Town of Lexington, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
The rules and regulations contained in this article shall apply only to the construction of housing for people of low and moderate income by a public agency, a nonprofit organization or a limited dividend corporation, as defined under the laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, when such construction is financially aided or subsidized by the commonwealth or by the United States.
A. 
Except where the submission of any item is specifically waived by the Chairman or by the majority of the Board, all of the following items and information shall be delivered to the office of the Board during the normal office hours or at a hearing of the Board to constitute the submission of an application for a comprehensive permit:
(1) 
Filing fee in the form of a check made out to Town of Lexington. The filing fee required hereunder is not in lieu of any other fee required by law. If a permit is granted hereunder, the applicant shall pay the fee required for a building or other permit at the time of submission of detailed plans and specifications to the Building Commissioner or designee. (See Board of Appeals Fee Schedule.)
(2) 
Three copies of the completed application in the form prescribed by the Board.
(3) 
If the applicant is a corporation, certified corporate vote identifying the individual authorized to act on behalf of the corporation; if the applicant is a trustee or the trustees jointly, a certified copy of the declaration of trust describing the power of the trustees to act.
(4) 
A certificate from the Massachusetts Commissioner of Corporations and Taxation that the applicant is registered as a nonprofit or a limited dividend corporation, as applicable.
(5) 
Two copies of a letter identifying the subsidizing federal or state agency to which application has been made and identifying the subsidy program.
(6) 
Eight copies of site and building plans, certified by a registered professional engineer or architect, registered land surveyor or landscape architect, as applicable, as to compliance with Town of Lexington, Commonwealth of Massachusetts or Federal Housing Administration laws and regulations, bearing the appropriate registration seal and showing the following information:
(a) 
Site plans showing topographic changes, information on soils, dimensions, location, materials and construction of any utilities, roads and other improvements, including cross sections, profiles, details and specifications, also the locations and dimensions of any buildings and structures, existing and proposed.
(b) 
Plot plan of the entire housing development showing distances, bearings, radii and tangents of all lot or property lines, all streets rights-of-way, easements and the names of all abutting owners and of all easement rights' holders.
(c) 
Floor, roof and foundation plans of all buildings, also elevations, wall sections and electrical, plumbing and other mechanical plans. Construction details shall be shown and materials and specifications listed.
B. 
For the purposes of these rules and regulations a housing development shall be defined to include the entire parcel of land to be used for the construction of dwellings and all the changes and improvements to be undertaken thereon incidental to providing subsidized housing. The word "applicant" means the owner or owners of the land or a duly authorized agent or attorney.
A. 
Upon the receipt of all the items enumerated above, the Board shall distribute the copies thereof to other local boards and agencies as follows:
(1) 
One set of plans and one copy of the application to the Selectmen.
(2) 
One set of plans, one copy of the application and one copy of the letter of commitment from the subsidizing agency to the Planning Board.
(3) 
One set of plans to the Board of Health.
(4) 
One set of plans to the Building Commissioner or designee.
(5) 
One set of plans to the Town Engineer.
B. 
The Chairman of the Board may also send copies of all or any of the plans and of the supplementary material to such other agencies as he may deem appropriate, including but not limited to the Town Counsel, the Fire Department, the Police Department, the Conservation Commission, the Traffic Safety Committee, the Historic Districts Commission, the Metropolitan Area Planning Council and the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources.
C. 
A public hearing on the proposed housing development shall be held by the Board within 30 days of the receipt of the complete application. Such hearing shall be advertised in the local newspaper twice, the first notice not less than 14 days prior to the date of the hearing. The notice of hearing shall contain at least the following information:
(1) 
Place, date and time of the hearing;
(2) 
Name of the applicant;
(3) 
Location of the proposed housing development sufficient for identification and acreage of the parcel;
(4) 
Number and type of dwellings proposed; and
(5) 
Federal or state subsidy programs involved and the general income and age groups for which the housing development is intended.
D. 
Copies of the notice of the hearing shall be transmitted by certified or registered mail or by delivery to the applicant, to all immediate abutting property owners and to the local boards and agencies which had received copies of the plans. The Board may request the attendance of such boards, officials or persons or their agents or representatives at the hearing or the submission of written reports.
E. 
Except where specified otherwise, the Board shall proceed in accordance with its rules and regulations and with MGL c. 40A.
F. 
Within 40 days of the hearing the Board shall either approve the application and issue a comprehensive permit to proceed with construction in strict compliance with the plans, terms and conditions of the application, approve the application with modifications or disapprove it. In the event of approval with modifications or disapproval, the Board shall enumerate the specific reasons for its action. Copies of the decision, including any reasons or conditions, shall be given to the Town Clerk, to the applicant and to local boards and officials which had received copies of the plans.
G. 
All comprehensive permits shall only be valid for the applicant, the subsidy program and other conditions stated therein, and the work thereunder shall commence within two years of the issuance of the comprehensive permit.
H. 
The Board may require the posting of a bond or other security to insure that all or any work shall be satisfactorily completed or that the inability of the applicant to complete such work shall not cause damage or expense to the Town and to the residents of the area, including the future residents of the proposed subsidized housing development.
A. 
The construction of housing developments under the comprehensive permits shall be subject to inspection at all reasonable times to ensure compliance with the permit, the plans, the applicable standard specifications of the Town of Lexington and with any other applicable laws, rules and regulations. Such inspection may be carried out by the Board and by its agents and representatives, including without limitation the Building Commissioner and members of his department, the Planning Board and its staff, the Town Engineer and members of his department and the Board of health and its staff.
B. 
Not less than 48 hours (excepting Saturday and Sunday) prior to the commencement of each phase of site development, the applicant shall give notice thereof to the Town Engineer. Not less than 48 hours (excepting Saturday and Sunday) prior to the commencement of each phase of building construction, the applicant shall give notice thereof to the Building Commissioner or designee. No material or work shall be covered without the approval of the Town Engineer or his agents as regards the site development and of the Building Commissioner or his agents as regards the building construction. The applicant may be required to uncover, open, disconnect and replace any work or materials covered in violation hereof.
C. 
The Board may, without notice, revoke the permit of any housing development repeatedly violating Town requirements, obstructing inspections by duly authorized Town personnel or where the workmanship or the materials are repeatedly found to be not in conformance with the approved plans and specifications.
A. 
As provided for in MGL c. 40B, § 20, requirements and regulations consistent with local needs shall apply as equally as possible to both subsidized and unsubsidized housing. To the extent consistent with said § 20, housing development shall be designed to comply with the Zoning Bylaw of the Town of Lexington, the State Building Code, the rules and regulations of the Board of Health, the rules and regulations governing the subdivision of land in the Town of Lexington and the standard specifications of the Department of Public Works. Variances from the bylaws may be granted by the Board as provided for in MGL c. 40A, and waivers from the regulations may be given by the Board in accordance with the guidelines and standards of the local boards otherwise administering such regulations.
B. 
All housing developments shall be located in a manner compatible with the Long-Range Comprehensive Town and Financial Plan for Lexington, Massachusetts, except as otherwise recommended by the Planning Board.
(1) 
The suitability of a site for housing development will also be evaluated in relation to the following:
(a) 
Land served by a sanitary sewer;
(b) 
Accessibility from a collector or arterial street;
(c) 
Safety and convenience of vehicular access;
(d) 
Open or recreational space within or nearby;
(e) 
Accessibility to stores carrying convenience goods and to services;
(f) 
Convenience to public transportation; and
(g) 
Free of soil and engineering problems making the development unduly difficult or costly.
(2) 
The importance of the above factors depends on the age and income groups to be served by the development and increases with the increased concentration of dwelling units.
C. 
All housing developments shall conform to not less than the following planning and design standards, which are to be considered as the minimum standards consistent with local needs:
(1) 
Maximum concentration of subsidized dwelling units within any circle of one-fourth-mile radius: 200.
(2) 
Maximum height: four floors, including habitable attics and basements devoted to human occupancy.
(3) 
Minimum usable outdoor open space: 1,000 square feet per dwelling unit, exclusive of the required vehicular areas and unusable lands.
(4) 
Minimum parking space: one garage or off-street parking space 10 feet by 20 feet with unimpeded access for the exclusive use of each dwelling unit plus at least one additional space for every four dwelling units.
(5) 
Minimum distance between buildings: as necessary to prevent obstruction of sunlight and provide adequate air, light, privacy and space but not less than 30 feet or the height of the taller building.
(6) 
Maximum distance from the exit door of a dwelling to its parking space: 150 feet.
(7) 
Construction shall conform to Massachusetts plumbing, gas installation, electrical and sanitary (housing) codes and to the State Building Code. The Board may permit exceptions from the latter and specify construction conforming to the appropriate minimum property standards of the Federal Housing Administration after consultation with the Building Commissioner or designee and/or other officials listed in § 138-22A and B above.
(8) 
Site development shall, so far as apt, conform to the rules and regulations governing the subdivision of land in Lexington, Massachusetts. The standards for streets, sidewalks, planting strips and for utilities in streets and easements shall be used as a guide for the corresponding improvements within a development.