[Amended 3-20-1974 ATM by Art. 40; 5-5-1993 ATM by Art. 22]
In all instances specified in § 198-802, Table of Permitted Principal Uses by Districts, indicating site plan approval, structures in any district shall be constructed, reconstructed, altered, enlarged or used, and the premises shall be used, and substantial alteration to areas of parking, loading or vehicular access shall be approved, only in conformity with a site plan approved as required by this Article 6, except as listed in § 198-601.2 below. Except as listed in § 198-601.2 below, no change in use of an existing structure or lot shall be permitted and no area for parking, loading or vehicular access shall be established or substantially altered unless a site plan has been approved as required by this Article 6.
[Amended 5-4-1995 ATM by Art. 31; 5-5-1999 STM by Art. 9]
The following thresholds and criteria shall determine the applicability of, and the exceptions to, the requirements of this Article 6:
Site plan approval (SPA) shall not be required for any proposal for single- family residential structures or uses or structures or uses accessory thereto.
[Amended 4-30-2001 ATM by Art. 26]
SPA shall not be required for any proposal subject to Article 18, Conservation Cluster Development District, or Article 19, Planned Development District, or Article 20, Southeast Wayland-Cochituate Planning District, of this Zoning Bylaw.
For the purpose of this Article 6, "change in use" shall mean any proposal to change from one use to a different use, and the calculation of gross floor area for such changes in use shall be determined by the Planning Board based on the aggregate of all such changes authorized since the original SPA or, if there is no SPA, since construction of the original structure. SPA shall be required for any improvement, alteration or change in use to any vacant lot, or vacant contiguous lots under the same ownership, that results in the erection or placement of any structure on said lot or lots or to any existing structure, or group of structures under the same ownership on the same or contiguous lots, that constitutes either a substantial alteration to areas of parking, loading or vehicular access (as defined in § 198-601.2.4 below) or that results in an increase in gross floor area as follows:
For the purpose of this Article 6, "substantial alteration to areas of parking, loading or vehicular access" shall mean any proposal where all or part of such existing or proposed areas is located off the site of the primary use or structure; or where any resurfacing of such areas results in any change in the design of the septic or drainage systems on or for the site; or where any curb cut is relocated, added or otherwise changed; or where this Zoning Bylaw requires more parking than was required for the previous use; or where an increase in the area of such areas is required as follows:
Prospective applicants for SPA shall either be exempt from application requirements, if the conditions of § 198-601.4 below are met, or file an application in accordance with § 198-601.5 below or file a form in accordance with § 198-601.6 below certifying that the proposal does not require SPA. All such filings shall contain a checklist for septic, drainage, zoning and wetlands impacts and implications, a copy of which shall be submitted to each of the ZBA, the Board of Health and the Conservation Commission.
If a prospective applicant for SPA answers "Yes" to either of the following questions at § 198-601.4.1 and 601.4.2 below, then no SPA application is required; if the answer is "No" to both questions, then said applicant shall proceed to the questions at § 198-601.5.1, 601.5.2 and 601.5.3. below.
Will the proposal result solely in single- or two-family residential or owner-occupied multifamily structures or uses or structures or uses accessory thereto? (See § 198-601.2.1 above.)
Is the proposal for structures or uses that will be subject solely to Article 18, 19 or 20 of this Zoning Bylaw? (See § 198-601.2.2 above.)
If a prospective applicant for SPA answers "Yes" to any of the following questions at § 198-601.5.1, 601.5.2 and 601.5.3 below, then the applicant shall file an SPA application as required by § 198-605.2, 605.3 and 605.4 below. Said application shall be obtained from the Planning Board or its agent. If a prospective applicant answers "No" to all of said questions, then said application is not required, and a form certifying that the proposal does not require SPA shall instead be submitted as required by § 198-601.6 below.
Will the proposal add one or more structures to a vacant site? (See § 198-601.2.3. above.)
Will the proposal, together with all SPA-authorized increases or, if there is no SPA, together with all increases since the construction of the original structure, increase the size of existing structures in total by the amount specified in the table in § 198-601.2.3 above?
Will the proposal substantially alter areas of parking, loading or vehicular access, as defined in § 198-601.2.4 above?
Whenever any proposal is for a change in use requiring no improvement, alteration or change to any external part of any structure and to any area for parking, loading or vehicular access, and whenever the proposal meets all of the exclusions, or is below all of the minimum thresholds, defined in § 198-601.2.3 and 601.2.4 above, a blank form to certify that said proposal does not require SPA shall be obtained from the Planning Board or its agent. Said completed certification form shall be submitted in quadruplicate to the Planning Board or its agent, who shall, within 10 calendar days of its submission, notify, in writing, the person submitting said certification whether SPA is required. Said person may proceed at his/her risk with said proposal upon submitting said certification. One copy of said certification shall forthwith be transmitted to each of the Board of Health, the Building Commissioner/ZBA and the Conservation Commission.
SPA shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of any special permit, permit and/or variance required by this Zoning Bylaw, unless excepted from SPA by § 198-601.2.2 above.
No person shall undertake any improvement or alteration, and no building permits shall be issued for any such proposal, until SPA, as certified by the Planning Board or its agent, has been issued for such proposal or until the completed certification form referenced in § 198-601.6 above has been received by the Building Commissioner.
[Amended 4-7-2011 ATM by Art. 21]
The ZBA shall administer SPA whenever this Zoning Bylaw also requires a special permit and/or variance from the ZBA.
Notwithstanding § 198-601.2, supra, any proposed nonprofit educational, agricultural, religious, or child care uses of land protected under MGL c. 40A, § 3 ("Section 3 uses") shall be subject to site plan review under Article 6, which shall be consistent with those statutory provisions. The purpose of this section is to ensure that all such uses and facilities are reasonably regulated in regards to bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage.
[Amended 4-2-2018 ATM by Art. 32]
In reviewing the site plan submittal for a Section 3 use, the following issues shall be considered:
The bulk and height of any proposed structures and accessory structures, adequacy of open spaces, the building coverage on the site, yard sizes (setbacks) and lot areas;
The physical layout of the structures, driveways, parking areas, utilities and other infrastructure; and
The adequacy and arrangement of parking and loading areas in relation to the proposed use of the site.
Site plan review of a Section 3 use shall be by the Planning Board ("Board"). Subject to the limitations of MGL c. 40A, § 3, the Board shall impose any such conditions, limitations, and safeguards as it deems appropriate to protect the interests of, and consistent with, the planning objectives for the underlying zoning district.
An applicant desiring approval of a site plan shall obtain an application form and related materials from the Planning Board or its agent. One original and 10 copies of the completed application form, and one original and five copies of the plans and related materials, shall be submitted to the Planning Board or its agent. Concurrently, one copy of the completed application form shall be submitted by the applicant to the Town Clerk, and a receipt therefor shall be submitted with the Planning Board copy of the application form. Once the Planning Board or its agent determines the SPA application submittal to be completed, one copy of the application form shall be transmitted to at least the following: the Planning Board consultant, ZBA, Building Department, Board of Health, Conservation Commission, Highway Department, Fire Department, Police Department, Water Department and Surveying Department. A file copy of the plans and related materials shall remain in the Planning Board office to serve as a common review copy. The other copies shall be distributed as needed.
[Amended 5-5-1999 STM by Art. 11]
Within three working days of the original application submittal, or within three working days of any subsequent submittal in response to a determination that any such submittal is incomplete, the Planning Board or its agent shall review said submittal and inform the applicant and the Town Clerk, in writing, whether said submittal is determined to be complete. If said submittal is determined to be incomplete, the applicant shall receive written notice from the Planning Board or its agent listing the items or information needed to complete said submittal. The submittal date shall be the date the application submittal was received by the Town Clerk.
Each board or department receiving the application form as required by § 198-604.1 above may, within 30 calendar days of the date of the complete application submittal, file with the Planning Board or its agent a written report recommending approval, approval with modifications or conditions or disapproval, stating its reasons therefor. Failure to respond within said 30 days shall be deemed lack of opposition to the application. The Planning Board shall hold a public hearing on said application after the expiration of said thirty-day review period.
For SPA applications, or for applications for revisions or amendments to approved site plans proposing changes determined to be major as specified in § 198-608 below, the Planning Board shall make a decision on said application and file notice of said decision with the Town Clerk and send to the applicant, by certified mail, return receipt requested, a copy of said notice and the decision within 60 calendar days from the date of the submittal of the complete application, or said application shall be deemed approved.
For applications for revisions or amendments to approved site plans proposing changes determined to be minor as specified in § 198-608 below, the final decision deadline shall be 45 days from the date of the complete application submittal. However, whenever SPA is part of any special permit, permit and/or variance application, the requirements of this Zoning Bylaw, and of this Article 6, relevant to special permits, permits and/or variances shall instead apply, except that the public hearing shall not be held sooner than 30 days after the date of the complete application submittal.
Whenever the ZBA includes SPA as part of any special permit, permit and/or variance application, the Planning Board shall review the SPA application as required by this Article 6 and submit a written report with findings and recommendations to the ZBA. The Planning Board shall concurrently submit to the ZBA copies of reports received from other boards. All reports shall be submitted to the ZBA prior to the public hearing held by the ZBA, and the Planning Board shall not hold a public hearing. The ZBA shall notify the Planning Board of the date of said hearing as soon as said date is set.
The ZBA, whenever it includes SPA as part of any special permit, permit and/or variance application, shall give due consideration in its decision to the findings and recommendations of the Planning Board report. The decision of the ZBA may deviate from said report, but the ZBA shall submit to the Planning Board written justifications for each such deviation prior to the ZBA's decision deadline.
SPA shall lapse if implementation of the proposal has not commenced within two years from the date of approval and has not been completed within five years from the date of approval. An extension of the time for said commencement may be granted for up to six months, while extensions of the time for said completion may be granted without limitation, both extensions to be granted by the Planning Board.
The applicant may agree, in writing, to extend any of the deadlines within this Article 6.
Upon denial or issuance of any required building permits, any person aggrieved by a decision of the Building Commissioner may appeal the site plan decision of the Planning Board to the ZBA pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 8. Any person aggrieved by a decision of the ZBA made as required by this Article 6 may appeal said decision pursuant to MGL c. 40A, § 17.
[Amended 5-4-1995 ATM by Art. 31]
A prospective applicant may submit review copies of preliminary site plans only (not including the application form) to the Planning Board or its agent in quantities sufficient for distribution to relevant boards and departments. Such plans shall not constitute a formal application for site plan approval and need not be stamped or certified by professionals.
Plans shall be stamped or certified by an appropriate registered professional, such as an architect, landscape architect, land surveyor, engineer, etc., unless this requirement is specifically waived by the Planning Board in accordance with the SPA regulations.
A complete SPA application submittal shall include the information and requirements set forth in this Article 6 and in the regulations for SPA, which information and requirements shall include, but not be limited to, the following completed items:
A list (provided as part of the blank application form) indicating required permits, approvals, licenses, etc., relevant to SPA, including the name of the issuing agency, and the relative timing of each.
A list of requested waivers from this Article 6 and/or the regulations for SPA, with justification for each waiver explaining how each is in the public interest and is not inconsistent with this Article 6 and said regulations.
Site plans suitable for recording or registration and showing existing and proposed descriptive and physical features, such as lot lines, easements, rights-of-way and other such features and matters on record at the Middlesex County South District Registry of Deeds or its Land Registration Office; natural land features (such as topographical data); man-made improvements (surface and subsurface), including all structures, watercourses, ponds, brooks, wetlands, floodplains, ditches and culverts; methods of handling surface and subsurface drainage; and vehicular and pedestrian ways.
Water resources impacts.
A description and analysis of measures proposed to prevent pollution of surface water and groundwater, erosion of soil, excessive runoff of precipitation, excessive raising or lowering of the water table and flooding of other properties.
A description and analysis, with sketches as needed, of design features intended to integrate the proposed new or altered buildings, structures, signs, plantings, etc., into the existing landscape to preserve and enhance existing aesthetic assets of the site and to screen objectionable features from adjacent properties.
A detailed traffic impact study, including but not limited to the following:
The projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or depart from the site shall be estimated for an average day and for peak hours.
The projected traffic flow patterns for both vehicular and pedestrian traffic shall be described and related to the site plan, including vehicular movements at intersections likely to be affected by the proposed activity.
The impact of this traffic upon existing streets shall be evaluated in relation to road capacities.
Waste disposal impacts.
A description and analysis of proposed waste disposal practices and their impacts and a description and analysis of past waste disposal practices and their impacts, insofar as said practices and impacts can be determined from reasonably available historical sources.
The Planning Board shall review the complete application submittal and determine whether said submittal is consistent with the standards and criteria in this § 198-606. If the Planning Board finds that said standards and criteria have been met, and if it does not make any of the findings set forth in § 198-607 below, it shall approve the submittal, with or without conditions.
The following standards and criteria, specifically defined for each zoning district, shall be included in the SPA regulations:
The proposal shall be integrated into the existing terrain and surrounding landscape. Proposals shall, to the extent feasible:
Minimize the use of wetlands, steep slopes, floodplains and hilltops;
Preserve natural or historic features;
Maximize retention of open space;
Preserve scenic views from publicly accessible locations;
Minimize tree, vegetation and soil removal, blasting and grade changes; and
Screen objectionable features from adjacent properties and roadways.
The proposal shall include an adequate water supply system and adequate sewage and other waste disposal systems. Where sewage disposal systems are required, the applicant shall submit information as required by the Board of Health.
The proposal shall incorporate measures adequate to prevent pollution of surface water or groundwater; to minimize erosion and sedimentation; to prevent changes in groundwater levels and increased rates of runoff; and to minimize potential for flooding. Drainage shall be designed to maximize groundwater recharge and to prevent any increase in the rate and volume of runoff at the site's perimeter.
To the extent feasible, the proposal shall minimize demands placed on Town services and infrastructure.
The proposal shall provide safe vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and to adjacent ways, including sidewalks, crosswalks and the like.
Design of buildings, structures and landscaping shall be in harmony with the prevailing character and scale of said buildings, structures and landscaping of the zoning district of the site and of adjacent properties. Such design shall include the use of appropriate building materials, screening and similar architectural techniques.
To the extent practicable, electric, telephone, cable television and other utilities on the site shall be placed underground.
Exposed storage areas, machinery, service areas, truck-loading areas, utility buildings and structures and similar unsightly buildings, structures, uses and activities shall be set back and/or screened to the extent feasible to protect adjacent properties from objectionable features.
To the extent feasible, proposals shall be designed to minimize shadows cast on adjacent properties in residential zoning districts.
There shall be no unreasonable glare from lighting, whether direct or reflected, onto roads and other ways, into the night sky or onto adjacent properties in residential zoning districts.
The proposal shall comply with this Zoning Bylaw. However, proposals that do not so comply may be approved hereunder if such noncompliance is permitted by the ZBA pursuant to other articles of this Zoning Bylaw and the applicable provisions of this Article 6.
When reviewing and acting on a site plan application for the principal use of land or a building or structure for day care, educational, nursery school or religious uses that are exempt from regulation under MGL c. 40A, § 3, the Planning Board shall apply reasonable regulations concerning the bulk and height of structures and determining yard sizes, lot area, setbacks, open space, parking and building coverage requirements as set forth in this Zoning Bylaw, except to the extent that the applicant shows that the regulation is unreasonable and unrelated to a legitimate municipal concern and will substantially detract or diminish the applicant’s ability to conduct the exempt use.
[Added 4-7-2011 ATM by Art. 21; amended 4-2-2018 ATM by Art. 32]
The Planning Board shall approve the complete application submittal in the form submitted, or with reasonable conditions, based upon the standards and criteria set forth in § 198-606 above, unless the Planning Board finds that:
The imposition of reasonable conditions likely would not ensure that the proposal would conform to the standards and criteria set forth in § 198-606 above; or
The proposal does not comply with this Zoning Bylaw. However, proposals that do not so comply may be approved if such noncompliance is permitted by the ZBA pursuant to other articles of this Zoning Bylaw and applicable provisions of this Article 6.
No revision or amendment to any approved site plan shall be made until application for such has been approved as required by this Article 6.
Except when SPA has been included as part of a special permit, permit and/or variance, any application for revisions or amendments to approved site plans shall be submitted, in writing, to the Planning Board, which shall determine, in writing, whether the proposed revisions or amendments are minor. Revisions or amendments to said approved site plans proposing only changes that are internal to existing structures shall be determined to be minor. Whenever the Planning Board determines, in writing, that said proposed revisions or amendments are minor, do not significantly impact the public interest and are consistent with the purposes of this Zoning Bylaw, it may amend said approved site plan in accordance with the procedures set forth at § 198-604 above, except that a public hearing need not be held, and except that the final decision deadline shall be 45 days from the date of the complete application submittal.
Whenever the Planning Board determines, in writing, that proposed revisions or amendments to approved site plans are major (that is, not minor as specified in § 198-608.2 above) or whenever said approved site plans have been included as part of any special permit,permit and/or variance, applications for said proposed revisions or amendments shall be submitted, in writing, to the Planning Board or ZBA, whichever was the issuing authority, and the requirements of this Zoning Bylaw and of this Article 6 relevant to special permits, permits and/or variances shall instead apply.
The Planning Board shall adopt and publish, within 12 months of the effective date of this Article 6, and may periodically amend, SPA regulations that shall conform to the requirements of this Article 6 and that may define the scope and format of reports required hereunder. Said regulations shall include a requirement for surety to secure the completion of all SPA-required improvements, exclusive of improvements on structures, in an amount and form determined by the Planning Board or its agent. Said regulations shall also include a provision that the Planning Board may waive strict compliance with said regulations only when, in the written judgment of the Planning Board, said waiver is in the public interest and is not inconsistent with this Zoning Bylaw, this Article 6 and said regulations.
The adoption or amendment of said regulations shall be after a public hearing, which shall be advertised two different weeks in a newspaper of general local circulation, the first advertisement to appear no less than seven calendar days prior to the date of the hearing. Adoption or amendment of said regulations shall be by majority vote of the Planning Board.
The Planning Board shall establish, and periodically amend, a schedule of fees for applications submitted as required by this Article 6. No application for SPA shall be considered complete unless accompanied by the required fees.