§ 275-56Statutory authority.
§ 275-59Boundaries of Performance Zoning District.
§ 275-61Permitted uses.
§ 275-62Dimensional performance standards.
§ 275-63Minimum landscape performance standards.
§ 275-64Minimum standards for off-street parking areas.
§ 275-65Performance standards for screening refuse, material storage,
loading/receiving areas, and utility installations.
§ 275-66Minimum landscape requirements for signage.
§ 275-67General landscape requirements.
§ 275-68Sign standards.
§ 275-69Minimum lighting standards.
§ 275-70Environmental performance standards.
§ 275-71Merrimack River Shoreland protection performance standards.
§ 275-72Standards for adult entertainment businesses.
§ 275-65 Performance standards for screening refuse, material storage, loading/receiving areas, and utility installations.
This Article VIII is enacted by the Town of Bedford pursuant to RSA 674:21, II. This innovative land use control ordinance shall provide for all approvals, including the granting of conditional or special use permits, by the Planning Board. Any decision made by the Planning Board under this innovative land use control ordinance may be appealed directly to Superior Court in the same manner provided by statute for appeals from the Planning Board, as set forth in RSA 676:5, III, and RSA 677:15. A waiver process from particular requirements set forth in Article VIII may be employed by the Planning Board where the applicant demonstrates substantial compliance with the standards set forth in Article VIII, § 275-58, Purpose, Subsections A through E.
Zoning was first implemented as a technique for separating incompatible types of land development, thereby protecting low-intensity uses from the harmful or disagreeable impacts of high-intensity uses. However, conventional zoning may produce its own set of undesirable side-effects.
As design and technology continually change in the marketplace, new types of land uses are proposed which cannot be easily assigned to existing zoning classifications. Too often, innovative land developments are either denied outright (resulting in loss of tax revenue to the municipality), appealed to the Zoning Board of Adjustment (where special conditions are imposed), or subjected to lengthy rezoning procedures (requiring a Town-wide ballot vote).
Performance standards measure the quantifiable impacts of each proposed development rather than prohibiting certain classes of land use. This type of zoning offers an alternative method for implementing community goals as outlined in the 1990 Bedford Master Plan and the 1983 Route 3 Corridor Study, while protecting the right of private property owners to utilize their land according to highest and best use.
The purposes of this Performance Zoning District Ordinance are:
To attract environmentally acceptable commercial, industrial, recreational, institutional, and residential uses to the District;
To encourage diversity in the community tax base through appropriate flexibility in land use and land use development;
To optimize financial return on public infrastructure investments and expenditures, including municipal sewer, municipal water supply, the Manchester Airport, Class I and II public highways, and the Merrimack River amenities;
To minimize adverse traffic impacts on U.S. Route 3, the I-293/NH Route 101 Interchange, and surrounding local streets and roadways; and
To preserve valuable historical, cultural, and natural features within the district and to minimize adverse environmental impacts such as water, air, light, noise pollution, flooding, clear cutting of vegetation, and the blocking of scenic views.
The boundaries and extent of the Performance Zoning District are as delineated and depicted on the map entitled "Zoning Map, Town of Bedford, NH 1993," and as afterwards amended.
Except where specifically defined or otherwise referenced within this article, words and terms used are intended to imply their customary definition and meaning. The following words and terms are specifically defined as follows:
- ADULT BOOKSTORE or ADULT VIDEO STORE
- A commercial establishment that devotes more than 15% of
the total display, shelf, rack, wall, table, stand or floor area,
utilized for the display and sale of the following items listed in
Subsection A and B below. The establishment, as one of the principal
business purposes, offers for sale or rental for any form of consideration
any one of more the following:[Added 3-14-1995]
Books, magazines, periodicals, or other printed matter, or photographs, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, video reproductions, slides, tapes, records, CDs or other forms of visual or audio representations which depict or describe specified sexual activities or specified anatomical areas or meet the definition of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA-571-B:1; or
Instruments, devices or paraphernalia which are designed for use in connection with sexual conduct as defined in RSA-571-B:1, other than birth control devices. A commercial establishment may have other principal business purposes that do not involve the offering for sale or rental of material depicting or describing specified sexual conduct or activities and still be categorized as adult video/bookstore. Such other business purposes will not serve to exempt such commercial establishments from being categorized as an adult video/bookstore so long as one of its principal business purposes is offering for sale or rental for consideration to specified material which depict or describe specified sexual conduct or activities or specified anatomical areas.
"Specified sexual conduct or activities" means that the male genitals in a state of sexual arousal and/or the vulva or more intimate parts of the female genitals.
"Specified anatomical areas" means and includes any of the following:
The fondling or other erotic touching of the human genitals, public region, buttocks, anus, or female breasts;
Sex acts, normal or perverted, actual or simulated, including intercourse, or copulation, or sodomy;
Masturbation, actual or simulated; or
Excretory function as part of or in connection with any of the activities set forth in Subsection B(2)(a) through (c) above.
"Adult bookstore or adult video store" does not include an establishment that sells books or periodicals as an incidental or accessory part of its principal stock and trade and does not devote more than 15% of the total display area of the establishment to the sale of books and periodicals.
- ADULT CABARET
- A nightclub, bar, restaurant or similar establishment which
during a substantial portion of the total presentation time features
live performances which meet the definition of "harmful to minors"
and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA 571-B:1, and/or features
films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or other photographic
reproductions, a substantial portion of the total presentation time
of which is devoted to showing of material which meets the definition
of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA
- ADULT DRIVE-IN THEATER
- An open lot or part thereof, with appurtenant facilities,
devoted primarily to the presentation of motion pictures, films, theatrical
productions and other forms of visual productions, for any form of
consideration to persons in motor vehicles or on outdoor seats, in
which a substantial portion of the total presentation time being presented
for observation by patrons is devoted to the showing of material which
meets the definition of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct"
as set forth in RSA 571-B:1.[Added 3-14-1995]
- ADULT ENTERTAINMENT BUSINESSES
- Adult bookstore or adult video store, adult cabaret, adult drive-in theater, adult motel, adult motion picture arcade, adult motion picture theater, adult theater, nude model studio, and/or sexual encounter center as defined herein.
- ADULT MOTEL
- A motel or similar establishment offering public accommodations
of any form of consideration which provides patrons with closed circuit
television transmissions, films, motion pictures, video cassettes,
slides or photographic reproductions, a substantial portion of the
total presentation time of which is distinguished or characterized
by an emphasis upon the depiction or description of materials which
meet the definition of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct"
as set forth in RSA 571-B:1.[Added 3-14-1995]
- ADULT MOTION-PICTURE ARCADE
- Any place to which the public is permitted or invited wherein
coin- or slug-operated or electronically, electrically or mechanically
controlled still- or motion-picture machines, projectors, or other
image-producing devices are maintained to show images to five or fewer
persons per machine at any one time, in which a substantial portion
of the total presentation of the images so displayed is devoted to
the showing of material which meets the definition of "harmful to
minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA 571-B:1.[Added 3-14-1995]
- ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
- An establishment with a capacity of five or more persons where, for any form of consideration, films, motion pictures, video cassettes, slides or similar photographic reproductions are shown, and in which a substantial portion of the total presentation time is devoted to the showing of material which meets the definition of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA 571-B:1, for observation by patrons. For the definitions of adult cabaret, adult drive-in theater, adult motel, adult motion-picture arcade, adult theater and this definition of adult motion picture theater, a "substantial portion of the total presentation time" shall mean the presentation of films or shows described above for viewing on more than seven days within any fifty-six-consecutive-day period.
- ADULT THEATER
- A theater, concert hall, auditorium or similar establishment,
either indoor or outdoor in nature, which for any form of consideration
regularly features live performances, a substantial portion of the
total presentation time of which is distinguished of characterized
by an emphasis on activities which meet the definition of "harmful
to minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA 571-B:1.[Added 3-14-1995]
- BUILDING HEIGHT
- The vertical distance from the average existing ground level
of a building footprint to the soffit (or highest horizontal support)
of the building.[Added 3-14-1995]
- The diameter of a tree trunk measured in inches at breast
height (dbh) or 3 1/2 feet above grade.[Added 3-8-1994]
- EASEMENT DEED
- A legally binding document which provides the grantee with specific entitlements related to the use and enjoyment of the grantor's property.
- IMPERVIOUS COVERAGE
- The surface area of all man-made improvements which effectively prevents the natural passage of water from the ground surface to the underlying soil mass.
- INCENTIVE BONUS STANDARDS; INCENTIVE BONUS
- The provisions of this article which provide potentially advantageous land use arrangements to individuals as compensation for voluntarily utilizing their property(s) in a preferred but not required manner.
- LOADING/RECEIVING AREA
- A portion of a structure which is reserved for the primary purpose of providing structure access for the arrival and dispersal of goods and products transported by truck or rail.
- LOCAL ROADS and STREETS
- All highways classified as Class IV or V under RSA 229:5.
- MATERIAL STORAGE AREA
- That portion of a site routinely used for the outdoor storage of any products, goods, or raw materials.
- MUNICIPAL SEWER
- An operational system constructed and maintained for the collection and renovation of nonhazardous wastewater flows, which is either owned and maintained by a municipality or a public utility company licensed by the Public Utilities Commission of the State of New Hampshire.
- MUNICIPAL WATER
- An operational system constructed and maintained for the purpose of distribution of potable water for general use, which is either owned and maintained by a municipality or a public utility company licensed by the Public Utilities Commission of the State of New Hampshire.
- Any objectionable sound produced by any unnatural activity.
- NUDE MODEL STUDIO
- A place where a person who appears in a state of nudity or
displays male genitals in a state of arousal and/or the vulva or more
intimate parts of the female genitals and is observed, sketched, drawn,
painted, sculptured, photographed, or similarly depicted by other
persons who pay money or any form of consideration or such display
is characterized by an emphasis on activities which meets the definition
of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct" as set forth in RSA
- NUISANCE ODOR
- Any emission which produces and objectionable or unhealthy smell.
- PERFORMANCE ZONING STANDARDS, PERFORMANCE STANDARDS
- The specific provisions of this article which have been created for the purpose of accomplishing the stated intent of the article or any portion thereof.
- Any natural or man-made product or by-product with a market value below the total cost associated with proper disposal of the same.
- SEXUAL ENCOUNTER CENTER
- A business or commercial enterprise that, as one of its primary
business purposes, offers for any form of consideration:[Added 3-14-1995]
Physical contact in the form of wrestling or tumbling between persons of the opposite sex; or
Activities between male and female persons and/or persons of the same sex when one or more persons is in the state of nudity; or
Where the activities in Subsection A or B is characterized by an emphasis an activities which meets the definition of "harmful to minors" and/or "sexual conduct", as set forth in RSA 571-B:1.
- SHARED-ACCESS DRIVES
- Any privately owned curb cuts and/or traveled ways which provide common access to more than one property.
- U.S. ROUTE 3
- That section of highway known locally as South River Road, which runs the length of Bedford, between the Merrimack and Manchester corporate boundaries.
- WATER-DEPENDENT STRUCTURES
- A dock, wharf, pier, breakwater, swimming float, boat ramp, or other similar structure or part thereof.
All land uses, or combinations thereof, enumerated hereunder are permitted within the Performance Zoning District subject to review for suitability by the Planning Board. Prior to any Planning Board approval of a proposed use, the applicant must demonstrate that the proposed use will meet all of the performance standards established in the following sections, the Bedford Subdivision Regulations, the Bedford Nonresidential Site Plan Review Regulations, and shall not produce any negative impacts on surrounding properties.
Research and development operations.
Warehousing and truck terminal facilities.
Professional and business offices.
Retail, wholesale and rental trades, commercial service, and repair facilities.
Restaurants, fast-food restaurants, hotels, motels, and other hospitality services.
Medical/dental services and related facilities, including hospitals and nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Personal service establishments.
Government facilities and services.
Places of worship and related religious facilities.
Public and private educational institutions.
Public and private commercial and noncommercial recreation areas and open space.
Business center developments.
Gasoline service stations. Gasoline service stations are subject to Footnote 12 in Table 2, Table of Uses, of this chapter.
Banks and other financial institutions.
Table of Performance Dimensional Standards.
In order to accomplish the stated intent and purpose of this article, as well as ensure that the goals and objectives of both the 1990 Bedford Master Plan and the 1983 Route 3 Corridor Study are fulfilled, performance zoning standards enumerated within Table 3, Table of Performance Dimensional Standards, have been developed.
No building or structure shall be erected, enlarged, altered, or relocated, nor shall any existing lot size be changed or new lot created within the Performance Zoning District, except in accordance with the Table of Performance Dimensional Standards or as otherwise specified within this article.
Incentive bonus standards.
In recognition of the need to protect the overall integrity and character of the Performance Zoning District, as well as to promote the development of a system of local roads and utilities for properly servicing properties within the Performance Zoning District, the performance zoning standards presented in Table 3, Table of Performance Dimensional Standards, have been formulated so as to include incentive bonus standards.
These incentive bonus standards have been created as means for rewarding those who choose to voluntarily develop their properties in a way that is most compatible with the stated goals and objectives of the 1990 Bedford Master Plan and the 1983 Route 3 Corridor Study.
Incentive bonus standards which are implicit in these performance zoning standards include:
Minimum lot areas and frontage.
Purpose. Recognition that less restrictive minimum lot area and frontage requirements for sites which either front on local roads or have shared access from Route 3 can promote favorable development along this corridor, without adversely affecting traffic patterns.
Reduction in minimum lot area and frontage. As an incentive bonus to encourage this concept of local road construction and/or shared access, minimum lot area and frontage requirements will be relaxed from a minimum lot size of three acres with 300 feet of frontage, to 1.5 acres with 150 feet of frontage when a municipal water supply and/or municipal sewer is not available.
Waiver of soils and steep slopes regulation. The Planning Board may further waive the soils and steep slopes regulation contained within the Subdivision Regulations of the Town of Bedford, New Hampshire, for sites created under this incentive bonus standard. (See Figure 4, Incentive Bonus Standards.
Municipal sewer and water connections.
Purpose. Recognition that sites created which take advantage of the incentive bonus standard outlined above should have an additional incentive bonus to expend funds for connection to municipal sewer and a municipal water supply.
Reduction in minimum lot area and frontage. This incentive bonus standard is provided by allowing these sites to further reduce minimum lot area to one acre with 75 feet of frontage.
Waiver of construction improvements. This incentive is provided in order to offset the cost of providing these utilities. This incentive bonus can also be attained by contributing funds to a Town-administered fund for future utility connection in lieu of actually constructing these improvements at the time of subdivision. (See Figure 4, Incentive Bonus Standards.)
Land within 50 feet of U.S. Route 3. Recognition that individuals who voluntarily agree to provide easement deeds over that portion of their land within 50 feet of the present center line of U.S. Route 3, thereby reserving this easement area for future widening or similar improvements to this corridor, may be compensated for this action by being allowed to develop their properties to an extent greater than that allowed by the maximum impervious coverage requirements otherwise permitted within this district.
Excess impervious coverage. The amount of excess impervious coverage allowed being equal to the actual computed area of the easement area provided for future improvements. (See Figure 3, Incentive Bonus Formula for Route 3 Easement.
Front structure setback.
In recognition of the need to protect the aesthetic qualities of the Performance Zoning District, while still maintaining appreciation for the needs of all potential users, an incentive bonus standard has been developed wherein front structure setback requirements may be relaxed for those who choose to develop sites in such a way as to place parking pavements to the side and rear of proposed buildings.
Those who choose to take advantage of this incentive bonus standard may reduce their required front structure setback by 50% of that otherwise required within this district subject to the minimum front structure setback dimension. In effect, use of this incentive bonus standard expands the envelope of available building area on any given site.
Minimum lot area. The minimum lot area shown in Table 3, Table of Performance Dimensional Standards,
A parcel of land, with an area greater than or equal to the difference between the minimum required lot area from Table 3, Table of Performance Dimensional Standards, and the proposed lot area is deeded in fee simple to the Town of Bedford or a nonprofit organization acceptable to the Bedford Town Council;
Those utilizing this performance standard must offer any land, which is not to be retained by the subdivider, to the Bedford Town Council. In considering any such offer, the Town Council may elect to accept the land for Town ownership and use; reject the offer; or defer ownership to a third party, nonprofit organization of their selection for permanent use as public recreation, conservation, open space, or historic preservation;
The parcel to be retained by the subdivider shall meet applicable NHDES lot sizing criteria when public sewers are not available at the time of subdivision. Further, the Planning Board may elect to waive the soils and steep slopes based lot sizing requirements contained within the Subdivision Ordinance of the Town of Bedford;
Any parcel created under this performance standard shall have a total area of not less than 1/2 acre.
Intent. To preserve and enhance the aesthetic qualities of the Performance Zoning District by establishing a matrix of landscape design and planting options which perform in relationship to the intensity of the proposed land use. It is anticipated that through the implementation of landscape strips and incentive bonuses, the following objectives can be accomplished:
Diminish potentially adverse impacts of structures, lighting glare, noise, wind velocities, and odors which could result from permitting widely varying land uses on adjacent parcels;
Ensure that each tract of land has benefit of an adequate buffer between neighboring parcels in order to preserve and protect property values;
Promote an aesthetically pleasing relationship of scale between buildings and their natural surroundings;
Reinforce the visual image of Bedford's Performance Zoning District as tree-lined streets, through the planting of native shade trees along roadways, installation of underground utilities, and design of monument or pedestal signage rather than pole signage; and
Encourage a pedestrian-friendly environment through the inclusion of sidewalks, barrier-free street crossings, mass transit shelters, public benches, and bicycle racks.
General landscape provisions.
Plantings requirements. All plantings required by this article shall be installed according to accepted horticultural standards and shall be regularly maintained. Required plantings shall be replaced as necessary in order to maintain compliance with these zoning standards.
Verification of incentive bonuses provisions/waivers. Where incentive bonuses or waivers are employed, the Bedford Planning Department shall have the ability to verify the effectiveness, health, size, and number of retained plantings at the completion of construction. Any deficiencies found with regard to these items shall be corrected and may require the installation of additional plantings prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
Waivers for public safety. None of the landscape requirements contained within this article shall be construed so as to require installation of improper plantings where safe site distance at drives or along public streets may be inhibited by such plantings. The Planning Board may waive any landscape requirements of this article when deemed to be necessary for reasons of public safety.
Landscape areas. (See Figure 5, Designated Landscape Areas.
Open space. All areas disturbed by construction shall be covered with a minimum thickness of four inches of suitable topsoil and be subsequently planted with grass seed, sod, or other vegetative ground cover.
Street tree landscape strip.
Intent. The street tree landscape strip is intended to promote the aesthetic quality of tree-lined streets within this district.
The street tree landscape strip shall be a fifteen-foot wide strip running parallel with the lot frontage along any public right-of-way and shall be continuous along the entire length of said right-of-way, excepting areas reserved for approved curb cuts. (See Figure 5, Designated Landscape Areas, Figure 6, Minimum Landscape Requirements, and Figure 7, Minimum Landscape Heights.
Where easements for street widening are conveyed, the street tree landscape strip shall overlap onto the front landscape strip, and street trees should be planted along the inside of any such easement line, within the front landscape strip.
The street tree landscape strip may be waived where a side or rear landscape strip is planted instead along the frontage of a right-of-way.
The street tree strip shall be planted with a minimum of one indigenous shade tree for every 50 feet of right-of-way frontage. Examples of indigenous shade trees are maple, oak, and ash. The size of the trees to be planted within this area shall be a minimum of 2 1/2 inches in caliper at the time of planting. Branching height of street trees shall not be less than seven feet above grade when planted. Street trees shall be spaced at least 25 feet apart at the time of planting.
Where overhead utility lines restrict the allowable height of plantings, alternative tree specifications (including evergreens) may be substituted by a waiver from the Planning Board.
Incentive bonuses. Each healthy native tree with a caliper of three inches or greater, which is preserved within the street tree strip, may be substituted for one required new street tree planting.
Front landscape strip.
Intent. The front landscape strip is intended to promote a pleasing relationship of scale between buildings and related site improvements and to integrate the design of the street tree strip.
The front landscape strip shall be a strip of variable width (minimum 15 feet wide) between the street tree area and the closest point of a building or impervious surface facing a public right-of-way. (See Figure 5, Designated Landscape Areas, Figure 6, Minimum Landscape Requirements, and Figure 7, Minimum Landscape Heights.
Where easements for street widening are conveyed, the street tree strip may be overlaid on top of the front landscape strip.
Plantings. The front landscape strip shall be planted with a minimum of one deciduous or evergreen tree for every 30 feet of horizontal building facing a public right-of-way. Trees planted within this area shall have a height equal to 1/2 of the maximum proposed building height (but not less than 12 feet high or more than 30 feet high) at the time of planting.
Incentive bonuses. Each healthy native tree with a caliper of three inches or greater, which is preserved within the front landscape strip, may be substituted for one new front landscape tree. Each healthy native tree with a caliper of four inches or greater which is preserved within the front landscape strip may be substituted for two new front landscape trees.
Side and rear landscape strips.
Intent. The side and rear landscape strips are intended to promote proper visual separation and adequate buffering between adjoining properties. Parking, drives, and buildings shall not be located within any required side and rear landscape strip.
Location. Required side and rear landscape strips shall begin at the inner limits of the front landscape strip and run parallel to side and rear property lines. The required minimum width of these side and rear landscape strips shall be a distance equal to 1/2 the maximum proposed building height. (See Figure 5, Designated Landscape Areas, Figure 6, Minimum Landscape Requirements, and Figure 7, Minimum Landscape Heights.
Plantings. Required side and rear landscape strips shall be constructed so as to provide a dense visual four-season screen by using one or a combination of any of the landscape options provided in the following Table of Side and Rear Landscape Options (See Table 4, Table of Side and Rear Landscape Area Options. See also Figure 8, Side and Rear Landscape Options.
Incentive bonuses. Healthy woodland provides for a dense landscape screen more effectively than new plants. Healthy existing woodland may be retained in order to fulfill planting requirements within side and rear landscape strips. The minimum width of woodland retained for the purpose of fulfilling side and rear landscape strip requirements shall be equal to the maximum proposed building height; however, in no case shall the required width of retained woodland be less than 30 feet.
Exterior pavement landscape strip.
Intent. The exterior pavement landscape strip is intended to create visual screening of automobile parking areas, create summer shade along paved surfaces and reduce wind velocity across open lot areas.
The exterior pavement landscape strip shall be a fifteen-foot wide strip running parallel to all parking and on-site driveway pavement edges. In the case of frontage along public rights-of-way, the exterior pavement landscape strip shall be located between the required front landscape strip or a side or rear landscape strip and the proposed pavement edge.
Where an exterior pavement landscape strip would immediately abut a side or rear landscape strip (not facing a right-of-way) that section of exterior pavement landscape strip may be waived.
Plantings. The exterior pavement landscape area shall be constructed in accordance with one of the landscape options outlined within the following Table of Exterior Pavement Landscape Options. (See Table 5, Table of Exterior Landscape Options.)
Incentive bonuses. If any portion of a parking area or driveway is immediately adjacent to a required side or rear landscape strip, the provisions of this section shall not apply to that area. (See Figure 9, Interconnected Parking Lots.
Interior pavement landscape strips.
Intent. The intent of the interior pavement landscape strips is to break up large expanses of pavement, provide summer shade on pavement areas and reduce wind velocity across exposed surface areas.
The required interior pavement landscape strips shall be calculated as a minimum of 5% of the total area of paved drives, parking areas, etc. Interior landscape strips shall be required for all parking lots with more than 20 parking spaces;
The required minimum interior landscape strips must be provided within the limits of parking and/or drive pavements. The minimum landscaped island size usable for satisfaction of these requirements shall not be less than 250 square feet in total area. Parking lots which have multiple parking aisles, which are approximately parallel, shall be required to have planting strips not less than 15 feet wide, spaced not further than 180 feet apart. (See Figure 10, Parking Lots With Multiple Parking Aisles.
Plantings. islands and planting strips shall be planted with indigenous shade trees, evergreen shrubs, and deciduous shrubs. The required number of shade trees shall be calculated as one deciduous tree (minimum caliper of 2 1/2 inches) per 400 square feet of required interior landscape area. The number of shrubs shall be equal to one shrub (minimum three-foot high) per 130 square feet of required interior landscape strips. Required shrubs shall be 40% deciduous and 60% evergreen species.
Incentive bonuses. Each healthy native tree with a minimum caliper of four inches or greater, which is preserved within interior pavement landscape strips, may be substituted for three new required tree plantings.
Signage landscape strip.
Intent. The intent of the signage landscape strip is to reestablish ground cover where disturbed by sign installation and to screen the foundation of monument or pedestal signs without blocking the view of signage information.
Location. The signage landscape strip shall be a minimum four-foot wide area surrounding each monument or pedestal sign base.
Plantings. All monument or pedestal sign bases shall be planted with shrubs or ground cover with a minimum height and width of 18 inches at the time of planting.
Incentive bonuses. Healthy vegetation which is preserved in the location of the signage landscape area, may be substituted for the required plantings.
Screening of unsightly features.
Intent. This section is intended to preserve the visual aesthetics of the Performance District by blocking or minimizing the view of refuse, materials storage, loading/receiving docks, and utility installations.
Refuse storage areas, stockpiled materials for packaging and commercial/industrial by-products, and other materials stockpile areas shall be located so as to be out of view from any abutting property and/or public rights-of-way. In cases where this is not possible, these items shall be properly located within a secured area which has been effectively screened. As a minimum, all such areas shall be contained within a stockade, chain link, or similar enclosure which is at least as tall as the object(s) to be screened. Further, the perimeter of any such enclosure shall be subject to the landscape screening requirements outlined herein.
Loading docks and receiving areas, as well as large aboveground utility fixtures, shall be located so as to be out of view from abutting properties and/or public rights-of-way. In cases where this is not possible, these facilities shall be effectively screened in accordance with the minimum landscape screening requirements outlined herein. ("Large aboveground utility fixtures" are defined as any public or private utility component which has a total footprint area of greater than 50 square feet, or has an average height of more than four feet.)
Plantings. Minimum landscape screening requirements for use in satisfying each of the above criteria shall include the planting of one evergreen tree or shrub per 10 linear feet of required screen length or perimeter. The height of required trees or shrubs shall be equal to 1/2 of the maximum height of the item requiring the screen at the time of planting. Required plantings shall be placed at regular spacings so as to maximize the overall density of the landscape screen.
Incentive bonuses. An enclosure either attached or detached from a principal structure, constructed of rigid architectural materials, which are visually compatible with those of the principal structure, may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section and may be substituted for the requirements outlined above.
In order to provide for safe and adequate parking facilities which do not detract from the overall aesthetic quality of development within this District, minimum standards for off-street parking areas have been developed.
The goals and objectives related to the development of these standards are:
To insure that suitable off-street parking areas are provided for all future sites within this District;
To promote the concept of interconnecting parking between adjacent businesses as a means easing demands placed on public streets and intersections, where and when feasible;
To promote the development of interior green space within parking lots as a means of mitigating summer heat and as a location for winter snow disposal;
To provide trees for summer shade and as means for diminishing excessive wind velocity; and
To create off-street parking areas which do not detract from the overall quality of development within this District.
General performance standards for off-street parking.
All general and specific provisions of the off-street parking requirements of the Bedford Land Development Control Regulations shall apply to this district unless otherwise noted within this section or modified by approval of the Planning Board.
Neither the display of automobiles or other objects which may be for sale nor the storage of raw or processed materials shall be permitted within any required off-street parking spaces or their interconnecting drives and/or aisles.
Adequate space within, or immediately adjacent to, off-street parking lots shall be provided for the storage of winter snow. Winter snow shall not be placed within required off-street parking stalls, or their aisles and/or interconnecting drives. All designated snow storage area(s) shall be located and devised such that anticipated snow volumes will not pose a threat to vehicular and/or pedestrian circulation. Further, snow storage areas shall have adequate provisions made so as to avoid icing or flooding of traveled areas during periods of snow melt.
Incentive bonus standards. An incentive bonus standard is provided which omits landscape requirements associated with side and rear landscape strips between those portions of adjacent sites where shared access and interconnected parking occurs. (See Figure 9, Interconnected Parking Lots.
§ 275-65 Performance standards for screening refuse, material storage, loading/receiving areas, and utility installations.
Often, careful site planning can minimize or even eliminate adverse visual effects associated with necessary site elements, such as refuse containers, material storage areas, loading docks/receiving areas, and large aboveground utility fixtures.
Unfortunately, in many cases, unavoidable circumstances make it impossible to effectively hide unsightly site elements from public view.
For this reason, the following minimum performance standards apply to this district.
Refuse storage areas, stockpiled material packaging and commercial/industrial by-products, material storage areas, and stockpiles shall be located so as to be out of view from any abutting property and/or public right-of-way.
In cases where this is not possible, these items shall be properly located within a secured area which has been effectively screened.
As a minimum, all such areas within view of adjoining properties or public streets shall be contained within a stockade, chain link, or similar enclosure which is at least as tall as the object(s) to be screened.
Further, the perimeter of any such enclosure shall be subject to the landscape.
Loading docks/receiving areas and aboveground utility fixtures.
Loading docks and receiving areas, as well as large aboveground utility fixtures, shall be located so as to be out of view from abutting properties and/or public rights-of-way.
In cases where this is not possible, these facilities shall be effectively screened in accordance with the minimum landscape screening requirements outlined herein.
"Large aboveground utility fixtures" are defined as any public or private utility component which has a total footprint area of greater than 50 square feet or has an average height of more than four feet.
Minimum landscape screening requirements. Minimum landscape screening requirements for use in satisfying each of the above criteria include:
The planting of one evergreen tree or shrub, plus one additional evergreen tree or shrub per 10 linear feet of required screen length or perimeter;
The height of required trees or shrubs shall be equal to 1/2 of the maximum height of the item requiring the screen at the time of planting; and
Required plantings shall be placed at regular spacings so as to maximize the overall density of the landscape screen.
Enclosures. An enclosure, either attached or detached from a principal structure, constructed of rigid architectural materials which are visually compatible with those of the principal structure, may be used to satisfy the requirements of this section and may be substituted for the requirements outlined above.
The required landscape area associated with any freestanding sign shall be equal to three times the actual measured sign area and shall be located immediately adjacent to the sign and/or sign base. This required landscaped area shall be planted with shrubs and/or ground cover which will enhance but not block the view of any sign or part thereof.
Plantings. All plantings required by this article shall be installed according to accepted horticultural standards and shall be regularly maintained. Required plantings shall be replaced as necessary in order to maintain compliance with these zoning requirements.
Dimensions and terms. Tree and shrub dimensions and terms used within this article are referenced to American Standards for Nursery Stock, as published by the American Association of Nurserymen.
Incentive bonus standards. Several incentive bonus standards related to this article allow for the substitution of retained vegetation for required plantings.
Verification of plantings. In situations where these various incentives are exercised, officials of the Town of Bedford or their representatives shall have the ability to verify the effectiveness, health, size, and number of retained plantings at the completion of construction.
Correction of deficiencies. Any deficiencies found with regard to these items shall be corrected and may require the installation of additional plantings prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the property.
Reclamation of disturbed areas. All areas disturbed by construction shall be covered with a minimum thickness of four inches of suitable topsoil and be subsequently planted with grass seed, sod, or other vegetative ground cover.
Waiver of landscape requirements when necessary for public safety. None of the landscape requirements contained within this article shall be construed so as to require installation, where proper site distance at drives or along public streets may be inhibited by such improvements. The Planning Board may omit any landscape requirements of this article when deemed to be necessary, for reasons of public safety.
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- ADDRESS SIGN
- The street address shall be included as part of a directory/monument sign.
- ANIMATED OR MOVING SIGN
- Any sign that has moving or rotating components, flashing lights, or special materials to illustrate action or create a special effect or scene.
- CANOPY EAVELINE; EAVELINE
- The bottom of the roof eave or the canopy eave. An eave as defined herein does not include the parapet of a flat-roof building. (See Figures B and C.)
- CENTER IDENTIFICATION SIGN
- A freestanding sign that is either a monument or directory
type. (See Figure 11, Center Identification Sign.Editor's Note: Figure 11 is included at the end of this chapter.
- DIRECTORY SIGN
- A separate structure supported from the sides. A sign for identification of the business or center as a whole and for listing the major tenants and their building numbers/address numbers. (See Figure 11, Center Identification Sign.)
- DOUBLE-FACED SIGN
- A single freestanding structure designed with the intent of providing advertising on both sides.
- HEIGHT OF SIGN
- The greatest vertical distance measured from the finished ground below the middle of the sign to the highest element of the sign.
- IDENTIFICATION SIGN
- A sign that illustrates the name, name and logo, type of business, or identifies a particular establishment.
- ILLUMINATED SIGN
- A sign lit with either an internal or external artificial light source.
- MONUMENT SIGN
- A separate structure supported from grade to the bottom of the sign with a base or wall that is larger than the sign. A sign for identification of the business or center as a whole and for listing the major tenants and their building numbers/address numbers. (See Figure 11, Center Identification Sign.)
- NONCONFORMING SIGN
- A legally established sign which fails to conform to the regulations as presented or referenced herein.
- Any object, devise, display, structure, or part thereof, situated outdoors or indoors, which is used to advertise, identify, display, direct, or attract attention to an object, person, institution, organization, business, product, service, event, or location by any means, including words, letters, figures, design, symbols, fixtures, colors, illumination, or projected images.
- SIGN AREA
- The entire face, including the surface and any molding, framing, and projections, but not including the base, wall, or column supports. Individual letters and logos mounted on a building shall be measured by the area enclosed by four straight lines outlining each word and logo.
- WALL SIGN
- A sign fastened or painted onto a wall.
The adopted Bedford Zoning Ordinance, revised March 9, 1993, Article IX, Signs, § 275-73, General provisions, Subsections A through N, and § 275-75, Political signs, shall apply to the Performance Zoning District. (See Table 6, Table of Performance Sign Standards.
A sign pertaining to the lease or sale of a lot or building on which it is placed shall be allowed as long as such sign does not exceed 18 square feet.
Prohibited signs. Animated, moving, flashing, and noisemaking signs are not permitted.
Lettering on a sign. The letter area, as it relates to the overall sign background area, shall be in proportion. In general, letters shall not appear to occupy more than 75% of the sign panel area.
Identification sign (building).
Signs on a building wall or eaveline shall be compatible with the predominant visual elements of the building.
The use of backlit, individually cut, letter signs is encouraged.
Center identification sign (freestanding) (See Figure 11.
Freestanding signs shall include the identification of the business or center as a whole and major tenant and street address range included within the center. A freestanding sign shall be either a monument- or directory-type sign.
A minimum of 10% of the sign area shall be devoted to the identification of the building or center by name.
General provisions. In order to facilitate vehicular and pedestrian safety, promote property security, and enhance the overall use of properties within this district, exterior site lighting shall be required for all permitted uses subject to site plan review.
Illumination levels for exterior site lighting. Exterior lighting levels shall follow the recommended illumination levels found in the Illumination Engineering Society Lighting Handbook, most current edition.
Design of external light fixtures.
In order to minimize glare and other adverse effects associated with exterior lighting, all exterior lighting fixtures shall be of a design that provides for full cutoff luminaires. A full cutoff luminaire shall mean a luminaire light distribution where zero candela intensity occurs at or above an angle of 90° above nadir and the candela per 1,000 lamp lumens does not numerically exceed 100 (10%) at an angle 80° above nadir. This applies to all lateral angles around the luminaire.
Further, all fixtures shall be positioned and/or installed in such a fashion as to prevent unwanted incidental illumination of abutting properties and streets. (See Figure 12, Design of External Lighting Fixtures.
Environmental performance standards specific to the Performance District, enumerated herein, have been developed in order to protect the long-term environmental quality and overall vitality of this district.
The variety of permitted uses, taken together with often intensive land use patterns and an inventory of environmental resources specific to this district, necessitates this series of environmental performance standards.
In addition to the provisions of this article, development within this district shall also be subject to applicable local, state, and federal land use controls and regulations. The content of this article shall not be construed to imply relief from the requirements of state or federal statutes.
Performance standards related to noise.
Intent. These performance standards governing noise are intended to ensure that the rights of property owners, as well as the overall health and general welfare of the district, are not diminished by unreasonable noise levels generated within the district.
Maximum permissible sound level. The maximum permissible sound level produced by any continuous, regular, or frequent source of sound or noise, produced by any permitted use or activity within this district, shall not exceed a measurable level of 75 dB beyond the property boundaries of the site upon which the sound or noise is generated or originates.
Sound or noise abatement. In order to comply with these maximum sound level requirements, sound or noise level abatement techniques may be used to mitigate levels of site-generated sound or noise. To this end, modern acoustical technology may be applied to achieve compliance with these regulations.
Measurements of sound or noise. In cases where sound measurements are required in order to ensure compliance with these regulations, measurements shall be taken:
With a device meeting the standards of the American Standards Institute, American Standard Specifications for General Purpose Sound Level Meters;
At a height of four feet above prevailing grade at the property boundary in question;
With the instrument set to the A-weighted response scale; and
Recorded by an individual familiar with sound measurement and the particular devise being used.
Activities related to public and private construction or maintenance work, agriculture, timber harvesting, emergency warning devices, and other similar short-term or temporary uses may be administratively exempted from the requirements of this section if, in the opinion of the Zoning Administrator or his/her agent, sufficient reason exists to do so.
In these special circumstances, the Zoning Administrator may place reasonable conditions (such as time limitations and hours of operation) on such an exemption.
Performance standards related to the protection of wetlands. All provisions of Article IV, Wetlands Conservation, of this chapter shall apply to all areas within the Performance Zoning District.
Performance standards related to the development of steep slope areas.
Definition of steep slope areas. For the purposes of this section, steep slope areas shall be defined as naturally existing, continuous areas of land, with a contiguous area of 1/2 acre or more, which have an average cross slope gradient steeper than 25%.
Restrictions in steep slope areas. In order to guard against hazards implicit in the development of steep slope areas, construction within these areas shall be limited to those activities which are incidental to the use and/or development of land outside of a steep slope area and shall be subject to the following restrictions:
No portion of a steep slope area shall be used for the construction of leaching beds or trenches which are part of a subsurface sewage disposal system;
No permanent structures shall be erected on a steep slope area;
Not more than 50% of a steep slope area shall be cleared of healthy existing vegetation;
Portions of a steep slope area affected by construction activities shall be given special attention with regard to erosion control; and
No portion of a steep slope area shall be subject to discharge from a stormwater management system.
Performance standards related to nuisance odors. Uses and activities which produce continuous, regular, or frequent odors and/or emissions, detectable beyond the boundary of the property from which the odor originates, may be prohibited, in whole or in part, if the odor or emission in question is a known health risk or danger or if the Zoning Administrator judges such odor or emission to be harmful to the rights of others to enjoy their property(s).
Pursuant to RSA 483-B and the 1990 Bedford Master Plan, this section establishes standards for the subdivision, use, and development of shorelands within 250 feet of public waters, herein identified as the Merrimack River, for the purpose of minimizing degradation of shorelands and assuring retention of the benefits provided by such shorelands.
These benefits include:
Prevention and/or mitigation of water pollution;
Protection of important fish, bird, and wildlife habitat;
Reduction or elimination of flooding and accelerated erosion;
Protection of wetlands;
Maintenance of water quantity and related stream flows;
Protection of shoreland cover as a means of maintaining water quality; and
The conservation of natural scenic and recreational assets of the Town of Bedford and the State of New Hampshire.
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BASAL AREA
- The cross sectional area of a tree measured at a height of 4 1/2 feet above the ground, usually expressed in square feet per acre for a stand of trees.
- DISTURBED AREA
- An area in which natural vegetation is removed, exposing the underlying soil.
- GROUND COVER
- Any herbaceous plant which normally grows to a mature height of four feet or less.
- NATURAL WOODLAND BUFFER
- A forested area consisting of various species of trees, saplings, shrubs, and ground covers in any combination and at any stage of growth.
- ORDINARY HIGH-WATER MARK
- The line on the shore, running parallel to the main stem of the river, established by the fluctuations of water and indicated by physical characteristics such as a clear impression on the immediate bank, shelving, soil characteristics, vegetation markings, and the presence of water-deposited debris. Where the ordinary high-water mark is not easily discernible, the mark shall be determined by a soil scientist certified by the State of New Hampshire.
- PRINCIPAL BUILDING SETBACK
- A minimum area of 50 feet measured in a line parallel with the public boundary line (ordinary high-water mark of the Merrimack River) from which any principal building on a lot must be set back.
- PROTECTED SHORELAND
- All land located within 250 feet of the public boundary line (ordinary high-water mark) of the Merrimack River.
- PUBLIC BOUNDARY LINE
- The ordinary high-water mark of the Merrimack River.
- PUBLIC WATERS
- The Merrimack River, which is a fourth order all-year-round flowing water.
- Any woody plant which normally grows to a mature height greater than 20 feet and has a diameter less than six inches at a point 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
- SHORELAND FRONTAGE
- The average of the distances measured along the public boundary and along a straight line drawn between the points at which the public boundary intersects the side lines of the property.
- Any multistemmed, woody plant which normally grows to a mature height of less than 20 feet.
- Any woody plant which normally grows to a mature height greater than 20 feet and which has a diameter of six inches or more at a point 4 1/2 feet above the ground.
- WATER-DEPENDENT STRUCTURE
- A dock, wharf, pier, breakwater, swimming float, boat ramp, or other similar structure or part thereof.
Subdivision, vegetation or soil disturbance, use, and development of land within the protected shoreland area, i.e., 250 feet of the ordinary high-water mark of the Merrimack River, shall be permitted according to Subsection F of this § 275-71.
Permitted uses of this article and are subject to the following conditions:
All new lots subdivided and new habitable structures built within the two-hundred-fifty-foot shoreland protection boundary shall be served by municipal water and municipal sewer.
All disturbed areas, construction, and/or development activities shall incorporate design standards for erosion and sedimentation control which, at a minimum, shall follow the recommendations of the publication Stormwater Management and Erosion and Sediment Control Handbook for Urban and Developing Areas in New Hampshire, August 1992, prepared by the Rockingham County Conservation District for the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services.
Activities within the two-hundred-fifty-foot protected shoreland area shall adhere to the following:
All proposed disturbance, construction, and/or development activities within the two-hundred-fifty-foot protected shoreland area (exempting agricultural activities utilizing best management practices in conformance with the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture and development/maintenance of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail) shall first receive approval from the Bedford Planning Board in accordance with the Bedford Nonresidential Site Plan Regulations.
Applications to the Bedford Planning Board shall include a site plan, pre- and post-development drainage calculations, a grading plan, a stormwater management and erosion/sedimentation plan, and a landscape plan, prepared by a professional engineer certified by the State of New Hampshire.
Restricted uses. The following uses shall require a review or permit from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services, the New Hampshire Wetlands Board, the United States Army Corps of Engineers, and/or the United States Environmental Protection Agency, in addition to site plan approval from the Bedford Planning Board:
Prohibited uses. Prohibited uses shall include the following:
Salt storage sheds;
Solid or hazardous waste facilities;
Use of any fertilizers (exempting fertilizers used as part of agricultural operations in conformance with best management practices of the New Hampshire Department of Agriculture) other than lime and/or wood ash; and
The dumping of snow and ice collected from roadways or parking areas outside the Performance Zoning District.
Natural woodlands buffer.
Where existing, a natural woodland buffer shall be maintained within 250 feet of the public boundary line, i.e., the ordinary high-water mark of the Merrimack River, excluding existing and ongoing agricultural activities and development/maintenance activities related to the New Hampshire Heritage Trail.
Within the natural woodland buffer, the following shall apply:
Not more than a maximum of 50% of the basal area of trees, a maximum of 50% of the total number of saplings, and a maximum of 50% of the total area of ground cover shall be removed for any purpose within a twenty-year period.
Replacement planting with native or naturalized species may be permitted to maintain the fifty-percent level, subject to Bedford Planning Board approval.
Vegetation which is removed to clear an opening for building construction, sewer, water, other utility line extension, or the New Hampshire Heritage Trail shall be excluded when computing the percentage limitations.
Stumps and their root systems which are located within 50 feet of the public boundary line shall be left intact, in the ground.
Setbacks. No principal or accessory structure, excluding water-dependent structures, shall be located within 50 feet of the pubic boundary line, i.e., the ordinary high-water mark of the Merrimack River.
Administration and enforcement. See Article XI of this chapter. All development activities within the two-hundred-fifty-foot protected shoreland area (exclusive of agricultural activities and development/maintenance of the New Hampshire Heritage Trail) shall be required to submit an as-built building and site plan prepared by a professional engineer certified by the State of New Hampshire prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy by the Bedford Building Code Official.
Purpose. It is the purpose of this section to establish reasonable and uniform regulations to prevent the concentration of sexually oriented businesses within the Town of Bedford.
It is the intent to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Bedford; and it is the intent of this section that the regulations be utilized to prevent problems of blight and deterioration which accompany and are brought about by the concentration of sexually oriented businesses; and the provisions of this section have neither the purpose nor the effect of imposing limitation or restriction on the content of any communicative materials, including sexually oriented materials;
It is not the intent nor the effect of this section to restrict or deny access by adults to sexually oriented materials protected by the First Amendment, or to deny access by the distributors and exhibitors of sexually oriented entertainment to their intended market; and neither is it the intent nor the effect of this section to condone or legitimize the distribution of obscene material.
Allowed locations and location restrictions of adult entertainment businesses.
Allowed locations. Adult entertainment businesses, defined in § 275-60, are permitted only in the PZ District, provided that all other regulations, requirements, and restrictions for the zone in which the adult entertainment business is to be located are met; and no entertainment business shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of another existing adult entertainment business or one for which a building permit has been applied for; and
No adult entertainment business shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of any other zoning boundary, except when the boundary is bordered by a four-lane highway;
No adult entertainment business shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of any church, place of worship, parish house, convent, public, parochial, or private school, kindergarten, state-approved day-care center or public sports/recreation parks; and no adult entertainment business shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of the Town boundaries;
No adult entertainment business shall be permitted within 500 feet of an existing residence; and
No adult entertainment business shall be permitted within 1,000 feet of another existing adult entertainment business on the date of the passage of this section, and no adult entertainment business shall be permitted within a building, premises, structure or other facility that contains a sexually oriented business as defined in the definitions § 275-60 of the Performance Zone.
Measure of distance. The distance between any adult entertainment business and a church, school, residence, etc., or another adult entertainment business shall be measured in a straight line, from property boundary to property boundary, without regard to intervening structures.
Additional reasonable regulations. The Planning Board is empowered hereunder to review and approve permit applications for adult entertainment businesses and impose reasonable restrictions for buffering, outdoor lighting, parking, adequate ingress and egress from the site off of and onto public roads, pedestrian movement, and to provide for appropriate landscaping and building aesthetics in the Nonresidential Site Plan Review Regulations of the Town of Bedford, New Hampshire, and to avoid site development layout which may result in negative environmental impacts.