Town of Deerfield, MA
Franklin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Planning Board of the Town of Deerfield 11-5-2012[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Planning Board — See Ch. 37.
Zoning — See Ch. 179.
Subdivision of land — See Ch. 264.
263a Site Plan Review Flow Chart 263b Site Plan Review App Form 263c Site Plan Review App Checklist 263d Sect 5400 Site Plan Review 263e S 2100 Dist and S 2200 Use Regs 263f Deerfield Planning Board Fee Sch
Editor’s Note: These provisions also superseded former Ch. 263, Site Plan Review Rules, Instructions and Application Form, adopted 9-17-2007.
Site Plan Review establishes criteria for the layout, scale, appearance, safety, and environmental impacts of proposed development projects, in an attempt to "fit" larger projects into the community. Site plan review usually focuses on parking, traffic, drainage, roadway construction, signage, utilities, screening, lighting, and other aspects of the proposal to arrive at the best possible design for the location. Site plan review can only be used to shape a project; a project under site plan review can only be denied in rare circumstances, such as when an application is incomplete or inconsistent with the Deerfield Zoning Bylaws.
According to Section 5410 of the Deerfield Zoning Bylaws, the following types of activities and uses require Site Plan Review by the Planning Board:
For a municipal, institutional, commercial, industrial, or multi-family structure: 1) a change of use; or 2) construction, exterior alteration, or exterior expansion that will cumulatively add more than 600 square feet over a three-year period;
Construction or expansion of a parking lot for a municipal, institutional, commercial, industrial, or multi-family structure which results in a cumulative total of 10 or more parking spaces or 2,000 square feet of parking area;
Grading, clearing, or other land development activity EXCEPT for the following: landscaping on a lot with an existing dwelling, clearing necessary for percolation and other site tests, work incidental to agricultural activity, or work in conjunction with an approved subdivision plan or earth removal permit;
Outdoor storage, sales or display associated with any retail use;
Construction or expansion of a Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Electric Installation or an Extra-Large-Scale Ground-Mounted Solar Electric Installation;
Flexible Developments as authorized in Section 3500;
Planned Unit Developments as authorized in Section 4800;
Any use listed in Section 2230, Use Regulation Schedule, or in other sections of this bylaw as requiring Site Plan Review.
In some cases, a proposed project may require only Site Plan Review by the Planning Board prior to receiving a Building Permit from the Building Commissioner (additional permits may also be required from other Town Boards, such as the Conservation Commission or Board of Health). However, it is likely that a proposed project may also require a Special Permit from either the Zoning Board of Appeals or from the Planning Board. Where the Planning Board serves as the Special Permit Granting Authority (i.e., Special Permit applications for Solar Electric Installations, for common driveways, for the Water Shed Protection District, and for Planned Unit Developments), it shall consolidate Site Plan Review into the Special Permit process, applying the Special Permit procedures and timetable for decision. Where the Zoning Board of Appeals serves as the Special Permit Granting Authority (i.e., all other uses requiring a Special Permit under Section 2230, Use Regulation Schedule), the two Boards may coordinate their reviews of the application or each may proceed separately.
It is important to note that no Building Permit shall be issued by the Building Commissioner and/or no Special Permit or variance shall be issued by the Zoning Board of Appeals without the written approval of the Site Plan by the Planning Board (or the passage of 60 days without the Planning Board taking action on the application). Conditions imposed by the Planning Board shall be incorporated into any Special Permit or variance.
Public Hearings are required for all Site Plans filed. The applicant shall obtain a list of abutters, being all "parties in interest" as defined in G.L. c. 40A, s. 11, from the Deerfield Assessor's Office, and shall attach the list to the application when filed. At least fourteen (14) days prior to the day of the Public Hearing, written notices shall be sent by the administrative staff by certified mail at the applicant's expense to the parties in interest. Legal notice of the public hearing shall be published at the applicant's expense in a newspaper of general circulation in the town in each of two (2) successive weeks, the first publication to appear not less than fourteen (14) days prior to the day of the Public Hearing. Notice of the Public Hearing shall also be posted in a conspicuous place in Town Hall for a period of not less than fourteen (14) days before the day of such hearing.
The Planning Board may require narrative assessments of the on-site and off-site impacts of the proposed project, including traffic, drainage, noise, and other environmental factors. The Planning Board may require that such narrative assessments be prepared by qualified experts at the applicant's expense. The Planning Board may, upon written request of the applicant, waive any of the technical requirements of Section 5430 or 5440 where the project involves relatively simple development plans.
Site Plan Review Application Form
Site Plan Review Application Checklist
Chapter 179 of Deerfield's Bylaws, Zoning, Section 5400, Site Plan Review
Chapter 179 of Deerfield's Bylaws, Zoning, Section 2100, Districts, and Section 2200, Use Regulations
Deerfield Planning Board Fee Schedule
Editor's Note: The attachments are included at the end of this chapter.
MassGIS Standard for Digital Plan Submittals to Municipalities (Version 2.0—October 2007)
Town Website: