Town of Lexington, MA
Middlesex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
8.1.1 
To establish a step-by-step listing of required and recommended submittals and procedures to amend the Lexington Zoning Bylaw to create a planned development (PD) district; and
8.1.2 
To provide adequate information in a timely manner, and well before the vote of the Town Meeting, to permit review by the Planning Board, other Town boards and departments, by Town Meeting members, residents, and affected neighborhood groups.
The Planning Board recommends that an applicant seeking to establish a new PD district or to modify to an existing PD district follow the sequence set forth below:
8.2.1 
Sketch Plan (Recommended): an initial and informal way to present a proposal to the Planning Board to see what it may find acceptable prior to filing a petition for change of zoning district. This is the first step in a dialogue between the applicant and the Planning Board in developing a proposal that the Planning Board might be able to recommend favorably to the Town Meeting. The submission includes the material described in Subsection 8.7.1 below.
8.2.2 
Petition For Change Of Zoning District (Required): a petition with a description of the land proposed to be rezoned submitted to the Board of Selectmen to place an article on the warrant for the Town Meeting. The submission includes the material described in Subsection 8.4.1 below.
8.2.3 
Preliminary Site Development And Use Plan (Required): submitted with the petition for change of zoning district; includes the material described in Section 8.5 below.
8.2.4 
Public Hearing (Required): submitted to the Planning Board for the public hearing on the zoning change; includes the material in Section 8.6 below.
8.2.5 
Site Plan Review: required, but only after Town Meeting approval of rezoning petition. Submitted to Planning Board; includes construction details and other detailed information necessary to comply with the preliminary site development and use plan approved by Town Meeting.
Nothing in these Regulations should be interpreted to prevent a property owner from petitioning the Town Meeting for the rezoning of land. These Regulations set forth procedures and guidelines for how the Planning Board will carry out its responsibilities in making an advisory recommendation to the Town Meeting on a rezoning petition.
8.4.1 
The petition shall describe the proposed zoning change and include a legally adequate description of the land affected by the change.
8.4.2 
The petition must be filed with the Board of Selectmen.
8.4.3 
It is recommended that at the time of filing with the Selectmen the applicant provide the Planning Board with a copy of the petition submitted to the Selectmen.
8.5.1 
Relationship to Zoning Bylaw. The preliminary site development and use plan (PSDUP) is the basic document that regulates development in a planned development district. The standards in the PSDUP may differ from those set forth in other districts in the Zoning Bylaw. Other than the standards, uses, and requirements approved in Section 8.5.2, the Zoning Bylaw in effect, as may be amended by Town Meeting action subsequent to the establishment of the PD, shall govern.
8.5.2 
Requirements for Text. The text of the PSDUP shall include at least the following:
1. 
A list of the plans and other documents that are part of the PSDUP; the plans and other documents shall be identified by title, who prepared them, and their latest date;
2. 
A provision that any sale or transfer of rights or interests in the development shall include a condition that successors are bound to the terms and conditions of the preliminary site development and use plan;
3. 
Permitted uses, which may be a list of permitted uses; a cross-reference to the Zoning Bylaw, Table 1, Permitted Uses and Development Standards; or a combination of the above;
4. 
Dimensional standards, which may be a list of dimensional standards; a cross-reference to the Zoning Bylaw, Table 2, Schedule of Dimensional Controls; or a combination of the above;
5. 
Standards and requirements for off-street parking and loading; signs; landscaping, transition and screening; outdoor lighting; and traffic. These may be narratives describing special regulations unique to the development or cross-references to provisions of the Zoning Bylaw that will apply to the PD district; and
6. 
Special conditions to mitigate the impacts of the proposal, which may include grants of benefits to the Town, such as land for public purposes, construction of improvements (or financial contributions therefor) on behalf of the Town, or other development limitations such as aesthetic features.
8.5.3 
Text Controls. In the case of a conflict or inconsistency between the text of the preliminary site development and use plan and plans or other exhibits attached to it, the text shall control.
8.5.4 
Other Regulatory Material. The PSDUP must include a visual representation of the general scale and massing of buildings. Visual representations may include site plans, building plans, building elevations, and perspective sketches. In each case, they shall be accurate with respect to the scale and general appearance of the buildings in the context of their actual location. Neighboring buildings, topography, streets, major trees, and other landmarks shall be accurately shown. In the case of perspective sketches, the viewpoint shall be realistic and, if possible, it shall be identified on the site plan.
8.6.1 
The following are considered to be explanations, background information, and justification for a rezoning and are not to be treated as regulations that affect the development of the land within the planned development district. Any information not applicable to a specific proposal shall be noted.
1. 
A site analysis map;
2. 
A locus-context map;
3. 
A street layout plan and a street profile plan;
4. 
Utilities plan;
5. 
Property rights and dimensional standards plan;
6. 
A site construction plan;
7. 
A landscape plan;
8. 
A table of development data;
9. 
A hydrologic and drainage analysis;
10. 
Soil surveys, test pits or test borings;
11. 
A traffic study;
12. 
Reasons for rezoning. A written statement indicating why a change to the proposed zoning district proposed is justified and is considered appropriate for the area;
13. 
Comparison with development permitted in the existing zoning district. A written analysis, supported by data, so that the maximum development potential allowed by right in the existing zoning district can be compared to the proposed rezoning.
a. 
In the case of land in an existing one-family (RO, RS) or two-family (RT) residential district, a proof plan;
b. 
In the case of land in an existing commercial district, an analysis showing the amount of gross and net floor area and the floor area ratio of existing development on the site and the amount of gross and net floor area that would be permitted if the site was developed to the maximum floor area ratio allowed in the existing district.
14. 
Analysis of compliance with the Town's Comprehensive Plan or other policies;
15. 
Analysis of the impact on public facilities and services other than schools;
16. 
Analysis of the impact on the environment;
17. 
For nonresidential developments and nonresidential portions of mixed-use developments, analysis of Town fiscal considerations; and
18. 
Any other permits required.
8.7.1 
Submission. The information submitted with a sketch plan shall include that required by Sections 8.5 and 8.6 with the following exceptions and modifications:
1. 
All material may be provided in a general and approximate manner;
2. 
A property rights and dimensional standards plan showing only the division of the property into parcels, the location of open space, and the location of sections of land to be granted to the Town; this exhibit does not need to be prepared by a land surveyor or civil engineer;
3. 
A site construction plan showing only the location of buildings and interior drives, the grading of significant parts of the site and, if applicable, any common open space; not required: the dimensions of streets, drives, parking areas and the proposed drainage system;
4. 
A table of development data showing only the: total land area, area in vegetated wetland, developable site area, area and percentage of site coverage of buildings, and, if applicable, the amount of common open space, area covered with impervious surface, impervious surface ratio, gross and net floor area of buildings, floor area ratio, number and density of dwelling units, number of off-street parking spaces and loading bays; not required: length of street, if applicable, and area within street right-of-way;
5. 
A traffic study showing only:
a. 
An estimate of trip generation;
b. 
A count of average daily traffic by machine on the frontage street only;
c. 
An inventory of roadway characteristics on the frontage street only;
d. 
An inventory of roadway characteristics of the principal approach streets adjacent to the development site and of the streets in the intersections at which turning movement counts are taken showing the width of the right-of-way and of the traveled way, traffic control devices, obstructions to adequate sight distance, the location of driveways or access drives within 500 feet of the entrance to the site for uses that are substantial trip generators, and the presence or absence of sidewalks and their condition;
6. 
Recommended: an investigation of the capacity of existing public facilities other than schools to serve the development, including the effect of the proposed development on the provision of Town services;
7. 
For nonresidential developments and nonresidential portions of mixed use developments, an estimate of the projected assessed valuation and annual tax revenue for the Town, including real estate and motor vehicle excise and other revenues;
8. 
Not required: a street layout and profile plan, a utilities plan, a landscape plan, hydrologic and drainage analysis, and soil surveys, test pits, and test borings, an analysis of impact on the environment.
8.7.2 
Review Procedure.
1. 
The Planning Office will:
a. 
Post the application materials on the Planning Office website;
b. 
Notify other Town boards, committees and departments that the Board believes may be affected by, or interested in, the proposed rezoning;
c. 
Notify at least all persons who would receive notice of an application for approval of a special permit as described in MGL c. 40A, § 11, of the receipt of the proposal with a brief summary of it; and the Board's procedures and those prescribed in the Zoning Bylaw for review, public meetings and hearings and official action on a proposed amendment to the Zoning Map.
2. 
The Planning Board will conduct a public information meeting.
3. 
Second presentation. Depending on the comments and recommendations received from others, the Planning Board may request that the applicant makes a second presentation at a public information meeting.
8.7.3 
Decision. The Planning Board will make a written recommendation that will indicate whether the proposed use of the land, without consideration of the proposed density or other design features, is acceptable to the Board.
1. 
If the use alone is not acceptable, the Board will indicate the proposal is unlikely to receive a subsequent favorable recommendation by the Board.
2. 
If the use is acceptable, the recommendation will indicate whether:
a. 
The proposed density and other design features are acceptable, or could be acceptable if modified;
b. 
The proposed conditions on the development, or mitigating measures or benefits to the neighborhood or the Town, are acceptable or could be acceptable if modified.
3. 
The Board may cite specific improvements or modifications of the proposal that are necessary for it to make a favorable recommendation to the Town Meeting.
4. 
The time period for sketch plan. The Planning Board will make a written recommendation within 60 days after a sketch plan has been properly submitted and determined to be complete.
5. 
Effect on subsequent decisions; the right to petition. The Planning Board's recommendation, at the sketch plan stage, does not guarantee the Board's subsequent recommendation. An unfavorable recommendation, at the sketch plan stage, should not be interpreted to deny an applicant the right to petition the Town Meeting for a rezoning of the land; it does affect the likelihood of obtaining a favorable recommendation from the Planning Board.
8.8.1 
Submission. All information required by Subsections 8.5 and 8.6 shall be submitted to the Planning Board before the first publication of the advertisement for the public hearing.
8.8.2 
Review by Town Committees and Departments. Prior to making its recommendation to Town Meeting, the Planning Board will request a recommendation from the Town Engineer, the Conservation Commission, and such other departments, boards or committees as the Board believes may be affected by, or interested in, the proposed rezoning.
8.8.3 
Decision. After conducting a public hearing, the Planning Board will make a written recommendation to the Town Meeting that the rezoning of the land be approved or disapproved prior to the Town Meeting vote on the rezoning petition.
8.8.4 
Basis for Planning Board Recommendation. The Planning Board's recommendation to the Town Meeting will be based on the information presented at the public hearing. The Planning Board's recommendation may take into account any revisions made by the applicant after original submittal until the close of the public hearing.
8.8.5 
Contents of Planning Board Recommendation. The Planning Board recommendation to the Town Meeting will include at least the following:
1. 
A recommendation as to whether the rezoning petition, including the preliminary site development and use plan, should be approved or not, and the reasons for the recommendation:
2. 
Site and development analysis concentrating on the physical development of the site and its surroundings and including:
a. 
How the development relates to the natural features of the site;
b. 
The intensity of the proposed development;
c. 
The adequacy of vehicular and pedestrian access and internal circulation;
d. 
On-site environmental effects, such as drainage, groundwater, and waste disposal;
e. 
Potential effects on nearby properties;
f. 
The quality of the proposed design;
3. 
Impact on public facilities and services: an analysis of the capacity of existing public facilities, services and programs other than schools (sewer, water, streets, public transportation, fire, drainage, and other Town services), including consideration of any proposed improvements or mitigating measures, to serve the proposed development.
4. 
For nonresidential developments and nonresidential portions of mixed-use developments, analysis of Town fiscal considerations, including potential revenue and costs;
5. 
Policy analysis: comments on whether the proposed development complies with such elements of the Comprehensive Plan that have been adopted, other Planning Board policies, and such other Town policies as may be applicable;
6. 
Planning considerations: other points not covered above, such as the potential effects of the proposed development on the area immediately around it;
7. 
Purposes of zoning: a discussion of how the rezoning would satisfy the purposes of zoning (See Zoning Bylaw, Section 1.2.) and Massachusetts Acts 1975, Chapter 808, § 2A;
8. 
A comparison with the development permitted by right in the existing zoning district;
9. 
Comments and recommendations received from Town boards and departments;
10. 
A summary of the main points made by those attending the public hearing; and
11. 
Comments on any special conditions that are proposed.