual Dwelling Lots may have attached garages, and other customary accessory structures except storage-type sheds shall be allowed, as determined by the Inspector of Buildings after Definitive Plan approval, if keeping within dwelling lot coverage and floor area ratio limitations. Such accessory arrangements shall be depicted on the Definitive Plan if contemplated prior to Definitive Plan approval.
2. 
Open Space may have clubhouse(s), swimming pool(s), tennis court(s), cabana(s), storage and maintenance structures and other accessory structures shall be allowed, as determined by the Inspector of Buildings after Definitive Plan approval, if in keeping within development parcel coverage and floor area ratio limitations. Such accessory arrangements shall be depicted on the Definitive Plan if contemplated prior to Definitive Plan approval.
3. 
Preferred Amenities. The creation of outdoor areas which may include, but are not limited to, sitting areas with tables, gazebo(s), trellises, paved and level walking paths, planters and individual/community garden space(s).
7.2.9 
Building Design Criteria. All buildings and structures shall be designed, located and constructed to afford the following:
1. 
compatibility of architectural styles, scales, building materials and colors within the development;
2. 
variations in facade, roof lines and interior layouts of dwelling units;
3. 
harmonious relationship of buildings and structures to each other with adequate light, air, circulation, privacy and separation;
4. 
the capability for constant surveillance, orientation and recognition; to this end, and in lieu of providing conventional streetlighting, individual building lot front yards and other areas along roadways not fronting building lots and approaches to common-use buildings and structures, shall be provided with architecturally compatible street-level-type lamp post lighting necessary to provide safety, security and visual indications, as determined by the Planning Board.
7.2.10 
 Additional Physical Requirements.
1. 
Setbacks. Single/attached dwelling units - front yards shall be twenty (20) feet minimum, rear yards shall be thirty (30) feet minimum and side yard separation of abutting dwellings/structures shall be twenty (20) feet minimum.
2. 
Development Parcel Lot Coverage (density) - twenty-five (25) % maximum.
3. 
Dwelling Lot Coverage (density) - twenty-five (25) % maximum.
4. 
Floor Area Ratio - 0.5 maximum.
5. 
Distance between common use buildings/structures - thirty (30) feet.
6. 
Additional Parking Provisions - in addition to individual dwelling unit parking requirements addressed, supra, within the development, separated and screened from the majority of dwelling units, there shall be provided an additional paved and lined parking area, equivalent to twenty (20) % of that which is provided for dwelling units, for the longer-term parking and storage of recreation-type vehicles, not used on a daily basis; such area may additionally serve to accommodate overflow guest parking and may be located within any qualifying open space along the perimeter of the development.
7. 
The right-of-way network shall be so designed and constructed as not to allow vehicular traffic throughout the development from neighboring parcels or streets. Road signs shall be posted to indicate "NOT A THRU STREET," or other appropriate wording, to temper unnecessary intrusion of off-site traffic.
8. 
Paved sidewalks shall be located and constructed to the bounds of the development from interior roadways to provide pedestrian access to neighboring streets and abutting parcels, if practical, as determined by the Planning Board.
9. 
Along the perimeter of the development parcel, for a depth of thirty (30) feet minimum, landscape greenery or other buffering/screening method(s), in place at the time of development, which can serve to obstruct the view of adjacent land use properties from one another, shall remain undisturbed; except for underbrush clearing and general maintenance. If such existing buffering/screening is deemed insufficient it shall be supplemented, as determined by the Planning Board.
10. 
Rights-of-way, driveways and sidewalks within the development shall meet such width, grades, radius of curvature and construction standards as required by the Planning Board Subdivision Rules and Regulations, except for the purposes of this development, the rights-of-way shall be classified as lanes, with the added requirement of a paved sidewalk on one (1) side.
7.2.11 
 Special Requirements. All improvements to the development parcel, including rights-of-ways and dwelling unit/common area utility services, except as agreed to by the Town of Ashland when considering access for municipal emergency response vehicles, shall be considered private. During construction and after completion of the development, the developer, as well as owners of dwelling units and/or building lots, shall be responsible for the maintenance of dwelling unit/common area driveways and walkways, parking area(s) and all snow plowing, landscape maintenance, trash removal and maintenance and repair of other common elements and facilities serving the residents. The Town of Ashland shall not be responsible, therefore, unless so agreed. Implementation of the above shall be documented in the following manner: open space and such other facilities as may be held in common, shall be conveyed to a corporation or trust comprising a homeowners' association whose membership includes the owners of all lots or dwelling units contained in the development. The developer shall include in the deed to owners of individual lots beneficial rights in said open space and shall grant a conservation restriction to the Town of Ashland over such land pursuant to G.L. c. 184, ss. 31 through 33, to ensure that such land is kept in an open or natural state, except as authorized, supra. This restriction shall be enforceable by the Town through its Conservation Commission in any proceeding authorized by G.L. c. 184, s. 33. In addition, the developer shall be responsible for the maintenance of all improvements to the land until such time as the homeowners' association is capable of assuming such responsibility, and/or the Town has accepted responsibility for rights-of-ways and any assigned easements. In order to assure that the association will properly maintain the land deeded to it under this section, the developer shall cause to be recorded at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds, or other cognizant authority, a Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions that shall, at a minimum, provide the following:
1. 
Mandatory membership in an established homeowners' association as a requirement for ownership of any lot in the development.
2. 
Provision for maintenance assessments of all lots in order to ensure that the developed and open space land is maintained in a condition suitable for uses approved by the homeowners' association. Failure to pay such assessment shall create a lien on the property assessed, enforceable by either the homeowners' association or other owner of any lot.
3. 
Provisions, which so far as possible under the existing law, will ensure that the restrictions placed on the use of the developed and open space land will not terminate by operation of law or, that in the case of termination, that mandatory renewal of all restrictions shall occur automatically.
7.2.12 
 Decision. The Planning Board may impose additional conditions not inconsistent with this or other sections of the Zoning By-law.
7.3 
CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT
7.3.1 
Purpose. The purpose of cluster development is to:
1. 
allow more intensive screened use of separately owned lots by a building and its accessory structures together with preservation of common open space for scenic, agricultural, recreation, and conservation purposes, otherwise not provided by conventional subdivision plans;
2. 
preserve more greenery and woodlands through less disturbance, temperance of the appearance of suburban sprawl associated with conventional subdivision development; and
3. 
promote less costly development and maintenance outlay.
7.3.2 
Administration. The Planning Board may by special permit grant approval for the construction and occupancy of a cluster development, supplemented by appropriate amenities as agreed to by the owner, on a parcel of land in excess of five (5) contiguous acres located in a Residential Districts. Such cluster development shall also require approval under the Subdivision Rules and Regulations of the Planning Board.
7.3.3 
Application Procedure. To promote better communication and avoid misunderstanding, applicants are encouraged to submit preliminary proposals and plans for informal review prior to formal application. The following submission is required.
1. 
Applicants for a cluster development shall submit to the Planning Board six (6) copies of a completed application and ten (10) copies of a plan meeting the specifications for a preliminary plan as established by the Subdivision Regulations adopted by the Ashland Planning Board. Said plan shall also indicate proposed building uses, building locations and development schedule and shall have been prepared by a landscape or registered architect, or civil engineer. Submitted application materials shall also indicate the applicant's legal interest in the land to be developed, the form of organization to be proposed to own and maintain the common land, the substance of covenants and grants of easements to be imposed upon the use of land and structures and the development schedule.
2. 
At least four (4) copies of a site analysis shall be submitted, consisting of one (1) transparent copy of the above plan, and a series of site analysis drawings at the same scale, each on a separate sheet, indicating analysis of hydrologic systems, vegetation cover, slope and land form, soils and geology and such other characteristics as required by the rules and regulations of the Planning Board.
3. 
Review and decision. Forthwith upon receipt of the application and required plans, the Planning Board shall transmit one (1) copy each to the Board of Health and Conservation Commission. The Board of Health and Conservation Commission shall submit written reports to the Planning Board within thirty-five (35) days of the referral, and the Planning Board shall make no decisions upon the application until receipt of all such reports or until thirty-five (35) days have elapsed since date of referral without such reports.
4. 
Under this section, the Planning Board shall give consideration to the reports of the Board of Health and Conservation Commission and to the degree to which the proposed development conforms to the intent of the cluster development.
7.3.4 
Requirements. A cluster development must conform to the following:
1. 
An applicant for cluster development consideration, in determining the limit on the number of dwelling units which can be built on a specific tract, must determine the number of lots by the two methods listed below. The numbers of lots shall be determined based on whatever method depicts the least amount of lots.
2. 
The total number of dwelling units shall not exceed the number for which the tract could have been developed (conventional lots), but for the provisions of this section. The applicant shall present calculations and a scaled drawing depicting a conventional development, for review and concurrence by the Planning Board.
3. 
The total number of dwelling units shall not exceed that allowed by the following formula concurred with by the Planning Board:
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 16]
USABLE ACRES/MINIMUM LOT AREA = NUMBER OF CONDENSED SIZE LOTS WHERE USABLE ACRES = [TOTAL TRACT ACRES]-[20% EXCLUSION OF TRACT ACRES (streets, walks, easements, etc.)]-[50% TRACT ACRES FOR OPEN SPACE]
No structure shall be built or used in a cluster development except in compliance with the use regulations of Section 3.1 [Principal Uses] and with the following dimensional regulations.
Minimum Yards
(feet)
District
Minimum Lot Area
(square feet)
Frontage
Front
Side
Rear
RA
15,000
75
20
10
30
RB
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
RM
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
4. 
Side and rear yard requirements shall apply only where the lot in the cluster development abuts non-cluster adjacent property, elsewhere side and rear yard requirements may be waived by the Planning Board.
5. 
Larger lot sizes may be required, as determined by the Planning Board with advisory by the Board of Health, where public sewerage is not available, and considering soil conditions, water table and slope conditions.
6. 
No lot shall have more than ten percent (10%) of its minimum lot area made up of wetlands and slopes greater than twenty-five percent (25%) in grade, singularly or combined.
7. 
Only single-family dwellings shall be allowed in cluster developments unless provisions of Subsection 7.3.7 are followed.
8. 
Buildings shall be oriented with respect to scenic vistas, natural landscape features, topography and natural drainage areas in accordance with criteria for site plan review of this 9.4.
9. 
New dwellings shall be grouped so that fields, pastures, woodlands, and road frontage remain as undeveloped as possible. To serve the purposes of this requirement, subdivision definitive plans shall depict the approximate location line of undisturbed woodlands and other greenery associated with separate building lots.
7.3.5 
Open Space. All remaining land in the cluster development not contained in building lots or within road rights-of-way shall be held for common use of the residents of the development and, in some circumstances, of the Town as open space and shall meet the following requirements:
1. 
All such open space parcels, together, shall equal not less than fifty percent (50%) of the overall tract area of the cluster development and shall have building coverage of not more than five percent (5%).
2. 
Each parcel of such open space or group of adjoining parcels shall be at least two (2) acres in area, have not less than twenty (20) feet frontage on a street and be of such shape and condition as to be useful for recreation or conservation purposes. No more than fifty percent (50%) of all common open space shall consist of wetlands and slopes greater than twenty-five percent (25%) in grade.
3. 
At least fifty percent (50%) of all lots in a cluster development having reduced lot area shall abut such open space parcels, and no lot having reduced lot area shall be more than eight hundred (800) feet via streets from such parcels, which may be waived by the Planning Board.
4. 
Desirable qualities of open space reservations are continuity of open space within the development and into existing or potential adjoining developments, protection of watercourses, wetlands, and other ecologically sensitive areas, configuration reflecting land forms and existing vegetative patterns and inclusion of open space to lots of reduced size.
7.3.6 
Open Space Conveyance. Open space and such other facilities as may be held in common shall be conveyed to one of the following, as determined by the Planning Board, subject to the following guidelines. In general, valuable natural resource land such as wetlands not suitable for any public use or suitable for extensive agricultural or public recreational use should be conveyed to the Town, or a trust, or nonprofit organization; whereas land that will be principally used by the residents of the cluster development should be conveyed to a homeowners' association.
1. 
To a corporation or trust comprising a homeowners' association whose membership includes the owners of all lots or units contained in the tract. The developer shall include in the deed to owners of individual lots beneficial rights in said open space and shall grant a conservation restriction to the Town of Ashland over such land pursuant to G.L. c. 184, ss. 31 through 33, to ensure that such land is kept in an open or natural state and is not built upon for residential use or developed for accessory uses such as parking, streets or driveways. This restriction shall be enforceable by the Town through its Conservation Commission in any proceeding authorized by G.L. c. 184, s. 33. In addition, the developer shall be responsible for the maintenance of the common land and any other facilities to be held in common until such time as the homeowners' association is capable of assuming said responsibility.
2. 
In order to ensure that the association will properly maintain the land deeded to it under this section, the developer shall cause to be recorded at the Middlesex County Registry of Deeds a Declaration of Covenants and Restrictions that shall, at a minimum, provide for the following:
a. 
Mandatory membership in an established homeowners' association as a requirement for ownership of any lot in the tract.
b. 
Provision for maintenance assessments of all lots in order to ensure that the open land is maintained in a condition suitable for uses approved by the homeowners' association. Failure to pay such assessment shall create a lien on the property assessed, enforceable by either the homeowners' association or the owner of any lot.
c. 
Provisions, which, so far as possible under the existing law, will ensure that the restrictions placed on the use of the open land will not terminate by operation of law or, that in the case of termination, that mandatory renewal of all restrictions shall occur automatically.
3. 
To the Town for a park or open space use, subject to the approval of the Board of Selectmen, with a deed restriction ensuring that it is maintained as open space.
4. 
To a trust or nonprofit organization for natural resources land or open land not suitable for public use. In the case of land that is to be maintained as active agricultural land, the land must be conveyed to a trust or nonprofit organization whose primary purpose is the preservation of farmland.
5. 
Subject to the above, the open space may be used for agricultural, conservation or recreational purposes including golf courses, riding trails, tennis courts, gardens, swimming pools and temporary structures. The Planning Board may permit open land of a homeowners' association to be used for individual septic systems or for communal septic systems if it and the Board of Health are convinced that proper legal safeguards exist for proper management of an association-owned system.
6. 
Prior to development or sale of any lot within a cluster development, all lots to be so developed shall be shown on a plan recorded in the Registry of Deeds or registered with the Land Court, and a covenant or other instrument satisfactory to the Planning Board shall have been executed assuring the open space or recreational use of lands so designated in the application.
7. 
The cluster development shall be so designed that internal access, drainage, utilities and grading shall be functionally equivalent to that required for conventional lots in the Planning Board's adopted Subdivision Regulations or other rules and regulations, if applicable.
7.3.7 
Development Incentive for Affordable Housing.
1. 
An applicant may apply to increase the number of dwelling units up to a maximum of twenty-five percent (25%) of the units otherwise permitted on the tract under this section, provided that a minimum of ten percent (10%) of all units in the tract are affordable. In all cases affordable units shall be mingled with market-rate housing units.
2. 
The applicant for the development incentive shall document the affordable units' sales prices and how that affordability will be guaranteed over time. For the purposes of this section, the affordability criteria and standards for affordability guarantees of the Ashland Affordable Housing Committee shall be used. In the absence of such criteria, the criteria and standards of the Massachusetts Home Ownership Program shall be used. In cases involving the sale of units to the Ashland Housing Authority, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Communities and Development's standards and regulations governing such sales shall apply.
3. 
The Planning Board shall have the discretion to allow the use of attached dwelling units in a project developed under this section. No more than two (2) dwelling units per structure shall be allowed. Attached dwelling units shall be allowed upon meeting the following conditions:
a. 
Attached units shall not visually detract from the surrounding neighborhood.
b. 
Attached units will not result in an inappropriate density for the site.
c. 
Attached units will result in a greater amount and more beneficial use of open space.
4. 
The Planning Board may require as a condition of this section that, in lieu of all or some of the affordable units being provided within the development, the developer shall:
a. 
Provide all or some of the required affordable units on a site different from the development, and provided that in all cases it is reasonably mixed with market-rate housing; or
b. 
Provide all or some of the required affordable housing through an alternative means other than those already listed in this subsection.
5. 
In the case of a development of five (5) or fewer dwelling units or a development sponsored and operated by a nonprofit or charitable organization, the Planning Board may, at its discretion, modify the requirements of this section to avoid economic hardships.
7.3.8 
Further Requirements.
1. 
Only residential, agricultural, recreational or conservation uses shall be permitted within a cluster development.
2. 
Subsequent to definitive plan endorsement, the Planning Board may permit relocation of lot lines within the cluster development. However, any change in overall density, street layout or open space layout will require further public hearings.
3. 
All streets within the development shall conform to current Planning Board Subdivision Regulations' construction standards and shall provide access in and to the project, as required by said regulations.
7.4 
ASSISTED ELDERLY FACILITIES
7.4.1 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to:
1. 
promote the availability of elderly assisted living services in the Town of Ashland;
2. 
provide for the elderly and/or adult disabled persons; and
3. 
encourage residential settings that promote the dignity, individuality, privacy and decision making ability of such persons. Residential units providing such services shall not be considered to be multifamily or apartment units.
7.4.2 
Administration. Elderly Assisted Living Residences shall be permitted in the RA, RB, CH, CD and in the Mixed Use Special District. An Elderly Assisted Living Residence shall be authorized by special permit from the Planning Board, hereunder, if application is in compliance with the following provisions:
1. 
the proposed use will not produce adverse effects on the use or development of the neighboring area because of noise, traffic and type of physical activity;
2. 
the site has reasonable access to transportation, medical services, shopping areas, recreational and other community services frequently desired by the elderly;
3. 
the site is reasonably protected from excessive noise, air pollution and other harmful physical influences;
4. 
the proposed use shall be served by municipal water and sewer services unless the Planning Board, with advice from the Ashland Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works, deems that alternative on-site services shall meet the long term needs of such proposed use and the Town of Ashland;
5. 
the requirements of Section 9.4, site plan review, shall be in force.
6. 
the site, when utilized for the purposes of this Section and combined with any other use or uses allowed in the underlying zoning district, is of sufficient size, shape, topography and location as determined by the Planning Board to be capable of accommodating such multiple uses.
7.4.3 
Types of Residences.
1. 
Congregate Living Residences (CONR). An elderly assisted living residence that provides, in accordance with individualized service plans, a non-institutional, shared residential environment, that integrates shelter and service needs of qualified residents and residential partners. Each resident or residential partnership shall live independently. Residents are ordinarily ambulatory, without need of medical attention or supervision as would be provided by nursing care facilities. Within a CONR, each resident or residential partnership shall be provided a private bedroom and bathroom, a minimal kitchen facility, and shall share living rooms/lounges, common use kitchens and dining facilities customarily provided for other CONR residents.
2. 
Continuing Care Residential Community (CCRC). A combination of elderly assisted living residences developed in a campus-like residential grouping that provides accommodations/care by provision of Independent Living Residences (ILRS) and Congregate Living Residences (CONRs).
3. 
Independent Living Residence (ILR). An elderly assisted living residence that provides separate residential accommodations. Such ILR shall be single unit detached or attached housing or apartments providing full living accommodations. Residents and/or resident partners, with prior arrangement, shall be offered participation in sharing use of other on-site ancillary services including, but not limited to, personal care services, recreational facilities and common dining facilities.
7.4.4 
Dimensional Requirements. The following requirements shall be met:
1. 
Minimum lot area and minimum frontage shall coincide with that of the zoning district in addition to satisfying the special requirements set forth in this Section.
2. 
Setbacks. Front and rear yards shall be fifty (50) feet minimum. Minimum side yard setbacks from abutting residential use properties shall be fifty (50) feet for proposed buildings meeting maximum height requirements of five (5) stories, subject to compliance with the State Building Code.
[Amended 5-6-2009 ATM, Art. 27]
3. 
Building Considerations. Lot coverage (density) - twenty-five (25) % maximum. Floor area ratio - 0.5 maximum. Building height - the underlying zoning district will dictate allowed building height except in the CH, CD, and in the Mixed Used Special District where buildings having a primary use as specified in this section can have a height up to the greater of five (5) stories or the applicable height regulation, subject to compliance with the State Building Code if deemed by the Planning Board to be consistent with the character of the surrounding neighborhood in terms of scale and architecture and/or to promote minimization of long corridors in maintaining the appearance of residential rather than institutional use.
[Amended 5-6-2009 ATM, Art. 27]
4. 
Distance between proposed service buildings - twenty (20) feet minimum.
5. 
Buffering/Screening - Within a distance of thirty (30) feet, minimum, of side and rear yard boundaries and ten (10) feet of a front yard boundary, in place landscape greenery or other screening method(s) existing at time of development and which can serve to obstruct the view of adjacent land use properties from one another, shall remain undisturbed, except for underbrush clearing and general maintenance. If such existing buffering/screening is deemed insufficient it shall be supplemented, as determined by the Planning Board. Remaining non-buffered yard areas shall stay unoccupied, except to support limited parking needs, recreational ancillary use, and landscaped to provide for pedestrian/ handicapped and emergency vehicle access.
7.4.5 
Parking Requirements. The following off-street parking requirements shall be in force:
1. 
Congregate Living Residences, and, as applicable, Independent Living Residences;
a. 
one-half (0.5) off-street resident/visitor parking spaces for each bed or bedroom unit, minimum.
b. 
off-street loading area - one (1) space for each thirty thousand (30,000) square feet of gross floor area, or a fraction thereof. No off-street parking area shall be considered as an off-street loading area.
c. 
off-street employee (staff) parking space needs shall be determined by the total proposed employee count divided by the number of work shifts/periods plus eight (8) spaces. The resulting number shall be increased by the number of facility vehicles required to serve the facility and resident needs. Such total parking space needs shall be segregated from residential and visitor parking and so designated by signs.
d. 
Development incentive - Notwithstanding the provision stated at subsection c., above, as an alternative thereto, an applicant for a development incentive to allow building height to exceed thirty (30) feet maximum shall include provisions to provide ground level and/or underground level parking facilities contained within each building foundation. Total building height may exceed allowable maximum of the equivalent that such contained parking is provided [number of stories, not exceeding two [2]). The total effect shall result in additional open space yard areas abutting each such building; utilized to support additional resident recreational ancillary use. The floor area of any underground parking facility need not be included to determine compliance with floor area ratio requirements.
2. 
Independent Living Residences.
a. 
two (2) resident off-street parking spaces for each residential unit.
b. 
one-quarter (0.25) visitor off-street parking space for each residential unit.
3. 
On-site ancillary use/service facilities (remote from other resident uses).
a. 
Retail/Office - one (1) off-street parking space per one hundred-eighty (180) square feet of leasable floor space.
b. 
Restaurant-type/snack bar (food service) - one (1) off street parking space per four (4) seats.
4. 
Reduction of parking space requirements may be authorized by the Planning Board based upon presentation of substantiated statistical data.
7.4.6 
Ancillary Uses. Elderly assisted living residence providers may furnish ancillary uses within a residential building or congregated in a separate structure, or both as approved by the Planning Board. Any commercial sales/service enterprises, as may be desirable for the convenience of those served, may include, but are not limited to barbers/hairdressers, retail sales, restaurants, snack bars, gift shops, laundry services, banking, financial services, businesses and professional offices and non-resident elderly day care, subject to the following conditions:
1. 
Ancillary uses shall be made available for use and convenience of the residents, guests and staff of an elderly assisted living unit residence or combination of residences. Any use provided for off-site patrons shall maintain traffic patterns and sufficient off-street parking, segregated from areas and access which are provided for resident, visitor and staff use; and shall not impact the functioning of the principal use, as determined by the Planning Board.
2. 
Ancillary uses shall not exceed twenty (20%) percent of the gross floor area allocated for residential use unless approved by the Planning Board.
3. 
Capacity of any restaurant/snack bar shall not exceed sixty (60) seats unless approved by the Planning Board.
4. 
Ancillary uses located within a residential structure shall have no exterior advertising display except for signs approved by the Planning Board, with advice from the Inspector of Buildings.
5. 
No on-site public retail or professional services shall be permitted as primary or ancillary uses within a RA or RB zoning district.
7.4.7 
Decision. The Planning Board may impose additional conditions not inconsistent with this or other sections of the Zoning By-Law.
7.5 
MULTIFAMILY DWELLINGS
7.5.1 
Administration. The Board of Appeals may grant a special permit for the construction and occupancy of multifamily dwellings on any parcel in excess of five (5) contiguous acres in the RM District subject to the following regulations and conditions.
7.5.2 
Application. Applicants shall submit to the Board of Appeals five (5) copies of the following:
1. 
An application.
2. 
A site plan prepared by a registered architect, landscape architect and civil engineer, showing existing and proposed topography, proposed structures, drives, parking, landscaping and screening, utilities, drainage and reserved open space, if any.
3. 
A ground floor plan, sections and elevations of all proposed buildings.
4. 
Materials indicating the proposed number of dwelling units, distinguishing units by number of bedrooms and any special occupancies (elderly or handicapped); form of tenure and subsidies anticipated; rent or sales prices, including any commitments for price ceilings; methods of water supply and sewerage disposal; time schedule for construction of units and improvements; service improvements proposed at the developer's and those anticipated at the town's expense; and means, if any, of providing for design control.
7.5.3 
Impact Statement. An analysis of the consequences of the proposed development, shall be submitted, evaluating the following impacts at a level of detail appropriate to the number of units proposed:
1. 
Natural environment: groundwater and surface water quality, groundwater level, stream flows, erosion and siltation, vegetation removal (especially unusual species and mature trees) and wildlife habitats.
2. 
Public services: traffic safety and congestion, need for water or sewer system improvements, need for additional public recreation facilities and need for additional school facilities.
3. 
Social environment: rate of town population growth and range of available housing choice.
4. 
Visual environment: visibility of buildings and parking and visual consistency with existing development in the area.
5. 
In the case of proposals for thirty (30) or more dwelling units, a site analysis shall also be submitted, consisting of a series of site analysis drawings at the same scale as the site plan, each on a separate sheet, indicating analysis of hydrologic systems, vegetative cover, slope and land form, soils and geology and such other characteristics as the applicant deems advisable.
7.5.4 
Procedure. Forthwith upon receipt of the above materials, the Board of Appeals shall deliver one (1) set to the Chairman or designated alternate of the Planning Board, Conservation Commission and Board of Health for their review and recommendation, which shall be considered in the Board of Appeal's decision. No decision on a special permit for multifamily dwellings shall be made within thirty-five (35) days of the application without receipt of a report from the Planning Board, Board of Health and Conservation Commission.
7.5.5 
Security. Before issuance of a special permit, a performance bond in the amount determined by the Board of Appeals shall have been posted in the name of the town assuring construction of access, utilities and drainage and cleanup following such construction in compliance with this chapter.
1. 
Work covered under the above performance bond shall be done under notification and inspection rules as established in the Ashland Planning Board's Subdivision Regulations, and the bond shall not be released until all work has been inspected and found to comply with all applicable laws and requirements.
7.5.6 
Site Requirements.
1. 
The site shall be so designed that accessways, utilities and drainage serving each structure meet the standards of the Ashland Planning Board's Subdivision Regulations; visibility of parking areas for eight (8) or more cars is minimized from public ways or from adjacent premises: lighting of parking areas avoids glare on adjoining premises; major topographic changes and removal of existing trees is avoided; and effective use is made of topography, landscaping and building placement to protect, to the degree feasible, the character of the environs.
2. 
Multifamily dwellings shall be so designed and located that egress does not create a hazard on any street or create substantial increase in traffic on any street other than a principal street.
3. 
Multifamily dwellings shall be allowed only if connected to a municipal sewer system.
7.5.7 
Dimensional Requirements. Required lot area, frontage, setback and yards shall be subject to the following requirements:
1. 
Lot area shall equal not less than five thousand (5,000) square feet per dwelling unit, plus two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet per bedroom.
2. 
Lot frontage shall equal at least three hundred (300) feet or one hundred fifty (150) feet if abutting other premises developed for multifamily use.
3. 
Front, side and rear yards shall be not less than fifty (50) feet, except that no multifamily structure or parking area serving a multifamily structure shall be less than three hundred (300) feet from any existing public street or less than two hundred (200) feet from any other premises not zoned RM.
4. 
Within the three-hundred-foot street setback, there shall be no development, except for access drives essentially perpendicular to the street, and no removal of trees having trunk diameter of six (6) inches or greater, except as essential for access and safe visibility for egressing vehicles and to remove unhealthy trees.
5. 
Required yards abutting a public way and required side and rear yards shall be maintained or landscaped so as to provide a dense planting of trees and shrubs with an effective height of at least six (6) feet.
6. 
Building height shall not exceed twenty-eight (28) feet. No building shall exceed two (2) stories in height.
7.5.8 
Building Design.
1. 
Each building entrance shall give access to no more than two (2) dwelling units.
2. 
No floor except an unoccupied basement shall be below grade at its entire perimeter.
3. 
No structure shall contain more than twelve (12) dwelling units.
7.5.9 
Decision. In considering approval of a special permit, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall seek an advisory from the Planning Board or its designated agent on the advisability of reducing lot area to seventy-five percent (75%) of that otherwise required herein for any development sponsored by a public agency, nonprofit, limited dividend organization or cooperative in which forty percent (40%) or more of the dwelling units are to be subsidized for people of low or moderate income under programs regulated and financially assisted by agencies of the government of the United States or of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under programs for that purpose. The special permit shall impose appropriate safeguards to ensure continued use of forty percent (40%) or more of the family units for subsidized housing. No special permit shall be issued prior to receipt of such advisory, unless forty-five (45) days have elapsed from the date of submission of the request by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Failure to advise within the time limit shall be deemed a favorable recommendation.
7.5.10 
 Phasing. Upon authorization of multifamily use by the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board shall establish an annual limit for the number of dwelling units to be authorized, taking into consideration the town-wide building rate experienced over the previous two (2) years and anticipated over the next half dozen years, the needs which the housing will serve, the ability of the town to provide services in a timely manner and the housing cost and feasibility consequences of the limitation.
7.6 
ACCESSORY FAMILY DWELLING UNIT
7.6.1 
Purpose. The intent and the purpose of this section is to permit accessory dwelling units in single-family residential districts subject to the standards and procedures here and after set forth. It is also the intent to assure that the single-family character of the neighborhood will be maintained and that the accessory unit remains subordinate to the principal living quarters.
7.6.2 
Special Permit. A special permit may be granted for the conversion of, by attachment via common wall or containment within, an existing single-family dwelling only or new construction of the same only to accommodate an additional family living unit in districts where allowed in the Table of Use Regulations, provided that there is compliance with all provisions of this section.
7.6.3 
Use Limitations. Such additional family living unit shall be limited to a maximum of four (4) persons, so conditioned, provided, further, that the owner of record is an occupier of the structure which includes the accessory family dwelling unit. No boarders or lodgers shall be allowed in either dwelling unit. There shall be no other living unit on the lot which such accessory unit is to be located.
7.6.4 
Disposal of Sewage. Adequate provision shall be made for the disposal of sewage, waste and drainage generated by the occupancy of such accessory unit in accordance with the requirements of the Board of Health. Such determination shall be made prior to the application for a special permit and included with such application.
7.6.5 
Ingress; Egress; and Access. Adequate provision, as determined by the Building Inspector, shall be provided for ingress and egress to the outside of each unit separately. To the extent possible, exterior passageways and accessways shall not detract from the single-family appearance of the dwelling. An interior doorway shall be provided between each living unit as a means of access for purposes of supervision and emergency response. All stairways to additional stories shall be enclosed within the exterior walls of the structure.
7.6.6 
Required Finding. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall determine that such conversion, new construction and occupancy of each unit shall meet the requirements of this section.
7.6.7 
Area Limitation. Such accessory unit shall be limited to a maximum of twenty-five percent (25%) in floor area of the principal residence or eight hundred (800) square feet, whichever is greater, exclusive of any garage, shed or similar structure or other accessory use attached to the dwelling.
7.6.8 
Plans. Floor plans of the accessory unit and principal residence, with a certified site plan showing the dwelling on the lot and its relationship to the neighborhood within two hundred (200) feet of the extremities of the lot, shall be filed with the Building Inspector, and in addition, five (5) copies of the same shall be submitted with the application for a special permit.
7.6.9 
Parking. Provisions for off-street parking for dwellers of both units shall be provided in such a fashion as is consistent with the character of the neighborhood, as determined by the Building Inspector, after consultation with the Town Planner.
7.6.10 
 Occupancy Permit. No occupancy of the additional family dwelling unit shall take place without an occupancy permit issued by the Building Inspector. The initial occupancy permit shall remain in force for a period of two (2) years from the date of issue, provided that there is continued ownership. Thereafter, succeeding permits may be issued by the Building Inspector for each succeeding two-year period, provided that the structure and use continue to comply with the relevant provisions of the State Building Code, this Section and the special permit. Occupancy permits shall not be transferable upon new ownership or change in occupancy. An affidavit shall be presented to the Building Inspector attesting the fact that the circumstance for which such conditional use was granted will be complied with. Upon expiration of conditional use, the accessory kitchen unit shall be dismantled. The owner of record is responsible for initiating each application to the Building Inspector. Appropriate fees, as established and recorded, may be assessed for such renewal, review, investigation and processing.
7.7 
SPECIAL PROVISIONS FOR HIGHWAY COMMERCIAL (CH) DISTRICT. In order to encourage mixed use facility within Commercial Districts on arterial roadways, the following special provisions shall apply in the Highway Commercial (CH) District: 1) mixed residential and commercial uses in the same buildings, subject to a Special Permit issued by the Planning Board and Site Plan Review as set forth in Section 9.4. Number of dwelling units permitted shall not exceed a maximum of five (5) units per acre.

SECTION 8.0 OVERLAY AND SPECIAL DISTRICT REGULATIONS [1]

8.1 
FLOODPLAIN OVERLAY DISTRICT (FPOD)
8.1.1 
Purpose. The purpose of the Floodplain Overlay District (FPOD) is to protect the public health, safety and general welfare; to protect human life and property from the hazards of periodic flooding; to preserve the natural flood control characteristics and the flood storage capacity of the floodplain; and to preserve and maintain the groundwater table and water recharge areas within the floodplain.
8.1.2 
District Delineation. The Floodplain District is herein established as an overlay district. The Floodplain Overlay District (FPOD) includes all special flood hazard areas within the Town of Ashland designated as Zones A and AE on the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for the administration of the National Flood Insurance Program. The map panels of the Middlesex County FIRM that are wholly or partially within the Town of Ashland are panel numbers 25017C0494F, 25017C0511F, 25017C0512F, 25017C0513F, 25017C0514F, 25017C0518F, 25017C0626F, 25017C0627F and 25017C0631F dated July 7, 2014. The exact boundaries of the District may be defined by the 100-year base flood elevations shown on the FIRM and further defined by the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Study (FIS) report dated July 7, 2014. The FIRM and FIS report are incorporated herein by reference and are on file at the Department of Community Development and Health.
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 19; 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 22]
1. 
The floodway boundaries within the Town Ashland are delineated on the Middlesex County Flood Insurance Rate Maps and further defined by the Floodway Data Tables contained in the Flood Insurance Study, both dated July 7, 2014.
2. 
Base Flood Elevation and Floodway Data: a) Floodway Data. In Zones A and AE, along watercourses that have not had a regulatory floodway designated, the best available Federal, State, local, or other floodway data shall be used to prohibit encroachments in floodways which would result in any increase in flood levels within the community during the occurrence of the base flood discharge; b) Base Flood Elevation Data. Base flood elevation data is required for subdivision proposals or other developments greater than 50 lots or 5 acres, whichever is the lesser, within unnumbered A zones.
3. 
Notification of Watercourse Alteration. In a ravine situation, the Departments of Public Works and Community Development and Health shall notify adjacent communities, the NFIP Coordinator for Massachusetts, and the NFIP Program Specialist, of any alteration or relocation of a watercourse.
8.1.3 
Use Regulations. The FPOD is established as an overlay district to all other districts. All development, including structural and nonstructural activities, whether permitted as a right or by special permit, must be in compliance with G.L. c. 131, s. 40, and with the requirements of the Massachusetts State Building Code pertaining to construction in the floodplains The following uses of low flood damage potential and causing no obstructions to flood flows shall be permitted, provided that they do not require structures, fill or storage of materials or equipment:
1. 
Agricultural uses, such as farming, grazing, truck farming, horticulture, and the like.
2. 
Forestry and nursery uses.
3. 
Outdoor recreational uses, including fishing, boating, play areas, and the like.
4. 
Conservation of water, plants and wildlife.
5. 
Wildlife management areas and foot, bicycle and/or horse paths.
6. 
Temporary nonresidential structures used in connection with fishing, growing, harvesting, storage or sale of crops raised on the premises.
7. 
Buildings lawfully existing prior to the adoption of these provisions.
8.1.4 
Special Permit. No structure or building shall be erected, constructed, substantially improved, reconstructed or otherwise created or moved and no earth or other materials dumped, filled, excavated or transferred unless a special permit is granted by the Planning Board. Said Board may issue a special permit hereunder (subject to other provisions of this chapter) if the application is compliant with the following provisions:
1. 
The proposed use shall comply in all respects to the provisions of the underlying district in which the land is located.
2. 
Within ten (10) days of the receipt of the application, the Board shall transmit one (1) copy of the development plan to the Conservation Commission, Board of Health and Building Inspector. Final action shall not be taken until reports have been received from the above Boards or until thirty-five (35) days have elapsed.
3. 
All encroachments, including fill, new construction and substantial improvements to existing structures, and other development are prohibited in the floodway unless certification by a registered professional engineer is provided by the applicant demonstrating that such encroachment shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the one-hundred-year flood.
4. 
The Board may specify such additional requirement and conditions as it finds necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public and the occupants of the proposed use.
5. 
All subdivision proposals must be designed to assure that:
[Added 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 22]
a. 
Such proposals minimize flood damage;
b. 
All public utilities and facilities are located and constructed to minimize or eliminate flood damage; and
c. 
Adequate drainage is provided to reduce exposure to flood hazards.
8.2 
GROUNDWATER PROTECTION OVERLAY DISTRICT (GPOD)
8.2.1 
Purpose. The purpose of the Groundwater Protection Overlay District bylaw is to:
1. 
Promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the community by ensuring an adequate quality and quantity of drinking water for the residents, institutions, and businesses of the Town of Ashland;
2. 
Preserve and protect existing and potential sources of drinking water supplies;
3. 
Protect, preserve and maintain the existing and potential groundwater recharge areas within the Town of Ashland;
4. 
Conserve the natural resources of the Town of Ashland;
5. 
Reduce erosion of topsoil and the subsequent sedimentation of surface water bodies; and,
6. 
Prevent temporary and permanent contamination of the environment.
8.2.2 
Overlay District. The Groundwater Protection Overlay District is an overlay district superimposed on the zoning districts. This overlay district shall apply to all new construction, reconstruction, or expansion of existing buildings and new or expanded uses. Applicable activities or uses in a portion of one of the underlying zoning districts which fall within the Groundwater Protection Overlay District must additionally comply with the requirements of this district. Uses that are prohibited in the underlying zoning districts shall not be permitted in the Groundwater Protection Overlay District.
8.2.3 
Definitions. Appropriate definitions of terms used in this section are found in Section 10.
8.2.4 
Establishment and Delineation. For the purposes of this district, there are hereby established within the Town certain groundwater protection areas, consisting of aquifers or recharge areas which are delineated on a map. This map is at a scale of one (1) inch to one thousand (1,000) feet and is entitled "Groundwater Protection District," Town of Ashland, dated September 22, 1994. This map is hereby made a part of the Ashland Code and is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
8.2.5 
District Boundary Disputes. If the location of the district boundary in relation to a particular parcel is in doubt, resolution of boundary disputes shall be through a special permit application to the special permit granting authority (SPGA). Any application for a special permit for this purpose shall be accompanied by adequate documentation. The burden of proof shall be upon the owner(s) of the land in question to show where the bounds should properly be located. However, the Planning Board retains its authority to determine property location with regard to said Groundwater Protection Overlay District. At the request of the owner(s), the Town may engage a professional engineer (civil or sanitary), hydrologist, geologist, or soil scientist to determine more accurately the boundaries of the district with respect to individual parcels of land, and may charge the owner(s) for all or part of the cost of the investigation.
8.2.6 
Permitted Uses. Whenever the requirements of this section differ from those prescribed in other laws or codes, the stricter requirements designated to protect water supplies will take precedence. In the Groundwater Protection Overlay District the following regulations shall apply:
1. 
Conservation of soil, water, plants, and wildlife;
2. 
Outdoor recreation, nature study, boating, fishing, and hunting where otherwise legally permitted;
3. 
Foot, bicycle and/or horse paths, and bridges;
4. 
Normal operation and maintenance of existing water bodies and dams, splash boards, and other water control, supply and conservation devices;
5. 
Maintenance, repair, and enlargement of any existing structure, subject to Section 8.2.7 (prohibited uses) and Section 8.2.8 (special permitted uses) hereunder;
6. 
Farming, gardening, nursery, conservation, forestry, harvesting, and grazing, subject to Section 8.1.7 (prohibited uses) and Section 8.2.8 (special permitted uses) hereunder;
7. 
Necessary public utilities and facilities designed so as to prevent contamination of surface water and groundwater;
8. 
Residential development, subject to Section 8.2.7 (prohibited uses) and Section 8.2.8 (special permitted uses) hereunder; and
9. 
Construction, maintenance, repair, and enlargement of drinking water supply related facilities such as, but not limited to, wells, pipelines, aqueducts, and tunnels. Underground storage tanks related to these activities are not categorically permitted.
8.2.7 
Prohibited Uses. The following uses are prohibited:
1. 
The disposal of leachable wastes, except residential subsurface waste disposal systems and normal agricultural operations;
2. 
Industrial and commercial uses which discharge process wastewater on-site;
3. 
Use of chemicals for deicing unless deemed necessary for public safety;
4. 
Storage of hazardous materials, as defined in G.L. Chapter 21E, unless in a free standing container within a building or above ground with secondary containment adequate to contain a spill the size of the container's total storage capacity;
5. 
Landfills and open dumps as defined in 310 CMR 19.006;
6. 
Automobile graveyards and junkyards, as defined in G.L. Chapter 140B, section 1;
7. 
Stockpiling and disposal of snow and ice containing deicing chemicals if brought in from outside the district;
8. 
Storage of deicing chemicals unless such storage, including the loading areas, is within a structure designed to prevent the generation and escape of contaminated runoff or leachate;
9. 
Treatment works that are subject to 314 CMR 5.00 including privately owned sewage treatment facilities, except the following:
a. 
The replacement or repair of an existing treatment works that will not result in a design capacity greater than the design capacity of the existing treatment works;
b. 
The replacement of existing subsurface disposal system(s) with wastewater treatment works that will not result in a design capacity greater than the design capacity of the existing system(s);
c. 
Treatment works approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection designed for the treatment of contaminated groundwater;
d. 
Sewage treatment facilities in those areas with existing water quality problems when it has been demonstrated to the Department of Environmental Protection's and the Special Permit Granting Authority's satisfaction both that these problems are attributable to current septic problems and that there will be a net improvement in water quality.
10. 
Facilities that generate, treat, store, or dispose of hazardous waste subject to G.L. Chapter 21C and 310 CMR 30.000, except the following:
a. 
Very small quantity generators as defined under 310 CMR 30.000;
b. 
Household hazardous waste centers and events under 310 CMR 30.390;
c. 
Waste oil retention facilities required by G.L. Chapter 21, section 52A;
d. 
Water remediation treatment works approved by the DEP for the treatment of contaminated ground or surface waters;
11. 
Storage of commercial fertilizers, as defined in G.L. Chapter 128, section 64, unless such storage is within a structure designated to prevent the generation and escape of contaminated runoff or leachate;
12. 
Storage of animal manure unless covered or contained in accordance with the specifications of the U.S. Soil Conservation Service;
13. 
Landfilling of sludge or seepage as defined in 310 CMR 32.05;
14. 
Individual sewage disposal systems that are designed in accordance with 310 CMR 15.00 to receive more than 110 gallons of sewage per quarter acre under one ownership per day, or 440 gallons of sewage on any one acre under one ownership per day, whichever is greater, provided that:
a. 
The replacement or repair of a system, which will not result in an increase in design capacity over the original design capacity of 310 CMR 15.00, whichever is greater, shall be exempted;
b. 
In cluster subdivisions the total sewage flow allowed shall be calculated based on the number of percable lots in the entire parcel;
15. 
Storage of liquid petroleum products, except the following:
a. 
Normal household use, outdoor maintenance, and heating of a structure;
b. 
Waste oil retention facilities required by statute, rule, or regulation;
c. 
Emergency generators required by statute, rule, or regulation;
d. 
Treatment works approved under 314 CMR 5.00 for treatment of ground or surface waters; provided that such storage, listed in (9) a. through d. above, is in freestanding containers within buildings or above ground with secondary containment adequate to contain a spill the size of the container's total storage capacity;
16. 
Storage of sludge and septage, unless such storage is in compliance with 310 CMR 32.30 and 310 CMR 32.31;
17. 
Earth removal, consisting of the removal of soil, loam, sand, gravel, or any other earth material (including mining activities) to within six (6) feet of historical high groundwater as determined from monitoring wells and historical water table fluctuation data complied by the U.S. Geological Survey, except excavations for building foundations, roads or utility works;
18. 
The use of septic system cleaners which contain toxic or hazardous chemicals.
8.2.8 
Uses and Activities Requiring a Special Permit. The following uses and activities are permitted only upon the issuance of a special permit by the SPGA under such conditions as it may require:
1. 
Enlargement or alteration of existing uses that do not conform to the Groundwater Protection District;
2. 
The application of fertilizers for non-domestic or nonagricultural uses. Such applications shall be made in a manner so as to minimize adverse impacts on ground water due to nutrient transport, deposition, and sedimentation;
3. 
Those activities that involve the handling of toxic or hazardous materials in quantities greater than those associated with normal household use, permitted in the underlying zoning [except as prohibited above]. Such activities shall require a special permit to prevent contamination of groundwater;
4. 
The construction of dams or other water control devices, ponds, pools or other changes in water bodies or courses, created for swimming, fishing, or other recreational uses, agricultural uses, or drainage improvements. Such activities shall not adversely affect water quality or quantity;
5. 
Any use that will render impervious more than 15% or 2,500 square feet of any lot, whichever is greater. A system for groundwater recharge must be provided which does not degrade groundwater quality. For nonresidential uses, recharge shall be by stormwater infiltration basins or similar system covered with natural vegetation, and dry wells shall be used only where other methods are infeasible. For all nonresidential uses, all such basins and wells shall be preceded by oil, grease, and sediment traps to facilitate removal of contamination. Any and all recharge areas shall be permanently maintained in full working order by the owner.
8.2.9 
Application Content. The applicant shall file five (5) copies of a site plan and attachments. The site plan shall be drawn at a proper scale as determined by the SPGA and be stamped by a professional engineer. All additional submittals shall be prepared by qualified professionals. The site plan and its attachments shall at a minimum include the following information where pertinent:
1. 
A complete list of chemicals, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, fuels, and other potentially hazardous materials to be used or stored on the premises in quantities greater than those associated with normal household use;
2. 
For those activities using or storing such hazardous materials, a hazardous materials management plan shall be prepared and filed with the Hazardous Materials Coordinator, Fire Chief, and Board of Health. The plan shall include:
a. 
Provisions to protect against the discharge of hazardous materials or wastes to the environment due to spillage, accidental damage, corrosion, leakage, or vandalism, including spill containment and cleanup procedures;
b. 
Provisions for indoor, secured storage of hazardous materials and wastes with impervious floor surfaces;
c. 
Evidence of compliance with the Regulations of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Management Act 310 CMR 30.00, including obtaining an EPA identification number from the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection.
3. 
Proposed down-gradient location(s) for groundwater monitoring well(s), should the SPGA deem the activity a potential groundwater threat.
8.2.10 
 Procedure for Issuance of Special Permit. The Special Permit Granting Authority (SPGA) under this bylaw shall be the Planning Board.
1. 
Such special permit shall be granted if the SPGA determines, in conjunction with the Board of Health, the Conservation Commission and Town Engineer/Department of Public Works that the intent of this bylaw, as well as its specific criteria, are met. The SPGA shall not grant a special permit under this section unless the petitioner's application materials include, in the SPGA's opinion, sufficiently detailed, definite, and credible information to support positive findings in relation to the standards given in this section. The SPGA shall document the basis for any departures from the recommendations of the other Ashland boards or agencies in its decision.
2. 
The SPGA may adopt regulations to govern design features of projects. Such regulations shall be consistent with subdivision regulations adopted by the Town.
3. 
Upon receipt of the special permit application, under MGL C 40A, section 9, the SPGA shall transmit one (1) copy to the Board of Health, the Conservation Commission and the Town Engineer/Department of Public Works for their written recommendations. Failure to respond in writing within twenty-one (21) days of receipt by the agency shall indicate approval or no desire to comment by said agency. The necessary number of copies of the application shall be furnished by the applicant.
4. 
The SPGA shall hold a hearing, in conformity with the provision of G.L. c. 40A, Section 9, within 65 days after the filing of the application. Notice of the public hearing shall be given by publication and posting and by first-class mailings to "parties of interest" as defined in G.L. c. 40A, Section 11. The decision of the SPGA and any extension, modification, or renewal thereof shall be filed with the SPGA and Ashland Town Clerk within 90 days following the closing of the public hearing. Failure of the SPGA to act within 90 days shall be deemed as a granting of the permit. However, no work shall commence until a certification is recorded as required by said Section 11.
5. 
Notwithstanding the foregoing, where a special permit is required hereunder in connection with the development of a Priority Development Site (PDS), an application therefor shall be submitted simultaneously with any other permit application(s) required by the Code of the Town of Ashland, including these Zoning By-laws, relating to the use or development of the PDS or the buildings and/or structures located thereon, and not otherwise exempted by G.L. c. 43D, and a decision thereon shall be rendered no later than one hundred eighty (180) days from said date of submittal. Review of an application made hereunder shall be combined with any other review(s) required of the Planning Board; where the Board of Appeals is responsible for said other review(s), all reviews shall occur at joint session(s) of the Planning Board and the Board of Appeals, when feasible.
[Added 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 17[2]]
[2]
Editor's Note: This article also provided for the renumbering of former Subsection 8.2.10.5 as Subsection 8.2.10.6.
6. 
The SPGA may grant the required special permit only upon finding that the proposed use meets the following standards, those specified herein, and any regulations or guidelines adopted by the SPGA. The proposed use must:
a. 
Be in harmony with the purpose and intent of this section and will promote the purposes of the Groundwater Protection District;
b. 
Be designed to avoid substantial disturbance of the soils, topography, drainage, vegetation, and other water-related natural characteristics of the site to be developed.
c. 
Not, during construction or thereafter, have an adverse environmental impact on any surface water, aquifer or recharge area;
d. 
In no way, during construction or thereafter, adversely affect the existing or potential quality or quantity of water that is available in the Groundwater Protection District; and,
e. 
Be consistent with the existing and probable future development of surrounding areas.
8.2.11 
 Permit Fee. A fee in the amount of twenty dollars ($20.) shall be collected by the Town Clerk at the time that an application for a Special Permit is submitted. In addition, the SPGA may impose a reasonable fee for the employment of outside consultants pursuant to the provisions of G.L. Chapter 44, Section 53G.
8.2.12 
 Permit Withdrawal. Any application for special permit may be withdrawn without prejudice by the applicant prior to the publication of the public hearing notice. Once the notice has been published, a withdrawal without prejudice may be permitted only with the approval of the SPGA.
8.2.13 
 Violations. Written notice of any violations of this Section shall be given by the Building Inspector/Zoning Enforcement Officer to the responsible person as soon as possible after detection of a violation or a continuing violation. Notice to the assessed owner of the property shall be deemed notice to the responsible person. Such notice shall specify the requirement or restriction violated and the nature of the violation, and may also identify the actions necessary to remove or remedy the violations and preventive measures required for avoiding future violations and a schedule of compliance. A copy of such notice shall be submitted to the Board of Health, Conservation Commission, and Town Engineer/Department of Public Works. The cost of containment, cleanup, or other action of compliance shall be borne by the owner and operator of the premises. For situations that require remedial action to prevent adverse impact to the water resources within the Groundwater Protection District, the Town of Ashland, the Building Inspector, the Board of Health or any of their agents may order the owner or the operator of the premises to remedy the violation. If said owner and/or operator does not comply with said order, the Town of Ashland, the Building Inspector, the Board of Health, or any of their agents, if authorized to enter upon such premises under the terms of the special permit or otherwise, may act to remedy the violation. The remediation cost shall be the responsibility of the owner and operator of the premises.
8.3 
[3] Photovoltaic Installations Overlay District (PIOD).
[Added 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 18; amended 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22]
8.3.1 
Purpose. The purpose of the Photovoltaic Installations Overlay District (PIOD) is to promote the creation of new Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations in appropriate locations within the Town of Ashland and to provide standards for the placement, design, construction, operation, monitoring, modification and removal of such installations that address public safety, minimize impacts on scenic, natural and historic resources and provide adequate financial assurance for the eventual decommissioning of such installations.
8.3.2 
Establishment and Applicability. The Photovoltaic Installations Overlay District (PIOD) is an overlay district superimposed over the underlying zoning district(s), as shown on the Zoning Map. The provisions of this Section 8.3 shall apply to the construction, operation and/or repair of Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations within the PIOD, and to physical modifications that materially alter the type, configuration or size of these installations or related equipment.
8.3.3 
As-of-Right Siting. As-of-Right Siting of Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations is permitted in the Photovoltaic Installations Overlay District (PIOD), except as noted below, subject to Site Plan Review by the Planning Board prior to construction, installation or modification thereof and upon compliance with the procedural and substantive requirements of this Section 8.3.
[Amended 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 26]
8.3.4 
Special Permit Required. In addition to the requirements set forth in section 8.3.3 above, for portions of the overlay district that lie within any residential zone, Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall require a special permit from the Planning Board in accordance with the criteria set forth in section 9.3.2.
[Added 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 26[4]]
[4]
Editor’s Note: Pursuant to this article, former Subsections 8.3.4 through 8.3.10 were renumbered as Subsections 8.3.5 through 8.3.11, respectively.
8.3.5 
General Requirements. The following requirements are common to all solar photovoltaic installations to be sited in designated locations.
8.3.5.1 
  Compliance with Laws, Bylaws and Regulations. The construction and operation of all Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall be consistent with all applicable local, state and federal requirements, including but not limited to all applicable safety, construction, electrical and communications requirements. All buildings and fixtures forming part of a Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation shall be constructed in accordance with the State Building Code.
8.3.5.2 
  Building Permit and Building Inspection. No Large-scale, Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation shall be constructed, installed or modified as provided in this Section 8.3 without first obtaining a building permit.
8.3.5.3 
  Fees. The application for a building permit for a Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation must be accompanied by the fee required for a building permit, in addition to any fees established by the Planning Board in connection with the required application for Site Plan Review.
8.3.6 
Site Plan Review. Site Plan Review shall be conducted by the Planning Board in accordance with Section 9.4 of this Zoning Bylaw and as follows:
8.3.6.1 
  General. All plans and maps shall be prepared, stamped and signed by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
8.3.6.2 
  Required Documents. Not in lieu of but in addition to the requirements under Section 9.4 of this Zoning Bylaw, a project proponent shall provide the following documents to the Planning Board:
(a) 
A site plan showing:
i. 
Property lines and physical features, including roads, for the project site;
ii. 
Proposed changes to the landscape of the site, grading, vegetation clearing and planting, exterior lighting, screening vegetation or structures;
iii. 
Blueprints or drawings of the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation signed by a Professional Engineer licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts showing the proposed layout of the system and any potential shading from nearby structures;
iv. 
One or three line electrical diagram detailing the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation, associated components and electrical interconnection methods, with all National Electrical Code compliant disconnects and overcurrent devices;
v. 
Documentation of the major system components to be used, including the PV panels, mounting system and inverter;
vi. 
Name, address and contact information for the proposed system installer;
vii. 
Name, address, phone number and signature of the project proponent, as well as all co-proponents or property owners, if any;
viii. 
The name, contact information and signature of any agent(s) representing the project proponent; and
(b) 
Documentation of actual or prospective access and control of the project site, see Section 8.3.6.3, below;
(c) 
An operation and maintenance plan, see Section 8.3.6.4, below;
(d) 
Zoning district designation for the parcel(s) of land comprising the project site, via submission of a copy of the Town's Zoning Map with the parcel(s) identified thereon;
(e) 
Proof of liability insurance; and
(f) 
Description of financial surety that satisfies Section 8.3.11.3, below.
The Planning Board may waive documentary requirements as it deems appropriate.
8.3.6.3 
   Site Control. The project proponent shall submit documentation of actual or prospective access and control of the project site sufficient to allow for construction and operation of the proposed Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation.
8.3.6.4 
   Operation and Maintenance Plan. The project proponent shall submit a plan for the operation and maintenance of the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation, which shall include measures for maintaining safe access to the installation, stormwater controls and general procedures for operational maintenance of the installation.
8.3.6.5 
   Utility Notification. Evidence shall be provided by the project proponent that the utility company operating the electrical grid where the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation is to be located has been informed of the installation owner or operator's intent to install an interconnected customer-owned generator. Off-grid systems shall be exempt from said requirement.
8.3.7 
Dimensional and Density Requirements.
1. 
Setbacks. For Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations, front, side and rear setbacks shall be as follows:
[Amended 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 26]
a. 
Front yard: the front yard depth shall be at least 10 feet; provided, however, that where the lot abuts or lies within a residential district, the front yard shall not be less than 50 feet.
b. 
Side yard: each side yard shall have a depth at least 15 feet; provided, however, that where the lot abuts or lies within a residential district, the side yard shall not be less than 50 feet.
c. 
Rear yard: the rear yard depth shall be at least 25 feet; provided, however, that where the lot abuts or lies within a residential district, the rear yard shall not be less than 50 feet.
2. 
Appurtenant Structures. All appurtenant structures to Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall be subject to reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements. All such appurtenant structures, including but not limited to equipment shelters, storage facilities, transformers and substations, shall be architecturally compatible with each other. Whenever reasonable, structures should be shaded from view by vegetation and/or joined or clustered to avoid adverse visual impacts.
8.3.8 
Design Standards.
1. 
Lighting. Lighting of Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall be consistent with local, state and federal law. Lighting of other parts of the installation, such as appurtenant structures, shall be limited to that required for safety and operational purposes, and shall be reasonably shielded from abutting properties. Where feasible, lighting of the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation shall be directed downward and shall incorporate full cut-off fixtures to reduce light pollution.
2. 
Signage. Signs on Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall comply with Section 5.3 of this Zoning Bylaw. In accordance therewith, all signs shall be required to identify the owner and provide a 24-hour emergency contact phone number. Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall not be used for displaying any advertising except for reasonable identification of the manufacturer or operator of the installation.
3. 
Utility Connections. Reasonable efforts, as determined by the Planning Board, shall be made to place all utility connections from the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations underground, depending on appropriate soil conditions, shape and topography of the project site and any requirements of the utility provider. Electrical transformers for utility interconnections may be above-ground if required by the utility provider.
8.3.9 
Safety and Environmental Standards.
1. 
Emergency Services. The Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation owner or operator shall provide a copy of the project summary, electrical schematic and site plan to the Fire Chief. Upon request, the owner or operator shall cooperate with local emergency services in developing an emergency response plan. All means of shutting down the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation shall be clearly marked. The owner or operator shall identify a responsible person for public inquiries throughout the life of the installation.
2. 
Land Clearing. Clearing of natural vegetation shall be limited to what is necessary for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation or otherwise prescribed by applicable laws, bylaws and regulations.
3. 
Landscape Architectural Plan. For any Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation that will be constructed in the Residence A, Residence B, or Residence Multifamily Zoning Districts, a stamped and signed landscape architectural plan indicating how the Installation will be sufficiently buffered from residential neighbors shall be produced. Such plan shall require a minimum of eight (8) foot tall vegetative screening from adjacent uses and shall include a maintenance plan lasting as long as the Photovoltaic Installation is in place, whether operating or not. Such plan shall be approved by the Planning Board prior to Installation construction.
[Added 5-7-2014 ATM, Art. 26]
8.3.10 
Monitoring and Maintenance.
1. 
Condition of the Installation. The Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation owner or operator shall maintain the facility in good condition. Maintenance shall include, but not be limited to, painting, structural repairs and integration of security measures. Site access shall be maintained to a level acceptable to the local Fire Chief and Emergency Medical Services. The owner or operator shall be responsible for the cost of maintaining the Solar Photovoltaic Installation and any access road(s), unless accepted as a public way.
2. 
Modifications. All material modifications to a Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation made following site plan approval by the Planning Board shall require an amendment thereto.
8.3.11 
 Abandonment or Decommissioning.
8.3.11.1 
   Removal Requirements. Any Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation which has reached the end of its useful life or has been abandoned consistent with Section 8.3.11.2, below, shall be removed. The owner or operator shall physically remove the installation no more than 150 days after the date of discontinued operations. The owner or operator shall notify the Planning Board by certified mail of the proposed date of discontinued operations and plans for removal. Decommissioning shall consist of:
a. 
Physical removal of all Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations, structures, equipment, security barriers and transmission lines from the site.
b. 
Disposal of all solid and hazardous waste in accordance with local, state and federal waste disposal regulations.
c. 
Stabilization or re-vegetation of the site as necessary to minimize erosion. The Planning Board may allow the owner or operator to leave landscaping or designated below-grade foundations in order to minimize erosion and disruption to vegetation.
8.3.11.2 
   Abandonment. Absent notice of a proposed date of decommissioning or written notice of extenuating circumstances, the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation shall be considered abandoned when it falls to operate for more than one year without the written consent of the Planning Board. If the owner or operator of the Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installation fails to remove the installation in accordance with the requirements of this Section 8.3.11 within 150 days of abandonment or the proposed date of decommissioning, the Town may enter the property and physically remove the installation at the expense of the Proponent.
8.3.11.3 
   Financial Surety. Proponents of Large-scale Ground-mounted Solar Photovoltaic Installations shall provide a form of surety, either through an escrow account, bond or otherwise, to cover the cost of removal of the installation in the event that the Town must remove it and remediate the landscape. Said surety shall be in an amount and form determined to be reasonable by the Planning Board, but in no event shall exceed more than 125 percent of the cost of removal and compliance with the additional requirements set forth herein. Such surety will not be required for municipally- or state-owned installations. The project proponent shall submit a fully-inclusive estimate of the costs associated with removal, prepared by a qualified engineer. The amount shall include a mechanism for calculating increased removal costs due to inflation.
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Section 8.3, Wireless Communications Facilities, was renumbered as Section 6.4 by Art. 22 from the 11-19-2013 STM.
8.4 
RAIL TRANSIT DISTRICT (RTD)
8.4.1 
Purpose. The Rail Transit District (the "District" or sometimes hereinafter referred to as a "RTD") use in Ashland, associated with the MBTA Rail Station and abutting open land, is established to provide a coordinated, high aesthetic standard for the development of high technology, research and development, incubator establishments, offices, all of a non-nuisance-type and have provision for retail and multi-unit housing and age restricted housing components (rental and owner occupied). In addition, the purpose of this District is to promote a neo-traditional transit-oriented private and public development initiative which departs from the standard low-density, auto-oriented suburban residential growth of the past. The distinctive principle for this development's initiative is envisioned to provide:
1. 
features and site layouts that are conducive to walking, biking and transit riding;
2. 
pedestrian friendliness, alternative suburban living/working environments;
3. 
a better approach to revitalization and diversification of lands;
4. 
capability for better public safety, economic growth and public amenities; and
5. 
a lesser impact on the capability for providing associated Town services.
In addition, development shall strive to preserve the District's natural setting with its wetland, scenic and historic assets by properly relating improvements to the District's parcels and surrounding development. Development shall be compatible and complementary to the proposed coordinated roadway network serving such rail station and West Union Street. The District shall also encourage originality, flexibility and innovation in site design and development, specific to the intended use, including architecture and landscaping.
8.4.2 
Location. This District designation is to be applied to the land area parcels described on (Exhibit "A" - Use Plan) annexed hereto and also referenced on the Zoning Map as a "Rail Transit District." For the purposes of this Section, when a special permit is required, the special permit granting authority shall be the Planning Board.[5]
[5]
Editor's Note: Former Section 8.4.3, Definitions, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was deleted 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 22, and the contents moved to Section 10.0, Definitions. Article 22 also renumbered former Sections 8.4.4 through 8.4.16 as Sections 8.4.3 through 8.4.15, respectively.
8.4.3 
Area Requirements. The minimum land required for Rail Transit District (RTD) shall be one hundred fifty (150) acres and shall be contiguous to a commuter rail passenger station. For the purpose of this requirement, official streets shall not be deemed to divide acreage.
8.4.4 
Permitted Uses. Within a Rail Transit District (RTD), the following listed development component-types of light industry, commercial and residential uses shall be allowed as designated. The location of each development component-type shall be depicted on the Use Plan on file with the Town Clerk for the Rail Transit District, which Use Plan provides for six (6) areas of development (hereinafter, such areas are referred to as "Area A"; "Area B"; "Area C"; "Area D"; "Area E"; and "Area F," which designations correspond to the development areas noted on the aforementioned Use Plan). The permitted uses and the Area on the Use Plan where such uses shall be permitted are as follows:
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 15; 5-5-2010 ATM, 23; 11-19-2013 STM, Art. 18]
1. 
In addition to those uses listed, any other use compatible with the above uses which meet the standards and criteria set forth in this Section is allowed. Application for determination for an approved use shall include a site development plan with a detailed description of the use, approximate number of employees and residents, and the estimated volume of traffic to be generated, particularly trucks, as well as the criteria set forth in Section 9.4.
Rail Transit Use Table
Permitted Light Industry Component Use:
Area Per Use Plan:
Use:
A
B
C
D
E
F
(a) Research offices and laboratories, including testing, provided such testing complies with the performance standards set forth in this section. This shall include theoretical and applied research in all the sciences, product development and testing, engineering development, and marketing development. Uses shall include: biochemical, chemical, electronics, film and photography, medical and dental, metallurgy, pharmaceutical and X-ray
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(b) Services associated with permitted light industrial use.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(c) Manufacture, research, assembly, testing and repair of components' devices, equipment and systems and parts and components including electronic components, communication equipment, guidance and control equipment, data processing equipment, computer hardware and/or software and measuring instruments.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(d) Light manufacturing, processing and/or assembly of the following or similar products: food products, medical equipment, apparel, wood working shops, furniture, fabricated metal products, and stone, clay and glass products, optical devices, photographic and graphic equipment, and filing and labeling machinery
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(e) Parking in compliance with § 5.1 to service a use permitted in this component.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(f) Accessory scientific use in compliance with § 3.2.4
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(g) Uses and structures (including without limitation, a sewerage treatment facility) customarily accessory and incidental to the primary uses.
Y(2)
Y(2)
Y
Y
Y
Y(2)
h. Alternative energy and renewable energy manufacturing facilities
N
Y
N
Y
Y
N
i. Alternative energy and renewable energy research and development facilities
N
Y
N
Y
Y
N
Permitted Commercial Component Uses
A
B
C
D
E
F
(a) Business or professional offices which are limited to offices for accountants, attorneys, engineers, architects, medical and dental offices, and general and corporate offices
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(b) Service industries, such as the repair of appliances, tooling, printing, blue printing, bookbinding, and food services
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(c) Wholesale industries, such as distribution and/or storage or warehousing of products similar to those listed in this subsection.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(d) Retail sales and services, except motor vehicle sales, service stations and motor vehicle body repair/restoration/paint facilities
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(e) Restaurant
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(f) Catering Service.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(g) Indoor commercial recreation.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(h) Financial institutions without drive-up window.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(i) Municipal use not elsewhere more specifically cited.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
(j) Parking in compliance with § 5.1 to service a use permitted in this component (provided, however, that the Planning Board by Special Permit may permit modifications of the parking requirements on a case by case basis).
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
(k) Accessory scientific use in compliance with § 3.2.4.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(l) Outdoor commercial recreation other than campgrounds.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(m) Theaters and cinemas
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(n) Day Care Facilities
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(o) Accessory uses shall be allowed as follows:
(i) Uses and structures (including, without limitation, a sewerage treatment facility) customarily accessory and incidental to the primary use.
Y(2)
Y(2)
Y
Y
Y
Y(2)
(ii) Food preparation and eating facilities
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(iii) Day care facilities
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(iv) Recreational facilities
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
Permitted Residential component uses:
A
B
C
D
E
F
(a) Age Restricted, Attached
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(b) Age Restricted, Multifamily
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(c) Age Restricted, Detached
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(d) Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent
N
N
N
N
Y
N
(e) Continuing Care Residential Community (CCRC) or components thereof in conformance with § 7.4
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(f) Rest Home and/or Nursing Homes
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(g) Municipal recreational use.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(h) Public Housing for the elderly.
N
N
Y
Y
Y
N
(i) Uses and structures (including, without limitation, a sewerage treatment facility) customarily accessory and incidental to the primary use.
Y(2)
Y(2)
Y
Y
Y
Y(2)
Permitted Residential Component Uses
A
B
C
D
E
F
(a) Public Parks
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
(b) Community Centers and public recreation buildings.
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
(c) Recreation centers and facilities.
Y 1
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
(d) Education uses on land not owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any of its agencies, subsidiaries or bodies politic, by a religious sect or denomination, or by a nonprofit educational group
N
Y
Y
Y
Y
N
(e) Golf courses and related facilities.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
(f) Tennis clubs, swimming pools, health clubs and similar facilities, including membership clubs, public or private
Y(1)
Y
Y
Y
Y1
N
(g) Places and buildings for public assembly.
Y(1)
Y
Y
Y
Y(1)
N
(h) Uses and structures (including, without limitation, a sewerage treatment facility) customarily accessory and incidental to the primary use.
Y(2)
Y(2)
Y
Y
Y
Y(2)
(1) only as accessory to the principal use
(2) no sewage treatment structures may be located in such area, but such area may be used for transmittal purposes (i.e., underground piping and leaching)
8.4.5 
Prohibited Uses. Specific prohibited uses in the Rail Transit District (RTD) shall be:
1. 
Truck or trailer sales, with the exception of storing or garaging company motor vehicles.
2. 
Drive-in theaters or race tracks.
3. 
Mobile homes.
4. 
Junkyards or wrecking yards.
5. 
Refining or storage of petroleum.
6. 
Stockyards, animal slaughterhouses, or rendering plants.
7. 
Metal smelting.
8. 
New or used car sales.
9. 
Earth recycling facilities, including the processing of contaminated soils, unless required by law, and the processing of earth materials to produce asphalt or cement products.
10. 
The processing of soils or minerals, including, but not limited to, mining, importing and stockpiling of such materials.
11. 
Single Family Dwelling, Attached (Non Age Restricted, Attached).
12. 
Single Family Dwelling, Detached (Non Age Restricted, Detached).
13. 
No use shall be permitted that causes or results in dissemination of dust, smoke, gas or fumes, odor, noise, vibration or excessive light under standards set forth in the performance criteria in this chapter; or inhibits the comfort, peace, enjoyment, health or safety of the community or the abutting areas or tends to their disturbance or annoyance under standards set forth in the performance criteria in this chapter.
8.4.6 
Dimensional Requirements. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in the Zoning By-Law and except as otherwise specified in Section 8.4.14, below, the following dimensional requirements shall be the sole dimensional restrictions governing a Rail Transit District (RTD):
1. 
Lot Frontage. Minimum development parcel frontage shall be one hundred and fifty (150) feet.
2. 
Lot Area. Individual development component parcels within the Rail Transit District (RTD) shall require a minimum area of 30,000 square feet, except such area which is calculated to meet the requirements of Section 8.4.6.6, below, site area requirements for Transit Village Community (hereinafter referred to as, a "TVC").
3. 
Under Sized Lot Areas. Lots may be established with less than 30,000 square feet in area under Special Permit conditions of this chapter if determined by the Planning Board that such lot meets all other dimensional regulations of this Section.
4. 
Building Area. Age Restricted, Attached; Age Restricted. Detached and Age Restricted Multifamily, Dwelling and Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent Unit Requirements in a Rail Transit District (RTD). Determined based upon the total cumulative land area of the applicable Areas (A, C, D or E) as specified in the formula set forth herein, at a density of: (i) 10 units per acre for Age Restricted, Attached; Age Restricted, Detached; and Age Restricted, Multifamily; and (ii) twenty (20) units per acre for Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent (permitted in Area E only). Written computation of the foregoing density shall be provided at the time of the filing of a Site Plan Application with the Planning Board.
5. 
Building Separation. There shall be a minimum of twenty (20) foot separation between abutting buildings (side to side) in a Rail Transit District (RTD).
6. 
Area Requirements. Minimum area requirements shall be determined by computation to include total number and distribution of proposed residential dwelling units and wetland use restrictions. The following formula shall determine the number of residential dwelling units permitted per acre in a Rail Transit District:
Allowed Units Per Acre (as provided by this By-Law) x Usable Acres (as defined below) = Number of Permitted Residential Dwelling Units
Usable Acres = Total Acres shall mean: (i) for the Transit Village Community (TVC) the aggregate area in Area A, Area E and Area F combined; and (ii) the aggregate area in Area B, Area C and Area D combined, as the case may be.
[- 10% exclusion for Open Space]
[- the lesser of (i) 20% exclusion for Impervious Surfaces; or (ii) actual Impervious Surfaces)]
[- Wetlands (90% of Wetlands as determined by Conservation Commission or other applicable authority unless such Wetlands are situated in the perimeter of the Rail Transit District area or included as part of design elements in any golf course in which event the area of such qualifying Wetlands shall not be deducted or wetland areas which are part of EPA Operable Unit I and Operable Unit III).]
7. 
Front Yard. The minimum front yard within any development component parcel shall be twenty-five (25) feet with parking restricted to no closer than ten (10) feet from rights-of-ways, except in a Transit Village Community (TVC) where parking shall be permitted to directly abut rights-of-ways.
8. 
Side Yard. The minimum side yard within any development component parcel shall be twenty-five (25) feet. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, in no event shall Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent; Age Restricted Multifamily, Age Restricted, Attached; or Age Restricted, Detached with a height in excess of two (2) stories above grade (3 stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits) be located within 200 feet of the property line of the residential properties which abut Area F and which are outside the Rail Transit District (RTD).
9. 
Rear Yard. The minimum rear yard within any development component parcel shall be thirty (30) feet. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein in no event shall Dwelling, Multifamily, For Rent; Age Restricted, Multifamily; Age Restricted, Detached, or Age Restricted, Attached with a height in excess of two (2) stories above grade (3 stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits) be located within 200 feet of the property line of the residential properties which abut Area F and which are outside the Rail Transit District (RTD).
10. 
Lot Coverage. The maximum development coverage in a Rail Transit District (RTD) shall not result in aggregate Open Space being less than 30%. Such lot coverage restriction may be waived if appropriate and in keeping with reasonable land uses as determined by the Planning Board when considering Site Plan Review Criteria.
11. 
Building/Structure Height. Except as otherwise specifically provided herein, the maximum height of any Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent structure) in a Rail Transit District (RTD) shall be three (3) stories above grade (four stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits) and the maximum height of any Age Restricted, Attached, Age Restricted, Detached, and Age Restricted, Multifamily building and any accessory structure related to such age restricted dwelling building shall not exceed two (2) stories above grade (three stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits). The maximum height of any commercial building permitted in a Rail Transit District (RTD) shall be thirty (30) feet. The maximum height may be increased to fifty (50) feet within the Rail Transit District (RTD) upon the grant of a Special Permit and in accordance with the State Building Code.
8.4.7 
Buffering and Screening. In order to obstruct the view of adjacent land use parcels outside of the Rail Transit District (RTD), within a distance of fifty (50) feet, minimum, of side and rear yard boundaries, in place landscape greenery or other screening method(s) existing at the time of development shall remain undisturbed or shall be landscaped in accordance with a plan approved by the Planning Board. In the event that a golf course is developed in Area A, Area F and Area E, the open space of the golf course may serve a buffer space for purposes of this By-Law. Area F (100 feet in width) depicts a minimum buffer for abutting residential properties which are not part of a Rail Transit District (RTD). This buffer (Area F) shall be left in an open and natural state except for landscaping approved as part of the Site Plan for such development in Area A or any golf course open space constructed thereon. If such buffering/screening is deemed insufficient, it may be supplemented as determined by the Planning Board during the Site Plan Review process. Remaining non-buffeted/screened yard areas shall remain unoccupied, except to support parking, internal drives, accessory structure building needs and emergency vehicle access, as deemed by the Planning Board during the Site Plan Review process.
8.4.8 
Parking and Loading Requirements. Except in a TVC which shall be governed by Section 8.4.14.12.a, below, parking and loading requirements shall be in conformance with Sections 5.1 and 5.2.
8.4.9 
 Performance Standards. The performance standards set forth in Sections 8.4.10 to 8.4.12 are designed to encourage a high standard of development by providing assurance that uses within the Rail Transit District (RTD) shall be compatible with neighboring land uses in the vicinity, as deemed by the Planning Board.
8.4.10 
 Nuisance Standards.
1. 
Vibration shall not be discernible to any human's sense of feeling for three (3) minutes in any one (1) hour or producing an acceleration of more than one tenth (0.1) G.
2. 
Heat, glare or electrical disturbance shall not be discernible beyond the boundaries of the lot.
3. 
Smoke shall not be visible beyond a shade darker than No. 1 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart.
4. 
Air pollution shall not be detectable for any emission of solid or liquid particles in concentrations exceeding three tenths (0.3) grains per cubic foot of the conveying gas or air at any point.
5. 
Emissions shall not endanger human health, nor cause damage to animals, vegetation or property, or cause spillage at any point beyond the boundaries of the lot.
6. 
Odor shall not be detectable by the human senses without the aid of instruments beyond the boundaries of the lot.
8.4.11 
 Open Space. Open Space for the aggregate area of the Rail Transit District shall equal not less than thirty percent (30%) of the total area of the Rail Transit District (RTD) and not less than ten percent (10%) in Area A and Area F, combined; Area C; Area D; and Area E.
8.4.12 
 Miscellaneous Standards.
1. 
The landscape shall be preserved in its natural state insofar as practicable by minimizing tree and soil removal.
2. 
Proposed buildings shall be related harmoniously to the terrain and to other buildings in the vicinity.
3. 
The distance between buildings shall be sufficient to provide adequate light and air in conformance with the State Building Code.
4. 
Special attention shall be given to location and number of access points to the streets, general interior circulation, separation of pedestrian and vehicular traffic, and arrangement of parking areas that are safe and convenient and do not detract from the design of the proposed building or neighboring properties.
5. 
Landscaping shall be in conformance to the Landscaping and screening requirements of Section 5.4.
8.4.13 
 Requirements of a Site Development Plan. The submission of a parcel Site Development Plan (refer to § 10.0, Definitions) shall meet all criteria set forth in this Section as well as Section 9.4.
8.4.14 
 Transit Village Community (TVC). A Transit Village Community (TVC) may be located in Area A and Area E and shall consist of for profit, luxury (market driven) apartment-type residences ("Dwelling, Multifamily, For Rent") and age restricted residences (Age Restricted, Attached; Age Restricted, Detached; and Age Restricted Multifamily), supplemented by accessory service structures and amenities described herein, may be situated in and be a part of a Rail Transit District (RTD) to promote a convenient and consolidated residential community. The following general requirements shall apply to the TVC.
1. 
Uses in a TVC shall be authorized upon Site Plan approval by the Planning Board as regulated by Section 9.4, except such approval shall be determined only after public hearing, with formal hearing notice to abutters and parties in interest, and that any proposal shall be further in compliance with the following provisions, as determined by the Planning Board.
2. 
The proposed use shall be served by water and sewer services (municipal and/or private) unless the Planning Board, with advice from the Ashland Board of Health and/or the Department of Public Works, deems that alternative services shall meet the long term needs of such proposed use and the Town of Ashland.
3. 
The site, when utilized for the purposes of this Section and combined with any other use or uses allowed in the Rail Transit District, is of sufficient size, shape, topography and location to be capable of accommodating such multiple uses.
4. 
Building and Dwelling Unit Requirements in a TVC. The number of dwelling units permitted shall be determined in accordance with the formula set forth in Section 8.4.6.6, above, based upon the total cumulative land area of Area A, Area E and Area F at a density of: (i) 10 units per acre for Age Restricted, Attached; Age Restricted, Detached; and Age Restricted, Multifamily units; and; (ii) twenty (20) units per acre in Area E for Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent units (provided, notwithstanding anything to the contrary contained herein, such units in the Transit Village Community (TVC) shall be limited to no more than two Bedrooms as provided herein). Written computation of the foregoing density shall be provided at the time of the filing of a Site Plan Review Application with the Planning Board, based upon the following standards.
5. 
Maximum height and separation.
a. 
The maximum height of each residential development building shall be:
(i) 
For Dwelling Multifamily, For Rent three stories above grade (four stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits); and
(ii) 
For Age Restricted, Attached; Age Restricted, Detached and Age Restricted, Multifamily and accessory buildings related thereto, two stories above grade (three stories at the rear of the building if the slope of the land permits); and
b. 
There shall be a minimum of a twenty (20) foot separation between abutting (side to side) buildings [within a Transit Village Community (TVC)].
6. 
The number of Bedrooms in each Dwelling, Multifamily, For Rent dwelling unit shall be limited to two (2). A one bedroom unit shall be permitted to have one Bedroom in addition to the kitchen living/dining room, study (as defined below) and bathrooms. A two bedroom unit shall be permitted to have two Bedrooms in addition to kitchen living/dining room, Study and bathrooms.
7. 
Allowable Accessory Buildings, Structures and Preferred Amenities. Customary accessory structures shall be allowed, as determined by the Inspector of Buildings. Such accessory arrangements shall be depicted on the Site Plan if contemplated prior to Site Plan approval.
8. 
Common Open Space. A clubhouse(s), swimming pool(s), tennis court(s), storage and maintenance structures and other accessory structures shall be allowed, as determined by the Inspector of Buildings after initial Site Plan approval, if in keeping with parcel development coverage. Such accessory arrangements shall be depicted on the Site Plan if contemplated prior to Site Plan approval.
9. 
Preferred Amenities. Green space, the creation of outdoor areas which may include, but are not limited to, sitting areas with tables, gazebo(s), trellises, paved and level walking/biking paths, planters and individual/community garden space(s).
10. 
Allowable accessory service structure-types in a TVC shall be:
appliance repair outlets
day-care centers
ice cream parlors
art galleries
delicatessens
instruction studios
bakery outlets
dry cleaner outlets
laundromats
bank ATM
florist outlets
snack bars
bookstore outlets
food vendors
specialty food shops
collectible shops
gift shops
tailor/cleaner outlets
or other use having externally observable attributes similar to the above shall be allowed, as determined by the Inspector of Buildings after initial Site Plan approval.
11. 
Building Design Criteria. All buildings and structures shall be designed, located and constructed to afford the following:
a. 
compatibility of architectural styles, scales, building materials and colors within the development;
b. 
variations of facade, roof lines and interior layouts of dwelling units;
c. 
harmonious relationship of buildings and structures to each other with adequate light, air, circulation, privacy and separation; and,
d. 
the capability for constant surveillance, orientation and recognition (to this end, and in lieu of providing conventional streetlighting, individual building front yards and other areas along roadways not fronting buildings and approaches to common-use buildings and structures, shall be provided with architecturally, compatible, street-level type lamp post lighting necessary to provide safety, security and visual indications, as determined by the Planning Board).
12. 
Additional Physical Requirements. Paved sidewalks shall be located and constructed to the bounds of the development from interior roadways to provide pedestrian access to neighboring streets and abutting parcels, if practical, as determined by the Planning Board. Road signs shall be provided to indicate "Private Way," or other appropriate wording, to temper unnecessary intrusion of off-site traffic.
a. 
1.8 parking spaces per each dwelling unit meeting the dimensional requirements of a Parking Space defined in Section 5.1.
[Amended 5-5-2010 ATM, Art. 15]
13. 
Special Requirements. All improvements to the development parcel, including rights-of-ways and dwelling unit/common areas and utility services, except as agreed to by the Town of Ashland when considering access for municipal emergency response vehicles, shall be considered private and developer owned. During construction and after completion of the development, the developer/owner shall be responsible for the maintenance of all dwelling units and other structures/appurtenances, rights-of-way, drives, walkways, parking area(s) and all snow plowing, landscaping, maintenance, trash removal and maintenance/repair of other common elements and facilities serving the residents. The Town of Ashland shall not be responsible, therefore, unless so agreed.
8.4.15 
 Decision. The Planning Board may impose additional conditions not inconsistent with this and other Sections of the Zoning By-Laws and all appropriate State and Federal laws.
8.5 
ASHLAND DOWNTOWN DISTRICT (ADD)
8.5.1 
Purpose. The purpose of this district is to:
1. 
Provide a framework to encourage the growth and development of a successful downtown that will promote village style redevelopment with a mix of commercial, retail, and residential uses in a walk-able environment with a density that is consistent with the design principles herein, and that is functionally vibrant and active, and perceived to be an attractive destination visited by residents throughout Ashland and surrounding communities.
2. 
Broaden the tax base, enhance long-term economic vitality, improve the quality of life of residents, and improve the business climate by encouraging investment that will create employment and economic opportunity, attract other private investment and improvements to property. To reduce automobile dependency and air pollution by locating multiple destinations in close proximity. To strengthen the sense of community in Ashland by building on Downtown Ashland's inherent assets, historic architecture, and cultural offerings to rekindle entrepreneurship, downtown cooperation and civic engagement.
8.5.2 
Purpose of Sub-Areas. The Ashland Downtown District (ADD) is divided into the three sub-areas designed to allow a mixture of land uses where feasible and appropriate. In addition, the ADD will:
1. 
focus on site and building design required to promote attractive, functional development,
2. 
allow greater flexibility in the use of land and design of buildings, structures, landscape and amenities,
3. 
include a mix of retail, office, institutional and residential including affordable housing, and
4. 
the ADD is intended to foster a pedestrian friendly downtown with vibrant activities, shopping and a nice place to live.
8.5.3 
Authority. This by-law is adopted under authority granted by the Home Rule Amendment of the Massachusetts Constitution, and the Home Rule statutes and Mass. G.L. Chapter 40A. The Planning Board shall be the Special Permit Granting Authority for the Ashland Downtown District.
8.5.4 
Map. This district is to be applied to the area referenced on the Zoning Map as Ashland Downtown District.
Sub-area A shall overlay all underlying districts so that any parcel of land lying in sub-area A shall also lie in the zoning district in which it was classified prior to May 10, 2006. Notwithstanding any regulations in this Section 8.5, all regulations of the underlying zoning districts shall continue to apply within the Downtown District, so that the uses permitted in this Section 8.5 shall be in addition to the uses permitted in the underlying district; provided however, that the following uses shall be prohibited: Earth, vegetative materials and stone removal; and outdoor storage of goods associated with a permitted use without screening as required by Section 5.4. Where screening is provided in sub-area A for the outdoor storage of goods associated with a permitted use the requirements of Section 5.4 shall be increased so that such goods shall be screened from adjacent uses by landscaped buffers which shall be at least 15 feet in depth and which shall contain opaque screening comprised of walls, fences, berms, shrubs or evergreen plantings, or any combination thereof to prevent adverse impacts on neighboring properties. Opaque screens shall be opaque in all seasons of the year. When berms are used to meet the requirements for a buffer strip they shall be planted with living vegetation. The minimum, top width of a berm shall be three (3) feet, and the maximum side slope shall be 3:1. No more than twenty-five per cent (25%) of the coverage of a planted berm shall be mulch or non-living material.
8.5.5 
Sub-Areas. There are three sub-areas in the ADD designed to promote and strengthen residential, retail and commercial development in the downtown area and to encourage mixed use that also promotes pedestrian and neighborhood activities in the downtown. The boundaries of the sub-areas on designated on the Ashland Zoning Map dated May 10, 2006.
1. 
Sub-area A is designed to promote the highest level of mixed use, encouraging retail on the first floor and commercial and/or residential on the upper floors.
2. 
Sub-area B is designed to promote some mixed use where feasible especially commercial/retail on the first floor and residential on the upper floors.
3. 
Sub-area C is designed to allow mixed uses where feasible but at a lower density than A and B.
8.5.6 
Table of Uses. A use listed in the "Table of Uses" shown below is permitted in any sub-area of the ADD denoted by the letter "Y" and is not permitted in any sub-area of the ADD denoted by the letter "N." If denoted by the letters "SP" the use is permitted only if the Planning Board grants a special permit as provided herein and makes such specific findings as may be required by the Bylaw in respect of such use. Within the ADD, the following listed development types of uses and mixed uses shall be allowed as designated:
[Amended 5-4-2016 ATM, Art. 23]
ASHLAND DOWNTOWN DISTRICT (ADD)
A
B
C
Permitted Residential Uses
Single family and two-family dwelling homes, other than mobile home
N
SP
Y
Multifamily dwellings (3 or more dwellings)
Y
Y
SP
Dwelling units and retail, office and/or other allowed business in separate buildings on the same lot
Y1
Y
SP
Mixed residential and commercial/business
Y
Y
Y
Senior Residential Community pursuant to Sec 7.2 (no acreage requirement)
SP
SP
N
Cluster development pursuant to Sec 7.3
SP
N
N
Accessory family dwelling unit in compliance with Article IV, Special Regulations Sec 7.6
N
SP
SP
Permitted Community Services
Religious or educational purposes on land owned or leased by a public body, religious group or nonprofit educational corporation
Y
Y
Y
Child daycare, adult care or assisted living facility
Y
Y
Y
Municipal uses not elsewhere specifically cited
Y
Y
SP
Post office
Y
Y
Y
Community center and public recreation center
SP
SP
SP
Nursing, convalescent, rest home, hospital
Y
Y
Y
Mixed business and residential use in the same building
Y
Y
Y
Mixed business and residential use in separate buildings on the same lot
Y
Y
Y
Business offices such as sale agents, real estate
Y
Y
Y
Bank or financial institutions without drive-up windows
Y
Y
Y
Bank or financial institutions with drive-up windows
SP
SP
N
Any use set forth above in a building with more than 20,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area
SP
N
N
Outdoor storage of products for sale
SP2
SP2
SP2
Home occupation in compliance with sec 3.2.1
Y
Y
Y
Permitted Restaurant Uses
Restaurant and/or bakery with no outside seating and no drive-up window
Y
Y
Y
Restaurant and/or bakery, with outside seating and no drive-up window
Y
SP
SP
Restaurant, fast-food, no drive-up
SP
SP
N
Restaurant, fast-food with drive-up
SP
SP
N
Cafeteria, lunch or soda counter, ice cream establishment or food service
Y
Y
SP
Catering services
Y
SP
SP
Permitted Retail Uses
Retail sales and/or services in building less than or equal to 10,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area
Y
Y
SP
Retail sales and/or services in building more than 10,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area
Y
SP
N
Open air vending (e.g. push carts)
SP
SP
SP
Bed-and-breakfast
SP
SP
SP
Veterinary, animal hospital, kennel in compliance with Sec 3.2 lots greater than five acres
Y
Y
Y
Agriculture, horticulture, viticulture or floriculture in compliance with Sec 3.2
Y
Y
Y
Permitted Recreational Uses
Outdoor commercial recreation other than campgrounds
SP
SP
SP
Theaters and cinemas
Y
Y
SP
Indoor commercial recreation, including tennis club, health or fitness club, day spa
Y
Y
SP
Indoor bowling alleys and skating rinks
SP
SP
SP
Permitted Light Industrial Uses
Printers and similar shops and trades
Y
Y
SP
Light manufacturing, research, assembly, testing
Y
SP
SP
Service industries, such as the repair of appliances
Y
Y
SP
Prohibited Uses
Motor vehicle service stations, vehicle body repair, restoration, paint shop
N
N
N
Retail sales or rental of motor vehicles, trailers or motorized marine equipment
N
N
N
Adult entertainment establishments
N
N
N
Tattoo Parlors
N
N
N
Storage trailers and outdoor storage of goods associated with a business, retail, commercial or industrial use
N
N
N
Notes on Ashland Downtown District Table of Uses
1. Residential use is not allowed on the first floor of a building that faces a public street or way.
2. Allowed as accessory use only.
8.5.7 
The dimensional requirements in a mixed-use building shall be governed by the ground-floor use of the building. In cases of a mixture of land uses in one building or structure, the regulation for each use shall apply to the portion of the building, structure or land so used. The Planning Board may vary the dimensional and parking requirements of this section if, in its opinion, such change will result in an improved design and/or a design which reflects the design characteristics depicted in the renderings below in the Table Of Dimensional Requirements In The Ashland Downtown District.
[Amended 5-4-2016 ATM, Art. 21]
1. 
One additional floor may be added if the Planning Board agrees that this project fully meets the intent of the ADD zoning.
2. 
FAR (Floor Area Ratio). The total floor area of all principal buildings on a lot divided by the area of said lot.
8.5.8 
General Regulations. For the purpose of this section, the Planning Board shall adopt rules and regulations and design guidelines which shall guide the implementation of the standards of this section. All New signs will follow the sign requirements of the commercial "B: zones as noted in Sec 5.3."
8.5.9 
Performance Standards; Criteria. The ADD application and required plans shall meet the general performance criteria set forth in the regulations and design guidelines adopted pursuant to this Bylaw, including but not limited to Section 9.4 of the Ashland Code. In addition, the Planning Board shall consider the following general criteria, where relevant, before issuing a permit for development within the ADD.
1. 
Suitability of the site for the proposed use(s);
2. 
Impact on traffic and pedestrian flow and safety and access for emergency vehicles;
3. 
Adequacy of pedestrian access to buildings and between public spaces;
4. 
Impact on the visual character of the ADD and surrounding neighborhood;
5. 
Adequacy of utilities, including sewage disposal, water supply and stormwater drainage.
8.5.10 
 Design Principles. The leading design principles are:
1. 
to provide convenient and efficient pedestrian access within the ADD and to surrounding neighborhoods and facilities,
2. 
to provide a safe and comfortable pedestrian environment with walkways, pedestrian conveniences and amenities, and
3. 
to encourage buildings with a pedestrian oriented scale and design.
8.5.11 
 Additional Standards. The following standards shall apply to all lots in the ADD:
1. 
Sidewalks shall be required along the lots frontage on a street or streets and walkways between building entrances and the nearest street or streets with minimal interruption by driveways. Parking lot aisles, and access and interior driveways do not count as walkways;
2. 
Driveway and walkway connections to abutting lots are required within the ADD wherever feasible and appropriate.
3. 
A pedestrian area shall be provided on any lot where the floor area is 30,000 square feet or more. The pedestrian area shall be accented with pedestrian amenities such as benches and street furniture. Shade trees, ornamental trees and other landscaping shall be provided to create a separation between pedestrian and vehicular traffic, to highlight buildings and pedestrian spaces, to provide shelter from the sun, to minimize glare for drivers, to reduce noise, and to mitigate fumes.
4. 
Adjacent residential neighborhoods will be connected to the ADD via pedestrian ways.
5. 
No driveway or parking lot shall be placed in the portion of a lot that is directly in front of a building as seen from a street, whether or not the building is located on the same lot as the driveway or parking lot, except that a driveway and parking lot may be placed in the front of a building that is located in the rear of another building when viewed from a street.
6. 
Buildings shall be of a design similar to the historic architecture in Downtown Ashland in terms of scale, massing, roof shape, spacing and exterior materials.
7. 
The building front facades shall be articulated to achieve a human scale and interest. The use of different textures, shadow lines, detailing and contrasting shapes is required.
8.5.12 
 Landscaping. See Section 5.4.
8.5.13 
 Parking and Loading. See Section 5.1 and 5.2. The schedule of parking requirements found in Section 5.1 shall apply. However in the ADD, the number of parking spaces required for each use shall be 75% of those stated in Section 5.1. Where there is a mixture of land uses on one lot, the number of parking spaces required shall be only 75% of those stipulated above, that is, where there is a mixture of uses the parking requirement will be 56.25% (75% times 75%).
1. 
Shared Motor Vehicle Parking. Shared use of motor vehicle parking is strongly encouraged, however, parking spaces for one use shall not be considered as providing the required spaces for any other use, except when it can be clearly demonstrated that the need for parking occurs at different times. A shared parking agreement shall be submitted to the Planning Board as part of any permit request. Said shared parking agreement shall address issues such as the maintenance, stripping and snow plowing of the shared parking area.
2. 
All parking areas, lots and/or facilities shall be connected to the parking areas, lots and/or facilities of all adjacent lots within the ADD, unless physical constraints, present site configuration, uncooperative abutters, or land vacancy precludes strict compliance.
8.5.14 
 Mandatory Findings. When a Special Permit is required, the Planning Board shall not issue a Special Permit unless without exception it shall find that the proposed use and development:
1. 
is in harmony with the purpose and intent of this Bylaw;
2. 
will not be detrimental or injurious to abutting properties or ways, the neighborhood, community amenities or the Town of Ashland;
3. 
is appropriate for the site for which the petition is submitted and is related harmoniously to the terrain and to the use, scale and proportions of existing and proposed buildings in the immediate vicinity that have functional or visual relationship to the proposed use;
4. 
includes sufficient mitigating measures which shall be implemented as part of the special permit for any adverse effects noted in reports from town boards and agencies, reports from consultants, and public hearings;
5. 
will result in no significant effect on level of service for any service provided by the Town, including fire, police and ambulance. Proof of no significant effect is the lack of need for the Town to add equipment and/or staff specifically due to the development;
6. 
will provide adequate provision for pedestrian traffic; and
7. 
will comply with all requirements of all applicable requirements of this By-law.
8.5.15 
 If, in the judgement of the Town Planner, the design(s) proposed in an application reflect the design characteristics encouraged in Subsection 8.5.7, the following stipulations shall take effect:
[Added 5-4-2016 ATM, Art. 22]
1. 
The Planning Board's maximum period of review and decision shall be ninety (90) days from the opening of a special permit public hearing and ninety (90) days from the opening of a meeting commencing a site plan review process, unless the review period is extended by mutual agreement of the Planning Board and applicant;
2. 
Planning Board special permit and site plan review processes shall be conducted concurrently;
3. 
A maximum of $4,000.00 in up-front application fees shall be charged. This shall not include peer review fees.
8.6 
WILDWOOD MIXED USE SPECIAL DISTRICT
8.6.1 
Purpose. The Wildwood Mixed Use Special District in Ashland is established to:
1. 
Allow for a high aesthetic design standard for development that encourages interaction among activities located within this district, to enhance business vitality, and encourage residential uses in conjunction with commercial activities in a park like setting in order to create an active street life, and reduce vehicular traffic;
2. 
Encourage a blend of land uses that are compatible and create a livable community that includes multi-unit housing, senior housing, continuing care facilities, retail, offices, light industrial, commercial, and municipal uses;
3. 
Promote opportunities for a mixture of uses within buildings in this district;
4. 
Encourage a more pedestrian-friendly environment;
5. 
Promote the development of flexible space for small and emerging businesses within the buildings in this district;
6. 
Preserve the district's unique natural setting with its wetland, scenic, and historic assets by encouraging the development of open spaces and civic areas to accommodate workers, residents, student populace, pedestrians, shoppers, and others;
7. 
Advocate the originality, flexibility, and innovation in site design and development within the district;
8. 
Facilitate the integration of physical design and promote a high level of aesthetic design quality for architecture and landscaping within this district; and,
9. 
Ensure that the appearance and effects of buildings and uses are harmonious with the character of the area in which they are located.
8.6.2 
Location. This district is to be applied to the area referenced on the Zoning Map as the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District.
8.6.3 
Area Requirements. The minimum land required for the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District shall be 50 acres.
8.6.4 
Table of Uses. Within the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District (WMUSD), the following listed development types of light industrial, commercial, residential, municipal/recreational and miscellaneous uses shall be allowed as designated.
Y = Permitted
SP = Conditionally Permitted with Special Permit
N = Not Permitted
The location of each development component type shall be depicted on the Use Plan on file with the Town Clerk for the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District, which use plan provides for three (3) areas of development (hereinafter, such areas are referred to as "Area A," "Area B," "Area C" and "Area D" which designations correspond to the development areas noted on the aforementioned Use Plan). The Permitted Uses and the Area on the Use Plan where such uses shall be permitted are as follows:
WILDWOOD USE TABLE
Per Use Plan
Land Use Area Uses
A
B
C
D
E
(1) Light Industrial Uses
Research offices and laboratories, including testing, provided such testing complies with the performance standards set forth in this section. This section shall include chemical, electronics, photography & film, medical & dental, metallurgy, pharmaceutical & X-ray; limited to 10,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Research offices and laboratories, including testing, provided such testing complies with the performance standards set forth in this section. This section shall include chemical, electronics, photography & film, medical & dental, metallurgy, pharmaceutical & X-ray; greater than 10,000 sq. ft.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Services associated with permitted light industrial uses.
N
Y
N
Y
Y
Light manufacturing research; assembly, testing and repair of components, including electronic components; communication equipment; guidance & control equipment; data processing equipment; computer hardware and/or software; and measuring instruments
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Light manufacturing, processing and/or assembly of the following or similar products: food products; medical equipment; apparel; woodworking shops; furniture; fabricated metal products; stone, clay and glass products; optical devices; photographic equipment; and, filing and labeling machinery.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Parking in compliance with the Zoning By-Law to service a use permitted herein, except that the Planning Board by Special Permit may permit modifications of the parking requirements on a case by case basis.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Accessory scientific use
N
N
N
N
N
Sewerage treatment facility
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Uses and structures customarily accessory and incidental to primary use.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
(2) Commercial Uses
Business or professional offices which are limited to offices for accountants, attorneys, engineers, architects, medical and dental offices, and general and corporate offices; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
N
Y
Business or professional offices which are limited to offices for accountants, attorneys, engineers, architects, medical and dental offices and general and corporate offices; over 3,000 sq. ft.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Service industries such as repair of appliances, tooling, printing, blueprinting and bookbinding.
SP
N
N
Y
Y
Food preparation and eating facilities; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Food preparation and eating facilities; over 3,000 sq. ft.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Personal service establishments, such as hair care, laundry, photography studio; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Parking in compliance with the Zoning By-law to service a use permitted herein, except the Planning Board by Special Permit may permit modifications of the parking requirements on a case by case basis.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Short term automobile rental.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Retail sales, services and boutiques; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
SP
SP
N
Y
Y
Retail sales, services and boutiques; over to 3,000 sq. ft.
SP
SP
N
Y
Y
Retail home furnishings, home improvement and miscellaneous material and equipment stores which operate totally within principal structures and require no outside storage or display of products or materials; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Restaurant; limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Restaurant; over 3,000 sq. ft.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Restaurant, fast food
N
N
N
N
N
Catering service; limited to 3,000 sq.ft.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Catering service; over 3,000 sq.ft.
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Hotel, motel
SP
SP
N
SP
SP
Indoor commercial recreation facility
SP
Y
N
Y
Y
Financial institutions without drive-up window.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Financial institutions with drive-up window
N
SP
N
SP
N
Business schools
N
N
N
N
N
Cinema, theater, auditorium
N
Y
N
Y
Y
Continuing care residential community or components thereof
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Rest home or nursing home
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Accessory scientific use
N
N
N
N
N
Other drive-up services associated with any commercial or industrial use.
N
N
N
SP
N
Health club or clinic.
SP
SP
Y
Y
SP
Outdoor commercial recreation other than campgrounds
N
SP
N
SP
SP
Uses and structures customarily accessory and incidental to the primary use.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Sewerage treatment facility
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Day care facilities limited to 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Day care facilities over 3,000 sq. ft.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
(3) Residential Uses
Age restricted attached (as defined in § 8.4.3).
Y
Y
N
SP
SP
(3) Residential Uses
Age restricted mixed use building — defined as including one, a portion of a building containing more than one (1) dwelling unit used for occupancy by individuals living independently of each other containing at least one (1) dwelling unit owned or occupied by at least one (1) person who is fifty-five (55) years of age, or older; and no more than one (1) additional occupant who may be under fifty-five (55) years of age, unless otherwise qualifying as a handicapped adult; two, a portion of the building for occupancy of commercial uses
Y
Y
N
SP
SP
Age restricted, multifamily (as defined in § 8.4.3).
Y
N
N
SP
SP
Dwelling, multifamily
Y
N
N
SP
SP
Dwelling, multifamily in a mixed use building – defined as including one, a portion of a building containing more than one (1) dwelling unit; two, a portion of the building for occupancy of commercial uses.
Y
Y
N
SP
SP
Public housing for the elderly.
Y
N
N
N
N
Affordable housing (defined as housing meeting affordability standards of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development).
Y
N
N
Y
Y
Uses and structures customarily accessory and incidental to the primary use.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Sewerage treatment facility
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Dwelling, single family [excluded in a CDA as defined in § 8.6.6.10(a)]
N
N
N
N
Y
(4) Municipal Uses
Municipal school and other municipal buildings.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal community center and recreation buildings.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal fields
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal cemetery.
Y
N
Y
N
N
Municipal golf courses and related facilities.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Municipal tennis facilities and swimming pool.
Y
N
Y
Y
Y
Civic area
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Uses and structures customarily accessory and incidentals to the primary use.
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Sewerage treatment facility.
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
(5) Miscellaneous Uses
Residential uses above the ground floor of commercial buildings.
Y
Y
N
Y
Y
Uses exceeding 20,000 sq. ft. except where they are designed to be compatible with the intended pedestrian oriented character of the zone.
N
SP
N
SP
SP
8.6.5 
Prohibited Uses. The following uses shall be prohibited in all land use areas:
1. 
Truck or trailer storage with the exception of storing and garaging company vehicles or allowable vehicles of residential units;
2. 
Commercial self-storage other than an accessory use;
3. 
Automobile or truck service or repair station;
4. 
Automobile or motor vehicle body restoration shops, painting, repair;
5. 
Automobile or motor vehicle car washing;
6. 
Animal hospital; animal sales;
7. 
Adult entertainment;
8. 
Drive-in theatres or racetracks (defined as a measured course where animals or machines [which include non-motorized vehicles and motorized vehicles] are entered in competition against one another or against time, including tracks used only in the training of animals and exclusive of educational facilities);
9. 
Mobile homes;
10. 
Recycling collection facilities;
11. 
Junkyards or wrecking yards;
12. 
Refining or storage of petroleum;
13. 
Stockyards, animal slaughterhouses or rendering plants;
14. 
Metal smelting;
15. 
New or used car or truck sales;
16. 
Earth recycling facilities, including the processing of contaminated soils and the processing of earth materials to produce asphalt or cement products;
17. 
The processing of soils or minerals, including, but not limited to, mining, importing and stockpiling of such materials;
18. 
No use shall be permitted that violates that performance standards set forth in this section.
8.6.6 
Dimensional Requirements.
1. 
Lot Area. Individual lots within the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District shall require a minimum of forty thousand (40,000) square feet, except as hereinafter noted. In Area "D" and "Area E" individual single-family dwellings lots shall require a minimum of thirty thousand (30,000) square feet.
2. 
In "Area A" only, non-senior residential dwellings will require a minimum lot area not less than 5,000 square feet per dwelling unit, plus one thousand square feet per bedroom for a maximum of two (2) bedrooms under the following percentages of development area of that which is buildable in "Area "A" only: maximum of 75% "multifamily dwelling" uses (just residential) and or open space and minimum of 25% mixed uses with commercial (nonresidential use on first floor of the mixed use buildings) and/or commercial. Computations for additional housing units in mixed use structures on the second floor or higher shall be calculated at 600 sq. ft. per unit with a maximum of two bedrooms.
3. 
At least 10% of all housing units in "Area A" shall be affordable as defined by the Commonwealth. No single building shall contain more than 25% affordable housing.
4. 
Senior residential dwellings require a lot area not less than four thousand square feet per dwelling, plus one thousand fifty square feet per bedroom for two bedrooms.
5. 
Frontage. The minimum frontage shall be one hundred fifty (150) feet.
6. 
Front Yard. Front yard shall be no less than (25) feet except as noted below.
(a) 
In "Area A," "Area D" and "Area E" there will be no front yard setback for commercial and mixed use buildings.
(b) 
In "Area B," for commercial or mixed-use projects, the front setback shall not exceed fifteen feet for fifty percent of the linear frontage of the building, except areas contiguous with the structure and used for outdoor dining or courtyards shall be exempt from this requirement. This setback shall not be used for parking.
(c) 
In residential only areas the front yard shall not be less than twenty-five feet. In areas where are two front yards on one lot, the permit granting authority may waive set back requirements.
7. 
Side Yards - shall not be less than twenty-five (25) feet. Multiple buildings on the same lot shall not be closer than twenty feet apart.
8. 
Rear yard. Shall not be less than twenty-five (25) feet except where the rear lot line is contiguous to a residential area, in which case the buffer zone shall apply as noted in Buffering and Landscaping.
9. 
Height. The height for buildings in the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District shall be as stated below. In no event shall any building exceed five stories in height.
(a) 
For buildings containing only commercial uses or only residential units in "Area A," no building or structure shall exceed a height of three stories unless allowed under Special Permit conditions of this section.
(b) 
For buildings containing both commercial and residential uses in the same building, in "Area A, "Area D" and "Area E" no building or structure shall exceed a height of five stories.
(c) 
For buildings containing only residential uses in "Area D" and "Area E", no building or structure shall exceed a height of three stories unless allowed under the Special Permit conditions of this section.
10. 
Dwelling Unit Requirements Applicable to Multifamily Dwellings in Area "D".
(a) 
Provisions for multifamily dwellings units— A multifamily project is limited to 115 units, except as noted hereinafter, and must have 15% of the units as affordable units. A multifamily project must set aside a minimum sized area of 80,000 square feet for commercial development (the "Commercial Development Area" or "CDA"). This CDA will have frontage along Waverly Street, can be a separate lot from the multifamily project or can be incorporated into the multifamily project. The CDA can be used for a mixed-use building (where the first floor is a commercial use and floors above include residential units). As part of the CDA an additional 25 multifamily units are permitted to be constructed. These units can be within the CDA in a mixed use building or outside of the CDA as part of the multifamily project that triggered the CDA. Waivers of dimensional requirements may be granted by the permit granting authority for the multifamily project and the CDA. Unit affordability will be determined by the standards of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Affordable units constructed will be spread among the market rate units in a project.
(b) 
Bedroom Limitation — A maximum of 15% of the units in a multifamily development can be three bedroom units. The remaining units in a multifamily development must be either one or two bedroom units. The Applicant shall provide for the same proportion of one, two or three bedroom dwelling units for affordable housing units as for non-affordable units within the development.
11. 
Dwelling Unit Requirements Applicable to Multifamily Dwellings in Area "E".
(a) 
Provisions for multifamily dwellings units - A multifamily project is limited to a maximum of eight (8) units .9 acres of land, and must have 15% of the units as affordable units. Waivers of dimensional requirements may be granted by the permit granting authority for the multifamily project. Unit affordability will be determined by the standards of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Affordable units constructed will be spread among the market rate units in a project.
(b) 
Bedroom Limitations - A maximum of 15% of the units in a multifamily development can be three bedroom units. The remaining units in a multifamily development must be either one or two bedroom units. The Applicant shall provide for the same proportion of one, two or three bedroom dwelling units for affordable housing units as for non-affordable units within the development.
8.6.7 
Buffering and Landscaping. For the purposes of this section, the term "buffer zone" shall be defined as a no-disturb zone. No headstones or burial plots are to be allowed in the buffer zone. There shall be no cutting of vegetation in the buffer zone without the express written approval of the Planning Board. Underground public utilities shall be allowed in the buffer zone.
1. 
There shall be at least a one hundred foot buffer zone along the eastern and southern perimeter of the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District as depicted on the Design Concept Plan. There shall be a 50 foot buffer zone for any commercial, mixed use, or municipal use abutting a residential property along the south side of East Union Street. Only commercial and/or mixed uses with commercial and residential components shall be constructed within three hundred (300) feet from the easterly right-of-way line of Chestnut Street, except that multifamily dwelling buildings shall be allowed within the area between the southern boundary of the Property and the road shown as Great Bend Circle on the subdivision plans endorsed by the Planning Board on July 13, 2000 and recorded with the Middlesex County (Southern District) Registry of Deeds as Plan 1187 of 2000.
2. 
Within the required setbacks set forth in this section with the exception of s. 8.6.7.1, above, there shall be no development, other than for access driveways essentially perpendicular to the street, and no removal of trees having trunk diameter of six (6) inches or greater, except as essential for access and safe visibility for exiting vehicles and to remove unhealthy trees and approved by the Planning Board.
3. 
Required yards abutting a public way and required side and rear yards shall be maintained or landscaped so as to provide a dense planting of trees and shrubs with an effective height of at least six (6) feet.
4. 
Landscaping shall be in conformance to the landscaping and screening requirements Section 5.0.
8.6.8 
Parking and Loading Requirements. Parking and loading requirements shall be in conformance with Sections 5.1 and 5.2 and the noise bylaw (Chapter 204 of the Ashland Code). Modification in the reduction of the number of parking spaces shall be allowed by Special Permit of the Planning Board.
8.6.9 
Walkways. For public convenience, a pedestrian and/or bicycle way shall connect various uses and otherwise provide appropriate circulation or continuity to an existing pedestrian or bicycle circulation system. These uses include, but are not limited to, residential, parking, transit, bicycling, recreation and commercial. All land uses shall be interconnected by walkways and paths within the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District.
8.6.10 
 Lighting.
1. 
All outdoor lighting shall be designed so as not to adversely impact surrounding uses while also providing sufficient level of illumination for access and security purposes. Such lighting shall not blink, flash, oscillate or be of unusually high intensity or brightness.
2. 
Parking areas shall be illuminated to provide appropriate visibility and security during hours of darkness.
3. 
Any outdoor lighting fixture shall be shielded so that it does not produce a strong, direct light beyond the property boundaries, and shall be directed toward the object to be illuminated. Light shall be directed away from residences.
4. 
An exterior lighting plan is required including the following items plus any additional information required by the Planning Board if needed to determine compliance with these provisions.
5. 
A lighting plan showing existing and proposed exterior lighting, including building and ground lighting; locations, supports, mounting heights and orientation of all luminaries.
6. 
For all luminaries, descriptions and diagrams of physical configuration and photometric data, such as those available from manufacturers, indicating fixtures, lamps, reflectors and filter and showing the angle of light cut-off and light distribution patterns.
7. 
To avoid lighting impacts, outdoor lighting fixtures excluding municipal school outdoor recreational facilities (which are also subject to review by the Planning Board) shall be mounted no higher than fifteen (15) feet except for taller fixtures as requested and approved in writing by the Planning Board which shall be directed inward to the extent feasible, or otherwise oriented and shielded to avoid glare on adjoining premises and planting or other screening used to block headlight glare from drives and parking lots onto adjacent properties and roadway.
8.6.11 
 Performance Standards. The performance standards set forth in Sections 8.6.12 to 8.6.15 are designed to encourage a high standard of development by providing assurance that uses within the Wildwood Mixed Use Special District shall be compatible with neighboring land uses in the vicinity.
8.6.12 
 Nuisance Standards.
1. 
Noise levels shall be in conformance with the noise bylaw. (Chapter 204 of the Ashland Code.)
2. 
Commercial and municipal uses shall be prohibited from 24 hour operation. Said uses shall be designed to operate with limited hours of operation from 6:00 AM to midnight so that neighboring residents are not exposed to offensive noise, especially from traffic or late-night activity. No amplified music shall be audible to neighboring residents.
3. 
Common walls between residential and nonresidential uses shall be constructed to minimize the transmission of noise and vibration.
8.6.13 
 Vibration, Smoke, Heat, Glare, and Odor Standards.
1. 
Vibration shall not be discernible to any human's sense of feeling for three (3) minutes in any one (1) hour for a total of 15 minutes in any one day, or producing an acceleration of more than one-tenth (0.1) G.
2. 
Heat, glare or electrical disturbance shall not be discernible from the outside of any structure.
3. 
Smoke shall not be visible beyond a shade darker than No. 1 on the Ringelmann Smoke Chart.
4. 
Air pollution shall not be detectable for any emission of solid or liquid particles in concentrations exceeding three-tenths (0.3) grains per cubic foot of the conveying gas or air at any po