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[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Northampton 7-22-1975.]
Affordable Housing Trust — See Ch. 9.
Enforcement — See Ch. 40.
Planning — See Ch. 89.
Agriculture — See Ch. 111.
Building regulations — See Ch. 145.
Central business architecture — See Ch. 156.
Fees — See Ch. 174.
Historic Districts — See Ch. 195.
Signs — See Ch. 264.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 290.
Wetlands protection — See Ch. 337.
§ 350-8.10 Special provisions in Central Business District for meeting off-street parking requirements.
§ 350-9.3 Change, extension or alteration of legally preexisting nonconforming structures, uses, or lots.
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Zoning Ordinance of the City of Northampton, Massachusetts," hereinafter referred to as "this chapter."
This chapter is adopted pursuant to the authority granted by Chapter 40A of the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as amended by Chapter 808 of the Acts of 1975, as amended, herein called the "Zoning Act."
A. This chapter is enacted for the following purposes: to lessen congestion in the streets; to conserve health; to secure safety from fire, flood, panic, and other dangers; to provide adequate light and air; to prevent overcrowding of land; to avoid undue concentration of population; to encourage housing for persons of all income levels; to facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, water supply, drainage, sewerage, schools, parks, open space and other public requirements; to conserve the value of land and buildings, including the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of blight and pollution of the environment; to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the City, including consideration of the recommendations of the City's Master Plan, adopted by the Planning Board, and the Comprehensive Plan of the Pioneer Valley Regional Planning Commission; and to preserve and increase amenities by the promulgation of regulations to fulfill said objectives.
B. It is made with reasonable consideration to the character of the district and to its peculiar suitability for particular uses, with a view to giving direction or effect to land development policies and proposals of the Planning Board, including making Northampton a more viable and more pleasing place to live, work, and play.
A. Amendment. This chapter may be amended from time to time in accordance with Section 6 of the Zoning Act. Editor's Note: See MGL c. 40A, § 6. During the amendment procedure, subdivision plans in process or review by the Planning Board under the Subdivision Control Law shall be subject to the provisions of the Zoning Act.
B. Validity. The invalidity, unconstitutionality, or illegality of any provision of this chapter or boundary shown on the Zoning Map shall not have and effect upon the validity, constitutionality, or legality of any other provision or boundary.
C. Effective date. This chapter shall take effect on its enactment.
Editor's Note: Diagrams are for reference and are not part of the ordinance.
For the purpose of this chapter and unless the context of usage clearly indicates another meaning, certain terms and words shall have the meaning given herein. Words used in the present tense include the future; the singular number includes the plural, and the plural the singular; the words "used" or "occupied" include the words "designed," "arranged," "intended," or "offered," to be used or occupied; the words building," "structure," "lot," "land," or "premises" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or any portion thereof"; and the word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
- The cessation of a nonconforming use as indicated by the declared or otherwise apparent intention of an owner to terminate a nonconforming use of a structure or lot; or the removal of characteristic nonleasehold equipment used in the performance of the nonconforming use without its replacement within six months by similar equipment or furnishings; or the cessation of a nonconforming use or structure caused by its replacement with a conforming use or structure. A nonconforming use which has been abandoned for a period of two years cannot be reestablished. (See also the definition of "discontinuance" below.)
- ACCESSORY APARTMENT
- See § 350-10.10, Accessory apartments.
- ACCESSORY SIGN
- See "sign, accessory."
- ACCESSORY USE
- See "use, accessory."
- ADULT ESTABLISHMENTS WHICH DISPLAY LIVE OR PRIVATE BOOTH NUDITY
- Any establishment which provides live entertainment for its patrons which includes the display of nudity as a substantial or significant portion of such live entertainment on 21 or more days per year or which provides private or semi-private booths or areas for the viewing of live or recorded nudity, as nudity is defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
- ADULT ESTABLISHMENTS WITH ADULT MATERIALS
- Any establishment selling adult books, magazines, videos, movies, software, any other media or electronic recording, or adult paraphernalia, as defined by MGL c. 40A, § 9A or MGL c. 272, § 31, provided the total display area of such adult material exceeds 1,000 square feet. Display area shall be calculated as all display areas in establishments and all buildings within a property, and in establishments and all buildings on adjacent properties under the same ownership or control, on which any adult materials, as herein defined, are displayed and any aisles adjacent to such display areas.
- AFFORDABLE UNITS
- Housing units which the Planning Board finds are affordable for rent or purchase by households making 80% of the median household income for Northampton and, to the extent practicable, are only available to households whose income does not exceed 80% of median income, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, with adjustments for family size, provided that there are deed restrictions, easements, covenants or other mechanisms to ensure that the units are affordable for a minimum of 99 years.
- AGRICULTURE, FLORICULTURE, AND HORTICULTURE, VITICULTURE AND SILVACULTURE
- A use which has as its principal purpose the raising of agricultural products for commercial or home use, but not including the raising of livestock or farm animals (See § 350-5.3.) on parcels of five acres or less, and not including the sale of products, except for products raised on the premises.
- Any construction, rearrangement, reconstruction or other similar action resulting in a change in the structural parts, height, number of stories, exits, size, use or location of a building or other structure.
- Geologic formation composed of rock or sand and gravel that contains significant amounts of potentially recoverable potable water.
- ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENCE
- A profit or nonprofit entity which provides room and board and where the operator provides a minimum of two meals a day and assistance with activities of daily living for three or more elderly or disabled residents, as defined and licensed, or as may be defined and licensed in the future, by Massachusetts General Laws.
- AUTOMOTIVE REPAIR
- Establishment in which the principal use is the repair of motor vehicles, including maintenance servicing, upholstery, etc. No gas sales or retail allowed.
- AUTOMOTIVE SERVICE STATION
- Establishment in which the principal use is the retail sale of gasoline, oil, or other motor vehicle fuel, and may contain retail convenience and variety goods for retail. The premises may include facilities for polishing, greasing, washing, or otherwise cleaning, servicing, or repairing motor vehicles.
- AVERAGE FINISHED GRADE
- A reference horizontal plane representing the average of finished ground level adjoining a building at all exterior walls.
- A structure attached to a building, the function of which is to shelter the building's window(s) or door(s), and pedestrians from rain, wind and sun.
- BASE FLOOD ELEVATION
- See "flood elevation, base."
- A portion of a building partly below grade, which has less than 1/3 of its height measured from finished floor to finished ceiling, below the average finished grade of the ground adjoining the building.
- BOARD OF APPEALS
- The Zoning Board of Appeals of the City of Northampton, Massachusetts.
- A combination of any materials, whether portable or fixed, with or without a roof, enclosed within exterior walls or fire walls, built to form a structure for the shelter of persons, animals, or property.
- BUILDING, ACCESSORY
- A detached building, the use of which is customarily incidental and subordinate to that of the principal building, and which is located on the same lot as that occupied by the principal building.
- BUILDING AREA
- The ground area enclosed by the walls of a building, together with the area of all covered porches and other roofed portions, including areas covered by building overhangs in excess of 18 inches.
- BUILDING LINE
- The line established by this chapter beyond which a building shall not extend, except as specifically provided in this chapter.
- BUILDING, ATTACHED
- A building having any portion of one or more walls in common or within five feet of an adjacent building.
- BUILDING, DETACHED
- A building having a minimum of five feet of open space on all sides.
- BUILDING, PRINCIPAL
- A building in which is conducted the principal use of the lot on which it is located.
- BUILDING, NONCONFORMING
- A building, lawfully existing at the effective date of this chapter, or any subsequent amendment thereto, which does not conform to one or more of the applicable regulations for the district in which the building is located.
- BUSINESS OFFICE
- See "office."
- BUSINESS SERVICE AND SUPPLY SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
- Any building wherein the primary occupation is the provision of services or supplies to the business, commercial, industrial or institutional community but not including retail sales to the general public except as a secondary and subordinate ancillary activity.
- A portion of a building, partly or entirely below grade, half or more than 1/2 of its height measured from finished floor to finished ceiling, below the average finished grade of the ground adjoining the building. A cellar is not deemed a story. (See Diagram 1 below.)
- CERTIFICATE OF USE AND OCCUPANCY
- A statement signed by the Building Commissioner setting forth either that a building or structure complies with this chapter or that a building, structure or parcel of land may lawfully be employed for specified uses, or both.
- CLUSTER RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT
- A development undertaken in accordance with the provisions of § 350-10.5 of this chapter, consisting of a variety of dwelling types integrated with each other and with a significant area of common open space, and developed at a density not exceeding that which would be ordinarily expected from a typical conventional subdivision.
- COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
- A vehicle registered for commercial use.
- COMMUNITY CENTER
- A facility operated by a religious, nonprofit or municipal organization primarily to provide public facilities for meetings, classes, teen centers and similar uses. A community center may include artists' space and offices for nonprofit organizations if such uses are clearly secondary to the primary use of the building and do not include any residential or overnight components.
- COMMUNITY RESIDENCE
- See "halfway house."
- CONSTRUCTION SUPPLY ESTABLISHMENT
- A retail establishment the primary purpose of which is to sell, rent, lease, service, and/or otherwise maintain materials and/or equipment involved in construction activities, including, but not limited to hardware, lumber, and equipment sales, and millwork. The hiring out of construction equipment intact with an operator is not considered to be a part of a construction supply establishment.
- CYCLE TRACK
A. An exclusive bike facility that is physically separated from motor traffic and distinct from the sidewalk. Cycle tracks have different forms but all share common elements: they provide space that is intended to be used exclusively or is used primarily for bicycles and are separated from motor vehicle travel lanes, parking lanes, and sidewalks. In situations where on-street parking is allowed, cycle tracks are located to the curb side of the parking (in contrast to bike lanes).
B. Cycle tracks may be one-way or two-way, and may be at street level, at sidewalk level, or at an intermediate level. If at sidewalk level, a curb or median separates them from motor traffic, while different pavement color/texture separates the cycle track from the sidewalk. If at street level, they can be separated from motor traffic by raised medians, on-street parking, or bollards.
- DAMAGE TO THE ENVIRONMENT
- Any destruction, damage or impairment, actual or probable, to any of the natural resources of the commonwealth, including but not limited to air pollution, water pollution, improper sewage disposal, pesticide pollution, excessive noise, improper operation of dumping grounds, impairment and eutrophication of rivers, streams, floodplains, lakes, ponds, or other surface or subsurface water resources, destruction of seashores, dunes, marine resources, underwater archaeological resources, wetlands, open spaces, natural areas, parks, or historic districts or sites.
- The cessation of a nonconforming use unless evidence is provided that the property has been actively and continuously marketed during such time and said marketing has contemplated the continuation of the nonconforming use. A nonconforming use which has been discontinued for a period of two years cannot be reestablished. (See also "abandonment" above.)
- A zoning district established by this chapter.
- A building containing sleeping rooms, dining rooms, common rooms, and accessory facilities intended exclusively for the use of students of an educational institution, having been constructed or converted by that institution or with its specific authorization.
- DRIVE-IN ESTABLISHMENT
- A business establishment wherein patrons are usually served while seated in parked vehicles in the same lot. The term "drive-in" includes drive-in eating establishments where food is purchased from a building on the lot, but is consumed in the vehicle; drive-in service establishments such as banks, cleaners, and the like; and automotive service stations, gasoline stations, or the like.
- A space, located on a lot, built for access to a garage or off-street parking or loading space.
- DRIVEWAY, SHARED
- Vehicular egress/access other than over the front lot line to a parcel that may serve as access to more than one lot. For residential uses in residential districts, any common driveway (serving more than one lot) requires a site plan approval.
- A privately or publicly owned permanent structure which is occupied in whole or part as the home residence or sleeping place of one or more persons. The terms "one-family", "two-family", "three-family" or "multifamily" dwelling shall not include hotel, lodging house, hospital, membership club, mobile home, or dormitory.
- DWELLING, MOBILE HOME
- A single-family residential unit with all of the following characteristics: a) designed for long-term occupancy and containing sleeping accommodations, a flush toilet, a tub or shower bath and kitchen facilities with plumbing and electrical connections provided for attachment to outside systems; b) designed to be transported after fabrication on its own wheels or on a flat bed or other trailer or detachable wheels; c) arriving at the site where it is to be occupied as a dwelling complete, conventionally designed to include major appliances and furniture, and ready for occupancy except for minor and incidental unpacking and assembly operations, location on foundation supports, connection to utilities, and the like; d) designed for removal to and installation or erection on other sites. A mobile home shall be defined to include two or more units, separately towable, which when joined together have the characteristics as described above. For the purposes of this chapter, a mobile home shall not be deemed a one-family dwelling.
- DWELLING, MODULAR UNIT
- A factory-fabricated transportable building designed to be used by itself or to be incorporated with similar units at a building site into a modular structure that will be a finished building in a fixed location. The term is intended to apply to major assemblies, and does not include prefabricated panels, trusses, plumbing trees, and other prefabricated sub-elements incorporated into a structure at the site. For the purpose of this chapter a modular unit shall not be deemed a mobile home but shall be regarded as a conventional dwelling, subject to the rules and regulations contained herein.
- DWELLING, MULTIFAMILY
- A building containing four or more dwelling units and including apartment houses and garden apartment houses, but not including a townhouse.
- DWELLING, ONE-FAMILY
- A detached building containing one dwelling unit, also referred to as a "single-family dwelling."
- DWELLING, THREE-FAMILY
- A detached building containing three dwelling units, but not including a townhouse.
- DWELLING, TWO-FAMILY
- A detached building containing two dwelling units.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Rooms providing complete living facilities for the use of one or more individuals, with permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation, whether owned, rented, leased, or in a condominium or cooperative.
- ESSENTIAL FACILITIES
- Facilities necessary for the provision of services ordinarily provided by municipalities, public corporations, and public or private utilities, which facilities must provide a link (interrupted only by intermediate facilities) between central facilities of the utility and individual lots served, including but not necessarily limited to gas, water, and sewer mains; storm sewers; electrical and communication wires, whether underground or overhead; police and/or fire call boxes, hydrants, and other stations or terminals of such continuous systems; and facilities accessory to such systems, including but not limited to manholes, telephone poles, and the like, but not including any intermediate facility, such as a major electrical substation; a telephone dial center, or a sewage pumping station, any facility defined under municipal facilities, any use listed under the definition of "heavy public use," or any facility of a public corporation or of a public or private utility which is separately listed in Table of Use Regulations. Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
A. Individual or two or more persons related by blood, marriage, or legal adoption living together as a single housekeeping unit and including necessary domestic help such as nurses or servants.
B. A group of individuals not related by blood, marriage, or legal adoption, but living together as a single housekeeping unit. For purposes of controlling residential density, each such group of four individuals shall constitute a single family.
- FAMILY DAY CARE (IN THE HOME)
- Any private residence which on a regular basis, receives for temporary custody and care during part or all of the day children under seven years of age or children under 16 years of age if such children have special needs; provided, however, that in either case, the total number of children under 16 in family day care in the home shall not exceed six, including participating children living in the residence. "Family day care in the home" shall not mean a private residence used for an informal cooperative arrangement among neighbors or relatives, or the occasional care of children with or without compensation therefor, or where all of the children are of the family of the owner-occupant of the private residence. Family day-care facilities must be registered with the Building Commissioner.
- Any deposit, placement, storage redistribution of soil, earth, sand, gravel, rock, loam, or other similar material on any land, wetland, or in watercourses and including the conditions resulting therefrom.
- FLOOD ELEVATION, BASE or FLOOD ELEVATION, ONE-HUNDRED-YEAR
- The flood elevation as indicated on the Flood Insurance Rate Map, prepared by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the National Flood Insurance Program.
- To be made watertight to the level of the one-hundred-year flood with walls substantially impermeable to the passage of water and with structural components having the capability of resisting hydrostatic and hydrodynamic loads and effects of buoyancy as certified by a registered professional engineer.
- FLOOR AREA, GROSS
- The sum of the gross horizontal area of the several floors including basements of a principal building and its faces of the walls. It does not include cellars; unenclosed porches or attics not used for human occupancy; malls within a shopping center utilized purely for pedestrian circulation and/or decorative purposes between individual shops of the center; any floor space in an accessory or principal building intended and designed for the parking of motor vehicles in order to meet the parking requirements of this chapter; or any such floor space intended or designed for accessory heating, ventilating and air-conditioning equipment.
- FRATERNITY and/or SORORITY
- A building containing sleeping rooms, dining rooms, common rooms, and accessory facilities intended exclusively for the use of students of a college or university who belong to a group or organization which involves common living and which group is organized and operated with the specific approval and under the regulations of the institution.
- The uninterrupted length of the front lot line, as defined herein, whether straight or not, which conforms to the minimum lot frontage requirement and is on:
A. A public way or a way which the City Clerk certifies is maintained and used as a public way; or
B. A way shown on a previously approved subdivision plan which has been constructed to the standards required when subdivision approval was granted; or
C. A way that predates subdivision control that has, in the Planning Board's opinion, suitable width, grades, and construction adequate and reasonable for vehicular traffic, including emergency vehicles and snow removal vehicles, and the installation of utilities.
- FUNERAL ESTABLISHMENT
- A building or part thereof used for human funeral services. Such building may contain space and facilities for a) embalming and the performance of other services necessary for the preparation of the dead for burial; b) the performance of autopsies and other surgical procedures; c) the storage of caskets, funeral urns, and other related funeral supplies; d) the storage of funeral vehicles; e) facilities for cremation; and f) the living quarters of an individual whose bona fide occupation is in the funeral establishment.
- GARAGE, PRIVATE
- A garage(s) for housing motor vehicles, with a capacity of not more than three vehicles for a single-family dwelling, plus the capacity for one additional vehicle for each additional dwelling unit.
- All the water found beneath the surface of the ground.
- HAZARDOUS WASTE
- A waste which is hazardous to human health or the environment as designated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 250 and the regulations of the Massachusetts hazardous Waste Management Act, MGL c. 21C.
- HALFWAY HOUSE or COMMUNITY RESIDENCE
- A building containing sleeping rooms, common rooms, dining rooms, and accessory facilities intended exclusively for the use of participants of a program of rehabilitation of individuals prior to their complete reentry into normal society, which program is formally recognized by an agency of the commonwealth. One or more individuals responsible for the operation of a halfway house shall be resident therein, and facilities for such resident director and his family shall be provided.
- HEAVY PUBLIC USE
- Any structure or use:
A. Used by a government agency if not otherwise exempt from zoning or allowed elsewhere in this chapter; and
B. Any of the following specific uses conducted by or for the City of Northampton: truck or equipment storage garage or yard, vehicle repair garage, or waste recycling plant; and
C. Any public or private sanitary landfill, dump, incinerator, or water or sewage treatment facility.
- The vertical distance from the average finished grade of the adjacent ground to the top of the structure of the highest roof beams of a flat roof, the deck of a mansard roof, or the mean level of the highest gable or slope of a hip roof. (See Diagram 2 below.)
- HISTORIC EDUCATIONAL AND RELIGIOUS BUILDING
- A building built prior to 1940 or listed on or determined eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places and used for at least 20 continuous years, including some point in the last 10 years, for religious purposes or 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.
- HOME BUSINESS
- A vocation, trade, small business, craft, art or profession which is conducted within the principal residential or accessory building of a property by a bona fide resident of that main building and which, by nature of its limited size and scope, does not cause any significant outward manifestation (such as traffic generation, parking congestion, noise or air pollution, outdoor materials storage, and public service or utility demand) which is uncharacteristic of or an additional disturbance to the residential neighborhood in which said property is located. The following occupations are not considered home businesses if clients will be seen in the home, although other uses may be excluded on a case-by-case basis: any traditional medical/dental practice, veterinary hospital, restaurant, retail or wholesale supply shop or store, or any mortuary. (See § 350-10.12 for additional criteria.) A home business is allowed by right when the following conditions are met:
A. It must not occupy more than 40% of the gross combined floor area of the main residential building and the accessory structure (if such accessory structure is utilized for said home business).
B. It must be clearly incidental and secondary to the use of the building or property for residential dwelling purposes.
C. Any practitioner of the home business who will work on-site must occupy the main residential building as his/her bona fide residence.
D. There shall be no more than 25 visits per week by clients/customers/contractors, etc., related to the business being conducted unless otherwise authorized through a Zoning Board of Appeals special permit. The Building Commissioner shall make the final determination, subject to appeal to the Zoning Board, as to the likely number of visits that a proposed use will generate.
E. For practitioners who see clients/customers or any kind of visitors, hours of operation shall be between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m. unless otherwise authorized through a Zoning Board of Appeals special permit.
F. For practitioners who see clients/customers or any kind of visitors, registration with the Building Commissioner is required and shall include information on number of clients projected.
G. Up to two "open studios" per year, unless otherwise authorized through a Zoning Board of Appeals special permit.
H. No more than one sign of one square foot in area may be displayed advertising the home business, provided that:
(1) It is attached to the structure next to or on the entryway for said home business; and
(2) It is not illuminated.
I. No goods, except for those created in the home or those sold by Internet, telephone or electronic transactions, may be sold from the premises.
J. No outdoor storage of materials, merchandise, or equipment for the home business is allowed.
K. If said home business takes place in an accessory structure, then said structure must conform to the setback requirements for accessory structures in that district, unless a finding by the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with § 350-9.3 is made.
L. It shall produce no noise, obnoxious odors, vibrations, glare, fumes or electrical interference which would be detectable to normal sensory perception beyond the lot line.
M. The portion of any structure utilized for a home business shall conform to all applicable Fire, Building, Electrical, Plumbing and Health Codes.
- A use providing twenty-four-hour emergency room services, outpatient services, and twenty-four-hour impatient services for persons admitted thereto for the diagnosis, medical, surgical or restorative treatment including accessory uses that serve the hospital's needs, including but not limited to cafeteria and pharmacy. A hospital does not include nursing home, assisted living residence, or nonhospital medical center or medical office.
- HOSPITAL, VETERINARY
- A building providing for the diagnosis and treatment of ailments of animals other than human, including facilities for overnight care, but not including crematory facilities.
- A building or group of buildings, part of a building containing rooming units without individual cooking facilities for transient occupancy and having a common entrance or entrances or individual exterior entrances; and including an inn, motel, motor inn and tourist court, but not including a boardinghouse, lodging house or rooming house.
- IMPERVIOUS SURFACES
- Materials or structures on or above the ground that do not allow precipitation to infiltrate the underlying soil.
- Any worn out, castoff, or discarded articles or material which is ready for destruction or has been collected or stored for salvage or conversion to some use. Any article or material which, unaltered or unchanged and without further reconditioning, can be used for its original purpose as readily as when new shall not be considered "junk."
- JUNK MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle not capable of being used as such in its existing condition by reason of being damaged or dismantled or failing to contain parts necessary for operation and otherwise qualifying as junk.
- LANDSCAPED AREA
- The percent of the site, including buffers and setbacks, which will be planted with vegetation (i.e., grass or live ground cover, shrubs, trees), or on which existing vegetation will be left undisturbed, underlaid by a pervious surface (soil). Used as a measure of the intensity of land use.
- LEACHABLE WASTES
- Waste materials including solid wastes, sludge and pesticide and fertilizer wastes capable of releasing waterborne contaminants to the environment.
- LIVING SPACE
- The net floor area within a dwelling unit exclusive of utility rooms, closets, attics, and cellars.
- LOADING SPACE
- An off-street space at least 12 feet in width, 50 feet in length and with a vertical clearance of at least 14 feet, having an area of not less than 1,300 square feet which includes access and maneuvering space used exclusively for loading and unloading of goods and materials from one vehicle. The dimensions of the loading space may be reduced by the Building Commissioner to not less than 300 square feet which includes access and maneuvering space, when it is clearly evident that service vehicles utilizing said space will not require the area listed above.
- LODGING HOUSE
- A building containing four or more lodging units.
- LODGING UNIT
- One or more rooms for the semipermanent use of one, two, or three individuals not living as a single housekeeping unit and not having individual kitchen facilities. A "lodging unit" shall include rooms in boardinghouses, lodging houses or rooming houses. It shall not include convalescent, nursing or rest homes; dormitories or charitable, educational or philanthropic institutions; or apartments, hotels or tourist homes/bed and breakfast facilities.
- A parcel of land held in fee simple ownership designated on a plan or deed filed with the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds or Land Court; however, contiguous lots in common ownership may not be divided except in conformance with this chapter. Two or more contiguous lots in common ownership may be treated as one lot for the purposes of this chapter; provided that the combined lots are used as a single lot would customarily be used. The following shall not be counted toward land within the minimum lot area: land under permanent water bodies; land within public ways, and land within private ways and rights-of-way where the general public has the right of access by automotive vehicles.
- LOT CORNER
- A lot at the point of intersection of and abutting on two or more intersecting streets, the interior angle of intersection of the street lot lines, or extended lot lines in case of a curved street being not more than 135°. For purposes of this chapter, the yard adjacent to each street shall be considered a front yard; however, this will not affect designation of the front line. (See Diagram 4 below.)
- LOT DEPTH
- The mean horizontal distance, measured perpendicular (at right angles) to the front lot line, between the front lot line and the rear of the lot. Said distance shall be measured from a portion of the front lot line that equals the minimum lot frontage, and no (principal) structure may be placed on a portion of the lot that has a depth less than the minimum lot depth required.
- LOT FRONTAGE
- (See "frontage" above.)
- LOT, INTERIOR
- Any lot other than a corner lot or a through lot.
- LOT LAYOUT
- In addition to the minimum lot area, depth, width and frontage requirements, lots shall be laid out in such a manner so that a square, with sides equal to the minimum frontage requirement for the zoning district in which it is located, can be placed within the lot with at least one point of the square lying on the front lot line with no portion of the square extending beyond the boundaries of the lot.
- LOT LINE, FRONT
- The property line dividing a lot from a single street right-of-way. In the case of a corner lot or a through lot, at least one front lot line shall conform to the minimum lot frontage requirement.
- LOT LINE, REAR
- The lot line most nearly opposite from the front lot line. (See Diagram 4 above.)
- LOT LINE, SIDE
- Any lot line not a front or rear lot line. (See Diagram 4 above.)
- LOT, NONCONFORMING
- See "preexisting nonconforming lot."
- LOT, THROUGH
- A lot which abuts two streets, but not at their intersection. (See Diagram 5 below.)
- LOT, WIDTH
- The horizontal distance (measured parallel to the front lot line) between the side lot lines. At no point, between the front lot line and the rear of the principal structure (said rear being the furthest point of the structure from the front lot line) located on the lot, shall the lot have a width less than the minimum lot width required.
- Heavy or light industry, manufacture or assembly of a product, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment, packaging, and allowed accessory uses.
- MEDICAL CENTER
- A building or group of buildings used for the offices and facilities accessory to the practice of licensed medical practitioners, (including physicians, dentists, optometrists, ophthalmologists, and persons engaged in all fields related generally to medicine, but not including veterinarians) and including such common facilities as an outpatient clinic or emergency treatment rooms, but not including inpatient facilities.
- MIXED RESIDENTIAL/WORK SPACE
A. Workers perform their primary occupations which are otherwise permitted in that zoning district and where businesses and artists create original and creative works (such as books, writings or compositions for sale, paintings, sculptures, traditional and fine crafts, creation or acting of films, creation or performance of dances); and
B. Those workers and artists and their immediate families live in the same building or property as where they work, although not necessarily in the same unit; and
C. Residential space is clearly secondary to work space and consists of no more than 50% of the total residential/work space; and
D. Residential space is located above the first floor.
- MOBILE HOME
- See "dwelling, mobile home."
- MODULAR HOME
- See "dwelling, modular home."
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any vehicle self propelled by a battery-powered, electric or internal combustion engine, which are permitted and requires a valid registration legally issued by a governmental authority in order to be operated on a public way. A motor vehicle shall include but not be limited to automobiles, trucks, buses, motor homes, motorized campers, motorcycles, motor scooters, tractors.
- MOTOR VEHICLE ACCESSORIES
- Any part or parts of any motor vehicle.
- MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
- Municipally owned facilities utilized in the provision of services normally provided by municipalities, such as schools, parks (including related banquet facilities operated in accordance with the City of Northampton Open Space and Recreation Plan), playgrounds, municipal office buildings, and the like, but not including any facility defined as essential facilities, or as a heavy public use, or any use specifically listed in the Table of Use Regulations. Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
- NONACCESSORY SIGN
- See "sign, nonaccessory."
- NURSING HOME
- Also known as extended care home, rest home, or convalescent home. A nursing home is any state-licensed facility for two or more patients that provides beds and domiciliary and/or nursing care for chronic or convalescent patients and which is properly licensed by the state, but not including assisted living residences.
- OFFICE or BUSINESS OFFICE
- A room, studio, suite or building in which a person transacts his business or carries on his stated occupation. For the purpose of this chapter, an office shall not involve manufacturing, fabrication, production, processing, assembling, cleaning, testing, repair or storage of materials, goods and products which are physically located on the premises. An office shall not be deemed to include a veterinary hospital.
- ONE-HUNDRED-YEAR FLOOD ELEVATION
- See "flood elevation, base."
- OPEN SPACE
- The space on a lot unoccupied by buildings or structures, unobstructed to the sky by man-made objects other than walks, swimming pools, and terraced areas, not devoted to streets, driveways, off-street parking or loading spaces and expressed as a percentage of total lot area.
- OUTDOOR ADVERTISING BOARD
- The Outdoor Advertising Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts or any board or official which may hereafter succeed to its powers or functions.
- OUTDOOR COMMERCIAL RECREATION USE
- A principal (but not accessory) use operated either for profit or not for profit, with the principal purpose being the provision of outdoor recreational facilities, whether these be provided to the public at large or to the members of any particular organization, and including but not limited to any of the following uses: country, fishing, golf, tennis, or swimming club, or golf driving range, sports camp, campground, marina, or horseback riding establishment.
- The duly authorized agent, attorney, purchaser, devisee, trustee, lessee, or any person having vested or equitable interest in the use, structure or lot in question.
- PERMIT, TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY
- A permit issued by the Building Commissioner indicating near compliance with the provisions of this chapter and allowing occupancy or use on a temporary basis while full compliance is achieved.
- PERMIT, ZONING
- A permit issued by the Building Commissioner on the basis of plans and other submitted material to allow construction or other preparation for the use or occupancy of a building.
- PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING LOTS
- A lot which, when originally created, conformed to any zoning requirements relative to minimum lot area, minimum lot width and frontage, and/or minimum lot depth which were then in effect, but which zoning requirements have since been amended so that said lot would no longer conform in all respects to such new requirements.
- PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING STRUCTURES
- A structure or addition which, when originally constructed, was lawfully in existence or lawfully begun and conformed to any zoning requirements relative to minimum setbacks, maximum floor area ratio or other dimensional and area requirements which were then in effect, but which zoning requirements have since been amended so that such structure or addition would now require a variance.
- PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING USE
- A use which, when originally commenced, was lawfully in existence or lawfully begun and was permitted in the zoning district in which it was located, but since then this chapter has been amended so that such use would now require a special permit or would be prohibited and would require a use variance.
- PRIMARY AQUIFER RECHARGE AREA
- Areas which are underlain by surficial geologic deposits including glaciofluvial or lacustrine stratified drift deposits or alluvium or swamp deposits, and in which the prevailing direction of groundwater flow is toward the area of influence of water supply wells.
- RADIOACTIVE WASTE
- Any radioactive materials which are no longer in use nor being stored for future use, except that for the purpose of this chapter the following items shall not be considered radioactive waste:
A. Personal or household items or waste containing minimal amounts of radioactive material, such as watches or smoke detectors.
B. Waste which does not qualify as low-level radioactive waste under MGL c. 111H, generated by or through the use of radioactive material for medical procedures or research facility licensed by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.
- RECEIPT OF AN APPLICATION OR OF A REQUEST
- An official receipt on the forms or in the format prescribed by the board or agency responsible for reviewing the application and accompanied by all of the supporting materials or documentation required by the board or agency as being necessary at the time of or the signature of an appropriate official showing the time and date of the receipt, such stamp or signature to be used only after the entire application, including all supporting material, has been checked for completeness and accuracy. Any acceptance of an application or material by the City Clerk or any City employee who is an agent or any employee of a board shall be subject to further review by that board and receipt shall not have occurred until after such further review has satisfied such board that all requirements for time shall be measured, in the case of receipt by an agency, from the date shown on the stamp or with the signature of the appropriate official; and in the case of receipt by a board, from the date of the first regular meeting of the board following acceptance of the material by the City Clerk or an agent or employee of the board at which meeting the application shall be reviewed and accepted as being complete, or rejected as being incomplete.
- REPAIR SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
- Any building wherein primary occupation is the repair and general servicing of appliances, tools, and other small machinery common to use in homes or businesses, but not including automotive repair or automobile service stations; or any place wherein the primary occupation is interior decorating, to include reupholstering and the making of draperies, slipcovers, and other similar articles, but not to include furniture or cabinetmaking establishments.
- RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT FACILITY
- A facility primarily for scientific or product research, investigation, testing, or experimentation, along with incidental offices, incidental storage, incidental manufacture and sale of products, and incidental employee-only facilities.
- RETAIL AND PERSONAL SERVICES
- The sale rental, or repair of goods and/or provision of services including antiques, apparel, appliances (home use), art supplies, bakeries, barbershops, beauty shops, books, cameras, card shops, china and pottery, draperies and interior decorating supplies, drugs, film developing and printing, florist, fruit, furniture, gifts and stationery, grocery, hardware, housewares and home furnishings, jewelry, laundering and other garment servicing, music, newsstand, novelties, paint, shoes, pet supplies and pet grooming, shoe cleaning or repair, specialized food, sporting goods, toys, tailors, vegetable markets, and other similar places of business; includes discount food and merchandise clubs.
- SERVICE STATION
- A building or part thereof whose chief activity is the selling of gasoline, oil and related products for motor vehicles or the provision of lubricating service or general auto repair.
- The minimum distance from a lot line to a building placed thereon, or feature thereof as is required in a particular situation by the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations. Said setback shall be measured perpendicular (at right angles) to the lot line. At no point shall any structure on the lot be any closer to any street line, whether said street line directly abuts the lot or not, than the minimum front yard setback requirement for that zoning district. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- SETBACK, FRONT
- Setback required from a front line and from any street line of a corner lot or a through lot. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- SETBACK LINE
- A line, whether straight or not, which denotes the location of the minimum setback.
- SETBACK, REAR
- Setback required from a rear line. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- SETBACK, SIDE
- Setback required from a side line. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- Any permanent or temporary structure, device, blimp, letter, work, model, banner, pennant, insignia, trade flag, or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an advertisement, announcement, or direction, or is designed to attract the eye by any means including intermittent or repeated motion or illumination. A sign shall include lettering on a motor vehicle or trailer unless the vehicle or trailer is licensed for road travel and is in use or parked in a legal parking or loading area.
- SIGN, ACCESSORY
- Any sign that advertises or indicates the person occupying the premises on which the sign is erected or maintained or the business transacted thereon, or advertises the property itself or any part thereof as for sale or rent, and which contains no other matter.
- SIGN, BUSINESS
- A sign used to direct attention to a service, product sold, or other activity performed on the same premises upon which the sign is located.
- SIGN, GENERAL ADVERTISING
- Any sign advertising products or services other than products or services available on the lot on which the sign is located, or any sign which is not located within 200 feet of the building or other structure at which the products or services thereon are available.
- SIGN, GROUND
- A sign erected on or affixed to the land including any exterior sign not attached to a building.
- SIGN, IDENTIFICATION
- A sign used simply to identify the name, address, and title of an individual family or firm occupying the premises upon which the sign is located or to give information, such as time or temperature.
- SIGN, NONACCESSORY
- Any sign not an accessory sign.
- SIGN, SURFACE AREA OF
- For a sign, either freestanding or attached, the area shall be considered to include all lettering, background whether open or enclosed, on which they are displayed, but not including any supporting framework and bracing, which are incidental to the display itself. For a sign consisting of individual letters, designs and symbols attached to or painted directly on the surface of a building, wall, window, awning/canopy or other approved surfaces, with no other background, the area shall be considered to be that of the smallest quadrangle which encompasses all of the letters, designs, and symbols. The largest side of a two-sided sign shall be used in calculating the surface area of such a sign.
- SIGN, WALL
- A sign affixed to the exterior wall of a building and extending not more than 15 inches therefrom.
- SOLAR PHOTOVOLTAIC (PV), LARGE-SCALE, GROUND-MOUNTED
- A solar photovoltaic system and related accessory structures that is structurally mounted on the ground and is not roof-mounted, and has a minimum rated electric power output of 250 kilowatts (kW) direct current (DC).
- SPECIAL PERMIT
- A special authorization to conduct a particular use or to take advantage of a particular situation set forth in this chapter, subject to the provisions of § 350-5.2, the Table of Use Regulations, where applicable, and the particular section authorizing the special permit where applicable.
- SPECIAL PERMIT GRANTING AUTHORITY
- That body or individual empowered to grant special permits. As specified by the section providing for the granting of the special permit, that body or individual may be the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, or the City Council. Where no specific such body is named, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall have jurisdiction.
- The portion of a building which is between one floor level and the next higher floor level. If a mezzanine floor area exceeds 1/3 of the area of the floor immediately below it, the mezzanine shall be deemed to be a story. A basement shall be deemed to be a story, and a cellar shall not be deemed to be a story. An attic shall not be deemed to be a story if unfinished and without human occupancy. (See Diagram 7 at the end of this section.)
- STORY, HALF
- A story under a gable, hipped, or gambrel roof, the wall plates of which on at least two opposite exterior walls are not more than two feet above the floor of such story. (See Diagram 7 at the end of this section.)
- A combination of materials for permanent or temporary occupancy of use, such as a building, bridge trestle, tower, framework, retaining wall, tank, tunnel, tent, stadium, reviewing stand, platform, swimming pool, shelters, piers, wharves, bin, fence, sign, gasoline pumps, recreational courts, or the like.
- STRUCTURE, ACCESSORY
- Any structure which is incidental and subordinate to the principal structure, but which is located on the same lot as the principal structure. Accessory structures shall not exceed 40% of the gross floor area of the principal structure(s) and shall not contain sleeping or kitchen facilities.
- STRUCTURE, NONCONFORMING
- A structure lawfully existing at the effective date of this chapter, or any subsequent amendments thereto, which does not conform to all applicable regulations of this chapter for the district in which it is located.
- SUBSTANTIAL IMPROVEMENT
- Any repair, reconstruction, or improvement of a structure within a five-year period which either increases the building area or the original structure by 15% or more, or the cost of repair, reconstruction, or improvement which equals or exceeds 15% of the assessed value of the original structure, either before the improvement is started or, if the structure has been damaged and is being restored, before the damage occurred.
- TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITIES
- Towers, antennas and accessory structures, including personal wireless facilities, used in connection with the provision of cellular telephone service, personal communications services, paging services, radio and television broadcast services, and similar broadcast services. Telecommunications facilities do not include the following facilities which are accessory uses or structures: antenna used solely for residential household television and radio reception; satellite antenna which are not visible from a neighboring property or public way and satellite antenna measuring two meters or less in diameter; nor amateur radio facilities under 65 feet above ground actively used in accordance with the terms of any amateur radio service license issued by the Federal Communication Commission, provided that the tower is not used or licensed for any commercial use.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS TOWERS
- Structures designed to support antennas, including freestanding towers, guyed towers, monopoles, towers on buildings, and similar structures.
- TELECOMMUNICATIONS ANTENNA
- A system of electrical conductors that transmit or receive radio frequency signals, but not including any support system designed to increase the height of the antenna above the tower or building. Such signals shall include but not be limited to radio, television, cellular, paging, personal communication services (PCS) and microwave communications.
- TEMPORARY EVENT
- Temporary event or use with a temporary events permit from City Council, a license from the Parking Commission for short-term temporary use of facilities under its jurisdiction, or a permit from the Board of Public Works for use of streets, sidewalks or Pulaski Park, in accordance with the Northampton Code of Ordinances and any applicable regulations.
- TEMPORARY OCCUPANCY PERMIT
- See "permit, temporary occupancy."
- Builder, carpenter, electrician, painter, plumber, tree surgeon, landscape gardener or similar building trade occupation.
- TOURIST HOME/BED-AND-BREAKFAST
- An owner-occupied single-family dwelling which may rent up to a maximum of three rooming units for transient occupancy, not to exceed a total of six renters (without individual kitchen facilities and with an individual or shared bath/toilet facility, with at least one toilet, one bath/shower and one wash basin, separate from those required for the single-family dwelling), which share a common entrance for the single-family dwelling. The use of that portion of the dwelling devoted to transient occupancy shall be secondary to the use of the dwelling as a single-family residence and shall not change the character thereof.
- A row, attached side-to-side (not on top of each other), of at least two and not more than eight dwelling units. Each unit in the row may be owned by a separate owner.
- UNREGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any motor vehicle required to be registered by law of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts for operation on public ways, not so registered.
- The purpose for which a structure or lot is arranged, designed, or intended to be used, occupied or maintained.
- USE, ACCESSORY
- A use which is customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal use of a structure or lot, or a use which is not the principal use, but which is located on the same lot as the principal structure, provided that said accessory use is permitted in that district under this chapter. Accessory uses shall be interpreted as not exceeding 40% of the area of the total use of the structure and/or lot on which is located.
- USE, MIXED
- Two or more principal uses occupying the same structure or lot, where more than one principal use is permitted on the lot.
- USE, NONCONFORMING
- See "preexisting nonconforming use."
- USE, PRINCIPAL
- The main or primary purpose for which a structure or lot is designed, arranged, or intended, or for which it may be used, occupied or maintained under this chapter. Any other use within the main structure or the use of any other structure or land on the same lot and incidental or supplementary to the principal use and permitted under this chapter shall be considered an accessory use.
- USE, SUBSTANTIALLY DIFFERENT
- A use which by reason of its normal operation would cause readily observable differences in patronage, service, appearance, noise, employment or similar characteristics from the use to which it is being compared.
- Such departure from the terms of this chapter as the Board of Appeals is empowered to authorize.
- VETERINARY HOSPITAL
- See "hospital, veterinary."
- Includes, but is not limited to, wet meadow, marshes, swamps, bogs, areas where groundwater, flowing or standing surface water or ice provide a significant part of the supporting substrate for a plant community for a significant part of the year; emergent and submergent plant communities in inland water; that portion of any bank which touches any inland waters; and the land, including submerged land, which consists of any soil types designated as, but not limited to, very poorly drained as identified by the National Cooperative Soils Survey, as may be amended from time to time, of the Soil Conservation Service of the United States Department of Agriculture, of the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act and any local wetlands ordinance.
- A portion of a lot located within a required setback area which must remain unobstructed artificially from the ground to the sky except as may be allowed by specific provisions of this chapter. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- YARD, FRONT
- The portion of a lot lying between the front line and the front setback line. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- YARD, REAR
- The portion of a lot lying between the rear line and the rear setback line. (See Diagram 6 at the end of this section.)
- YARD, SIDE
- The portion of a lot lying between a side line and the corresponding side setback line. (See Diagram 7 at the end of the section.)
- ZONING PERMIT
- See "permit, zoning."
A. The City of Northampton, Massachusetts, is hereby divided into zoning districts to be designated as follows:
Residential "R" District
Residential "R" District
Urban Residence A
Residential "R" District
Urban Residence B
Residential "R" District
Urban Residence C
Residential "R" District
Business "B" District
Business "B" District
Business "B" District
Business "B" District
Business "B" District
Medical "M" District
Industrial "I" District
Industrial "I" District
Industrial "I" District
Special Conservancy-Flood Plain
Conservancy "C" District
Planned "P" District
Overlay "O" District
Farms, Forests and Rivers
FFR "FFR" District
Smart Growth Overlay District
Residential Incentive Development
Overlay "O" District
Water Supply Protection
Overlay "O" District
Overlay "O" District
Overlay "O" District
B. Districts may be grouped by "class" and may be referred to herein by the class name or by the abbreviations "R Districts," "B Districts." "I Districts," "C Districts," or "O Districts."
The Special Conservancy Floodplain District is established as shown on the Zoning Map. See § 350-13.0.
An Education Use District, Watershed Protection District, Water Supply Protection District, and Residential Incentive Development District are superimposed over the other districts shown on the Zoning Map, as recognition of the special conditions which exist in such areas. See §§ 350-10, 350-14, 350-15, and 350-18 for applicable regulations. When there are conflicts, the regulations for the overlay district supersede regulations for the underlying district.
The location and boundaries of the Zoning Districts are hereby established as shown on a zoning map titled, "Northampton Assessors and Zoning Map," which is hereby declared to be a part of this chapter. The official copy of the Assessors and Zoning Map shall be located in Office of Planning and Development.
Prior to any changes in the location of boundaries of a zoning district hereafter made through the amendments of this chapter, the public hearing notice required by MGL c. 40A, § 5, shall be mailed to the owner of land proposed for rezoning, as shown on the most recent applicable tax list, at least 14 days before the public hearing. Said changes shall be indicated by the alteration of the Assessors and Zoning Map. The map thus altered is declared to be part the ordinance thus amended. The Office of Planning and Development shall be responsible for making changes to the Zoning Map at a scale of approximately one inch equals 100 feet and/or one inch equals 200 feet. A map showing zoning district boundaries and the location of individual Zoning Map sheets shall be included in the Zoning Map and shall be a part thereof, being titled, "Index Map." These maps collectively shall be the Zoning Map.
Where any uncertainty exists with respect to the boundary of any district as shown on the Zoning Map and whenever a zoning boundary is shown running along the edge of a street, the following rules apply:
A. Where a boundary is indicated as a street, alley, railroad, watercourse or other body of water, it shall be construed to be the center line or middle thereof, or where such boundary approximates a City boundary, then to the limits of the City boundary.
B. Where a boundary is indicated as following approximately or parallel to a street, railroad, watercourse, or other body of water, it shall be construed to be parallel thereto and at such distance therefrom as shown on the Zoning Map. If no dimension is given, such distance shall be determined by the use of the scale shown on the Zoning Map.
C. Where a dimensioned boundary coincides within 10 feet or less with a lot line, the boundary shall be construed to be the lot line.
D. Where a zoning boundary is indicated as intersecting the center line of a street, railroad, watercourse or other water body, and unless it is otherwise indicated, it shall be construed to intersect at right angles to said center line or in the case of a curved center line, at right angles to the tangent to the curve at the point of intersection.
E. The Watershed Protection, Residential Incentive Development, and Water Supply Protection Districts are superimposed over any other districts established by this chapter. The rules for these superimposed (overlay) districts shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, the rules for such underlying other districts. The boundaries of these districts are shown on the Zoning Map and, for the Watershed Protection District, shall be interpreted as lying 100 feet horizontally from the normal high-water line of a stream, river or pond unless another dimension is otherwise apparent.
A. The provisions of this chapter shall be interpreted to be the minimum requirements adopted for the promotion of the health, safety, morals, or the general welfare of the City of Northampton, Massachusetts, and except for Chapter 44, Zoning Ordinance, of the Revised Ordinances of the City of Northampton, Massachusetts, 1959, and all subsequent amendments thereto, the provisions of this chapter are not intended to repeal, amend, abrogate, annul, or in any way impair or interfere with any lawfully adopted ordinance, covenants, regulations, or rules. Whenever the regulations made under the authority hereof differ from those prescribed by any statute, ordinance, or other regulations, that provision which imposes the greater restriction or the higher standard shall govern.
B. Except as herein provided, any existing conforming use, structure, or lot shall not by any action become nonconforming, and any existing nonconforming use, structure, or lot shall not become further nonconforming.
This chapter shall not apply to existing buildings or structures, nor to the existing use of any building or structure or of land, to the extent to which it is legally used at the time of adoption of this chapter, but it shall apply to any change of use (and ownership in the case of commonly owned land) thereof and to any alteration of a building or structure when the same would amount to reconstruction, extension or structural change, and to any alteration of a building or structure to provide for its use for a purpose or in a manner substantially different from the use to which it was put before alteration, or for its use for the same purpose to a substantially greater extent.
It shall be the duty of the Building Commissioner to administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
A. It shall be unlawful for any owner or person to erect, construct, reconstruct, or alter a structure or change the use or lot coverage, increase the intensity of use, or extend or displace the use of any building or other structure or lot without applying for and receiving from the Building Commissioner a zoning permit therefor. For purposes of administration, such permit and application procedure involving a structure may be made at the same time and combined with the permit required under the Building Code. Editor's Note: See Ch. 145, Building Regulations. Zoning permits shall be valid for six months after their issuance, but shall not provide any vesting in the event of zoning or other regulatory changes.
B. Any application for a zoning permit shall be submitted, accompanied by such information as may be necessary to provide for the execution and enforcement of this chapter. A record of all application, plans, and permits shall be kept on file by the Building Commissioner. The Building Commissioner shall take action in writing on an application for a permit, either granting the permit or disapproving the application, within 30 days of receipt of the application. The issuance of a zoning permit does not relieve an applicant or owner of the responsibility to obtain all required zoning and nonzoning permits.
It shall be unlawful to use or occupy any structure or lot thereafter erected or altered unless the Building Commissioner has issued a certificate of use and occupancy and has specified thereon the use to which the structure or lot may be put. Applications for certificates of use and occupancy shall be filed coincident with the application for permits and shall be issued or refused in writing for cause within 10 days after the Building Commissioner has been notified in writing that the erection or alteration of such buildings has been completed. A record of all certificates shall be kept on file in the office of the Building Commissioner. Buildings accessory to dwellings when completed at the same time shall not require a separate certificate of occupancy. Pending the issuance of a regular certificate, a temporary certificate may be issued for a period not exceeding six months, during the completion of alterations or during partial occupancy of a building, pending its completion. No temporary certificate shall be issued prior to its completion if the building fails to meet the requirements of applicable building ordinances and state laws or this chapter to such a degree as to render it unsafe for the occupancy proposed. In situations where, in the opinion of the Building Commissioner, a single structure or group of related structures may not be issued a certificate of occupancy because not all of the spaces within the structure(s) are yet completed, he may issue a single certificate of occupancy which specifies certain areas as not being included. Such areas will be required to have a separate certificate of occupancy prior to their use and occupancy.
Fees shall be established by the Mayor and the City Council, but shall exempt municipal buildings from the requirements for payment of fees.
A. Any work for which any permit has been issued by the Building Commissioner shall be actively prosecuted within six months and completed within 18 months of the date of issuance of the permit. For reasonable cause, the Building Commissioner may grant one or more (but not more than three) extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each for both actively prosecuting the work and for completing the work. Any project not competed within the applicable time limits shall be in violation of this chapter.
B. A special permit or finding granted under this chapter shall lapse in 24 months from the grant thereof if a substantial use thereof has not sooner commenced, or if, in the case of a permit for construction, substantial construction has not begun by such date or has been halted indefinitely.
C. If construction or operation under either a building permit or special permit is not begun within six months from the original issuance of such permit, work carried out thereunder shall thereafter conform to the requirements of this chapter as it may have been amended during the intervening period.
A. The Building Commissioner shall serve a notice of violation and order to any owner or person responsible for the erection, construction, reconstruction, completion, conversion, or alteration of a structure or change in use, increase in intensity of use or extension or displacement of use of any structure or lot in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this chapter, or in violation of any provision of this chapter, and such order shall direct the discontinuance of the unlawful action, use or condition and the abatement of the violation within a time to be specified by the Building Commissioner. Any owner, who having been served with a notice, and who ceases any work or other activity, or who fails to complete the structure, shall not leave any structure or lot in such conditions as to be a hazard or menace to the public safety, health, morals or general welfare.
B. If the Building Commissioner is requesting in writing to enforce the ordinance against any person allegedly in violation of the same and declines to act, he shall notify, in writing, the party requesting such enforcement of any action or refusal to act, and the reasons therefor, within 14 days of receipt of such request.
If the notice of violation and order is not complied with promptly, the Building Commissioner, upon written request to the City Solicitor, shall have available the services of the City Solicitor in instituting the appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity to prevent any unlawful action, use or condition and to restrain, correct or abate such violation. If the Building Commissioner shall refuse or fail to so request the services of the City Solicitor, the City Council may require him to do so. Delay by the Building Commissioner in instituting said proceedings shall not be imputed to the City of Northampton. Penalties for violations may, upon conviction, be affixed in an amount not to exceed $300 for each offense. Each day or portion of a day, that any violation is allowed to continue shall constitute a separate offense.
A. Membership. There shall be a Zoning Board of Appeals of three members and two associate members, appointed as provided in Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
B. Powers. The Board of Appeals shall have the following powers:
(1) To hear and decide appeals, as provided in Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. (See Subsection C below.)
(2) To hear and decide applications for special permits, as provided in Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. (See § 350-10.1.)
(3) To authorize upon appeal, or upon petition in cases where a particular use is sought for which no permit is required, with respect to a particular parcel of land or to an existing building thereon, a variance from the terms of this chapter, as provided in Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. (See Subsection C below)
C. Variances and appeals. Applications for variances and appeals shall be heard by the Zoning Board of Appeals subject to the provisions of Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws. A variance which has the effect of allowing a use not specifically permitted for the district in question under the Table of Use Regulations ("use variance") may be permitted, subject to the provisions of said Chapter 40A.
D. Time limitations. No appeal or petition for a variance from the terms of this chapter with respect to a particular parcel of land or the building thereon, and no application for a special permit which has been unfavorably acted upon shall be again considered within two years after the date of such unfavorable action, except as provided in Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
E. Zoning Administrator. The Board of Appeals, subject to confirmation by the City Council, may appoint a Zoning Administrator. The Board of Appeals may delegate to said Zoning Administrator some of its powers and duties by a concurring vote of all members of the Board of Appeals consisting of three members. Any person aggrieved by a decision or order of the Zoning Administrator, whether or not previously a party to the proceeding, or any municipal office or board, may appeal to the Board of Appeals, as provided in MGL c. 40A, § 14, within 30 days after decision of the Zoning Administrator has been filed in the office of the City Clerk. Any appeal, application, or petition filed with said Zoning Administrator for which no decision has been issued within 35 days from the date of filing shall be deemed denied and shall be subject to appeal to the Board of Appeals as provided in MGL c. 40A, § 8.
A. No variance or special permit, or any extension, modification or renewal thereof, shall take effect until a copy of the decision bearing the certification of the City Clerk that 20 days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the City Clerk and no appeal has been filed or that if such appeal has been filed, that it has been dismissed or denied, is recorded in the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds.
B. No work, including excavating or earth removal and on-site grading, with regard to a specific project for which a special permit or variance has been applied for, may be undertaken until said special permit or variance has been granted and all applicable appeal periods have expired.
Any extensions, modifications or renewals of a special permit or variance shall follow the same procedures as are required for the original granting of a special permit or variance.
Except as provided in this chapter, no building, structure, or land shall be used except for the purposes permitted in the district as described in this article. Any use not listed shall be construed to be prohibited. Uses permitted by right, by special permit, or by a variance shall be subject to all other provisions of the Ordinance.
A. The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter.
B. Any use which is accessory to a principal use allowed under the Table of Use Regulations shall be allowed only in connection with the bona fide operation of a principal use allowed under the Table of Use Regulations, and subject to the provisions of § 350-5.3 where applicable.
C. See also:
(1) Dimension and density regulations: § 350-6.0.
(2) Sign requirements: § 350-7.0.
(3) Parking and loading regulations: § 350-8.0.
Any use which is accessory to a principal use allowed by right shall be allowed only in connection with such allowed principal use. Any use which is accessory to a principal use allowed by special permit, and which is not specifically included in the original special permit, shall be allowed only after issuance of a new special permit. Cessation of a principal use shall require cessation of any accessory use which is not otherwise allowed as a principal use. The Building Commissioner shall be responsible for determining what uses are principal and what uses are accessory. The following shall be limitations on certain specific accessory uses:
A. The keeping of farm animals, to include all farm animals and exotics, and a related private stable, for personal use, is permitted as an accessory use in accordance with the following conditions:
(1) The minimum acreage required for keeping any farm or exotic animal, except as described below, shall be 30,000 square feet for the first animal and 15,000 square feet for each additional such animal. Animals under six months not to be counted for acreage requirements.
(2) The minimum acreage required for keeping sheep, goats, llama, rabbits, or poultry, except as allowed under household pets, shall be 30,000 square feet for up to three animals and 10,000 square feet for each additional such animal. Animals under six months not to be counted for acreage requirements. (The requirements for these animals are less stringent than other farm animals because these animals have less environmental impact.)
(3) The location of any stable shall be not less that 100 feet from any street lot line and not less than 30 feet from any other lot line.
(4) There must be adequate fencing to contain all farm animals at least 20 feet from all property boundaries at all times, except when animals are being directly supervised by and under control of a person.
(5) Stables, corrals and yards shall be properly drained and reasonably free from excessive odor, dust, and mud, so as not to create a nuisance or health hazard to the community or to surrounding property owners, from an air or drainage pollution standpoint. Maintenance of the stable and property used in the keeping of animals shall conform to all health and wetland regulations.
(6) Horses, ponies, llamas and sheep may be kept for personal use without being accessory to any other use, otherwise in accordance with this section and § 350-5.2.
B. The keeping of household pets for personal use is permitted as an accessory use for animals commonly considered household pets, including:
(4) Birds (parrots, parakeets, doves, pigeons, etc.).
(5) Six or fewer rabbits.
(6) Six or fewer adult female chickens or up to three ducks per parcel or per structure in the case where multiple residential structures exist on one condominium parcel. Additional chicks and ducklings are not subject to this limit. All of the following standards apply:
(a) Fowl must be maintained on the subject premises.
(b) Coop and run areas shall be regularly maintained to control dust and odor and not constitute a nuisance or safety hazard.
(c) Coops shall be located at least four feet from property boundaries, and no coop may be sited closer than 10 feet to an existing residential structure on an abutting parcel.
(d) All stormwater runoff from the coop, run and compost areas shall be contained on site.
(e) On-site slaughtering is prohibited.
The regulations for each district pertaining to frontage, minimum lot area, minimum lot width, minimum lot depth, minimum front yard depth, minimum side yard width, minimum rear yard depth, maximum height of buildings, maximum number of stories, and minimum open space shall be as specified in § 350-2.1, Definitions, and as set forth in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations, Editor's Note: The Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. and subject to the further provisions of this chapter.
A. See the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations at the end of this chapter plus attached notes, which are declared to be a part of this chapter. Handicap access ramps for access by the physically handicapped, as defined by MGL c. 40A, § 3, are exempt from these dimensional requirements.
B. See also dimensional requirements under:
C. In the event that the airport, fairgrounds, or other uses are discontinued, this table will be reevaluated and the City will seek reuse options via a public process that includes the neighborhood, the City and its boards, and the business community.
A. Cul-de-sac frontage requirement. In the case of a subdivision, either requiring or not requiring approval under the Subdivision Control Law, the lot frontage and minimum lot width requirement in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations may be reduced by not more than 20% for lots situated at the end of culs-de-sac or in other similar situations, provided that said reduction is requested in writing by the applicant and a majority of the Planning Board so agrees as a part of its approval of the plan or a part of the determination that approval is not required.
B. Dimensional averaging. The Planning Board may issue a special permit, in accordance with § 350-10.10, changing frontage, lot depths, setbacks, building coverage and open space (but not other dimensional) requirements for a residential lot within any residential (R) district only when the following conditions have been met:
(1) The new dimensional requirements must be at least as stringent as the median of that dimension for all lots where any portion of those lots is within 300 feet of the subject parcel and within the same zoning district as the subject parcel; and
(2) The requested special permit will provide infill development, open space for public use, or affordable units; and
(3) A list of all applicable dimensional measurements for lots within 300 (as calculated above) must be filed with the special permit application as described in the Planning Board's bylaws.
C. Land donations; reduction of dimensional and density requirements. The Planning Board may issue a special permit for a reduction of a required dimensional or density regulation required under § 350-6.2 where such reduction is for the purposes of donating land that is contiguous and in common ownership with the land for which the reduction is requested to the City of Northampton, or to other approved tax-exempt conservation organizations, for open space/conservation purposes. Such special permit may be issued provided that:
(1) Conservation Commission recommendations.
(a) Said special permit application and all supporting documents (conservation restriction, easement plans, etc.) are forwarded by the Planning Board to the Northampton Conservation Commission for its review and recommendation relative to:
 The value of the resource area being protected and its consistency with the City's Open Space and Recreation Plan.
 The adequacy of the protection of said resource area.
 The adequacy of public accessibility to the resource area being protected.
(b) Failure of the Conservation Commission to respond within 30 days of receipt of the special permit application shall be deemed the Commission's lack of opposition thereto.
(2) The land was donated, with no financial or other consideration, to the City or another nonprofit tax-exempt conservation organization and was not transferred as a part of an open space residential development or as a condition of any other City permit.
(3) If the land is not donated to the Northampton Conservation Commission, such special permit is subject to obtaining the approval (within nine months of the expiration of the appeal period of the special permit) of a conservation restriction/public right-of-way easement by the City Council and the Secretary of the Executive Office of Environmental Affairs that will remain in effect in perpetuity for that property being transferred.
(4) Prior to said donation, the lot conformed to all relevant zoning requirements or was a preexisting nonconforming lot.
(5) That at least 40% of the required lot size and frontage requirement remain as part of the lot exclusive of the donation, or for a preexisting nonconforming lot, that at least 5,000 square feet of lot area and 40 feet of frontage remain.
The following standards apply whenever land is divided:
A. The required lot or yard areas for any new building or use may not include any part of a lot that is required by any other building or use to comply with any provisions of this chapter.
B. The required lot or yard areas may not include any property of which ownership has been transferred subsequent to the effective date of this chapter if such property was a part of the area required for compliance with the dimensional regulations applicable to the lot from which such transfer was made.
C. Notwithstanding any other section or this chapter, land purchased by the City of Northampton or by a nonprofit, tax-exempt conservation organization for permanent water supply protection or for permanent open space and conservation purposes need not meet dimensional requirements of this chapter.
A. Screening and buffers shall be required on any lot in any industrial or business district and for any industrial or business use where it adjoins a lot in a residential district and shall be required on any lot in a planned business park where it adjoins land not in the planned business park, including collector streets which exist when a business park is proposed, and on any nonresidential lot in a planned business park district where it adjoins a residential lot as follows:
(1) This strip shall be at least 30 feet in width (100 feet in width in a planned business park). It shall contain a screen of plantings of vertical habit in the center of the strip not less than three feet in width and six feet in height at the time of occupancy of such lot. Individual shrubs shall be planted not more than five feet on center, and individual trees thereafter shall be maintained by the owner or occupants so as to maintain a dense screen year round. At least 50% of the plantings shall be evenly spaced. Whenever possible, existing trees and ground cover should be preserved in this strip, reducing the need to plant additional trees. Trees may not be cut down in this strip without site plan approval. (See § 350-11.)
(2) The Planning Board may issue a site plan approval (See § 350-11.) allowing for a ten-foot reduction in the required width of the landscaped buffer strip, provided that the Board finds that a sight-impervious wall or fence is erected of appropriate materials and sufficient height to screen abutting properties and will provide at least as much noise mitigation as the vegetated barrier described above.
B. In all industrial and business districts, except Central Business and any General Business building built with 0 foot front yard setback, and for any other industrial or business use, street frontage shall include shade trees, and there shall be one tree planted an average of every 30 feet of street frontage, using trees no less than 2.5 inches caliper at the time of installation. Trees may be placed within the City right-of-way instead of private property with the permission of the Department of Public Works. In the case of an uncleared site, existing vegetation can be preserved to achieve said objective.
C. In all industrial and business districts and for any industrial or business use, when a parking lot is located adjacent to a public right-of-way at least a ten-foot wide landscaped area between the right-of-way and the parking lot shall be provided. This landscaped area shall include shade trees, and there shall be one tree planted an average of every 30 feet of street frontage, using trees no less than 2.5 inches caliper at the time of installation.
D. All landscaping required by this chapter shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition, neat and orderly in appearance, and free of refuse and debris. All plantings shall be arranged and maintained so as to not obscure the vision of traffic. All landscaping must be conform to § 350-6.8, Other general dimensional and density provisions.
No encroachments (including fill), new construction, substantial improvements, or any other development shall be permitted within the regulatory floodway, as designated on the National Flood Insurance Program's Flood Boundary and Floodway Map, unless certification by a registered professional engineer or architect is provided, demonstrating that encroachments shall not result in any increase in flood levels during the occurrence of the one-hundred-year flood.
A. Detached accessory structures shall conform to all the applicable requirements in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations (§ 350-6.2), including setbacks, height and open space requirements. In business and industrial districts, detached accessory structures shall meet the same requirements as principal structures.
B. Any accessory below-ground or aboveground swimming pool shall be completely enclosed by a fence at least four feet in height, having a self-closing gate with a latch, except no fence shall be required if:
(1) The pool and any deck area surrounding said pool is not attached to a building or to a deck or porch attached to a building and is freestanding; and
(2) Access to said pool and any deck area surrounding said pool is exclusively by means of ladders or stairs which are removable, retractable, or may be secured in some other way as to prevent access to the pool and any deck area surrounding said pool.
In addition to the regulations in §§ 350-6.1 through 350-6.7 above, the following regulations shall apply:
A. In the case of one-family, two-family, and three-family dwellings, no more than one principal building may be built on any single lot, except as allowed in § 350-10.5, Open space residential development (cluster). In all other cases, more than one principal structure may occupy the same lot, provided that if they aggregate they do not represent a more intensive use of land than would be allowed if all uses were contained within a single structure.
B. Principal structures on the same lot shall be located at least 10 feet apart.
C. Projections into required yards or other required open spaces are permitted subject to the following:
(1) Balcony or bay window may project up to two feet into a required yard or other open space, provided that it is limited in total length to 1/2 the length of the building face.
(2) Open terrace or steps or stoop, less than four feet in height, may project into a required yard or open space up to 1/2 the required setback.
(3) Steps or stoop four feet and over in height, window sill, chimney, roof eave, fire escape, fire tower, awnings, storm enclosure, or similar architectural features may project not more than three feet into a required setback.
(4) Decks and porches, where the floor is less than four feet higher than the abutting sidewalk or street and where at least 60% of the facade facing a street is open to the air without heating, windows, or other barriers of any kind except insect screening, may project up to 1/2 the required front setback. Porches (but not decks) may be higher than four feet for homes in existence on January 1, 2003, when the floor of the porch is no higher than the first floor.
D. The provisions of this chapter governing the height of buildings shall not apply to the following, provided that these facilities comply with FAA regulations and are no more than 130 feet above the ground, except as provided in § 350-10.9, Telecommunications and personal wireless facilities, or as further specified below:
(1) Chimneys, cooling towers, elevators, skylights, ventilators, electronic equipment, or other necessary appurtenances usually carried above the roof, but in no case may the total height of the building including such facilities exceed 85 feet;
(2) Domes, towers, stacks, or spires on a principal building if not used for human occupancy and, other than for churches, if not occupying more than 20% of the ground floor area of the building, but in no case may the total height of the building including such structures exceed 85 feet;
(3) Ornamental towers, water towers, water storage facilities, water stand pipes, cooling towers, observation towers, radio and television broadcasting towers and antennas, telecommunication facilities, or other like structures, which do not occupy more than 20% of the lot area, provided that no tower or similar structure is located closer to a property line than the distance equal to its height, except as provided in § 350-11.8, Telecommunications and personal wireless facilities.
(4) Municipal- and publicly owned water towers, water storage facilities, and water standpipes exceeding 20% of the lot area or located closer to a property line than the distance equal to its height shall be allowed by site plan approval from the Planning Board, with the review limited to site layout and landscaping.
E. At no street intersection in any district shall any obstruction to vision exceeding three feet in height above the plane established by the intersection streets be placed or permitted to grow, on any lot within the triangle formed by the lot lines abutting the intersection and a line connecting points on these lot lines at a distance of 25 feet from the point of intersection of the lot lines. This restriction shall also apply to the intersection of a street and a driveway in a B or I District.
F. A fence, hedge, wall, sign or other structure or vegetation may be maintained on any lot, provided that in the front yard area, no such structure or vegetation shall be over three feet in height above the adjacent ground within five feet of the front lot line unless it can be shown that such vegetation will not restrict visibility in such a way as to hinder the safe entry of a vehicle from any driveway to the street. In residential districts, no fence shall exceed a height of 6 1/2 feet (eight feet when abutting a nonresidential district) unless a special permit has been received from the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Where a lot is located in more than one zoning district or municipality, the following dimensional and density regulations shall apply:
A. Frontage. The frontage requirement for the district or municipality in which a majority of the frontage is located shall apply. If the lot has equal frontage in all districts or municipalities, then the most restrictive shall apply.
B. Lot area. The lot area requirement for the district or municipality in which a majority of the lot area is located shall apply. If the lot has equal area in all districts or municipalities, then the most restrictive shall apply.
C. All other dimensional and density regulations. Those dimensional and density regulations required in a particular district or municipality shall apply to that portion of the lot, or structure, located in said district.
A. The Planning Board may issue a special permit allowing for the reduction of the frontage requirements for lots in the RR and SR Districts, when such lot is to be used solely for single-family residential purposes, provided that said lot has:
(1) The portion of the flag lot with less than the usual required frontage (the "flag pole") may be no deeper than 300 feet;
(3) An access roadway with no curve having a radius of less than 80 feet or, if access is from another lot, there must be area on the flag lot for an access roadway with no curve having a radius of less than 80 feet; and
(4) The lot shall be laid out such that the principal structure (erected or to be erected) may be located on the lot in such manner that a circle, with a minimum diameter equal to 1 1/2 times the amount of the minimum frontage requirement required for a nonflag lot in that district, can be placed around the principal structure without any portion of said circle falling outside of the property's line; and
(5) For the subdivision of any single lot or contiguous lots under common ownership, in existence at the time of adoption of this chapter or subsequent thereto, there may be no more than three flag lots having abutting, contiguous street frontage. Said contiguous flag lots under common ownership shall share one common curb cut and driveway access. Appropriate easements shall be delineated on the plot plan and on the deeds to the lots, including a clear provision for the responsibility for the maintenance of the common driveway, common utilities (if any) and snow removal, running with the land. Said easements shall:
(a) Become part of all of the deeds; and
(b) Be recorded at the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds or Land Court, as applicable. (Proof of recording shall be submitted to the Building Commissioner prior to the issuance of any building permits.)
(6) The grade, length and location of access driveways shall be of suitable construction, in the opinion of the Planning Board, for the access and, where applicable, the turnaround for vehicles, including moving vans, ambulances, fire and police. Said driveways shall conform to all applicable provisions of this chapter.
B. Plans submitted to the Planning Board under this section shall be the same as the plan submitted to the Planning Board under the Subdivision Control Law, and shall include the statement "Lot(s) is a flag lot: building is permitted only in accordance with the special flag lot provisions of the Northampton Zoning Ordinance."
C. The special permit application shall include a plan showing the location and layout of the proposed driveway and house and all provisions for drainage and stormwater runoff.
D. A flag lot special permit shall be deemed to have been exercised (and thereby shall not expire) when the special permit and endorsed subdivision plans have been properly recorded at the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds.
All signs (accessory and nonaccessory) shall comply with the regulations for the erection and construction of signs contained in the Building Code of the City of Northampton, and all other applicable regulations including the sign regulations contained in this chapter. In addition to the provisions of this chapter, all nonaccessory signs, including the typical billboard signs, shall be required to have the appropriate annual permit from the Massachusetts Outdoor Advertising Board for any nonaccessory sign which is not in conformity with applicable ordinances of the City of Northampton enacted in accordance with Section 29 of Chapter 93 of the General Laws.
A. Any traffic, informational or directional sign or festive banner owned and installed by or for a governmental agency shall be permitted.
B. A sign (including temporary interior window displays or banners) or its illuminator shall not by reason of its location, shape, size, or color interfere with traffic or be confused with or obstruct the view or effectiveness of any official traffic sign, traffic signal, or traffic marking. A sign or any part thereof which moves or flashes, all signs of the traveling light or animated type, and all beacons and flashing devices are prohibited, except that such portions of a sign as consist solely of indicators of time and/or temperature or automatically changing message shall be permitted if the Planning Board and Chief of Police determine that the sign is not a hazard to traffic and pedestrian safety. All illumination of signs must be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
C. Temporary freestanding ground signs advocating any candidacy or cause which is under consideration at a particular election or any other cause or issue (not to exceed one sign per candidate/cause per lot) shall be permitted, provided that such signs:
(1) Shall not exceed a size of six square feet and shall not be any closer than 10 feet to any lot line.
(2) Shall not be any higher (the top) than four feet from the ground.
(3) May not be displayed on a building or structure unless said building or structure is the headquarters or chief office of the candidate or organization. (Said wall sign shall conform to the wall sign criteria for that Zoning District within which it is located.)
(4) May only be permitted to be placed on a building which is not the headquarters or chief office of the candidate or organization, when the Building Commissioner determines that, because of the size of the lot's setback areas and the location of the building on the lot, such a sign cannot be adequately displayed on the ground itself.
(5) Shall not be displayed more than three months prior to the election date, if the sign is related to an election.
(6) Shall be taken down within three days following the election if the sign is related to an election or within 90 days of installation if the sign is not related to an election.
D. The limitations as to the number of signs permitted does not apply to traffic or directional signs which are necessary for the safety and direction of residents, employees, customers and visitors (whether in a vehicle or on foot) of the business, industry, or residence. Such signs may carry the name of the business or project, provided that said name is:
(1) Clearly secondary in nature to the primary directional function of the sign.
(2) No greater than 1/2 the size of the directional message.
(3) May not exceed a maximum size of six square feet.
(4) May not be any higher (top of sign) than four feet from the ground.
(5) Shall be limited to one such directional sign per curb cut.
(6) If lighted, be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only and shall be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
E. No sign, together with any supporting framework, shall extend to a height above the maximum building height allowed in the district in which the sign is located. In any R District, the top of a sign, together with any supporting framework, shall not extend above the roofline. In any other district, the top of a sign, together with any supporting framework, shall not extend more than eight feet above the roofline. In the case of a building with a pitched roof, the eaves line of the building shall be considered the roofline.
F. The supporting members for any pole sign, projecting sign, or any other sign shall be in acceptable proportion to the size of the sign.
G. No sign shall be erected so as to obstruct any door, window or fire escape on a building.
H. No more than one sign indicating the meetings and existence of any Northampton civic organization may be erected within a street right-of-way at each boundary line of the City or each gateway to Northampton, as identified by the Board of Public Works. Said sign shall not exceed 25 square feet in area and shall require the approval of the Board of Public Works.
I. No sign, except for a traffic regulatory or informational sign, shall be erected which uses the words "stop," "caution," or "danger" or other similar words in such a manner as to present or imply the need or requirement of stopping or caution or the existence of danger, or which, for any reason, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, is likely to be confused with any traffic regulatory or informational sign.
J. If lighting is provided for a sign, the source of light shall be either from within the sign or shall be white light exterior to the sign and shielded so as prevent direct glare from the light source onto any public street or onto any adjacent property.
K. In any district one unlighted temporary sign offering premises for sale or lease for each parcel in one ownership shall be permitted, provided that it shall not exceed six square feet in surface area; and it shall be set back at least 10 feet from the street lot line or 1/2 of the building setback distance whichever is less.
L. In any district one unlighted temporary sign of an architect, engineer or contractor may be erected during the period such person is performing work on the premises, provided that it shall not exceed four square feet in surface area, and it shall be set back at least 10 feet from the street lot line, or 1/2 of the building setback distance, whichever is less.
M. The Board of Appeals may issue a special permit allowing more than the number of signs herein permitted and/or for signs of a larger size or height than herein permitted, provided that:
(1) Signs are located only where they are otherwise permitted in the district; and
(2) The Board of Appeals determines that the architecture of the building, the location of the building or the land or nature of the use being made of the building or land is such that additional signs or signs of a larger size would not detract from the character of the neighborhood and should be permitted in the public interest. Additional ground signs shall only be approved if there are exceptional circumstances to warrant their approval and if all efforts are undertaken to keep additional ground signs as small and low as possible.
(3) The Board of Appeals specifies in the permit the exact sign permitted, the size and location of the sign or signs, and, if applicable, imposes other restrictions. Any change in said signs requires a new or revised special permit unless the special permit specifies what types of changes are allowed.
N. The Building Commissioner is authorized to order the repair or removal of any sign and its supporting structure which, in his judgment, is dangerous, or in disrepair or which is erected or maintained contrary to this chapter.
O. No sign shall contain florescent colors. No sign shall contain red or green lights if such colors would, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, constitute a driving hazard.
P. Signs painted or placed on the inside of the window shall be permitted, provided that the aggregate area of such signs does not exceed 20% of the area of the window glass.
Q. All signs, except for those authorized under § 350-7.2D, shall be removed within 30 days of the date from which they no longer serve their intended function (i.e., no longer provide the service, establishment or product being advertised).
R. A school, college or other educational institution may erect temporary signs for identification of special programs, alumni events, or other temporary or short-term (less than 12 weeks) educational programs. Such signs shall be permitted, provided that such signs:
(1) Shall not exceed a size of three square feet and shall not be any closer than two feet from any lot line.
(2) The top of the sign shall not be more than four feet above the ground.
(3) Shall not be displayed for more than three days prior to nor one week (a total of 10 days) after the start of said program or event.
(4) For temporary events which occur every year, signboards must be of durable construction.
S. A sign may not include text, graphics or pictures defined as obscene in MGL c. 272, § 31, if, taken as a whole, it (1) appeals to the prurient interest of the average person applying the contemporary standards of the county where the offense was committed; (2) depicts or describes sexual conduct in a patently offensive way; and (3) lacks serious literary, artistic, political or scientific value; nor may signs depict or describe sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
In all R and SC Districts, the following exterior accessory signs and no others are permitted:
A. One front wall sign located on the first floor facade for each legal mixed use or other commercial use, provided that such sign shall not exceed 1.5 square feet in surface area.
B. One identification sign for each dwelling unit, provided that such sign shall not exceed two square feet in surface area; if lighted, it shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only in conformance with § 350-12.2; and it shall not be used other than for identifying the occupancy.
C. Each membership club, funeral establishment, hospital, place of public assembly, community facility or public utility may have one identification sign (not to exceed 10 square feet in surface area) and churches, community facilities not places of public assembly may have one additional sign (not to exceed 40 square feet in surface area), provided that such sign(s), if lighted, shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only and in conformance with § 350-12.2, and such signs shall be set back at least 1/2 the required depth of the front yard setback. Tourist home/bed-and-breakfast facilities may have one identification sign, attached flush to the structure (not to exceed three square feet in surface area), provided that such sign, if lighted, shall be illuminated by indirect method with white light only in conformance with § 350-12.2.
D. For approved residential subdivisions, townhouse, multifamily, and open space developments, one ground sign identifying the development, provided that:
(1) It shall not exceed 12 square feet in surface area, on any one side and shall not have more than two sides.
(2) It shall be located on private property and set back at least 15 feet from any street lot line.
(3) The top of the sign shall not rise more than five feet above the ground or sidewalk within five feet of the sign.
(4) If lighted, it shall be illuminated internally, or by indirect method with white light only and must be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
(5) Such a sign shall only be permitted so long as the approved access within the development is not a City-accepted public way. Once said access has been accepted by the City Council as a City right-of-way said sign shall be removed, and a standard City street sign shall be installed.
E. In residential zoning districts one temporary freestanding ground sign up to six square feet addressing traffic safety concerns shall be permitted. For the purposes of this section, temporary shall be construed to mean less than 90 days in any calendar year.
F. No more than one sign shall be allowed for any one establishment in the R District.
The following signs shall be permitted in any B District:
B. Business signs shall be permitted as wall signs as follows:
(1) They shall be attached and parallel to the wall of the building; and
(2) They shall not project horizontally more than 12 inches therefrom and, if the sign is designed to allow pedestrian traffic under the sign, shall be a minimum of seven feet above the ground; signs projecting more than 12 inches over a public way shall be permitted by the Board of Public Works in accordance with Chapter 264, Signs, Article I; and
(3) One main (frontage) wall sign on the street frontage for each establishment in the structure plus one directory wall sign, provided that:
(a) The sign's surface area shall not be larger than 10% of the frontage wall area of the facade of the story which is occupied by the establishment or 100 square feet, whichever is less; and
(b) The total surface area of all main wall signage of a building shall not be larger than 10% of the main wall area of the ground floor; and
(c) Except in the Central Business District, when an establishment is located on a lot with more than one frontage (i.e., a corner or through lot) a main (frontage) wall sign may only be displayed on one of the frontages. The other frontage(s) may display a side wall sign as allowed below. In the Central Business District, a main wall sign can be placed on any wall with street frontage instead of a side wall sign.
(4) One side wall sign per structure (except in the CB District, where it may be one side wall per establishment plus one directory wall sign on the structure) on each side wall (that wall facing a non-rear lot line), provided that:
(a) The surface area of the sign shall not be larger than 25 square feet; provided, however, that in the CB District the total surface area of all the side wall signs for each side wall of a building shall not exceed 100 square feet or 10% of the side wall area of the ground floor of the side where the signs are located, whichever is less; and
(b) Side wall signs are not permitted on side walls which face or abut (within 100 feet) a residential zoning district.
(5) Rear wall. One rear wall sign per structure, provided that :
(a) The rear wall abuts upon a public right-of-way or a public or private parking lot; and
(b) The surface area of the sign shall not be larger than 25 square feet; and
(c) The sign shall not be higher than 10 feet above grade.
C. Business signs shall be permitted as awning/canopy and awning/canopy signs as follows:
(1) An awning/canopy may display the street address for the building and may also have either one sign along the bottom of the front of the awning/canopy or a sign along the bottom of both sides of the awning/canopy, identifying the establishment located therein, provided that the letters, numbers, characters, logos, etc., of such address and signs do not exceed a height of four inches. The purpose of said additional awning/canopy signage is for pedestrian (not automobile) traffic.
(2) Instead of the wall sign permitted under § 350-7.4B above, an awning/canopy attached to the building may have a sign of the size that would otherwise be allowed on the building wall itself. Said sign must conform to all other requirements for a wall sign.
(3) The entire backlit or illuminated area of a lit awning/canopy which has any letter or symbols anywhere on the canopy shall be considered a wall sign and must conform to the size and location requirements of wall signs. Illumination shall be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
(4) Awnings/canopies overhanging a public right-of-way must also be approved by the Department of Public Works.
D. Business signs shall be permitted as ground signs as follows:
(1) In the HB or M Districts, one ground sign for each lot, provided that:
(a) It shall not exceed 100 square feet in surface area on any one side; and
(b) It shall be set back at least 15 feet from any street lot line; and
(c) It shall not rise to more than 15 feet from the ground or sidewalk to the top of the sign; and
(d) It shall not have more than two sign faces.
(2) Where a single lot is occupied by more than one business, whether in the same structure or not, there shall not be more than one ground sign per lot.
(3) In particular instances, upon review by Office of Planning and Development staff, sign site plan approval for one ground sign, in addition to the wall sign(s) permitted in § 350-7.4B above, for each lot frontage of each lot in the Neighborhood Business (NB), General Business (GB), Entranceway Business (EB) and Central Business (CB) Districts may be granted, provided that:
(a) Sufficient evidence is presented to show that the structure, the orientation of the structure, the location or setback of the structure, or the location of establishments in the structure, especially affecting such structure or establishment, but not generally affecting the zoning district in which it is located, which restrict the visibility of wall sign(s) otherwise allowed by this chapter.
(b) Said ground sign shall be located in the same lot as the structure or establishment being advertised.
(c) Said ground sign shall not exceed a height of 10 feet, nor have a surface area greater than 80 square feet in the CB, GB or EB District or greater than 20 square feet in the NB District. Illuminated signs that meet ordinance shall be turned off within half an hour of close of business. Any applicant seeking a larger sign than specified above or any applicant denied a permit may apply for a special permit to the Zoning Board of Appeals in accordance with standard application procedures.
E. Temporary outdoor signs shall be permitted as follows:
(1) One temporary banner of no more than 25 square feet on a property for retail, service and restaurant uses in the Highway Business District for a period not to exceed 30 days per year.
(2) One temporary banner of no more than 25 square feet on a property for new retail, service or restaurant uses in the Central Business, Entranceway Business and General Business Districts for a period not to exceed 30 days.
In all I, BP and PV Districts, the following exterior signs, and no others, are permitted:
B. Business signs shall be permitted as follows:
(1) In all GI and BP Districts and for PV Districts as provided in Subsection D below not more than two wall signs for each building, provided that each sign:
(a) Shall not project horizontally more than 12 inches from the wall of the building;
(b) The surface area of each sign shall not aggregate more than 7 1/2% of the area of the front or side wall area of the floor on which it is displayed;
(c) If lighted, each shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only and shall be in conformance with § 350-12.2;
(d) Not more than one sign shall be attached to any wall; and
(e) No wall sign may be higher than 15 feet above the ground or sidewalk.
(2) In all OI Districts, one wall sign shall be permitted, subject to the regulations set forth in § 350-7.4 above.
(3) In all OI, GI and BP Districts, and for PV Districts as provided in Subsection D below, one ground sign for each building, provided that:
(a) It shall not exceed 100 square feet in surface area;
(b) It shall be set back at least 15 feet from any street lot line;
(c) It shall be erected so that no portion of it is over 15 feet in an I or BP District and over 10 feet in a PV District above the ground or sidewalk; and
(d) If lighted, it shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only and shall be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
(4) For PV Districts, for each building either up to two wall signs, as described in Subsection B(1) above or one ground sign, as described in Subsection B(3) above.
(5) For GI, BP and PV Districts where a number of individually owned parcels are developed as a single collective entity (i.e., an industrial, business park, or planned village) the Planning Board may grant a special permit permitting one additional ground sign for each entrance to the development (not to a specific building) off of a collector street identifying the collective entity and/or the individual business located therein. Said sign must conform to all of the requirements for ground signs contained in Subsection B(3) above.
Preexisting nonconforming accessory signs may not be changed, extended or altered unless the change brings the sign into conformity with the provisions of this chapter or unless said change is limited to changing the sign letters or symbols and/or changing panels and does not alter the structure of the sign itself. The following preexisting nonconforming signs, however, may be changed, extended or altered if there is a finding by the Zoning Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration will not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming sign to the neighborhood, and provided that such change, extension or alteration will not make the sign any more nonconforming than it now is (i.e., higher, taller, bigger, closer, etc.):
A. Preexisting nonconforming accessory signs in residential districts.
B. Preexisting nonconforming projecting signs in the Central Business District.
All nonconforming, nonaccessory signs in existence and lawfully erected before the adoption of this chapter may continue to be maintained, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this § 350-7; provided, however, that no proposed new nonaccessory sign shall be permitted in any district from and after the adoption of this chapter, nor may existing nonaccessory sign panels be reconstructed to add, modify, convert to LED or other electronic sign technology.
No sign shall be erected, altered or enlarged until a permit has been issued by the Building Commissioner. Such permit shall be issued only if the sign complies or will comply with all applicable provisions of this chapter. The permit and/or permit number shall be affixed to the sign in the manner prescribed by the Building Commissioner. A schedule of fees for such permits may be determined from time to time by the City Council. The provisions of this section shall not apply to signs permitted in a residential area nor to temporary signs allowed under the provisions of § 350-7.2 of this chapter.
Stationary off-premises sandwich board signs (intended for pedestrian orientation) are permitted in the Central Business (CB) District, Entranceway Business (EB), General Business (GB) District and Neighborhood Business (NB) District for restaurants and retail business establishments in those districts. All sandwich board signs must receive a permit from the Northampton Board of Public Works in accordance with the Provisions of §§ 264-2 and 264-3 of the Code of ordinances for the City of Northampton.
For all zoning districts, off-street parking spaces shall be provided for every new structure, the enlargement of an existing structure, and new or expanded uses, except as noted below, in accordance with the Table of Off-Street Parking Regulations and other requirements contained herein.
A. For all zoning districts, except General Business (GB) Districts, in cases of a change in use where the existing use (or in cases of vacancy, the next previous use) did not provide for the number of off-street parking spaces required under this chapter, then the proposed use shall only have to provide an additional number of off-street parking spaces equal to the increase, if any, between the number required under this chapter for the existing use and the number required for the proposed use.
B. For Entranceway Business (EB) and General Business (GB) Districts only, no additional off-street parking is required for the following:
(1) Continued use or reuse of existing buildings, as long as that use or reuse does not increase the total floor area within the building nor include outside storage of cars for sale or rent.
(2) The replacement of existing finished floor space and unfinished basements on the same parcel with site plan approval (but no increase in net floor space).
(3) The addition of a second floor to one-story (for the purpose of this section, basements shall not count as a story) buildings existing in the CB District only on January 1, 1996. (This is to encourage the restoration of building heights in the CB District which are more uniform and consistent with the scale of development which has historically existed.) However, the addition of additional floors or an expanded building footprint shall be subject to the parking requirements.
(4) Municipal facilities and municipal properties.
C. Table of Off-Street Parking Regulations. Parking shall be provided to serve the parking needs which are generated by a particular use or structure. When there is more than one primary use of a structure, the parking requirements for each use must be met unless one use is incidental to the principal use of the structure. Additional spaces where passengers may be dropped off may be required by the Planning Board for projects which require site plan approval.
Table of Off-Street Parking Regulations
In Central Business
(one space per)
All Districts other than CB
(one space per)
Any dwelling unit (including residential component of mixed residential/work space), except as noted below
500 square feet of gross floor area, up to a maximum of two per dwelling unit
Multifamily dwelling for elderly and people with disabilities, lodging house, dormitory, SRO, and halfway house
1,000 square feet of gross floor area, up to a maximum of one per dwelling unit for multifamily dwellings
Theater, gymnasium, auditorium, church or similar place of public assembly, with seating facilities
Six seats of total seating capacity
Three seats of total seating capacity
Automobile retail, sales, rental, service, and wash, and nonauto retail and service establishment utilizing extensive indoor and outdoor display areas
800 square feet of gross floor space, including outdoor display areas.
Hotel, motel, bed-and-breakfast (See restaurant entry for associated restaurants which are open to nonguests.)
Establishment, plus one per sleeping room, plus one per 400 square feet of meeting rooms
Establishment, plus one per sleeping room, plus one per 400 square feet of meeting rooms
Takeout restaurants (establishments selling foods prepared on premises, where consumption is primarily off the premises)
1.3 seats of seating capacity, plus one per 100 square feet of kitchen and waiting areas
Sit-down restaurants, bars, and nightclubs
Four seats of total seating capacity
Two seats of total seating capacity
Commercial, retail, personal service, professional and business offices, including banks, insurance and real estate establishments, but not medical uses
300 square feet of gross floor area
Medical/dentist offices, and transportation terminal
200 square feet of gross floor area
Manufacturing, industrial, utility, power plant, warehouse, storage, or wholesale establishment (calculate associated office with office use)
1,000 square feet gross floor space
Hospital (excluding medical offices and uses which are not part of the hospital definition)
500 square feet gross floor area
Kindergarten to 12th grade schools, YMCA, community facility (City building, recreation), library, museum, funeral parlor, and country club
400 square feet of gross floor area
College, business, trade, or industrial school classroom, laboratory, and other teaching areas
200 square feet of gross floor area (no parking required for on-campus auditoriums of 300+ seats)
Sum of various uses computed separately
Temporary and seasonal uses in unheated outdoor space in any business or industrial district
Any permitted use not covered by this schedule
Closest use determined by Building Commissioner
A. Provisions must be made for adequate off-street loading for all uses, except for residential and agricultural use. At a minimum, each retail, wholesale and industrial use over 25,000 square feet of gross floor area and all other service, community facility, utility and business uses over 75,000 square feet of gross floor area shall have at least one loading space. The Planning Board may, as part of site plan approval, require additional loading spaces or reduce the requirement for loading spaces.
B. The loading spaces shall be on the same lot as the use they are intended to serve. Loading spaces shall not be used to satisfy parking requirements.
A. Parking or loading spaces being maintained in any district in connection with any existing use on the effective date of this chapter, or any spaces subsequently provided in accordance with this chapter, shall not be decreased or any way removed from service to the use originally intended to be served, so long as said use remains, unless a number of parking or loading spaces is constructed elsewhere, such that the total number of spaces conforms to the zoning requirements. This regulation shall not, however, require the maintenance of more parking or loading spaces than is otherwise required. Existing or new parking spaces that are not allocated to specific projects or uses can be allocated to future projects that are developed within two years by site plan approval.
B. Off-street parking or loading spaces which are developed to serve a use or structure and which are subsequently accepted by the City of Northampton for parking or loading purposes shall be considered to continue to meet the parking and loading space requirements so long as said use and structure remains.
When the computation of required parking or loading spaces results in the requirement of a fractional space, any fraction of 1/2 or more shall require one space.
The Planning Board may issue a special permit permitting two or more buildings or uses located on separate lots to provide for their required parking in combined facilities on the same lot, subject to the provisions of § 350-8.7.
In all zoning districts, except the Central Business (CB) Districts, the Planning Board may:
A. Through site plan approval, allow the reduction of the parking space requirements of up to 20% of that required in the Table of Off-Street Parking Regulations where conditions unique to the use will reasonably justify such a reduction, including two-story buildings in the Highway Business (HB) District.
B. Through site plan approval, reduce parking requirements for major projects listed in § § 350-8.1 by up to 20% of parking needed for employees (no credit for parking needed for visitors or customers) if:
(1) The applicant incorporates satisfactory methods, acceptable to the permit granting authority, to reduce the need for parking into their design and into the trip-reduction plan described in § § 350-11.5B(3) by at least the same percentage; and
(2) If the site plan approval is conditioned on the on-going use of those trip-reduction methods with effective enforcement tools included.
C. Through a special permit, allow a greater percentage reduction where joint use of the same spaces by two or more uses or establishments is justifiable by virtue of the fact that the uses or establishments generate peak demand at substantially different time periods.
A. Required off-street parking spaces shall be provided on the same lot as the principal use they are required to serve. When practical difficulties exist which prevent their establishment on the same lot, the Planning Board may grant a special permit to allow off-site parking spaces in a nonmunicipal lot. When measured along pedestrianways from the edge of the principal use's parcel, the closest point of that nonmunicipal lot must be:
(1) Five hundred feet; or
(2) One thousand feet from the premises to which they serve if:
(a) The off-site parking will be shared by more than one land use; and
(b) The greater distance is justified because of pedestrian traffic patterns and the vitality of the adjacent land uses that would be part of the walk; and
(c) Patrons or employees of the principal land are likely to actually utilize the provided off-site parking; or
(3) Parking spaces for colleges or educational uses shall be located on contiguous or adjacent land owned by the college or educational use. For the purposes of this section, contiguous or adjacent land shall include land in common ownership, even if separated by public or private roads, or rivers, or streams, or private property, when said private property is not more than 150 feet wide.
B. A special permit issued under this provision shall be coterminous with the length of the lease and shall expire if and when the lease for said parking expires.
All parking and loading areas shall comply with the following:
A. A parking space shall be at least 8 1/2 feet in width and 18 feet in length, with at least 18 feet of backing-up and maneuvering area directly behind the space (which may be shared with other spaces). Except for parking spaces for the same residential housing unit, each space must be laid out so that it does not block access to another parking space.
B. The layout of the parking area shall allow sufficient space for the storage of plowed snow without reducing the number of required parking spaces, unless removal by some other means is provided.
C. Any fixture used to illuminate any parking area shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from the street and away from adjoining premises used for residential purposes and shall be in conformance with § 350-12.2.
D. Parking shall not be located within five feet from the front lot line for residential uses, 15 feet for uses in M District, nor 10 feet for other uses. For all residential uses in all residential districts except for URC, parking for more than two vehicles shall not be permitted within the front yard setback. Parking is not permitted within any of the setbacks in the Business Park or Planned Village Districts.
E. Parking and loading spaces, other than those required for single- and two-family dwellings, shall be so arranged as to prohibit backing of vehicles onto any street.
F. Unless directly opposite an intersecting street, no portion of a driveway entrance or exit shall be closer than 50 feet to the curbline of an intersecting street nor shall it be closer than 50 feet to any portion of an existing driveway located in a business or industrial district.
G. There shall be a maximum of one driveway curb cut per lot. In CB, GB, EB and HB Districts, a special permit from the Planning Board is required for more than one curb cut. The Planning Board may only issue a second curb cut if the applicant can show that there is something unique about the property that would otherwise render flow to and from the property unsafe and unmanageable. If the Board finds that more than one curb cut is necessary for traffic safety purposes, then additional off-site traffic mitigation may be required by the Planning Board to address pedestrian safety within the abutting street network. In all other districts, the Planning Board may, as part of site plan approval, allow additional driveways/curb cuts if, and only if, such permit will promote and improve safe and efficient traffic circulation. Residential driveways shall generally be over the front lot line directly from the street. Residential driveways may be constructed across side and rear lot lines directly from the street, however, when the Department of Public Works finds, or the Planning Board issues a site plan approval, that the driveway will not degrade safety. Driveways shall not cross lot lines of adjoining properties without Planning Board site plan approval.
H. A driveway's entrance or exit shall not exceed, at its intersection with the front lot line, a width of 15 feet for single- , two- and three-family uses and 24 feet for all other uses, except that the Planning Board may, as part of site plan approval, allow a thirty-foot width if, and only if, such approval will promote safe and efficient traffic circulation.
I. The parking area and access driveways thereto shall be graded and drained so as to dispose of all surface water accumulation in accordance with acceptable engineering practices.
J. Except on a farm, not more than one commercial vehicle, and said vehicle shall not exceed a weight of 10,000 pounds gross weight shall be garaged or in any way stored on any lot in any Residential (R) District.
K. No private access street or driveway serving a parking lot for nonresidential use shall cross property in a residential district except with a special permit granted by the Planning Board.
L. No more than two unregistered motor vehicles (any vehicle that does not have a valid registration legally issued by a governmental authority), and no motor vehicle accessories which are not parts of said two vehicles may be parked, stored or otherwise placed on a parcel of land in the City of Northampton without a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. This section shall not apply to the parking, storage or otherwise placing of unregistered motor vehicles and/or motor vehicle accessories where such parking, storage or placement is in connection with a legally established business selling new and/or used automobiles and trucks, or automotive repair or automobile service stations. This section shall also not apply to trucks and tractors which are in use for bona fide agricultural purposes.
M. All permitted unregistered motor vehicles and/or motor vehicle accessories shall be screened from the view of the public and from abutting public ways and from abutting properties by being enclosed within a structure or sight impervious fencing or screening.
N. A zoning permit must be received from the Building Commissioner and a driveway permit from the Department of Public Works, for all new or relocated driveways or parking lots.
O. Any use (drive-ins, etc.) which requires the "stacking" of vehicles waiting in line must be able to provide for the stacking of at least five vehicles in each line without the cars exceeding the boundaries of the lot.
P. No portion of individual, private driveways shall exceed a slope of 10% with switchbacks and turns reasonable for emergency vehicle access. However, driveways between 10% and a maximum of 12% on south-facing slopes with no curves may be approved by the Office of Planning and Development in consultation with the Fire Department when it is determined that no public safety issues will be created with such driveways. However, the Planning Board may allow steeper grades by special permit, when it is determined that no public safety issues will be created with such driveways.
Q. For all driveways with grades greater than 8% or longer than 500 feet and which do not result in total site disturbance of one acre or more triggering a Department of Public Works stormwater permit, a drainage plan shall be submitted to the Office of Planning and Development for review and approval.
R. Shared driveways for residential access in residential districts require site plan approval from the Planning Board and:
(1) Shall not service more than three lots (six lots for common driveways that loop to a road in two locations and are not dead-ends in any location).
(2) Shall provide the only vehicular access to the lots being serviced by it, and shall be so stated in the lot deeds.
(3) Shall be of suitable construction, grade, length and location, in the opinion of the Planning Board, for the access and turnaround of cars, trucks, ambulances, fire, and police, which will be utilizing such driveway. At a minimum, a common driveway shall not exceed grade of 10%, shall have a width of a least 15 feet, shall have passing turnouts providing a total width of at least 20 feet along a distance of at least 25 feet, spaced with no more than 300 feet between turnouts, and with the first such passing turnout being located within 10 feet of the driveway connection to the street, and shall conform to all other driveway requirements of this chapter.
(4) Shall be described on easements and easement plans approved with the site plan
In addition to § 350-8.8 above, all parking and loading areas containing over five spaces, including automotive and drive-in establishments of all types, shall either be contained within structures or shall also comply with the following:
A. The area shall be effectively screened with suitable planting or site impervious fencing on each side which adjoins or faces the side or rear lot line of a lot situated in any Residential R District.
B. The area and access driveways thereto shall be surfaced with bituminous concrete, cement concrete or pervious pavement (not to include any form of gravel or equivalent). The location of spaces shall be suitably marked by painted lines or other appropriate markings.
C. A substantial bumper of masonry, steel, or heavy timber, or a concrete curb or berm curb which is backed, shall be placed at the edge of surfaced areas except driveways in order to protect abutting structures, properties and sidewalks and screening materials.
D. There shall not be any business operation for vehicle repair for profit or gasoline or oil service facilities or any repair made to any motor vehicles, except on a lot occupied by a permitted automotive use. Any gasoline or oil facilities shall be at least 25 feet from any lot line.
E. There shall not be any storage of materials or equipment or display of merchandise within parking areas except as part of approved building operations.
F. In parking lots with more than 75 parking spaces, the expanse of pavement shall be interrupted by separating rows of parking spaces from each other and from driveways by using planting strips which may also contain pedestrian sidewalks at least six feet in width. Provision of these planting strips shall take into account the need to store snow, to locate light poles, to allow safe pedestrian movement, to maximize emergency access, and to separate different traffic movements. In addition, if an existing parking lot is expanded to over 75 spaces, planting strips shall be required for the entire lot. All proposals to construct or modify such parking lots shall be reviewed by the Planning Board in light of the requirements of this section.
G. Fire lanes or emergency access points required for buildings or other structures shall be protected from unauthorized parking through the provision of curbs, mountable barriers, landscaped areas or such other improvements subject to the approval of the Fire Chief and Chief of Police, which in turn meets the objective of precluding parking in the restricted area.
H. Parking lots with over 15 parking spaces serving uses located in Business, Industrial, Business Park or Planned Village Districts must have at least one shade tree (minimum two-inch caliper) for every 15 required parking spaces.
§ 350-8.10 Special provisions in Central Business District for meeting off-street parking requirements.
A. Payment made to the City of Northampton in lieu of providing some or all of the required off-street parking spaces for a project in the CB District shall be allowed by right.
B. The fee to be paid shall be $2,000 per parking space. Fees paid to the City of Northampton, in lieu of providing required parking spaces on site shall be deposited into a Downtown Parking Reserve Account to be used solely for expenses (land acquisition, design engineering services and construction costs, but not maintenance costs) related to adding parking spaces, improving the utilization of existing parking spaces, or reducing the need for new parking to serve the Central Business District. Requests to appropriate funds out of this reserve account shall be filed with the City Council and referred to the Office of Planning and Development, Planning Board, and Northampton Transportation and Parking Commission, which shall have 60 days to forward their comments and recommendations before a City Council vote of the appropriation is taken.
Except in the Central Business District, bicycle racks or other provision for indoor or outdoor storage of bicycles must be provided for all uses for which the zoning requires 10 or more parking spaces. Storage must allow for the locking of bicycles to racks or inside of storage containers. See http://www.northamptonma.gov/opd/Sustainable_Transportation/ for the 2009 Northampton Bicycle Parking Guide.
The provisions of this section apply to actions in connection with nonconforming uses, structures, and lots as created by the initial enactment of this chapter or by any subsequent amendment thereto. The above sentence shall not apply to landscaping, sidewalks, and parking requirements within any commercial district. Any change of site within such district that triggers site plan approval or entails a change of use requires that the site come into compliance with the ordinance with respect to parking lot layout, landscape screens, plantings, buffers and curb cuts, unless it is impossible to meet these standards. In all cases, there shall be some landscape buffer between the public right-of-way and off-street parking lots.
A. This Zoning Ordinance shall not apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a valid building or special permit issued before the first publication of notice of the public hearing on this chapter or to any other exemptions in accordance with MGL c. 40A, § 6. The ordinance shall apply to any change or substantial extension of such use, to a building or special permit issued after the first notice of said public hearing, to any reconstruction, extension or structural change of such structure, and to any alteration of a structure begun after the first notice of said public hearing to provide for its use for a substantially different purpose or for the same purpose in a substantially different manner or to a substantially greater extent.
B. A finding, as used in this chapter, requires that the Zoning Board of Appeals determine that a change, expansion or alteration to a preexisting nonconformity will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming nature of the structure, lot and or use. The Zoning Board may impose conditions as part of approving a finding.
C. Applications for findings, as allowed in this chapter, shall follow the same procedural requirements as special permit applications; however, a finding shall be granted upon the vote of a simple majority of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
§ 350-9.3 Change, extension or alteration of legally preexisting nonconforming structures, uses, or lots.
Legally preexisting nonconforming structures, uses, or lots may be changed, extended or altered as set forth below. If a use is not eligible under one subsection, proceed to the next subsection.
A. A preexisting nonconforming structure or use may be changed, extended or altered:
(1) As-of-right if the expansion/change itself meets all the dimensional and use requirements of the current zoning.
(2) As-of-right in a residential district, when said change is from a preexisting nonconforming use to a conforming residential use, and there are no changes to the exterior of the structure or lot and no new nonconformities are created by such change/conversion.
(3) As-of-right when said change or alteration is limited to rebuilding a single- or two-family home destroyed by fire or other natural disaster within two years of the disaster. Reconstruction must either meet the current zoning requirements or fall within the same footprint and height of the destroyed home so as not to expand the nonconforming nature of said home.
(4) As-of-right when said change or alteration is limited to rebuilding any other building not more than 50% destroyed by fire or other natural disaster when the change is limited to rebuilding or replacing the structure within the preexisting footprint and height of the existing structure or within an area and height that conforms to all dimensional requirements and all construction occurs within two years of the disaster.
(5) As-of-right, if the expansion (vertical or horizontal) is for a residential use and does not extend either further than five feet into a required setback or further than the existing nonconforming structure, whichever is less and such extension does not create any new zoning violation (such as further reducing a setback or open space).
(6) As-of-right, if the expansion (vertical or horizontal) is for a residential use and does not extend either further into a required setback than the existing nonconforming structure, and such extension does not create any new zoning violation (such as further reducing a setback or open space), and the applicant provides written evidence satisfactory to the Building Commissioner that all owners of all parcels within 300 feet of the subject property have no objection to the expansion.
(7) With a finding from the Zoning Board of Appeals so long as the change does not involve a sign (see § 350-7 for signs) and § 350-9.3A(5) above does not apply and when the expansion extends (vertically or horizontally), but does not increase the nonconforming nature of the property and does not create any new zoning violation (such as further reducing a setback or minimizing open space).
(9) With a variance, for any use except for a single- or two-family, when said change, extension or alteration will create any new violation of the present zoning requirements or if change is an expansion of preexisting nonconforming retail use.
(10) With a special permit for a single- or two-family home when the Zoning Board makes a finding that the change which includes new zoning violations (such as reduction of open space, new setback encroachments or further encroachments into the setback, etc.) will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming single- or two-family structure.
(11) With a combination of a finding and variance when applicable.
B. A conforming use on a preexisting nonconforming lot: A conforming use on such a lot may be changed, extended or altered:
(1) As-of-right to the same conforming use in a conforming structure, which meets all the dimensional, and density provisions of the current zoning, except for lot size, frontage, or depth and when the lot size, frontage, and depth requirements do not change.
(2) With a finding from the Zoning Board of Appeals when said change, extension or alteration is to a different conforming use which requires the same or less minimum lot area, minimum lot width and frontage, minimum lot depth, setbacks, and parking than is required for the present use (and lot does not fully conform to the present zoning requirements for the proposed use).
(3) With a variance to a conforming use which requires a larger minimum lot area, minimum lot width or frontage or minimum lot depth than is required for the present use or creates any other new zoning violation.
(4) With a combination of a finding and variance when applicable.
C. A preexisting nonconforming lot may be changed, extended or altered:
(1) As-of-right if such change, extension or alteration to the lot does not increase the nonconforming nature of the property, only brings the lot into total conformance with the zoning requirements in existence at the time of said change, extension or alteration, or adds to the lot.
(2) As-of-right whenever a group of adjoining lots in common ownership is separated or the ownership of one or more lots changed, if each of the lots will conform to all provisions of this chapter, or if the lots are residential lots and each lot contained a principal residential structure at the time the adjoining lots came under common ownership and no changes were made to the structures or lots during the time in which the lots were commonly owned, in a way that increased the nonconforming nature of these lots.
Any increase in area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirements of this chapter shall not apply to a vacant lot for single- and two-family residential use, which:
A. Has at least 5,000 square feet of area and 50 feet of frontage; and
B. Is in an area zoned for single- or two-family use (A special permit must be obtained if one is required.); and
C. Conformed to existing zoning requirements when the lot was legally created, if any; and
D. Is in separate ownership prior to the City Council vote which made the lot nonconforming, and has maintained its separate identity.
Any nonconforming use of a conforming structure and/or lot which has been abandoned or discontinued for a continuous period of two years or more shall be deemed extinguished and shall not be reestablished. For purposes of this section, the abandonment period shall not be considered broken by temporary occupancy, except when such temporary occupancy is for a period of 60 or more consecutive days and when said temporary occupancy involves the exercise of nonconforming use.
Special permits authorized by this chapter shall be granted only after application to and a hearing by the special permit granting authority and subject to the provisions of MGL c. 40A and this chapter. The special permit granting authority responsible for hearing a particular proposal shall be that board designated in the Table of Use Regulations (§ 350-5.2) Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. or other applicable sections. The special permit granting authority shall be the Planning Board if no other board is specified.
A. Application for a special permit shall be made to the Office of Planning and Development and City Clerk on forms provided for that purpose, accompanied by the required fee. Specific rules governing the application and fee shall be adopted by each special permit granting authority along with its rules of procedure and shall be applicable to those special permits which are under its jurisdiction. When the application has been received in a completed form as defined by said rules, a copy shall be forwarded to the City Clerk. The stamp of the City Clerk shall designate the date of filing.
(1) Special permits shall only be issued following public hearings held within 65 days after filing of an application. Advertising and notice of hearing shall be conducted by the Office of Planning and Development subject to the rules of procedure adopted by the special permit granting authority having responsibility for the particular proposal in question.
(2) As specified in MGL c. 40A, § 11, all special permit decisions shall be recorded prior to commencement of work. In addition, the site plans shall be recorded with the decisions. The form and number of pages to be recorded shall be determined by the Planning Board. This provision may be waived by the Planning Board.
C. A special permit may only be granted, and is only valid, when the ordinance specifically authorizes the issuance of a special permit for that use. Before granting an application for a special permit, the special permit granting authority must find all of the following criteria are met:
(1) The requested use protects adjoining premises against seriously detrimental uses. If applicable, this shall include provision for surface water drainage, sound and sight buffers and preservation of views, light, and air; and
(2) The requested use will promote the convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets, minimize traffic impacts on the streets and roads in the area. If applicable, this shall include considering the location of driveway openings in relation to traffic and adjacent streets, access by emergency vehicles, the arrangement of parking and loading spaces, and provisions for persons with disabilities; and
(3) The requested use will promote a harmonious relationship of structures and open spaces to the natural landscape, existing buildings and other community assets in the area; and
(4) The requested use will not overload, and will mitigate adverse impacts on, the City's resources including the effect on the City's water supply and distribution system, sanitary and storm sewage collection and treatment systems, fire protection, streets and schools; and
(5) The requested use meets any special regulations set forth in this chapter; and
(6) The requested use bears a positive relationship to the public convenience or welfare. The use will not unduly impair the integrity of character of the district or adjoining zones, nor be detrimental to the health, morals, or general welfare. The use shall be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of the ordinance; and
(7) If applicable, the requested use will promote City planning objectives to the extent possible and will not adversely effect those objectives, as defined in City master or study plans adopted under MGL c. 41, § 81C and 81D.
D. The special permit granting authority shall also impose, in addition to any applicable conditions specified in this chapter, such additional conditions as it finds reasonably appropriate to safeguard the neighborhood or otherwise serve the purposes of this chapter, including, but not limited to, the following: front, side or rear yards greater than the minimum required by this chapter; screening buffers or planting strips, fences, or walls, as specified by the special permit granting authority; modification of the exterior appearance of the structures; limitation upon the size, number of occupants, method and time of operation, time duration of permit, or extent of facilities; traffic features in accordance with the regulations of loading or other special features beyond the minimum required by this chapter. Such conditions shall be imposed in writing, and the applicant may be required to post bond or other security for compliance with said conditions in an amount satisfactory to the special permit granting authority. In addition, when applicable, a site plan shall be submitted to the Planning Board for its final approval in accordance with the site plan approval in § 350-11 of this chapter.
For the removal of sand, gravel, quarry, loam, sod or other earth materials, other than that which is incidental to and in connection with the construction of a building for which a permit has been issued in accordance with these zoning regulations, and for processing and treating raw materials, the following conditions shall govern:
A. Any existing sand or gravel removal activity operating under a permit issued prior to the date of adoption of this chapter may continue until the expiration of the permit, except that any expansion or change in operation not covered by such permit shall require conformance with the above regulations.
B. Removal and processing operations shall not be conducted closer than 50 feet to a public street or to any property line.
C. No equipment, except mobile equipment for sorting, washing, crushing, grading, drying, processing, and treating, shall be used closer than 100 feet to any public street or to the line of any adjoining property.
D. Off-street parking shall be provided as required in the Table of Off-Street Parking Regulations. Editor's Note: See § 350-8.1C.
E. Any access to excavated areas or areas in the process of excavation shall be adequately posted with "KEEP OUT - DANGER" signs.
F. No excavation, quarry, bank or work face extending under original ground level shall create a slope of more than one vertical to two horizontal. Such fence shall be located 10 feet or more from the edge of the excavation or quarry, and shall be at least six feet in height.
G. Adequate provision is to be made for drainage during and after the completion of operations.
H. Lateral support shall be maintained for all adjacent properties.
I. The use of explosives shall be done in accordance with the regulations for storage or handling of explosives as published by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
J. All operations shall be conducted in such a manner so as to comply with the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulating water pollution and air pollution.
K. Hours of operation shall be designated.
L. Provisions shall be made for the adequate control of dust during operation.
M. Required site plan. Site plans for the removal areas shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer or a registered land surveyor according to § 350-11, with the following additional information.
(1) Water supply and sanitary sewerage systems and temporary and permanent drainage systems for the site.
(2) Topographic mapping showing existing contours at intervals of not more than two feet and contours of finished grade after the conclusion of the operation.
(3) Replacement of at least four inches of topsoil over all excavated, filled, or otherwise disturbed surfaces and seeding with a perennial cover crop, reseeded as necessary to assure uniform growth and soil surface stabilization.
(4) Submission of plan for lighting if night operation is contemplated.
(5) Proper provision for vehicular traffic, service roads, and control of entrances and exits to highways.
(6) The relocations of existing and future buildings and operations machinery to the removal areas.
(7) Delineation of the existing removal areas and the proposed area for removal in the immediate future.
(8) Provision for a substantial fence enclosing the excavation or quarry.
N. Required reuse plan. Reuse of a removal site is in the public interest. Therefore, land reuse plan(s) on a scale of 100 feet to the inch or greater must be submitted to and approved by the Planning Board, subject to the regulations set forth below:
(1) The Planning Board may require that up to five approved alternative future land reuse plans be submitted for such land as is used for the extraction of sand, gravel, rock, loam, sod, and associated earth materials. A land reuse plan is also required where an existing extraction operation is extended below the grade of adjacent ground.
(2) Said land reuse plan and its implementation applies to the conversion of the abandoned site and its planned reuse, including landscaping and suitable erosion control. It is, therefore, required that any land reuse plan correspond to a situation which could reasonably occur in the immediate future (zero to five years), and be revised as necessary as the existing physical character of the removal area changes.
(3) The land reuse plan or any part thereof which reasonably applies to an area which has been abandoned from removal use shall be put into effect within one year of the abandonment of said operation. "Abandonment" for the purposes of this subsection shall be defined as the visible or otherwise apparent intention of the owner of user of the land to discontinue the use of the land for a continuous period of one year. Temporary operating of less than 30 days shall not be construed to interrupt any continuous period of abandonment.
(4) A reuse plan as defined in this section shall be required for each operation which would come under this section prior to three years from the date of adoption of this amendment, and shall be subject to all of the review procedures as provided in this section, notwithstanding the fact that the operation itself is being undertaken under the provisions of previously existing Zoning Ordinance.
O. The Planning Board shall require a surety bond signed by a surety company authorized to do business in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or other acceptable performance security, in an amount approved by the Board as sufficient to guarantee conformity with the provisions of the permit issued hereunder.
P. Exemption. The removal of earth material in any of the following operations shall be exempt from this section:
(1) The removal of less than 10 cubic yards of material in the aggregate in any year from any one lot.
(2) The transfer of material from one part of a lot to another part of the same lot.
(3) The removal of material necessarily excavated in connection with lawful construction of a building, structure, street, driveway, sidewalk, path or other appurtenance, provided that the quantity of material removed does not exceed that actually displaced by the portion of such building, structure, street, driveway, sidewalk, path or other appurtenances below finished grade.
Q. For a continuation of an operation beyond a period designated in the initial permit, a new application must be granted in the same manner as for the initial permit except that the Planning Board may waive requirements for submittal of materials required by this section. The waiver must be granted in writing by the Board to the applicant. All other provisions relating to operational standards and permit procedures shall apply.
For the filling in of any pond, lake, swamp, or other existing body of water or wet area where such filling is not covered by § 350-13 or 350-14; and where such filling in requires an amount of fill equivalent to 500 cubic yards or more, or where the area to be filled in exceeds 10,000 square feet and only subject to the eventual approval by the Northampton Conservation Commission under the applicable provisions of Massachusetts Wetlands Protection, the following conditions apply:
A. A site plan shall be submitted as required in § 350-11, including the following additional information:
(1) The premises and surrounding area within 100 feet showing;
(2) Existing and proposed contour lines at intervals of not more than two feet resulting from the proposed filling in, in relation to the topography of the premises;
(3) A tie-in to the nearest road intersection;
(4) A plan for lighting if night operation is contemplated.
B. Provision shall be made for temporary and permanent drainage of the site.
C. Fills shall be limited to terrace fills which are not to exceed 10 feet at any one time nor be within 10 feet of an adjacent property line or any cut.
D. Regrading of all or parts of the slopes resulting from such fill shall be carried out.
E. At least six inches of topsoil shall be replaced over all filled or otherwise disturbed surfaces with seeding with a perennial cover crop, reseeded as necessary to assure uniform growth and soil surface stabilization.
F. Where any fill will have a depth of 10 feet or more and create a slope of more than one vertical in two horizontal, there shall be a substantial fence enclosing the fill at least six feet in height with suitable gates. Such fence shall be located 10 feet or more from the edge of the fill.
For the filling in of any land area which is not excepted in Subsection A below, no such filling in of land shall proceed without first securing a special permit according to the regulations and procedures set forth in § 350-10 of this chapter, subject to the provisions contained herein.
A. Exceptions The filling in of any land area shall be exempt from this section, provided that all of the following conditions are complied with:
(1) A filling-in operation which does not exceed a total of 500 cubic yards of material.
(2) A filling-in operation which does not exceed a total area of 10,000 square feet on any lot, land parcel or subdivision thereof.
(3) A filling-in operation which is associated with acceptable agricultural land management practices, including but not limited to plowing and construction of agricultural structures; nursery operations, such as the removal and/or transplanting of cultivated sod, shrubs, and trees; logging operations.
(4) Filling-in operations associated with refuse disposal and sanitary landfill facilities within the City of Northampton and operated in accordance with all appropriate state and local regulations.
(5) Filling-in operations necessary in connection with lawful construction of a building, structure, street, driveway, sidewalk, path or other appurtenance.
(6) Filling, as a maintenance measure, or for landscaping purposes on existing developed lots or parcels, provided that the aggregate of area(s) affected does not exceed 10,000 square feet; the grade change does not exceed 12 inches at any point and does not alter the drainage patterns; and the filling-in does not involve a quantity of material in excess of 100 cubic yards.
B. For a continuation of an operation beyond a period designated in the initial permit, a new application must be made and a new special permit must be granted in the same manner as for the initial permit, except that the Planning Board may waive requirements for submittal of materials required by this section. The waiver must be granted in writing by the Planning Board. All other provisions relating to operational standards and permit procedures shall apply. A separate permit shall be required for each separate noncontiguous site and for any expansion on the same site.
C. A site plan shall be filed with the Office of Planning and Development for any land which is to be filled and is not exempted under the provisions of Subsection A of this section. Site plans for fill areas shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer or a registered land surveyor in accordance with this section and § 350-11. Site plans must include the following for the site to be filled and the area within 100 feet of the site to be filled:
(1) The premises and surrounding area within 100 feet showing the area to be filled in, property lines within which the filling is proposed, existing and proposed contour lines at intervals of not more than two feet resulting from the proposed filling in, in relation to the topography of the premises.
(2) The location of any buildings, structures, utilities, sewers, water and storm drains within 100 feet of the site.
(3) A certification of the quantity of fill involved.
(4) Detailed plans of all temporary and permanent drainage provisions, retaining walls, cribbing, vegetative practices, erosion and sedimentation control measures and all other protective measures and devices utilized or constructed in connection with the area to be filled.
(5) A timing schedule and sequence indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates.
(6) A plan for lighting if night operation is contemplated.
(7) Other plans, drawings or materials as may be required by the Planning Board.
D. Conditions for the filling in of any land area subject to the provision of this § 350-10.4 of this chapter, the following conditions shall govern:
(1) Provision shall be made for adequate temporary and permanent drainage of the site.
(2) Fills shall be limited to terrace fills which are not to exceed 10 feet at any one time nor be within 10 feet of an adjacent property line or cut.
(3) Regrading of all or parts of the slopes resulting from such fill shall be carried out.
(4) At least six inches of topsoil shall be replaced over all filled or otherwise disturbed surfaces seeded or sodded with a perennial cover crop, reseeded or resodded as necessary to assure uniform growth and soil surface stabilization.
(5) Where any fill will have a depth of 10 feet or more and create a slope of more than one vertical in two horizontal, there shall be a substantial fence enclosing the fill at least six feet in height with suitable gates. Such fence shall be located 10 feet or more from the edge of the fill.
(6) Filling of land area which falls within the superimposed Watershed Protection District is prohibited.
(7) The planned filling in of any land area shall be consistent with any recreation, conservation and open space plan as prepared by the City Planning Board.
(8) Documentation shall be submitted as to the effect of such filling-in activities on drainage, both within the immediate area and sufficiently far downstream, as required by Planning Board.
(9) Provisions shall be made such that the filling in of any land area shall not impair surface drainage, constitute an erosion hazard nor act as a source of sedimentation to any adjacent land or watercourse.
(10) Provisions shall be made such that the filling in of any land area does not impair the safe and efficient operation of any on-site sewage disposal or drainage facilities nor those located on adjacent properties.
(11) Provisions shall be made to reduce the area and duration of exposure of fill material(s) and to reduce the velocity of runoff, both during and after the completion of the filling-in activity in order to minimize the potential of soil erosion and siltation problems.
(12) Provisions shall be made for the adequate control of dust during filling-in operations.
(13) All disturbed fill areas shall be promptly seeded or sodded with a suitable ground cover and supplemented with other suitable plantings as soon as the season permits.
(14) No final slopes shall exceed a slope of more than one foot vertical in two feet horizontal.
(15) No filling in of land shall cause or permit any soil, earth, sand, gravel, rock, stone loam, or other fill material, or water or liquid to be deposited upon or to roll, flow or work upon or over the premises of another without the express consent of the owner of such premises so affected; nor shall any filling in of land cause or permit any soil, earth, sand, gravel, rock, stone loan, or other fill material or water or liquid to be deposited, or to roll, flow, or wash upon or over any public street, street improvement, road, sewer, storm drain, water course, or right-of-way, or public property.
(16) Such other conditions as may be deemed necessary and reasonable shall be imposed by the Planning Board in order to prevent damage to public or private property or any sewer, storm drain, or watercourse, or to prevent the filling in of land from being conducted in a manner hazardous to life or property, or in a manner likely to create a nuisance.
For residential development in a clustered concept (a concept whereby the residences are clustered on a portion of the lot, thereby leaving more of the parcel undeveloped and in open space, the purpose of which is to: a) preserve the rural character of the community by maximizing and preserving expanses of open space in their natural state; b) provide a buffer between developments; and c) serve a functional relationship to each of the lots in the development in those districts for which such an option is allowed by the Table of Use Regulations, Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. the following rules and conditions shall apply:
A. A site plan, in accordance with this section and § 350-11, Site Plan Approval, shall be prepared by a registered land surveyor or registered professional engineer. In addition to requirements of § 350-11, the plans shall show the following:
(1) Two-foot finished contours on the tract and within 50 feet thereof.
(2) The location and acreage of areas to be devoted to specific uses.
(3) Existing and proposed streets, parking areas, drainage and utility systems, including sewer and water, streetlighting, landscaping, fire alarm systems, sidewalks, and easements, and natural features.
(4) Proposed clustered residential density of development and gross density of development in terms of square feet per family.
(5) The proposed location of parks, open spaces and other public or community uses.
(6) Such other information as may be required by the Planning Board.
B. For those proposed developments which will also involve the subdivision of land and/or require the Planning Board's approval under the Subdivision Control Law:
(1) A definitive subdivision plan shall be filed with the special permit application in lieu of the site plan (Said plan shall include all of the information required in Subsection A above.); and
(2) The definitive subdivision plan shall be filed with the Planning Board for approval under the Subdivision Control Law at the same time that the special permit is filed.
C. The tract for which an open space residential development is proposed shall be in a single ownership or control at the time of application, and shall be comprised of at least four contiguous acres, except in URC and URB Districts it shall be at least three acres.
D. The use and density requirements for open space residential development (cluster) are listed in the Table of Use Regulations and the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations in § 350-6.2. Editor's Note: These tables are included at the end of this chapter. The minimum lot area in the table is the land area required for each residential building exclusive of streets, water area, open space, and common land. When a development is served by both an on-site water supply (well) and an on-site sewage disposal system (septic tank), then the Board of Health approval of both water supply and sewage disposal system location is required.
(1) Each single-family, two-family and three-family structure shall be located on its own individual lot, except that for the purpose of this section one-family, two-family and three-family structures may be considered townhouses if they are either row houses attached side to side (not on top of each other), or if all homes are located on a single lot under common ownership. Multiple townhouses and multifamily structures may be located on one lot under common ownership. If multiple structures are placed on a single lot, there must be adequate provisions for internal circulation, including circulation of pedestrians and emergency and maintenance vehicles, and for the on-going maintenance of the circulation system. The total number of units shall be determined by Subsection E below.
(2) When the rear or side yard of an individual lot in the development, including a zero lot line lot, abuts a lot not in that development, then said rear yard and side yard building setbacks shall be equal to those required for a nonclustered lot in that zoning district.
(1) The maximum number of dwelling units in the development shall be computed by multiplying the total tract area, less proposed roadways and 90% of wetlands and floodplains, by the density shown below for the appropriate zone:
Dwelling Units Per Acre
0.54, regardless of the underlying district
0.54 if lots or development have both an on-site water supply (well) and an on-site sewage disposal system (septic tank), regardless of the underlying district
(2) The above densities are increased by up to 15% if:
(a) The percent of density bonus is no greater than the percent of dwelling units in the cluster that are affordable units. Affordable units are those which may be rented or purchased by households making 80% of median household income for Northampton, as calculated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with adjustments for family size; and
(b) Deed and use restrictions, easements, or covenants, with a mechanism for adequate enforcement, are provided and approved by the Planning Board to ensure that units are affordable for a minimum of 99 years and that units can only be purchased by people whose income does not exceed 80% of median income; and
(c) Affordable units are geographically dispersed throughout the development; and
(d) The applicant provides all required information and paperwork and pays all required fees under the Massachusetts Local Initiative Program to allow the City to count these units as affordable units.
(3) Common buildings, including shared mail facilities, recreation, dining, laundry, guest rooms, personal office space for residents of the cluster, shared and maintenance facilities, and retail or personal services not to exceed the lesser of 2% of the total gross floor area of the cluster or 4,000 square feet, may be allowed in a cluster, but are limited to common facilities which primarily serve the residents of the cluster but generally not outside paying guests and child-care facilities for residents and outside customers. Setbacks on common buildings must equal setbacks required for nonclustered lots in the subdivision. Common buildings are not considered dwelling units nor can they be credited to open space requirements. The dimensional requirements of § 350a et seq., Tables of Dimensional and Density Regulations, shall apply to common buildings.
F. The proposal shall conform to the provisions of any and all applicable local, state and federal rules and regulations, including § 350-10.1 (special permits) of this chapter.
G. Of the total tract area, at least 50% shall be set aside as common open space with no buildings allowed except for bathrooms required to serve the common open space. Of the 50% set aside for open space, no more than 25% shall be wetlands or floodplains (as defined in MGL c. 131, § 40, the Wetlands Protection Act, 310 CMR, and Chapter 337, Wetlands Protection, of the Code) nor have a slope of over 8%, except as permitted in Subsections H and I below, nor include any part of a detention/retention pond designed to hold water for up to a ten-year storm shall be set aside as common open space with no buildings allowed except for bathrooms required to serve the common space.
(1) In the event that more than 25% of the proposed open space falls into one of these categories above, any such additional land shall be subtracted from the total tract area for the purpose of calculating the required open space.
(2) This open space may include land donated to the City or other conservation organization under § 350-6.3 (Reduction of dimensional and density requirements), Subsection C, of this chapter and credited to the property being developed, provided that:
(a) The public has a right to enter the property for passive recreation; and
(b) The land was not credited to any other open space residential development nor to any other development or permit.
H. The Planning Board shall allow land with slopes of up to 20% to qualify as open space if:
(1) A minimum of 0.1 acre per dwelling unit (based on maximum allowable dwelling units) of active recreational facilities (such as playing fields, playgrounds, tot-lots, walking trails, and picnic areas) are provided; and
(2) Said recreational facilities must, in the opinion of the Planning Board after consulting the Recreation Commission or the Conservation Commission (as appropriate), serve an important and unmet recreational need for the proposed project and for the area of the City in which they are located; and
(3) Said facilities must be built to a minimum of commonly accepted design standards and must be built in a manner to minimize future maintenance costs; and
(4) A right-of-way or fee title for at least 50% of said recreational facilities and for at least 50% of the open space must be offered to and accepted by the City or a nonprofit conservation land trust for park/conservation purposes. The Planning Board may require that only a right-of-way be transferred and that the developer or homeowners' association retain the responsibility to maintain the facilities.
I. The Planning Board shall allow up to 25% of the open space requirements to be met off site but within 1/2 mile of the cluster site or up to 40% of the open space requirements to be met off site but within 1/4 mile of the cluster site if:
(1) The off-site open space is, in the opinion of the Planning Board, easily and safely accessible from the cluster site by foot and without crossing any collector or major streets (except by tunnel or bridge); and
(2) The Northampton Conservation Commission or Recreation Commission (as appropriate) and the Planning Board finds that the off-site open space provides valuable open space to serve that part of the City; and
(3) A right-of-way or fee title is offered to and accepted by the City or a nonprofit conservation land trust for the off-site open space for park/conservation purposes; and
(4) For the purposes of figuring the open space required, the off-site open space shall be considered to be part of the total tract, and each acre of off-site open space shall be equivalent of 0.75 acres of on-site open space.
J. A functional relationship shall exist between the common open space areas and the proposed residential clusters. Such common open space shall be restricted to open space, agricultural uses, recreational uses such as tot-lot, park, playground, playfield, golf course, or conservation area. Such common open space shall have suitable access to and from the development's street(s), and shall conform to the requirements of Chapter 290, Subdivision of Land, in effect at the time of application.
K. Such common open space as required by this section shall be placed under a conservation restriction in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 184, §§ 31-33, as amended. Such common land shall be either deeded to the City at no cost (but only with the consent of both the Planning Board and the City Council and the Conservation Commission or Recreation Commission, as appropriate) or shall be conveyed to a private nonprofit corporation, the principal purpose of which is conservation or preservation of open space or to an organization or legal entity established for the purpose of owning and maintaining such common land. Such organization shall be created by covenants running with the land, and such covenants shall be included with the submitted development plan and shall be subject to approval by the City Solicitor. Said covenants must be rerecorded every 30 years.
(1) Such corporation or organization shall not be dissolved, nor shall it dispose of any common open space by sale or otherwise (except to an organization conceived and organized to own and maintain the common open space) without first offering to dedicate the same to the City.
(2) Covenants creating such organization shall provide that in the event the organization established to own and maintain common open space, or any successor organization, shall at any time after establishment of the development fail to maintain the common open space in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the development plan, the Planning Board may serve notice in writing upon such organization or upon the residents of the development setting forth the manner in which the organization has failed to maintain the common open space in reasonable condition, shall contain a demand that such deficiencies of maintenance be cured within 30 days thereof, and shall state the date and place of a public hearing thereon which shall be held within 20 days of the notice. If the deficiencies set forth in the original notice or in the modifications thereof shall not be cured within said 30 days or any extension thereof, the Planning Board, in order to preserve the taxable values of the properties within the development and to prevent the common open space from becoming a public nuisance, may enter upon said common open space and maintain the same until the organization theretofore responsible for the maintenance of the common open space demonstrates, to the Planning Board's approval, that they can adequately maintain the common open space.
(3) The covenants creating such organization shall further provide that the cost of such maintenance, including all administrative costs, by the City shall be assessed against the properties within the development that have a right of enjoyment of the common open space, and shall become a charge of said properties, and such charge shall be paid by the owners of said properties within 30 days after receipt of a statement therefor.
(4) The covenants shall provide that each dwelling unit shall have an equal say in determining the affairs of the organization; that costs shall be assessed equally to each dwelling unit; and that the organization shall be retained in the control of the developer no longer than until a majority of dwelling units are conveyed to permanent owners. Where appropriate, more than one separate and distinct organization may be created. Separate organizations may not be created, however, where one might be too small (in terms of the number of lots included) to operate efficiently, or where one has a responsibility for too large or costly (to maintain) a parcel of open space in proportion to that under the responsibility of other organizations within the same development.
L. Zero lot line (ZLL) developments are permitted within open space residential development, in accordance with the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations and § 350-10.14, Zero lot line developments.
M. A portion of a new project may be developed as an open space residential development, provided that portion of the project meets the requirements set forth in this section.
For a special permit from the City Council for the construction of, development of, or use of any lot for a heavy public use, the following conditions shall apply:
A. A statement shall be submitted indicating the need for the facility or use and the rationale for its development, the criteria used in selecting a site, and the location of all alternative sites considered, and the reasons for not selecting them.
(1) Two-foot contours on the parcel and within 50 feet thereof.
(2) The location and dimensions of all buildings, structures, and exterior use areas, including all parking areas and driveways.
(3) The location of buffer strips, screening provisions (with details attached), and areas to be preserved in a natural state, all these to be sufficient to preclude visibility of the uses and structures from adjoining parcels.
(4) Such other facts as the City Council may require.
C. In considering an application for a heavy public use, the City Council shall be particularly cognizant of potential noise, odors, or other detrimental environmental nuisances which might be generated; of traffic and the ability of the local street network to accommodate increased traffic; of the ability of the utility systems to accommodate any increased demands which might be placed upon them by the proposed use; and of the applicable provisions of the adopted Comprehensive Plan of the City.
For a commercial stable, kennel or other such use requiring a special permit under the provisions of § 350-5.2 (agriculture), the following rules shall apply:
A. The minimum acreage required shall be a parcel or tract of land of at least 10 acres.
B. The location of barns, stables, riding rings, corrals, and accessory facilities shall be located not less than 175 feet from any street line and not less than 100 feet from any side or rear lot line.
C. The area to be used for the keeping of horses and/or ponies shall have adequate fencing to contain the animal(s) within the property boundaries.
D. Sufficient off-street parking facilities should be provided to accommodate all users and visitors to the property, as determined by the Planning Board.
E. Stables, barns, corrals and yards shall be properly drained and reasonably free from excessive odor, dust, and mud, so as not to create a nuisance or health hazard to the community or to surrounding property owners, from an air or drainage pollution standpoint.
F. Maintenance of the stables, barns, and property used in the keeping of horses and/or ponies shall conform to all regulations of the Board of Health and state health authorities.
The City of Northampton wants to encourage telecommunications and wireless services while minimizing adverse visual effects of these telecommunication facilities through careful design, siting, and vegetative screening and maximizing use of any new or existing towers, building and structures to reduce the number of towers needed.
A. Telecommunication facilities are allowed as shown in § 350-5.2, Table of Use Regulations, and § 350-11, Site Plan Approval. A special permit is required for any new tower.
B. Site plan approval, in accordance with this section and § 350-11, Site Plan Approval, is required for a telecommunications facility. The site plan shall be prepared by a registered land surveyor and/or registered professional engineer. In addition to the requirements of § 350-11, the plan shall show the following:
(1) For any new towers, the details of the tower (monopole, guyed, freestanding, or other), guy wires and anchors, tower lighting, and all structures located within 300 feet of any tower. Tower details must be prepared by a registered professional engineer qualified in structural design.
(2) For any new towers or antennas, additional visual and aesthetic information including, among other things, enhanced landscaping plans, line-of-sight drawings, and/or visual simulations adequate to determine the visual impact of the tower. The Planning Board may require more visual analysis before acting on a site plan application.
(3) Demonstrate that all approval criteria have been addressed.
C. Approval criteria. In addition to the § 350-10.1 special permit criteria and § 350-11 site plan review criteria, the following criteria will be considered prior to the approval or denial of a request for site plan and special permit. The criteria listed may be used as a basis to impose reasonable conditions on the applicant.
(1) Siting. Before any new tower is approved, the applicant must prove that it is not feasible to locate their antenna(s) and facilities on an existing tower or building. Before a new tower is proposed in a residential district, the applicant must also prove that it is not feasible to locate the antenna and facilities in other districts or on municipal facilities. Such demonstration studies shall include a summary of propagation studies and a plan for any network of facilities.
(2) Collocation. Any new tower must be designed, to the maximum extent which is practical and technologically feasible, for collocation of telecommunications antennas, including designing to accommodate at least three telecommunication providers, offering space to all other telecommunication providers at market rates, and providing for towers that can be expanded upward. Tower owners must maintain a record of the site location and coordinates, elevation, available space at each height, existing frequencies in use, and the name and number that an interested user can contact and make such a file available to the Office of Planning and Development upon request within 30 days.
(3) Aesthetics. Telecommunications facilities shall be designed, located and buffered, to the maximum extent which is practical and technologically feasible, to ensure compatibility with surrounding land uses. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:
(a) Selecting the type of tower (e.g., monopole, guyed or freestanding lattice) with the least visual impact.
(b) Providing additional landscaping to screen facilities and preserving, to the extent possible, existing on-site trees and vegetation. Use of towers other than monopoles may require additional landscaping.
(c) Designing and siting towers to avoid, whenever possible, application of FAA lighting and painting requirements. Towers shall not be artificially lighted except as required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
(d) Using materials and colors to be compatible with the surrounding environment and land uses to blend in with the site to the extent practical.
(e) Towers shall not contain any signs or advertising devices.
(f) Fencing must be designed to be as unobtrusive as possible.
(4) Radio frequency effect. All telecommunication facilities shall be operated only at Federal Communications Commission (FCC) designated frequencies, power levels and standards, and that the applicant shall provide certification to support that the maximum allowable frequencies, power levels and standards will not be exceeded. Certification shall include technical specifications, an explanation of those specifications, and, if necessary, field verification.
(5) Dimensional and density regulations. Telecommunications facilities shall adhere to § 350-6.2, Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations, and § 350-6.8, Other dimensional and density regulations, except as follows:
(a) Towers designed for one telecommunication provider shall be limited to 130 feet. Towers designed for collocated facilities shall be allowed an additional 20 feet for each additional provider up to a maximum of 220 feet. These height limits shall not apply to towers for or partially for government or emergency telecommunications, to the extend such height is needed to serve government or emergency telecommunication use.
(b) In residential districts, a tower must be setback from all property lines at least twice the distance equal to its height. In other districts, a tower must be setback from all property lines at least the distance equal to its height. The permit granting authority, however, shall allow a shorter setback if the shorter setback provides adequate safety and aesthetics and the manufacturer or qualified licensed designer certifies that the tower is designed to collapse on itself or otherwise collapse safely and within the property controlled by the applicant in the event of failure. The authority may allow lesser setbacks necessary to allow the use of an existing structure.
(6) Removal of tower: The applicant shall remove any telecommunications facility that ceases to be used for its intended purpose for 12 consecutive months. The Planning Board may require a performance guarantee to insure that unused facilities are removed.
(7) Maintenance of telecommunications facility. All telecommunications facilities shall be maintained in good order and repair. Any paint and finish must be maintained and repaired when the blemishes are visible from the property line. The applicant must provide an inspection schedule and file copies of inspections with the Building Commissioner.
An accessory apartment, or in-law apartment, is a self-contained housing unit incorporated within a single-family dwelling (not within accessory structures, except with a special permit) that is a subordinate part of the single-family dwelling and complies with the criteria below.
A. The intent of permitting accessory apartments is to:
(1) Provide older homeowners with a means of obtaining rental income, companionship, security and services, and thereby to enable them to stay more comfortably in homes and neighborhoods they might otherwise be forced to leave;
(2) Add moderately priced rental units to the housing stock to meet the needs of smaller households and make housing units available to moderate-income households who might otherwise have difficulty finding housing;
(3) Develop housing units in single-family neighborhoods that are appropriate for households at a variety of stages in their life cycle;
(4) Protect stability, property values, and the single-family residential character of a neighborhood by ensuring that accessory apartments are installed only in owner-occupied houses;
(5) To provide housing units for persons with disabilities.
B. The Building Commissioner may issue a zoning permit authorizing the installation and use of an accessory apartment within an existing or new owner-occupied, single-family dwelling and the Zoning Board of Appeals may issue a special permit authorizing the installation and use of an accessory apartment in a detached structure on a single-family home lot only when the following conditions are met:
(1) The apartment will be a complete, separate housekeeping unit containing both kitchen and bath.
(2) Only one accessory apartment may be created within a single-family house or house lot.
(3) The owner(s) of the residence in which the accessory unit is created must continue to occupy at least one of the dwelling units as their primary residence. The zoning permit or special permit for the accessory apartment automatically lapses if the owner no longer occupies one of the dwelling units.
(4) Any new outside entrance to serve an accessory apartment shall be located on the side or in the rear of the building.
(5) The gross floor area of an accessory apartment (including any additions) shall not be greater than 900 square feet.
(6) Once an accessory apartment has been added to a single-family residence or lot, the accessory apartment shall never be enlarged beyond the 900 square feet allowed by this chapter.
(7) An accessory apartment may not be occupied by more than three people.
(8) Three off-street parking spaces must be available for use by the owner-occupant(s) and tenants.
(9) The design and room sizes of the apartment must conform to all applicable standards in the health, building, and other codes.
(10) Zoning permits issued under this section shall specify that the owner must occupy one of the dwelling units. The zoning permit and the notarized letters required in Subsection B(11) and (12) below must be recorded in the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds or Land Court, as appropriate, in the chain of title to the property, with documentation of the recording provided to the Building Commissioner, prior to the occupancy of the accessory apartment.
(11) When a structure which has received a permit for an accessory apartment is sold, the new owner(s), if they wish to continue to exercise the permit, must, within 30 days of the sale, submit a notarized letter to the Building Commissioner stating that they will occupy one of the dwelling units on the premises as their primary residence. This statement shall be listed as condition on any permits which are issued under this section.
(12) Prior to issuance of a permit, the owner(s) must send a notarized letter stating that the owner will occupy one of the dwelling units on the premises as the owner's permanent primary residence, except for bona fide temporary absences.
(13) Prior to issuance of a permit, a floor plan of 1/4 inch to the foot must be submitted showing the building, including proposed interior and exterior changes to the building.
The purpose of Residential Incentive Development Overlay District is to provide housing opportunities that are affordable for low- and moderate-income persons. Within the overlay district, the Planning Board may issue a special permit to allow housing development at somewhat greater densities than are normally permitted by this chapter, provided that:
A. A minimum of 33% of the total units in the development are affordable units.
All home businesses with any practitioner, employee, partner, or other worker who is not a resident of the home, with more than 25 clients/customers or visits per day or week, with hours of operation outside of 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., with more than two open studios per year, or with outdoor storage of materials (as defined in § 350-2.1) require a special permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals and shall comply with the following:
B. Goods may only be offered for sale from the premises if the Zoning Board of Appeals expressly permits it in the issued special permit.
C. The hours of operation shall be expressly stated in the special permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
D. The hours and frequency of deliveries, number of clients seen, number of employees on the premises, products and/or materials on site shall be expressly stated in the special permit issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals.
E. All special permits for home businesses must be renewed once, immediately following the first year of operation. Permits may be renewed in perpetuity upon application to the Building Commissioner (no Zoning Board action required) if nothing has changed in the project since the initial special permit was granted.
F. All special permits for home businesses are nontransferable and are specifically issued to a specific applicant for a specific home business.
G. Limited outdoor storage of materials may be allowed so long as the storage is not visible from the street or by adjoining property owners and does not have a negative impact on the neighborhood.
(1) The City of Northampton does not desire to suppress any speech or expression activities protected by the First Amendment but does want to enact a content-neutral ordinance concerned with the secondary effects of adult establishments which display live nudity or provide private or semi-private booths for viewing live or recorded nudity or are large-scale adult establishments that could drain the character and economic vitality of the surrounding community, especially crime and effects on children and family life, and therefore desires reasonable regulations of the location of such adult establishments in order to provide for the protection of the image of the community, its property values, and to protect our residents from any adverse adult entertainment land uses, while providing to those who desire to patronize adult entertainment land uses such an opportunity in areas within the City which are appropriate for location of such land uses.
(2) The City has historically valued the preservation and expansion of dense, safe, pedestrian-scale neighborhoods and development that enable residents to walk to school, services, recreation, and other activities. More specifically, such pedestrian-scale neighborhoods that contain services within 500 feet of residences, schools and houses of worship are an important means to enable children to walk to such services safely and independently. One of the great successes of Northampton is that all evidence that we have collected shows that the vast majority of trips up to 500 feet, even for relatively young children, is on foot.
(3) Because the large-scale adult establishments greater than 1,000 square feet have the tendency to create blank, inactive voids in the street fabric due to their size and faade treatments it is important to ensure that such businesses are not located within 500 feet of such walkable neighborhoods that include churches, residences or schools. These voids have a direct impact on the desirability of walking to such services, schools, or other activities and reduce the sense of safety for pedestrians. If these voids discourage walking or decrease the number of trips that are done without a car or are done by younger children on their own, Northampton would suffer a harm far worse than most communities who have not been as successful as we are at getting people to walk.
(4) Additionally, the secondary effects of larger-scale adult establishments with adult material often include impacts to adjoining businesses that may result in economic decline and declining property values which further spreads the inactive void along the street faade. This economic decline may be less serious in areas where everyone drives and is cloistered from the effects of nearby business, but in Northampton where many people walk, and we are investing large sums to increase the number of trips done on foot (and by bicycle), the impacts would be devastating. Thus, in addition to ensuring these voids are not created within walking distance or 500 feet from churches, schools and residences, the City has determined that larger establishments should be separated by distances of 500 feet from other such establishments to prevent continuous voids within the street and pedestrian fabric.
(5) The City has not found compelling reasons to regulate other types of adult uses, including those under 1,000 square feet which can more readily blend into the existing commercial fabric without creating large voids on the street front and thus have no effect on the safety of children or other pedestrians walking to services, schools or other residences.
(6) In summary:
(a) It is not the City's intent to regulate content for the purposes of regulating morality or any other direct reason.
(b) The City is specifically allowing sales of "adult" materials in display areas up to a certain size because to date we have not found sufficient adverse effects from this size of business to justify new regulations.
(c) The City is specifically allowing sales of "adult" materials with no limits on size in certain reasonable areas of the City.
(d) The City has found that larger concentrations of adult materials create a magnet which can, and in many communities has, increased crime in the area, especially sex crimes and crimes against women and children. The magnet nature of these stores brings in visitors from greater distances who do not have any connection to the local community.
(e) The City has found that larger concentrations of adult materials can and do lead to declining property values, adverse impacts on other businesses, urban blight, and a general decrease in the quality of life. Generally, there is a disinvestment in areas near adult uses, especially in smaller communities such as our own. This trend is seen in many communities, but its impacts would be especially severe in Northampton because of our emphasis on commerce at the pedestrian scale.
B. These adult establishments, as defined in § 350-2, Definitions, will be allowed with a special permit from the Planning Board with the following conditions:
(1) The Planning Board can establish clear days and times of operation to avoid conflict with any other noncompatible land uses.
(2) Any person convicted of violating the provisions of MGL c. 119, § 63, or MGL c. 272, § 28, shall be prohibited from receiving or using a special permit for these uses.
Zero lot line (ZLL) developments are developments, or portions of developments, where house lots have a minimum side yard setback of zero feet on one side (the "zero lot line"), while the opposite side meets the standard side yard setback of the district, if the following standards are met:
A. If a garage or other parking structure is built, it must be set back at least twice the normal front yard setback, or the garage/structure must cover no more than 25% of the front facade of the principal structure; and
B. The zero lot line side of a house must:
(1) Abut permanently protected open space; or
(2) Abut the lot line of a lot which is under the control of the same property owner at the time the zero lot line development is proposed.;
C. A five-foot maintenance easement must be granted to the owner of a house on a zero lot line by the abutting property to allow normal maintenance. Said easement may allow a roof overhang of up to two feet and may allow roof drainage to sheet flow into the easement area. In addition, private covenants may be required to insure proper maintenance of the house abutting the zero lot line; and
A. The Planned Village (PV) District is designed to encourage economic diversity and vitality, to foster the creation of a village or campus center with coherent development patterns similar to traditional Northampton development, to provide for an environment conducive to a high quality of life, to avoid unnecessary public expense for the extension of services, and to meet other community goals.
B. In addition to the § 350-10.1 special permit criteria and of § 350-11 site plan approval criteria, the Planning Board must find that the following criteria are met before granting a special permit in the Planned Village District:
(1) Project density and design will ensure that the project serves as a pedestrian-scale mixed village, and not an automobile-oriented collection of independent uses. This includes, but is not limited to, the following:
(a) Maintaining a village appearance and feel on existing gateway(s) to Northampton by using buildings to frame the streetscape and avoiding holes in the urban streetscape fabric.
(b) Ensuring that housing and village uses are designed to maximize pedestrian circulation within the project and connecting to surrounding areas, both through the design of circulation systems and through the design and layout of land uses.
(c) Using building designs and design guidelines to create a compatible and attractive urban village.
(d) By using retail, institutional and other land uses to keep the urban village tightly focused and walkable, and maintain a focus on gateway(s) to Northampton and respect surrounding land uses.
(2) The project, including any concurrent road improvements, will not decrease the level of service (LOS) of any area roads or intersections below the existing conditions and shall consider the incremental nature of development on the LOS. In reviewing projects the Board shall look at other projects permitted or planned for the PV Zone and consider the cumulative impacts. If requested by the applicant, the Planning Board may accept in-lieu-of payments to fund a project's proportional share of necessary improvements to mitigate off-site traffic impacts, including provision of public transit and pedestrian or bicycle paths, in lieu of requiring off-site improvements, when it finds that such payments, in conjunction with funds from other projects or sources, will be used to fund improvements to mitigate traffic impacts.
(3) Landscaping, new buildings, parking, lighting, and other improvements in the Planned Village District must be designed and maintained to minimize the visual intrusion to the surrounding area and to preserve and enhance the existing campus layout or be designed to create a new compact and coherent village or campus center appearance. The Planning Board shall find that this criterion is met if:
(a) Construction will cause no more than minimal disturbance of existing ridgelines and hilltops and will, to the extent possible, preserve existing specimen trees and other desirable natural features.
(b) All permanent mechanical equipment is screened from public view and from views from surrounding properties and ways.
(c) The design and appearance of proposed new buildings, renovations, and other improvements are designed for visual compatibility within the site and the surrounding area; or private covenants are established for the development that require adequate architectural controls sufficient to ensure compatibility within the site and surrounding area in the design, construction, and maintenance of improvements. Generally, buildings should be a minimum of two stories in height.
(4) All feasible measures to mitigate on-site and off-site traffic impacts must be taken, including measures to facilitate access to existing or likely public transit and to existing or likely off-site pedestrian and bicycle paths.
(5) Development must be designed to ensure easy access to surrounding parcels in the PV and to the surrounding open space.
(6) Where a planned village is developed in phases, the residential development (excluding that developed in accordance with the zoning requirements for reuse of historic buildings and units above the first floor) may not exceed the percentage of allowed residential use in PV listed the Table of Use Regulations. The Planning Board may, as part of the special permit process, approve a phasing plan where residential use temporarily exceeds the maximum percentage by no more than 20%, if they find:
(a) Such approval will advance commercial development, housing for Department of Mental Health clients, or affordable housing aspects of the project and ensure that commercial space is developed in a reasonable time; and
(b) If the project will not exceed the allowable percentages for more than two years.
(7) For the purposes of this section, commercial space shall be considered developed when it is occupied for commercial uses or under an agreement or covenant to be sold and developed within six months and up to 150,000 square feet of commercial space shall be considered developed when the Office of Planning and Development, in consultation with the Department of Public Works, finds that the following criteria have been met:
(a) All necessary state and local permits and MEPA review (including the Secretary's approval of any necessary final EIR), except building permits, have been obtained.
(b) All on and off-site road and transportation facilities necessary to serve that development are in place and are committed to the project.
(c) All public and private utilities, including water, sewer, storm sewer, electric, phone, cable TV, and any high speed telecommunications services, are in place to serve the site.
(d) The site is totally ready for development and is only waiting actual construction.
Establishments with a drive-through component allowed only by special permit from the Planning Board must meet the following in order to receive Planning Board approval:
A. They may only be allowed when drive-through use is not the principal use on the lot; and
B. They must not require a second curb cut to the street to serve the drive-through function; and
C. They must be designed around and to accommodate safe pedestrian flows within the site and to/from the site, including raised crosswalks and/or other extraordinary measures.
The purpose of this section is to provide a comprehensive review procedure for construction projects which will have significant impacts on the City, herein defined, to ensure compliance with the goals and objectives of the City, and the provisions of this chapter, to minimize adverse impacts of such development, and to promote development which is harmonious with surrounding areas; in particular to assure proper drainage, safe access, safe and efficient vehicular and pedestrian movement, adequate parking and loading spaces, public convenience and safety and adequate consideration of abutting land owners.
No building permit, zoning permit, or special permit shall be issued for the following intermediate projects prior to the review and approval of a site plan in accordance with this section:
A. Projects which involve new construction or additions of between 2,000 square feet and 5,000 square feet of gross floor area (excluding single-family dwellings, expansions in the CB District that do not involve footprint expansions, and projects used exclusively for agriculture, horticulture or floriculture).
B. Projects for which this chapter requires the provision of six to nine additional parking places.
C. Projects which require a special permit and which are not otherwise intermediate or major projects except that, notwithstanding any of the requirements of § 350-10.12, the following projects do not require site plan approval: accessory apartments (§§ 350-5.2 and 350-10.10), accessory structures (§§ 350-5.2 and 350-6.7), accessory uses (§§ 350-5.2 and 350-5.3), historic association and nonprofit museum (§§ 350-5.2), home business (§ 350-5.2 and 350-10.12) and signs (§ 350-7) of this chapter.
D. Any project that is requesting a provision of the zoning that is allowed only with site plan approval and which is not otherwise a major project.
No building permit, zoning permit, or special permit shall be issued for the following major projects prior to the review and approval of a site plan in accordance with this section:
A. Projects which involve new construction or additions of 5,000 square feet or more of gross floor area (excluding expansions in the CB District that do not involve footprint expansions).
B. Commercial parking lots and parking garages, including municipal garages.
C. Except for the CBD, establishments selling foods prepared on premises where consumption is primarily off the premises and retail establishments selling principally convenience goods.
D. Automobile service stations.
E. Projects for which this chapter requires 10 or more additional parking spaces over the zoning requirements for the previous use.
F. Rural residential incentive development projects.
G. Planned business park projects.
These requirements are superimposed over any other requirements of this Zoning Ordinance. The Building Commissioner may not issue any building or zoning permits for any intermediate or major projects until the site plan has been approved by the Planning Board through a simple majority vote of the members present. The site plan process shall be conducted by the Planning Board in conformance with the filing, review and public hearing requirements for a special permit, except in the case of alternative energy research and development (R&D) and manufacturing facilities, as defined in the Green Communities Act. Editor's Note: See Acts of 2008, Ch. 169. For alternative energy R&D and/or manufacturing, review periods are guaranteed not to exceed one year from the date of initial application to the date of final Board action. Said applications shall be reviewed within 45 days, and the applicants will be notified of what additional submissions are necessary to meet this one-year final action deadline. The Planning Board shall use the criteria of § 350-11.6 for approving or disapproving the site plan. As with special permits, any appeal of a site plan decision by the Planning Board shall be made in accordance with MGL c. 40A, § 17. All site plan decisions must be recorded at the Registry of Deeds. In addition, the plans approved as part of the site plan decision shall be recorded with the decision in the form and type of pages as determined by the Planning Board.
A. Application for site plan approval shall be made to the City Clerk and the Office of Planning and Development on forms provided for that purpose, accompanied by the required fee. The Planning Board shall adopt specific rules governing paper and electronic application and the number of copies.
B. The application for site plan approval shall be accompanied by a site plan, drawings and supporting documentation in a form specified by rules and regulations which shall show, among other data, the following:
(1) Locus plan;
(2) Site plan(s) at a scale of one inch equals 40 feet (or greater) showing the following:
(a) Name and address of the owner and the developer, name of the project, and date and scale of plans;
(b) The location and boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets or ways, the location and owners names of all adjacent properties and those within 300 feet of the property line, and all zoning district boundaries;
(c) Existing and proposed structures, including setbacks from property lines, structure elevations, and all exterior entrances and exits. Elevation plans of all exterior facades of proposed structures are required for towers and strongly encouraged for other structures;
(d) Present and proposed use of the land and buildings;
(e) Existing and proposed topography at two-foot contour intervals, showing wetlands, streams, surface water bodies, drainage swales, floodplains, and unique natural land features (for intermediate projects the permit granting authority may accept generalized topography instead of requiring contour lines);
(f) Location of parking and loading areas, public and private ways, driveways, walkways, access and egress points, including proposed surfacing;
(g) Location and description of all stormwater drainage facilities, (including stormwater detention facilities, water quality structures, drainage calculations where applicable, and drainage easements), public and private utilities, sewage disposal facilities, and water supply;
(h) Existing and proposed landscaping, including trees and other plantings (including the size and type of plantings), stone walls, buffers, screening, and fencing. Landscape plans must be designed and stamped by a certified landscape architect or arborist. An adequate schedule for maintenance, during the first two years, must be specified on the plans;
(i) Location, dimensions, height, color, illumination of existing and proposed signs;
(j) Provisions for refuse removal, with facilities for screening of refuse when appropriate;
(k) An erosion control plan (for major projects only) and any other measures taken to protect natural resources and water supplies;
(3) Estimated daily and peak hour vehicle trips generated by the proposed use, traffic patterns for vehicles and pedestrians showing adequate access to and from the site, and adequate vehicular and pedestrian circulation within the site. In addition, major projects, as defined above, shall prepare a traffic impact statement including the following information:
(a) Traffic flow patterns at the site including entrances and egresses, loading and unloading areas, and curb cuts on site and within 100 feet of the site.
(b) A plan to minimize traffic safety impacts of the proposed project through such means as physical design and layout concepts, staggered employee work schedules, promoting use of public transit or van- or carpooling, or other appropriate means. For new commercial, office, and industrial buildings or uses over 10,000 square feet, this plan shall evaluate alternative mitigation methods to reduce traffic by 35%, including:
 Public transit, van- and car-pool incentive programs, including parking facilities and weather-protected transit shelters;
 Encouraging flexible hours and workweeks;
 Encouraging pedestrian and bicycle access to the site;
 Provision of integrated land uses, including on-site services, retail, and housing.
(c) A detailed assessment of the traffic safety impacts of the proposed project or use on the carrying capacity of any adjacent highway or road, including the projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or depart from the site for daily-hour and peak-hour traffic levels, road capacities, and impacts on intersections. Said assessment may be based on the proposed mitigation [in the plan required by Subsection B(2) above].
(d) An interior traffic and pedestrian circulation plan designed to minimize conflicts and safety problems.
(e) Safe and adequate pedestrian access, including provisions for sidewalks and/or bike paths to provide access to adjacent properties and adjacent residential neighborhoods, as applicable, and between individual businesses within a development.
(4) Other information as may be necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of this chapter.
C. Site plans submitted for major projects shall be prepared (and stamped) by a registered architect, landscape architect, or professional engineer.
D. Upon written request, the Planning Board may, at its discretion, waive the submission by the applicant of any of the required information, provided that the applicant provides some written information on each of the items in Subsections B(3)(a), (b) and (c) above and explains why a waiver is appropriate.
In conducting the site plan approval, the Planning Board shall find that the following conditions are met:
A. The requested use protects adjoining premises against seriously detrimental uses. If applicable, this shall include provision for surface water drainage, sound and sight buffers and preservation of views, light, and air; and
B. The requested use will promote the convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and on adjacent streets, cycle tracks and bike paths, minimize traffic impacts on the streets and roads in the area. If applicable, this shall include considering the location of driveway openings in relation to traffic and adjacent streets, cross-access easements to abutting parcels, access by public safety vehicles, the arrangement of parking and loading spaces, connections to existing transit or likely future transit routes, and provisions for persons with disabilities; and:
(1) The Planning Board may allow reduced parking requirements in accordance with § 350-8.6, Shared parking.
(2) The project, including any concurrent road improvements, will not decrease the level of service (LOS) of all area City and state roads or intersections affected by the project below the existing conditions when the project is proposed and shall consider the incremental nature of development and cumulative impacts on the LOS. The project proponent must demonstrate that all cumulative and incremental traffic impacts have been mitigated. If those impacts are not mitigated, the Planning Board shall require in-lieu-of payments to fund a project's proportional share of necessary improvements to mitigate off-site traffic impacts, including provision of public transit and pedestrian or bicycle paths, in lieu of requiring off-site improvements, with such payments as set forth in the table below. Generally, very large master planned projects, including planned village and planned business parks, are expected to provide overall project mitigation so that individual end users and lot purchasers do not have to provide mitigation on a lot-by-lot basis. The Board may exempt residential projects whose traffic impacts are not greater than if they were developed as an as-of-right development without site plan approval and subdivision approval.
CB, GB, EB, GI and OI Zoning Districts; PV District, except for medical and dental offices; and NB District, except for uses with gas pumps
M, URC, and URB Zoning Districts
$1,000 per peak trip
HB Zoning District; PV District for project for medical and dental offices; NB Districts for uses with gas pumps; BP Districts with nonexempt uses; and BP, SR, URA, SC and RR Zoning Districts for sites (1) within 500 feet of a transit stop, or (2) within 500 feet of an asphalt or concrete City off-road rail trail or bicycle path, or (3) abutting a sidewalk that extends without a break from the project to either downtown Northampton or downtown Florence
$2,000 per peak trip
Any other site in SR, URA, SC, and RR Zoning Districts and any other BP residential use
$3,000 per peak trip
Notes Peak trips are the number of one-way trips into or out of the project during the project's peak traffic demand, typically but not always weekday afternoon “rush hour.” Peak-hour trips are calculated based on the table below or, if (and only if) the table does not address a project, the Institute of Traffic Engineers' (ITE) trip generation data. The Planning Board retains the ability to use alternative calculations if clear evidence to the contrary is provided (for example, considering lower traffic generation from pass-by trips, late-night shift changes, and mixed-use projects).
Congregate and assisted living
Grocery, personal services, and retail and auto sales
12/1,000 square feet
Restaurants and bars
20/1,000 square feet
Gas, convenience stores, fast-food restaurants
100/1,000 square feet
Medical and dental offices
5/1,000 square feet
2/1,000 square feet
Industrial, manufacturing, tradesman, professional (but not medical and dental) offices, and municipal uses
0.6/1,000 square feet
Schools, day-cares, churches, libraries, etc.
10/1,000 square feet
(3) Access by nonmotorized means must be accommodated with facilities such as bike racks, sidewalk connections from the building to the street, cycle tracks, and bike paths that are clearly delineated through materials and/or markings to distinguish the vehicular route from the nonvehicular route.
C. The site will function harmoniously in relation to other structures and open spaces to the natural landscape, existing buildings and other community assets in the area as it relates to landscaping, drainage, sight lines, building orientation, massing, egress, and setbacks. Rear and/or side wall facades within 50 feet of a completed or planned section of a cycle track or bike path shall have features that invite pedestrian access from that side of the building; and
D. The requested use will not overload, and will mitigate adverse impacts on, the City's resources, including the effect on the City's water supply and distribution system, sanitary and storm sewage collection and treatment systems, fire protection, streets and schools. The construction materials and methods for water lines, sanitary sewers, storm sewers, fire protection, sidewalks, private roads, and other infrastructure shall be those set forth in the Northampton Subdivision Regulations Editor's Note: See Ch. 290, Subdivision of Land. (even for projects that are not part of a subdivision) unless the Planning Board finds that a different standard is more appropriate.
E. The requested use meets any special regulations set forth in this chapter.
F. Compliance with the following technical performance standards:
(1) Curb cuts onto streets shall be minimized. Access to businesses shall use common driveways, existing side streets, or loop service roads shared by adjacent lots when possible. More than one curb cut shall be permitted only when necessary to minimize traffic and safety impacts.
(2) Pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular traffic movement on site must be separated, to the extent possible, and sidewalks must be provided between businesses within a development and from public sidewalks, cycle tracks and bike paths.
(3) Major projects, except in the Central Business District, must be designed so there is no increase in peak flows from the one- or two- and ten-year Soil Conservation Service design storm from predevelopment conditions (the condition at the time a site plan approval is requested) and so that the runoff from a four- to ten-inch rain storm (first flush) is detained on site for an average of six hours. These requirements shall not apply if the project will discharge into a City storm drain system that the Planning Board finds can accommodate the expected discharge with no adverse impacts. In addition, catch basins shall incorporate sumps of a minimum of three feet and, if they will remain privately owned, a gas trap.
I. Obscene displays; blocking or shading of windows.
(1) No signs, text, graphics, pictures, publications, videotapes, CDs, DVDs, movies, covers, merchandise or other objects, implements, items or advertising depicting or describing sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31, shall be displayed in the windows or on any building or be visible to the public from the street, pedestrian sidewalks, walkways, or bike paths or from other areas outside such establishments.
(2) Further, windows may only be blocked or shaded by approval of the Planning Board through site plan approval.
Any use permitted by right, by special permit, or by special exception in any district shall not be conducted in a manner as to emit any dangerous, noxious, injurious, or otherwise objectionable fire, explosion, radioactivity or other hazard; noise or vibration; smoke, dust, odor or other form of environmental pollution; electrical or other disturbance; glare, liquid or solid refuse or wastes; conditions conducive to the breeding of insects, rodents, or other substance, conditions or element in an amount as to affect adversely the surrounding environment.
A. In meeting these objectives, the following general standards shall apply:
(1) Emissions shall be completely and effectively confined within the building, or so regulated as to prevent any nuisance, hazard, or other disturbance from being perceptible (without the use of instruments) at any lot line of the premises on which the use is located.
(2) All activities and all storage of flammable and explosive materials at any point shall be provided with adequate safety devices against fire and explosion and adequate fire-fighting and fire-suppression devices and equipment.
(3) No emission which can cause any damage or irritation to the health of persons, animals or vegetation or which can cause excessive soiling, at any point, shall be permitted.
(4) No discharge, at any point, into a private sewerage system, stream or the ground, of any material in such a way, or of such a nature or temperature as may contaminate any running stream, water supply or otherwise cause the emission of dangerous or objectionable elements and accumulation of wastes conducive to the breeding of rodents or insects shall be permitted.
(5) No emission of odorous gases or odoriferous matter in such quantities as to be offensive shall be permitted.
(6) Activities that emit dangerous radioactivity, at any point, shall be controlled in accordance with all regulations of the Atomic Energy Commission.
(7) No electrical disturbance adversely affecting the operation, at any point, of any equipment, other than that of the creator of such disturbance, shall be permitted.
(8) No persistently loud or disruptive noise shall be allowed between the hours of 10:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m. All steady, nonfluctuating noise levels must meet the following standards at the property boundary (using a sound meter which meets the American National Standards Institute's Specification for Type II Sound Level Meters: S1.4-1971.):
Residential (7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.)
Residential (10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.)
Business, commercial, institutions, mixed use
Business, commercial, institutions, mixed use (10:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.)
General industrial uses
* Nonsteady, fluctuating noises are subject to the same maximum noise levels as measured on an energy-weighted or LEQ basis over a representative one-hour time period.
B. In enforcing these standards, the permit granting authority shall call upon specified standards, technical specifications, and the technical expertise of appropriate federal, state, regional, and local agencies.
C. When reviewing an application for a zoning permit (See § 350-10.2.) or other zoning relief, the permit granting authority may require the submission of a statement from a qualified independent authority indicating that the proposed structure and/or use will not constitute a detriment to the community with respect to some aspect of these environmental performance standards.
(1) It is the intent of this section to establish light standards that result in lighting systems that are designed, constructed, and installed to control glare and light trespass, minimize obtrusive light, conserve energy and resources while maintaining safety, visibility, security of individuals and property, and curtailing the degradation of the nighttime visual environment. All standards within this section must be met unless the Planning Board explicitly grants a waiver through site plan approval for lighting that does not conform to these standards. Such waivers may be granted if and only if these goals are being achieved and increased energy efficiency is achieved.
(2) Evenly distributed lighting throughout a site will minimize impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and increases efficiency. By directing light where it is needed and only the intensity necessary to serve the intended purpose, these standards will prevent glare and its harsh shadows and blind spots.
B. Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CUTOFF (FULL) FIXTURE
- A light fixture that, by design of the housing, does not allow any light dispersion or direct glare to shine above a ninety-degree or horizontal plane from the base of the fixture.
- A measurement of light that equals one lumen per square foot.
- A light source that distributes enough intensity to cause loss of visibility or discomfort. This is typically caused when a light source is greater than the surrounding light to which the eye is accustomed.
- OUTDOOR LIGHT FIXTURES
- Permanently installed or portable illuminating devices used for floodlighting, general illumination or advertisement. Such devices shall include, but are not limited to, search, spot and floodlights for buildings and structures; recreational areas; parking lot lighting; landscape lighting; billboards and other signs; streetlighting; product display area lighting; building overhangs and open canopies.
- Any light source that distributes illumination above a ninety-degree horizontal plane.
C. Standards. Any use permitted by zoning either by right or through any type of zoning relief in any district shall conform to the following lighting standards. All outdoor light fixtures and illuminated signs for all uses and structures within the City of Northampton shall be designed, located, installed and directed in such a manner as to prevent measurable light at the property lines and glare at any location on or off the property. If necessary, an applicant may need to provide photometric plans and/or manufacturing specification sheets to show conformance with these standards. This standard shall be met through the following:
(1) All outdoor lighting shall have full cutoff-type fixtures (See below.) Cutoffs shall shield bulbs from visibility and may consist of internal baffles or reflectors or external panels or other mechanisms.
(a) General site lighting shall not exceed 90º, the horizontal plane of bottom of lamp fixture. No uplighting is allowed; parking, security and aesthetic lighting must shine downward.
(b) Spotlights used to illuminate buildings, signs or specific site amenities/features shall be targeted on such objects so as to prevent direct uplighting. Cutoffs shall limit lighting to a forty-five-degree angle above the horizontal plane.
(c) Upward search or spotlighting of the sky for entertainment or advertising purposes is prohibited.
(2) Lighting shall be shielded to prevent direct glare and light trespass and shall be contained to the target area to the extent feasible. See below for examples of appropriate fixtures.
Compiled by New England Light Pollution Advisory Group and International Dark-Sky Association.
(a) Luminaires with no cutoff fixture used for mixed use or nonresidential uses may be allowed through a site plan approval from the Planning Board only when it is shown that a low-level wattage (8,000 lumens or less) is to be used, no glare will be present on streets or on adjoining properties and standards in Subsection C(6) below will be met. This may be appropriate for decorative purpose within neighborhoods or the Central Business or General Business Districts.
(b) Lights or luminaires without cutoffs may be used on or around residential structures if bulbs used do not exceed one-hundred-watt incandescent or the equivalent fluorescent (not to exceed twenty-five-watt) or other type bulb and light glare will not be directed off site.
(3) Floodlighting for residential purposes should only be used with sensors and must be shielded to prevent glare for drivers and pedestrians, light trespass beyond the property line, and light above a ninety-degree horizontal plane.
(4) Light trespass beyond the property line, and light above a ninety-degree horizontal plane is prohibited.
(5) All nonessential lighting, including display, parking, and sign lighting, shall be turned off after business hours, leaving only the lighting necessary for site security.
(6) Site lighting output standards by district:
Footcandle at Property Line
GI and OI
Standard for averaging as established by the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America.
(7) Lighting directed on buildings and wall signs shall conform to these output standards for commercial uses. (Maximum footcandles shown for various surface coloring/texture). These standards are in addition to those designated in Subsection C(6) above and shall not result in lighting that exceeds those allowed on the site as described in Subsection C(6).
Adjoining Residential Districts
Light (reflective) surfaces
Dark (absorbing) surfaces
(9) Pole heights shall be a maximum of 25 feet in parking lots for commercial and industrial uses within commercial and industrial parking lots and along streets. The maximum height in the Central Business, Entranceway Business, General Business, and Neighborhood Business Districts and in all residential districts shall be 16 feet. Greater pole heights may be allowed with site plan approval from the Planning Board. Lamp wattage should be lower on poles that are lower heights.
(10) Pole heights for streets shall not be greater than 25 feet in commercial areas and 16 feet for new residential streets, unless exempt public ways. Streetlights shall conform to the pole standards above and shall conform to these light output standards:
(a) Commercial streets average between 0.8 footcandle to one footcandle;
(b) Local and collector streets average 0.3 footcandle to 0.8 footcandle.
(11) Signs should be illuminated from the top or internally illuminated. Internal illumination is allowed so long as it does not cause light to be directed upward or off the property boundaries and conforms to other standards herein. See also Subsection C(6) above.
New England Light Pollution Advisory Group (NELPAG) International Dark-Sky Association
(12) Energy efficiency. The City encourages the use of energy-efficient lamps for all outdoor applications. Mercury vapor and incandescent lighting fixtures, except for single-family, two-family and three-family uses, are prohibited because they are the least energy efficient and contain elements harmful for the environment. In order of preference, the following represent lamp types that are recommended:
(a) Compact fluorescent white light.
(b) Low pressure sodium. Though these lamps may not provide accurate color rendering, they are appropriate for roadways, walkways, parking areas, and security lighting.
(c) Metal halide and fluorescent lamps when appropriate controls are used to ensure compliance with the standards within this chapter.
(d) High-pressure sodium.
(1) Permanent outdoor light fixtures lawfully installed prior to and operable on the effective date of the requirements in this chapter must not create glare nor be visible from a residential structure in a residential zone on another property. Existing fixtures installed in accordance with criteria in affect in March 2006, however, are exempt from new requirements herein.
(2) All replacement of outdoor lighting fixtures, as of the date of adoption, shall be subject to the provisions of this chapter.
(3) Airport operations lighting and aircraft navigational beacons as established by the Federal Aviation Administration are permanently exempt from these provisions. All other airport outdoor lighting must conform to the intent of this chapter.
(4) Festivals/fairs that require the use of temporary outdoor lighting fixtures are exempt except that permanent installations at dedicated sites must conform to the requirements of this chapter.
The purposes of the Special Conservancy District are:
A. To protect the public health and safety, persons and property against the hazards of seasonal and periodic flooding;
B. To protect the entire community from individual choices of land use and development which require subsequent public expenditures for public works and disaster relief;
C. To provide that lands in the City of Northampton subject to seasonal or periodic flooding as described hereinafter shall not be used for residential or other purposes in such a manner as to endanger the health or safety of the occupants thereof;
D. To assure the continuation of the natural flow pattern of the watercourses within the City of Northampton in order to provide safe and adequate floodwater storage and conveyance capacity, to protect persons and property against the hazards of flood inundation, including damage from erosion and increased flood heights and velocities;
E. To protect, preserve and maintain the water table and water recharge areas with the City so as to preserve present and potential water supplies for the public health and safety of the residents of the City of Northampton;
F. To provide for the continued functioning of the river floodplain/wetlands as a natural system. The object is to avoid activities in the floodplain/wetlands which would interfere with natural food chains that support a myriad of living things recognizing that they serve mankind and all other life in assimilating waste, producing food, conserving water, and maintaining stability which has been called the balance of nature. Proper use of the floodplain/wetlands is considered to be such as would secure these benefits to all its users.
The Special Conservancy District shall generally cover the majority of the area contained within the floodplain of the Connecticut River, and is specifically that area show as "SC" on the Zoning Map of the City of Northampton.
Land in the Special Conservancy District may be used for the purposes permitted in the district as set forth in the Table of Use Regulations. Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. Where such uses are allowed by special permit, the conditions of §§ 350-13.4 and 350-13.5 shall apply.
A. The Planning Board is the special permit granting authority for all permits under this article. The Planning Board shall send copies of the application for the special permit and accompanying plans to the Building Commissioner, Board of Health and the Conservation Commission for their recommendations. The Planning Board shall not act until 30 days after it sends copies of the application to the reviewing agencies. The Planning Board shall give due consideration to all recommendations and, where its decision differs from the recommendations received, it shall state the reasons therefor in writing.
B. The Planning Board may, as a condition of approval, require that effective notice be given to prospective purchasers of past flooding of said premises and the steps undertaken to alleviate the effects of the same.
The application for a special permit for a use in the Special Conservancy District shall include a site plan, in accordance with the standards in § 350-11.1. In addition to the requirements of § 350-10.1:
A. The site plan shall show elevation above mean sea level of the basement, first floor, ground elevation, and one-hundred-year floodplain level, and documentation that the project complies with all of the criteria of § 350-13.6.
B. For all structures where any part of the structure will be below the floodplain elevation the applicant shall provide certification from a registered professional engineer or architect that the building is designed, constructed, and anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure during flooding. This requirement shall not apply to structures accessory to residential uses and structures used for agriculture, horticulture and floriculture where those structures are built with concrete frost and foundation walls that extend at least six inches above the one-hundred-year floodplain and where the walls are built to allow flow of water on both sides of the concrete wall in accordance with the State Building Code Editor's Note: See Ch. 145, Building Regulations. (wet floodproofing).
C. For special permit applications for any use other than structures accessory to residential structures containing one to three dwelling units and structures used for agriculture, horticulture and floriculture the requirement for a site plan at one inch equals 40 feet with contours may not be waived unless the entire project is above the one-hundred-year floodplain.
D. A statement indicating what other permits or approvals are required or have been obtained from state and/or federal agencies.
The following conditions shall apply for the development of any portion of land within the SC District that is at or below the one-hundred-year floodplain:
A. The floor of the basement, or if none, the lowest floor of new construction of structures for residential uses shall be at or above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
B. The floor of the basement, or if none, the lowest floor of new construction of structures for nonresidential uses shall be at or above the one-hundred-year flood elevation or floodproofed to the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
C. All structures shall be so designed, constructed, and secured to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure during flooding, and to be consistent with the need to minimize flood damage.
D. There shall be no danger of pollution to public or on-site water supply facilities due to the location or elevation of the building, filling of the area, infiltration of floodwaters, or for other reasons.
E. Utilities shall be so located and constructed as to minimize or eliminate flood damage.
F. Adequate methods shall be provided for the periodic disposal of sewage, refuse and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted on the site.
G. Where the topography and soil conditions permit, adequate drainage shall be provided so as to minimize flood damage.
H. Safe vehicular and pedestrian movement to, over, and from the premises should be provided with the exception that all roads and driveways shall be at or near grade level to prevent unwarranted diking.
No occupancy permit shall be issued until the Building Commissioner has received a certified plan showing the foundation and floor elevations, grading of the premises, elevations of the completed construction, and all elevations of the various elements that make up the sewage disposal system, and stating that all requirements of all permits obtainable at the time have been satisfied.
The purpose of the Watershed Protection District is:
A. To preserve and protect the streams and other watercourses in the City of Northampton and their adjoining lands;
B. To protect the health and safety of persons and property against the hazards of flooding and contamination, as specified in § 350-13.1;
C. To preserve and maintain the groundwater table for water supply purposes, and protection of adequate base flows of streams and rivers;
D. To protect the community against the detrimental use and development of lands adjoining such watercourses;
E. To conserve the watershed areas of the City of Northampton for the health, safety, and welfare of the public.
The Watershed Protection District is superimposed over any other district established by this chapter. The rules for this superimposed district shall be in addition to, rather than in place of, the rules for such other districts. The boundaries of the district shall be as shown in the Zoning Map of the City of Northampton. The boundary of the Watershed Protection District shall be interpreted as set forth in § 350-3.6.
Municipal use, such as waterworks, pumping stations and parks, is permitted under this section. Land in the Watershed Protection District may be used for any purpose otherwise permitted in the underlying district, except that:
A. No structure intended for human occupancy or use on a permanent basis having water and sewerage facilities and no other building, wall, dam or structure shall be erected, constructed, substantially improved, or moved for any purpose unless a special permit or site plan as specified within § 350-5.2, Table of Use Regulations, Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. from the Planning Board is issued.
B. The dumping or filling of any earth material in excess of 50 cubic yards within the Watershed Protection District is prohibited unless a special permit from the Planning Board is issued.
The Planning Board shall send copies of the application for the special permit and accompanying plans to the Building Commissioner, Board of Health and the Conservation Commission for their recommendations. The Planning Board shall not act until 30 days after it sends copies of the application to the reviewing agencies. The Planning Board shall give due consideration to all recommendations and, where its decision differs from the recommendations received, shall state the reasons therefor in writing.
The application for a special permit for a use in the Watershed Protection District shall include a site plan, in accordance with the standards in § 350-11.1. In addition to the requirements of § 350-10.1, the site plan shall include the following:
A. The elevation above mean sea level of the basement, first floor, ground elevation, and one-hundred-year floodplain level, and documentation how the project complies with all of the criteria of § 350-14.6.
B. For all structures where any part of the structure will be below the floodplain elevation the applicant shall provide certification from a registered professional engineer or architect that the building is designed, constructed, and anchored to prevent flotation, collapse, or lateral movement of the structure during flooding. This requirement shall not apply to structures accessory to residential uses and structures used for agriculture, horticulture and floriculture where those structures are build with concrete frost and foundation walls that extend at least six inches above the one-hundred-year floodplain and where the walls are built to allow flow of water on both sides of the concrete wall in accordance with the State Building Code (wet floodproofing).
C. For special permit applications for any use other than structures accessory to residential structures containing one to three dwelling units and structures used for agriculture, horticulture and floriculture the requirement for a site plan of one inch equals 40 feet with contours may not be waived unless the entire project is above the one-hundred-year floodplain.
D. A statement indicating what other permits or approvals are required or have been obtained from state and/or federal agencies.
E. Where Federal Flood Insurance Rate Maps do not indicate a base flood elevation, data from alternative sources shall be included in order to help determine that elevation.
The following conditions shall apply for the development of any portion of land within the Watershed Protection Overlay District that is at or below the one-hundred-year floodplain:
A. The lot(s) shall be served by a public water system, designed so as to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwaters into that system,
B. If the lot(s) is to be served by a public sewerage system, the sanitary system shall be designed to minimize or eliminate infiltration of floodwater into the system and discharges from the system into floodwaters.
C. If the lot(s) is to be served by an on-lot septic system, the following conditions shall apply in addition to those otherwise listed in this section:
(1) On-lot septic systems shall be located and designed so as to avoid damage to systems by floodwaters or infiltration of floodwaters into the system and to avoid discharges from the systems during flooding.
(2) All on-lot septic systems shall comply with the requirements of the Northampton Board of Health and State Sanitary Code in regard to percolation testing and leaching area location.
(3) The leaching area designed for use, as well as a reserved area for future expansion, shall be plotted with dimensions on the plan submitted. The leaching area shall not be constructed within 75 feet of the mean high-water mark.
D. Flood damage prevention.
(1) If the basement floor level is below the one-hundred-year flood elevation and affords the possibility of human occupancy at some future date, although not originally intended, the foundation shall be sealed by a water resistant sealer and adequate perimeter drainage shall be installed to withstand or reduce the effect of pressure and seepage. Furnace and utilities are to be protected from the effects of water damage by seepage or flooding.
(2) In the case of new construction or substantial improvement to a structure for residential uses, the floor of the basement, or if none, the lowest floor of the construction, shall be at or above the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(3) In the case of new construction or substantial improvement of structures for nonresidential uses, other than accessory structures, the floor of the basement, or if none, the lowest floor of the structure, shall be at or above the one-hundred-year flood elevation or shall be floodproofed to the one-hundred-year flood elevation.
(4) Accessory structures shall be designed so as to provide adequate anchoring and foundation construction so as to minimize any flood damage to the structure.
(1) Utilities, other than water and sewerage heretofore referred to, shall be located and constructed so as to minimize or eliminate flood damage to them.
(2) Adequate methods shall be provided for the periodic disposal of sewage, refuse and other wastes resulting from the uses permitted on the site. Where the topography and soil conditions permit, adequate drainage shall be provided so as to minimize flood damage.
(3) The applicant shall show that the proposed development will not endanger health and safety, including safety of gas, electricity, fuel, and other utilities from breaking, leaking, short circuiting, grounding, igniting or electrocuting; obstruct or divert flood flow; substantially reduce natural floodwater storage capacity; or increase stormwater runoff velocity so that water levels on other land are substantially raised or the danger from flooding increased.
F. Safe vehicular and pedestrian movement to, over, and from the premises should be provided with the exception that all roads and driveways shall be at or near grade level to prevent unwarranted diking.
The Board may, as a condition of approval, require that effective notice be given to prospective purchasers, by signs or otherwise of past flooding of said premises, and the steps undertaken by the petitioner or his successor in title to alleviate the effects of the same.
No occupancy permit shall be issued until the Building Commissioner has received a certified plan showing the foundation and floor elevations, grading of the premises, elevations of the completed construction, and all elevations of the various elements that make up the sewage disposal system, and stating that all requirements of all permits obtainable at the time have been satisfied.
The portion of any lot in the district may be used to meet the area and yard regulations for the district in which the remainder of the lot is situated, provided that no more than 50% of the lot area is within the Watershed District.
Editor's Note: Former Section 15, Amendment and Validity, was renumbered 2-1-2007. See now § 350-1.4 above.
The purpose of this section is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the community by protecting and preserving the public drinking water resources of Northampton and abutting communities from any use of land or structures which reduces the quality or quantity of its public drinking water resources. There is sufficient data to show that the minimum lot size in water supply areas should be at least 80,000 square feet (e.g., the Ward Mott study performed for the Northampton drinking water supply), although smaller and larger minimum lot sizes are not uncommon. As such, it is the purpose of this zoning to generally have a minimum lot size of 80,000 square feet.
A. The Water Supply Protection District-Overlay (O) shall be superimposed on the commercial districts established by this chapter. All uses, dimensional requirements and other provisions of this chapter applicable to such underlying districts shall remain in force and effect, except that where the Water Supply Protection District imposes greater or additional restrictions and requirements, such restrictions or requirements shall prevail. Any uses not permitted in underlying districts shall remain prohibited.
B. The Water Supply Protection District base district shall have the same restrictions as the overlay, but is generally applied in the areas intended for low density residential use.
The Water Supply Protection Districts are herein established to include all specified lands within the City of Northampton. The intent of the Water Supply Protection Districts is to include lands lying within the primary and secondary recharge areas of groundwater aquifers which provide public water supply, as well as watersheds of public surface water supplies.
The following uses are prohibited in the Water Supply Protection Districts:
A. All uses which manufacture, process, store or dispose of hazardous materials as a principal activity, including, but not limited to, metal plating, chemical manufacturing, wood preserving and furniture stripping, auto body repair and dry cleaning.
B. All facilities that generate, treat, store or dispose of hazardous wastes which are subject to MGL c. 21C and 310 CMR 30.00 as amended, except very small quantity generators, as defined by 310 CMR 30.353, as may be amended.
C. Trucking or bus terminals; motor vehicle gasoline sales.
D. Car washes, except when located on public water/sewer systems and disposing of wastewater in said sewer system.
E. Sanitary landfills and open dumps, as defined in 310 CMR 19.01 as amended, except for sanitary landfills that have a site assignment permit issued in accordance with 310 CMR 16.000 that predates the adoption of this amendment and a heavy public use special permit from City Council. Specific landfill operations and types of wastes accepted must be in accordance with Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection Solid Waste Management Facility Regulations (310 CMR 19.000) and policies. Ancillary operations associated with the landfill facility are also acceptable, including various recycling collections, household hazardous waste collection events, leaf and yard waste composting and composting of other organic materials.
F. Automobile graveyards and junkyards, as defined in MGL c. 140B, § 1, as may be amended, solid wastes, and junk and salvage yards.
G. Business and industrial uses which involve the on-site disposal of process wastes from operations.
H. Animal feedlots exceeding 10 animals.
I. Disposal of liquid or leachable wastes, including:
(1) The installation or enlargement of a subsurface waste disposal system and any wastewater treatment works that discharges onto or below the land for any building or use when it is feasible to hook into a municipal sanitary sewer system B.
(2) Business or industrial uses which involve the on-site disposal of wastes from personal hygiene and food preparation for residents, patrons and employees.
(3) Land application and storage of sludge and septage and sludge and septage monofils, as defined in 310 CMR 32.05, as amended.
J. Petroleum, fuel oil and heating oil bulk stations and terminals and underground storage of oil, gasoline and all other petroleum products, excluding propane, liquefied petroleum, and natural gases. Notwithstanding this prohibition, such storage shall be allowed outside of any DEP aquifer zone I and II as follows:
(1) Underground storage of heating oil shall be allowed where natural gas is not available and where such storage meets all requirements for secondary containment specified in 527 CMR 1-50; or
(2) When storage is incidental to emergency generators required by statute, rule or regulation, provided that such storage is either in a freestanding container within a building or in a freestanding container above ground level with protection adequate to contain a spill the size of the container's total storage capacity.
K. Underground transmission of oil, gasoline or other petroleum products, excluding propane, liquefied petroleum and natural gases.
L. Storage of sodium chloride (road salt), calcium chloride, chemically treated abrasives or other chemicals used for the removal of snow or ice on roads, unless such storage does not exceed 50 gallons and is within a structure designed to prevent the generation of contaminated run-off and the off-site stockpiling and disposal of snow or ice containing sodium chloride, calcium chloride, chemically treated abrasives or other chemicals used for the removal of snow or ice on roads which has been removed from highways and streets (other than by plowing to the edge of the street).
M. Outdoor storage of pesticides or herbicides, including those defined in MGL c. 132B, § 2, as may be amended, the storage of commercial fertilizers and soil conditioners, as defined in MGL c. 128, § 64, as may be amended, and the stockpiling of animal manures, unless such storage is within a building or structure with an impermeable cover and liner designed to prevent the generation of contaminated run-off or leachate and accidental release onto or below the land surface.
N. The use of septic system cleaners which contain toxic chemicals, including, but not limited to, methylene chloride and 1-1-1 trichlorethane.
O. Medical, testing and research laboratories that dispose of biological or chemical wastes.
A. Excavation for removal of earth, sand, gravel and other soils shall not extend closer than five feet above the annual high groundwater table, as determined by the Building Commissioner. The burden of proof is on the applicant to demonstrate the depth to annual high groundwater. In addition to information provided by the applicant, the permit granting authority can rely on and other maps, studies, or technical information the permit granting authority may deem relevant. This restriction shall not apply to:
(1) Sand and gravel operations legally operating on the date of adoption of this amendment, provided access roads to the operation include a gate or other secure mechanism to restrict public access to the site.
(2) Driveways, walkways and structures extending no more than six inches into the ground.
(3) Construction of stormwater detention or retention basins or the construction of wetland replication areas.
(4) Water lines, sewers, storm sewers, utility lines, gas lines, and similar underground conduits and conveyances.
(5) Uses incidental to permitted uses, including, but not limited to, providing for the installation of structural foundations; provided, however, that the Building Commissioner finds that when such uses are within three feet of the annual high groundwater table:
(a) Such uses shall incorporate a drainage system to ensure that groundwater intercepted by footing and curtain drains is discharged into the ground to recharge the groundwater; and
(b) That any floor drains inside of a structure discharge in such a way that any hazardous materials leaks can be cleaned up more easily than if the drains discharge directly into the soil.
B. The use of sodium chloride for ice control shall be minimized, consistent with public highway safety requirements.
C. Commercial fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, or other leachable materials shall not be used in amounts which result in groundwater contamination.
D. Permitted aboveground storage tanks for oil, gasoline or other petroleum products (in accordance with § 350-15.4J) shall be placed within a building with an impermeable basement or placed on a diked, impermeable surface to prevent spills or leaks from reaching groundwater, consistent with the storage containment requirements for aboveground storage tanks in 310 CMR 22.21(2)(b)(5)..
All runoff from impervious surfaces shall be recharged on the site by being diverted toward areas covered with vegetation for surface infiltration to the extent possible. Dry wells shall be used only where other methods are infeasible, and 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.
A. Uses which may otherwise be permitted in accordance with the zoning and which shall file an application for a special permit under this section are:
(1) Business and industrial activities permitted in the underlying district (either by matter of right or by special permit);
(2) Any excavation incidental to a permitted use within three feet of the annual groundwater table;
(3) Any site alteration, structure or impervious surface, except for municipal uses, within 200 feet of a watercourse as defined under § 310-15.9 of these regulations.
B. Special permit and site plan approval applications for activities in the Water Supply Protection Districts must include the following, in addition to other requirements of this chapter:
(1) Provisions to prevent contamination of groundwater by petroleum products, hazardous materials or wastes;
(2) Drainage recharge features and provisions to prevent loss of recharge;
(3) Provisions to control soil erosion and sedimentation;
(4) Provisions to prevent soil compaction;
(5) Provisions to prevent seepage from sewer pipes;
(6) A complete list of chemicals, pesticides, fuels and other potentially hazardous materials to be used or stored on the premises in quantities greater than those associated with normal household use. Those businesses using or storing such hazardous materials shall file a definitive operating plan, which shall comply with the design and operations guidelines specified in § 350-15.8 of this chapter;
(7) Evidence of compliance with the regulations of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Management Act, 310 CMR 30.
C. After public hearing and due consideration of the recommendations it has received, the Planning Board may grant a special permit if it finds that the proposed use:
(1) Is in harmony with the purpose and intent of this chapter and will promote the purposes of the Water Supply Protection Districts;
(2) Is appropriate to the natural topography, soils and other characteristics of the site to be developed;
(3) Has adequate public sewerage and water facilities, or the suitable soil for on-lot sewerage and water systems;
(4) Will not, during construction or thereafter, have an adverse environmental impact on groundwater resources in the district; and
(5) Will not adversely affect the existing or potential quality and quantity of water in the Water Supply Protection District.
Businesses and industries shall make provisions for protection against toxic or hazardous materials, discharge or loss resulting from corrosion, accidental damage, spillage or vandalism, including, but not limited to, the following:
A. Spill containment and cleanup provisions to prevent hazardous material spillage to the environment;
B. Provisions for the prevention of corrosion and leakage of containers storing hazardous materials;
C. Provisions for indoor, secured storage of hazardous materials and accumulated hazardous wastes, and for protection from vandalism; and
D. Provisions for impervious floor surfaces where hazardous materials are used or stored with no drainage discharge to the environment.
A. The minimum lot size for any use in the Water Supply Protection District and the WSP-O shall be 40,000 square feet.
B. The maximum coverage of impervious surface (building, driveways, etc.) shall be 15% of any newly created lot after the effective date of this ordinance, unless a system for artificial recharge of precipitation that will riot result in groundwater pollution is provided and granted a special permit under § 350-15.7 of these regulations. Notwithstanding anything in this chapter, however, the Building Commissioner may allow the following without a special permit:
(1) Uncovered decks when rainwater can drip between deck boards and fall to the ground and there is no impervious cover below the deck; and/or
(2) Up to a total of 30% impervious cover when roof drainage is captured by gutters and drained into an adequately sized dry well, such that the area of the roof recharging into the groundwater is equal to or greater than the area of impervious surface in excess of 15%.
C. No site alterations, structure, or impervious surface, except for municipal uses, shall be placed within 200 feet of any watercourse, including streams which do not flow throughout the year (i.e., which are intermittent), but excluding streams which are up-gradient of all bogs, swamps, wet meadows, and marshes, where said watercourse is a tributary to a public water system, unless a special permit is granted under this chapter.
The purpose of the Business Park District (Farms, Forests and Rivers Overlay District) is to encourage economic development, provide an area for light industrial uses, research facilities, and large scale business offices, and encourage planned and integrated land uses which minimize impacts on public services and natural resources and which links housing needs to housing production. A planned business park is intended for and can only be developed on a site on the west side of Route 10 just south of land now or formerly part of the State Hospital complex.
In addition to the uses allowed in § 350-5.2, the Table of Use Regulations, Editor's Note: The Table of Use Regulations is included at the end of this chapter. the Planning Board may grant a special permit for a planned business park (PBP) for the following uses, within the allowed percent of each use listed below:
A. All residential uses listed in the Table of Use Regulations except one-family dwellings and cemeteries. A minimum of 10% and no more than 20% of gross floor space shall be for residential uses.
B. All community facilities listed in the Table of Use Regulations except power plants and municipal parking lots or structures. No more than 10% of gross floor area shall be community facilities.
C. The following retail and commercial uses, but no more than 4% of gross floor space shall be retail or commercial uses:
(1) Retail establishment selling principally convenience goods, including but not limited to food, drugs, and proprietary goods with a maximum of 10,000 square feet of floor area for any single establishment.
(2) Eating and drinking places where consumption is primarily intended to be within the building.
(3) Establishments selling foods prepared on premises where consumption is primarily off the premises.
D. The following service and office uses:
(1) Tradesman, not involved with retail sales on the premises.
(2) Business offices and services, including large-scale offices but excluding professional offices, such as medical or legal offices, and any offices where the primary function is to provide services to retail customers or individuals.
E. The following wholesale and industrial uses:
(1) Manufacturing and light manufacturing.
(2) Research and development facilities.
The following conditions must be met for any planned business park special permit, in addition to § 350-10.1 criteria for special permit approval:
A. All uses must use municipal water and municipal sanitary sewage systems, built in accordance with the standard specifications of the Department of Public Works.
B. Planned business parks must be a minimum of 70 contiguous acres in size. All special permit applications, plans, special permits, and sequencing plans must be for the business park in its entirety.
C. At least 50% of the total tract area (of which at least 75% shall not be wetlands), excluding screening and buffers required under § 350-6.5 and detention ponds and structures which require on-going maintenance, shall be set aside as open-space common land. Common land must be easily accessible for pedestrians from the developed areas of the park and must have suitable pedestrian access to a street.
(1) Said open-space common land can include land adjacent to the area zoned business park if the Planning Board finds that the additional land is valuable for open space and conservation purposes and is accessible to the public and the business park tenants; however, each acre of open-space land outside of the BP Zone shall only count as 0.75 acres towards the open space requirement.
(2) Common land shall be restricted to open space, conservation, and recreational uses such as tot-lots, playground, playfield, golf course, park land or conservation. At least 75% of the open space shall be undisturbed natural areas/conservation land with no disturbance of vegetation during business park construction. Common space shall be designed to protect natural habitat areas.
D. Common land shall either be deeded to the City as park or conservation land at no cost with the consent of the Conservation Commission or Recreation Commission and the City Council or shall be conveyed to a tax-exempt conservation organization or to a legal entity established for the purpose of owning and maintaining such common land, such organization to be created by covenants running with the land. The deed for the common land must contain conservation restrictions or other restrictions to ensure that it will be maintained as common land in perpetuity. The plan for disposition and protection of the open space land shall be subject to approval by the Planning Board as part of their approval of the planned business park.
E. A business park may be developed in stages, in accordance with a sequencing plan approved by the Planning Board. Each stage of development must comply with all the business park requirements, except as provided for below.
F. Roads and utilities adequate to serve each stage of development, including the percent of residential development required, must be installed prior to the occupancy of any structure within that stage of development.
G. The applicant shall provide the City with a performance guarantee, subject to approval by the Planning Board, in the form of a) restrictive covenant agreeing that before any lot is built on or conveyed all roads and utilities shall be built and approved by the Planning Board; or b) performance bond, letter of credit, or cash escrow. The Planning Board shall accept performance guarantees that meet the standards spelled out in Chapter 290, Subdivision of Land, of the Code of the City of Northampton.
H. Residential development may occur before, at the same time, or after other aspects of the business park are developed, but the approved plans must show where residential space can be developed economically, and this land cannot be used for any use other than residential development.
I. No more than three curb cut/roadway intersections are permitted onto any collector streets already existing when the planned business park is proposed.
J. Site plans must be provided in accordance with § 350-11, Site Plan Approval. None of the requirements for information on the site plan may be waived.
K. The applicant must demonstrate that the project will not overburden municipal/public facilities, including water, sewer, or traffic circulation, and must make such improvements as are needed to mitigate any impacts. The development cannot be permitted unless the developer mitigates all adverse traffic problems that the project would create at the South Street/Old South Street and the South Street/Main Street intersections. (See § 350-11, Site Plan Approval.)
L. Landscaping shall be provided in accordance with § 350-6.5, Screening and buffers. In addition to those requirements, all front and side yards areas required by this chapter, except for driveways, shall be landscaped with grass, ground cover, flower beds, shrubs, hedges, trees or other landscaping. Parking is not permitted in required front or side yards.
M. The applicant must demonstrate that the project will not create objectionable noise, odor, or emissions of any kind at the property boundary and all public ways.
N. To prevent significant degradation of natural systems, wetlands, and wildlife habitat and corridors, except as permitted below all elements of the project must be:
(1) At least 100 feet from any wetland; and
(2) At least 150 feet from the edge of any stream, intermittent stream or body of water shown on the current USGS topographic quadrangle. Road and driveway crossings, utilities, and stormwater detention facilities may be closer to the resource areas described, provided that no stormwater detention or retention areas are in wetland areas, and that the applicant demonstrates that these encroachments are limited to the extent possible and that any resource areas which will be degraded or altered are replicated on site.
O. The applicant must demonstrate that the project will not increase stormwater peak flows during a one- or two- , ten- , and one-hundred-year Soil Conservation Service design storm and will not degrade water quality. Water quality/settling basins must detain stormwater from a four-to-ten-inch rainstorm for an average of at least six hours.
The purpose of this article is to protect sensitive open space and ecologically important features, to preserve the farms, forests and river corridors of Northampton, and to allow landowners the ability to develop their property in a manner that is sensitive to these unique resources.
Uses in the FFR are limited to any of the following:
A. All Water Supply Protection District regulations related to prohibited uses, restrictive uses, drainage, uses by special permit, and design and operations guidelines (§§ 350-15.4 to 350-15.8) shall apply.
B. Development with a special permit issued under § 350-10.5 [open space residential development (cluster)]; provided, however, that the Planning Board finds that the following conditions are met, to the maximum extent possible, before granting a special permit for a cluster development in the FFR District:
(1) If all or a portion of the protected open space is or could be used for farmland, all buildings, roads, drainage systems, utilities and other development shall be laid out in a manner to provide the least disturbance to actual or potential farm operations, to minimize potential conflicts between agricultural and nonagricultural uses, and shall be located on the soils least suitable for the production of crops.
(2) Open space shall be laid out to maintain views of agricultural lands and open space, and to maintain distant vistas across open space from both on and off the site.
(3) Development shall be integrated into the existing landscape through the use of building placement, landform treatment, and visually compatible existing or new screening. When possible, development should be placed within existing woodlands and not in open fields, to preserve views and minimize visual impact.
(4) No more than 25% of a parcel may be developed as building lots, roads, sewage disposal or drainage facilities, or other development and, where possible, all improvements shall be spatially concentrated to preserve the protected resources.
(5) All site improvements shall be laid out and constructed to minimize environmental and other impacts on protected resources.
The Planning Board shall grant an owner of land in the Farms, Forests and Rivers district a special permit to transfer the right to develop residential units from the FFR District (sending or donor parcels) to the Planned Village District (PV). (See § 350-10.15.) or other receiving parcels as allowed by this Zoning Ordinance in accordance with the criteria below. The Planning Board shall base its decision on the criteria in this section and the requirements for site plan review for the sending zone, not the receiving zone. The special permit criteria of § 350-10.1C shall not apply.
A. The maximum number of dwelling unit development rights that can be transferred is the greater of the following:
(1) The number of dwelling units allowed by a current valid definitive subdivision approval or open space residential development (cluster) special permit issued for the sending parcel; or
(2) Sixty percent of the number of dwelling units that could potentially be developed based on the maximum number of dwelling units allowed in a cluster, in accordance with § 350-11.4E(1), and including deductions for wetlands but excluding deductions for roadways.
B. Development rights may not be transferred from land which may not be otherwise be developed for a residential subdivision because of ownership status, deed restrictions, easements, or prior transfer of development rights, including:
(1) Land with conservation restrictions or agricultural preservation restrictions;
(2) Land owned by a government agency for permanent park, agricultural or conservation purposes;
(3) Land owned by a nonprofit corporation, a principal purpose of which is conservation or preservation of open space or farmland;
(4) Land where the development rights have already been transferred out of the parcel.
C. Transfer of development rights is contingent on placing a permanent conservation restriction or agricultural preservation restriction, in accordance with the provisions of Massachusetts General Laws, on the land from which the development rights were transferred (sending parcel) and restricting the use of the land to agriculture, forestry, or undeveloped open space open for passive recreation only, or deeding the land to the City as permanent park or conservation land with no acquisition cost (but only with the consent of the City Council and the Conservation or Recreation Commission, as appropriate).
D. Development rights may be transferred from a sending parcel and held indefinitely before being assigned to a receiving parcel. Development rights may be transferred by sale or other means and may subsequently be transferred to any owner of receiving parcels allowed by this chapter.
It is the purpose of this § 350-20 to establish a Sustainable Growth Overlay District (SG) and to encourage smart growth in accordance with the purposes of MGL c. 40R, and to foster a range of housing opportunities along with a mixed-use development component, to be proposed in a distinctive and attractive site development program that promotes compact design, preservation of open space, and a variety of transportation options. Other objectives of this § 350-20 are to:
A. Promote the public health, safety, and welfare by encouraging diversity of housing opportunities;
B. Provide for a full range of housing choices for households of all incomes, ages, and sizes in order to meet the goal of preserving municipal character and diversity;
C. Increase the production of a range of housing units to meet existing and anticipated housing needs;
D. Provide a mechanism by which residential development can contribute directly to increasing the supply and diversity of housing;
E. Establish requirements, standards, and guidelines, and ensure predictable, fair and cost-effective development review and permitting;
F. Establish development standards to allow context-sensitive design and creative site planning; and
G. Enable the City to receive zoning incentive payments and/or density bonus payments in accordance with MGL c. 40R, 760 CMR 59.06, and MGL c. 40S, arising from the development of housing in the SG District.
For purposes of this § 350-20, the following definitions shall apply. All capitalized terms shall be defined in accordance with the definitions established under the Enabling Laws or this § 350-20.2, or as set forth in the rules and regulations of the Permit Approval Authority ("regulations"). To the extent that there is any conflict between the definitions set forth is this § 350-20.2 or the regulations and the Enabling Laws, the terms of the Enabling Laws shall govern.
- AFFORDABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP UNIT
- An Affordable Housing unit required to be sold to an Eligible Household.
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING
- Housing that is affordable to and occupied by Eligible Households.
- AFFORDABLE HOUSING RESTRICTION
- A deed restriction of Affordable Housing meeting statutory requirements in MGL c. 184, § 31, and the requirements of § 350-20.7E.
- AFFORDABLE RENTAL UNIT
- An Affordable Housing unit required to be rented to an Eligible Household.
- AS-OF-RIGHT PROJECT or PROJECT
- A multifamily-use development, townhouse development, or single-family development allowed under § 350-20.5 as-of-right without recourse to a special permit, variance, zoning amendment, or other form of zoning relief.
- DESIGN GUIDELINES
- The document entitled "Design Guidelines: The Village at Hospital Hill," prepared for Hospital Hill Development, LLC, by Beals and Thomas, Inc., Southborough, MA, dated July 17, 2003, and revised July 2, 2004, containing 31 pages (the "Design Guidelines"), approved by the Massachusetts Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) on August 21, 2007, with pages one through 10 not applying to Projects in the SG District. Said Design Guidelines are applicable to all Projects within the SG District that are subject to Plan Approval by the Plan Approval Authority. A copy of the Design Guidelines is on file in the office of the City's Planning Board.
- ELIGIBLE HOUSEHOLD
- An individual or household whose annual income is less than 80% of the area-wide median income as determined by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), adjusted for household size, with income computed using HUD's rules for attribution of income to assets.
- ENABLING LAWS
- MGL c. 40R and 760 CMR 59.00.
- LIVE/WORK UNITS or MIXED RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL SPACE
A. Workers perform their primary occupations, which are otherwise permitted in that zoning district, and where businesses and artists create original and creative works (such as books, writings or compositions for sale, paintings, sculptures, traditional and fine crafts, creation or acting of films, creation or performance of dances);
B. Those workers and artists and their immediate families live in the same building or property as where they work, although not necessarily in the same unit; and
C. Residential space is clearly secondary to work space and consists of no more than 50% of the total residential/work space.
- MULTIFAMILY DEVELOPMENT
- A residential structure containing four or more dwelling units.
- PLAN APPROVAL
- Standards and criteria which a Project in the SG District must meet under the procedures established herein and in the Enabling Laws.
- PLAN APPROVAL AUTHORITY
- For purposes of reviewing Project applications and issuing decisions on development Projects within the SG District, the Planning Board, consistent with MGL c. 40R and 760 CMR 59.00, shall be the Plan Approval Authority (the "PAA"), and is authorized to approve a site plan to implement a Project.
- RECREATIONAL USES
- Active recreational uses, including but not limited to ballfields; and passive recreational uses, including but not limited to walking and bicycle paths. Amusements or motorized uses shall not be considered eligible recreational uses.
- SINGLE-FAMILY DEVELOPMENT
- A residential development containing only single-family homes.
- TOWNHOUSE DEVELOPMENT
- A residential development with structures containing two or three dwelling units.
- ZONING ORDINANCE
- The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Northampton.
A. Establishment. The Sustainable Growth Overlay District, hereinafter referred to as the “SG District,” is an overlay district having a land area of approximately 16 gross acres in size that is superimposed over the underlying zoning district applicable to a portion of the property shown on the map entitled "Sustainable Growth Overlay District," dated February 26, 2007 (the "SG District Map"). This map is hereby made a part of the Zoning Ordinance and is on file in the office of the City Clerk.
(1) There are hereby established two subzones within the SG District:
(a) Subzone A: Single-family Development.
(b) Subzone B: Multifamily Development.
(2) The location of these subzones is shown on the SG District Map.
C. Underlying zoning. The SG District is an overlay district superimposed on all underlying zoning districts. The regulations of the underlying district(s) remain in effect.
In accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40R and 760 CMR 59.00, an applicant for a Project located within the SG District may seek Plan Approval in accordance with the requirements of this § 350-20. In such case, notwithstanding anything to the contrary in this Zoning Ordinance, such application shall not be subject to any other provisions of this Zoning Ordinance, including limitations upon the issuance of building permits for residential uses related to a rate of development or phased growth limitation or to a local moratorium on the issuance of such permits, or to building permit or dwelling unit limitations.
The following uses are permitted as of right in the SG District in all subzones, subject to Plan Approval, except as specified below:
A. Parking, including surface, subsurface garage parking, and structured parking (e.g., parking garages).
B. Open space and Recreational Uses.
C. Accessory uses customarily incidental to any of the above permitted uses.
D. In Subzone A, Single-family Development.
E. In Subzone B, Multifamily Development, Townhouse Development, and Live/Work Units.
F. In Subzone B, Mixed-Use Development, with a total of 60,000 square feet of office use; provided, however, that at least 7,000 square feet of nonresidential use shall be situated under dwelling units.
The PAA, as a condition of any Plan Approval, may require a Project to be phased to mitigate any extraordinary adverse Project impacts on nearby properties. For Projects that are approved and developed in phases, the PAA shall assure the required number of Affordable Housing Units in the Project, as per § 350-20.7B. Such assurance may be provided through use of the security devices referenced in MGL c. 41, § 81U, or through the PAA's withholding of certificates of occupancy until proportionality has been achieved. No Density Bonus Payment will be received by the City until such proportionality has been achieved by the issuance of occupancy permits for the Affordable Housing Units in the Project.
A. Marketing plan. Prior to granting Plan Approval for housing within the SG District, an applicant for such approval must submit a narrative document and marketing plan that establishes that the proposed development of housing is appropriate for diverse populations, including individuals, households with children, households including individuals with disabilities, and the elderly. These documents in combination, to be submitted with an application for Plan Approval pursuant to § 350-20.12, below, shall include details about construction related to the provision, within the development, of units that are accessible to the disabled.
B. Number of Affordable Housing units. Not less than 20% of housing units constructed in a Project shall be Affordable Housing. For purposes of calculating the number of units of Affordable Housing required within the SG District, any fractional unit shall be deemed to constitute a whole unit.
C. Requirements. Affordable Housing shall comply with the following requirements:
(1) For an Affordable Rental Unit, the monthly rent payment, including utilities and parking, shall not exceed 30% of the maximum monthly income permissible for an Eligible Household, assuming 1.5 persons per bedroom, unless other affordable program rent limits approved by DHCD shall apply.
(2) For an Affordable Homeownership Unit the monthly housing payment, including mortgage principal and interest, private mortgage insurance, property taxes, condominium and/or homeowner's association fees, insurance, and parking, shall not exceed 30% of the maximum monthly income permissible for an Eligible Household, assuming 1.5 persons per bedroom, unless other affordable homeownership program limits approved by DHCD shall apply.
(3) Affordable Housing required to be offered for rent or sale shall be rented or sold to and occupied only by Eligible Households.
D. Design and construction. Units of Affordable Housing shall be finished housing units. Units of Affordable Housing in a Project shall be dispersed throughout the development of which they are part and be comparable in initial construction quality and exterior design to other housing units in the development. The total number of bedrooms in the Affordable Housing shall, insofar as practicable, be proportionate to the total number of bedrooms in all units in the development of which the Affordable Housing is part.
E. Affordable Housing Restriction. Each unit of Affordable Housing shall be subject to an Affordable Housing Restriction, consistent with the universal deed rider used in the Local Initiative Program, 760 CMR 45.00, which is recorded with the appropriate registry of deeds or district registry of the Land Court and which contains the following:
(1) Specification of the term of the affordable housing restriction which shall be no less than 30 years, but which may, as a requirement of Plan Approval, be for a longer period of time customarily allowed by law, unless such an extension would make the development infeasible.
(2) The name and address of an administering agency, with a designation of its power to monitor and enforce the Affordable Housing Restriction.
(3) A description of the Affordable Homeownership Unit, if any, by address and number of bedrooms; and a description of the overall quantity and number of bedrooms and number of bedroom types of Affordable Rental Units in a Project or portion of a Project which are rental. Such restriction shall apply individually to the specifically identified Affordable Homeownership Unit and shall apply to a percentage of rental units of a rental Project without specific unit identification.
(4) Reference to a housing marketing and resident selection plan, to which the Affordable Housing is subject, and which includes an affirmative fair housing marketing program, including public notice and a fair resident selection process. The housing marketing and selection plan may provide for local preferences in resident selection to the extent consistent with applicable law for the Affordable Housing Units; the plan shall designate the household size appropriate for a unit with respect to bedroom size and provide that the preference for such unit shall be given to a household of the appropriate size.
(5) A requirement that buyers or tenants will be selected at the initial sale or initial rental and upon all subsequent sales and rentals from a list of Eligible Households compiled in accordance with the housing marketing and selection plan.
(6) Reference to the formula pursuant to which the maximum rent of a rental unit or the maximum resale price of a homeownership will be set.
(7) Designation of the priority of the Affordable Housing Restriction over other mortgages and restrictions.
(8) A requirement that only an Eligible Household may reside in Affordable Housing and that notice of any lease or sublease of any unit of Affordable Housing shall be given to the administering agency.
(9) Provision for effective monitoring and enforcement of the terms and provisions of the Affordable Housing Restriction by the administering agency.
(10) Provision that the restriction on an Affordable Homeownership Unit shall run in favor of the administering agency and the municipality in a form approved by municipal counsel, and shall limit initial sale and resale to and occupancy by an Eligible Household.
(11) Provision that the restriction on Affordable Rental Units in a rental project or rental portion of a Project shall run with the rental Project or rental portion of a Project and shall run in favor of the administering agency and the municipality, in a form approved by municipal counsel, and shall limit rental and occupancy to an Eligible Household.
(12) Provision that the owner(s) or manager(s) of an Affordable Rental Unit(s) shall file an annual report to the administering agency, in a form specified by that agency, certifying compliance with the affordability provisions of this § 350-20 and containing such other information as may be reasonably requested in order to ensure affordability.
(13) A requirement that residents in Affordable Housing provide such information as the administering agency may reasonably request in order to ensure affordability.
F. Administering agency. An administering agency, which may be the Northampton Housing Authority, or other qualified housing entity (the "administering agency") shall be designated by the PAA as the administering agency for all Projects in the SG District. In a case where the administering agency cannot adequately carry out its administrative duties, upon certification of this fact by the PAA or by DHCD, such duties shall devolve to and thereafter be administered by a qualified housing entity designated by the PAA or, in the absence of such timely designation, by an entity designated by the DHCD. In any event, such administering agency shall ensure the following both prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for a Project within the SG District and on a continuing basis thereafter, as the case may be:
(1) Prices of Affordable Homeownership Units are properly computed; rental amounts of Affordable Rental Units are properly computed.
(2) Income eligibility of households applying for Affordable Housing is properly and reliably determined.
(3) The housing marketing and resident selection plan conforms to all requirements and is properly administered.
(4) Sales and rentals are made to Eligible Households chosen in accordance with the housing marketing and resident selection plan, with appropriate unit size for each household being properly determined and proper preference being given.
(5) Affordable Housing Restrictions meeting the requirements of this section are recorded with the proper registry of deeds.
G. Housing marketing and selection plan. The housing marketing and selection plan shall make provision for payment, by an applicant, of reasonable costs to monitor and enforce compliance with affordability requirements and to develop, advertise and maintain the list of Eligible Households. An applicant may serve as its own administering agency only with the written authorization of DHCD.
H. Age restrictions. The SG District shall not include the imposition of restrictions on age upon the entire district, but the development of specific Projects within the district may be exclusively for the elderly, persons with disabilities, or for assisted living, provided that any such Project shall be in compliance with all applicable fair housing laws and not less than 25% of the housing units in such a restricted Project shall be restricted as Affordable Housing. All Projects which include age-restricted residential units shall comply with applicable federal, state and local fair housing laws and regulations.
I. Computation. Prior to the granting of any Plan Approval of a Project, the applicant must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the administering agency, that the method by which such affordable rents or affordable purchase prices are computed shall be consistent with state or federal guidelines for affordability applicable to Northampton.
Signs shall conform with the requirements of § 350-7, effective as of December 1, 2006; provided, however, §§ 350-7.2C(3), (4), (5) and (6) shall not apply, and § 350-7.2Q shall not apply in the SG District to any sign advocating any candidacy or cause which is under consideration at a particular election.
The PAA must find that the following criteria are met before granting Plan Approval in the SG District:
B. Landscaping. New buildings, parking, lighting, and other improvements in the district shall be designed and maintained to minimize the visual intrusion to the surrounding area and to preserve and enhance the existing "campus" layout or be designed to create a new compact and coherent village or campus center appearance. The PAA shall find that this criterion is met if:
(1) Construction shall cause no more than minimal disturbance of existing ridgelines and hilltops and will, to the extent possible, preserve existing specimen trees.
(2) All permanent mechanical equipment is screened from public view and from views from surrounding properties and ways.
(3) Generally, buildings are a minimum of two stories in height.
C. Accessibility. Development shall be designed to ensure access to surrounding parcels in the PV District and to the surrounding open space.
D. Required design. The Project shall comply with the Design Guidelines.
Application for Plan Approval, or any phase thereof, shall be made to the City Clerk and the PAA on forms provided for that purpose, accompanied by the required fee. The PAA may adopt specific rules governing paper and electronic application and the number of copies. Such rules and regulations shall not take effect until approved by the Department of Housing and Community Development and filed with the City Clerk. The application for Plan Approval shall be accompanied by a site plan, drawings and supporting documentation, in a form specified by the PAA's rules and regulations, which shall show, among other data, the following. Plans submitted shall be prepared (and stamped) by a registered architect, landscape architect, or professional engineer. Upon written request, the PAA may, at its discretion, waive the submission by the applicant of any of the required information, provided the applicant provides some written information on each of the items below and explains why a waiver is appropriate.
A. Locus plan;
B. Site plan(s) at a scale of one inch equals 40 feet (or greater) showing the following:
(1) Name and address of the owner and the developer, name of the Project, and date and scale of plans.
(2) The location and boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets or ways, the location and owners' names of all adjacent properties and those within 300 feet of the property line, and all zoning district boundaries.
(3) Existing and proposed structures, including setbacks from property lines, structure elevations, and all exterior entrances and exits. Elevation plans of all exterior facades of proposed structures are required for towers and strongly encouraged for other structures.
(4) Present and proposed use of the land and buildings.
(5) Existing and proposed topography at two-foot contour intervals, showing wetlands, streams, surface water bodies, drainage swales, floodplains, and unique natural land features (For intermediate projects, the permit granting authority may accept generalized topography instead of requiring contour lines.).
(6) Location of parking and loading areas, public and private ways, driveways, walkways, access and egress points, including proposed surfacing.
(7) Location and description of all stormwater drainage facilities (including stormwater detention facilities, water quality structures, drainage calculations where applicable, and drainage easements), public and private utilities, sewage disposal facilities, and water supply.
(8) Existing and proposed landscaping, including trees and other plantings (including the size and type of plantings), stone walls, buffers, screening, and fencing.
(9) Location, dimensions, height, color, and illumination of existing and proposed signs.
(10) Provisions for refuse removal, with facilities for screening of refuse when appropriate.
(11) An erosion control plan and any other measures taken to protect natural resources and water supplies.
(12) A photometric plan.
C. Estimated daily and peak-hour vehicle trips generated by the proposed use, traffic patterns for vehicles and pedestrians showing adequate access to and from the site, and adequate vehicular and pedestrian circulation within the site. For nonresidential and mixed-use Projects, at the request of the PAA, an applicant shall prepare a traffic impact statement including the following information:
(1) Traffic flow patterns at the site, including entrances and egresses, loading and unloading areas, and curb cuts on site and within 100 feet of the site.
(2) A plan to minimize traffic safety impacts of the proposed project through such means as physical design and layout concepts, staggered employee work schedules, promoting use of public transit or van or car-pooling, or other appropriate means. For new commercial, office, and industrial buildings or uses over 10,000 square feet, this plan shall evaluate alternative mitigation methods to reduce traffic by 35%, including:
(a) Public transit, van and car-pool incentive programs, including parking facilities and weather-protected transit shelters;
(b) Encouraging flexible hours and work weeks;
(c) Encouraging pedestrian and bicycle access to the site; and
(d) Provision of integrated land uses, including on-site services, retail, and housing.
(3) A detailed assessment of the traffic safety impacts of the proposed Project or use on the carrying capacity of any adjacent highway or road, including the projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or depart from the site for daily-hour and peak-hour traffic levels, road capacities, and impacts on intersections. Said assessment may be based on the proposed mitigation (in the plan required by Subsection B above).
(4) An interior traffic and pedestrian circulation plan designed to minimize conflicts and safety problems.
(5) Adequate pedestrian access, including provisions for sidewalks to provide access to adjacent properties and between individual businesses within a development.
E. Project plans that demonstrate compliance with the design and construction requirements of § 350-20.7D.
G. Other information as may be necessary to determine compliance with the provisions of the SG District.
A. Filing. An applicant for Plan Approval shall file the required number of copies of the application form and the other required submittals as set forth above and also file forthwith a copy of the application form, including the date of filing with the City Clerk.
B. Hearing. The PAA shall hold a public hearing for which notice has been given as provided in MGL c. 40A, § 11. The decision of the PAA shall be made, and a written notice of the decision filed with the City Clerk, within 120 days of the receipt of the application by the City Clerk. The required time limits for such action may be extended by written agreement between the applicant and the PAA, with a copy of such agreement being filed in the office of the City Clerk. Failure of the PAA to take action within said 120 days or extended time, if applicable, shall be deemed to be an approval of the application and site plan.
C. Peer review. The applicant shall be required to pay for reasonable consulting fees to provide peer review of the Plan Approval application, pursuant to MGL c. 40R, § 11. Such fees shall be held by the City in a separate account and used only for expenses associated with the review of the application by outside consultants, including, but not limited to, attorneys, engineers, urban designers, architects, housing consultants, planners, and others. Any surplus remaining after the completion of such review, including any interest accrued, shall be returned to the applicant.
A. Waivers. Upon the request of the applicant, the Plan Approval Authority may waive dimensional and other requirements of § 350-20, including the design standards of § 350-20.11, in the interests of design flexibility and overall project quality, and upon a finding of consistency of such variation with the overall purpose and objectives of the SG District, or if it finds that such waiver will allow the Project to achieve the density, Affordability, mix of uses, and/or physical character allowable under this § 350-20.
B. Plan Review. An application for Plan Approval shall be reviewed for consistency with the purpose and intent of this § 350-20, and such Plan Review and shall be construed as an as-of-right review and approval process as required by and in accordance with the Enabling Laws.
C. Plan Approval. Plan Approval shall be granted, subject to reasonable conditions, where the PAA finds by majority vote that:
(1) The applicant has submitted the required fees and information as set forth in the PAA regulations; and
(2) The Project and site plan meet the requirements and standards set forth in this § 350-20, or a waiver has been granted therefrom; and
(3) Extraordinary adverse potential impacts of the Project on nearby properties have been adequately mitigated.
D. Plan disapproval. A site plan may be disapproved only where the PAA finds that:
(1) The applicant has not submitted the required fees and information as set forth in the PAA regulations; or
(2) The Project and site plan do not meet the requirements and standards set forth in this § 350-20, nor has a waiver been granted therefrom; or
(3) It is not possible to adequately mitigate significant adverse Project impacts on nearby properties by means of suitable conditions.
E. Form of decision. The PAA shall issue to the applicant a copy of its decision, containing the name and address of the owner, identifying the land affected, and the plans that were the subject of the decision, and certifying that a copy of the decision has been filed with the City Clerk and that all plans referred to in the decision are on file with the PAA. If 20 days have elapsed after the decision has been filed in the office of the City Clerk without an appeal having been filed or if such appeal, having been filed, is dismissed or denied, the City Clerk shall so certify on a copy of the decision. If the application is approved by reason of the failure of the PAA to timely act, the City Clerk shall make such certification on a copy of the application. A copy of the decision or application bearing such certification shall be recorded in the registry of deeds for the county and district in which the land is located and indexed in the grantor index under the name of the owner of record or recorded and noted on the owner's certificate of title. The fee for recording or registering shall be paid by the applicant.
A. Minor change. After Plan Approval, an applicant may be apply to make minor changes involving minor utility or building orientation adjustments, or minor adjustments to parking or other site details that do not affect the overall buildout or building envelope of the site, or provision of open space, number of housing units, or housing need or affordability features. Such minor changes must be submitted to the PAA on redlined prints of the approved plan, reflecting the proposed change, and on application forms provided by the PAA. The PAA may authorize such changes at any regularly scheduled meeting, without the need for holding a public hearing. The PAA shall set forth any decision to approve or deny such minor change by motion and written decision, and provide a copy to the applicant for filing with the City Clerk.
B. Major change. Those changes deemed by the PAA to constitute a major change because of the nature of the change in relation to the prior approved plan, or because such change cannot be appropriately characterized as a minor change as described above, shall be processed by the PAA as a new application for Plan Approval pursuant to this § 350-20.
The provisions of the SG District shall be administered by the Building Commissioner, except as otherwise provided herein. Any appeal arising out of action by the PAA regarding an application for Plan Approval hall be governed by the applicable provisions of MGL c. 40R. Any other request for enforcement or appeal arising under this section shall be governed by the applicable provisions of MGL c. 40A.