BYLAW : Accessory Uses
MUNICIPALITY: Amherst, MA
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS BYLAW
Jonathan Tucker, Planning Director
4 Boltwood Ave
Amherst, MA 01002
TEXT OF THE BYLAW
Any use which is, in Hampshire County, customarily accessory and incidental to a permitted Principal Use shall be permitted on the same lot with said Principal Use, or on a lot adjacent thereto in the same ownership, subject to the general limitation that it shall not be detrimental to the neighborhood or the property in the vicinity, and subject further to the following provision: Wherever a Principal Use is allowed by Special Permit from the Board of Appeals then Accessory Uses to the Principal Use shall be subject to a Special Permit, unless otherwise provided in this Article.
5.010 Lodgers/Boarders/Roomers/Bed and Breakfast
5.0100 Lodgers/Boarders/Roomers/Bed and Breakfast - Maximum Three People. In any district, the taking of lodgers/boarders/roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers (maximum three people) shall be an accessory to the use of a dwelling unit, provided that:
5.01000 There shall be an owner who resides on the premises responsible for the operation.
5.01001 There shall be no separate cooking facilities. However, meals may be offered/provided to lodgers/boarders/roomers and breakfast may be provided to bed and breakfast lodgers.
5.01002 There shall be no substantial change to the exterior of the building.
5.01003 One parking space shall be provided for each room to be occupied by lodgers/boarders/roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers in addition to the parking required under Section 7.000. 5.0101
Lodgers/Boarders/Roomers/Bed and Breakfast - Four to Six People. In any district, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit for the taking of lodgers/boarders/ roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers (four to six people) as a use accessory to the use of a dwelling unit, provided that:
5.01010 There shall be an owner who resides on the premises responsible for the operation.
5.01011 There shall be no separate cooking facilities. However, meals may be offered/provided to lodgers/ boarders/roomers, and breakfast may be provided to bed and breakfast lodgers.
5.01012 There shall be no substantial change to the exterior of the building.
5.01013 One parking space shall be provided for each room to be occupied by lodgers/boarders/roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers in addition to the parking required under Section 7.000.
5.01014 There shall be a maximum of five rooms available for rental to lodgers/boarders/roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers.
5.01015 A management plan, as defined in terms of form and content in the Rules and Regulations of the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall be included as part of any application made under this section. A register of all lodgers/boarders/ roomers/bed and breakfast lodgers shall be kept in accordance with the Rules and Regulations covering hotels and motels within the Commonwealth.
5.0102 Bed and Breakfast
In the R-VC District, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit for the taking of bed and breakfast lodgers in up to 7 rooms as a use accessory to the use of a dwelling unit.
In the B-G, B-L, and B-VC districts, the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit for the taking of bed and breakfast lodgers in up to 10 rooms as a use accessory to the use of a dwelling unit, and for limited bed and breakfast-related retail and consumer services as a second accessory use.
The Zoning Board of Appeals may grant a Special Permit for a use under this section, provided that, in addition to meeting the provisions of Article 7 and Section 10.38, the proposed use meets the following conditions:
5.01020 There shall be an owner who resides on the premises responsible for the operation.
5.01021 The building shall be connected to the public sewer prior to occupancy.
5.01022 There shall be no separate cooking facilities. However, breakfast may be provided to bed and breakfast lodgers.
5.01023 One parking space shall be provided for each room occupied by bed and breakfast lodgers in addition to the parking required under Section 7.000.
5.01024 Retail and consumer services shall be provided only to bed and breakfast lodgers, and shall be clearly secondary and incidental to the bed and breakfast use.
5.01025 A management plan, as defined in terms of form and content by the Rules and Regulations of the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall be part of any application made under this Section. Where retail and consumer services are proposed, such information as the Board of Appeals may require on those services shall be included in the management of this plan.
5.011 Supplemental Apartment - The Board of Appeals may authorize under a Special Permit in Outlying Residence, Low Density Residence, Neighborhood Residence, and Village Center Residence Districts, one supplemental apartment accessory to the use of a one-family dwelling, provided that:
5.0110 There shall not be more than 600 square feet of gross floor area in the supplemental apartment, and
5.0111 Any one family dwelling in which a supplemental apartment is constructed shall not be used simultaneously as a Rooming House.
5.012 Office or Studio - The use of a portion of a dwelling or of a building accessory thereof as the office of a doctor, dentist, optician, member of the clergy, lawyer, architect, engineer or other member of a recognized profession, or as the studio or office of an artist, musician, teacher, real estate or insurance agent residing on the premises shall be considered accessory to the use of the dwelling unit, provided that:
5.0120 Not more than two persons other than residents of the premises are regularly employed therein in connection with such use.
5.0121 No external change is made which alters the residential appearance of the building on the lot.
5.0122 There is no outward evidence that the premises are being used for any purpose other than residential (except for an accessory sign or vehicle as hereinafter permitted).
5.013 Home Occupation - The Board of Appeals may authorize, by issue of a Special Permit, the use of a portion of a dwelling or building accessory thereto as the workroom of a resident artist, craftsperson, beautician, dressmaker, milliner, photographer, cabinetmaker, skate sharpener, radio repair technician or other person engaged in a customary home occupation, or as a place for incidental work and storage in connection with the off-premises trade by a resident builder, carpenter, electrician, painter, plumber or other artisan, or by a resident tree surgeon, landscape gardener or similar person, provided that:
5.0130 Such use is clearly secondary to the use of a premises for dwelling purposes.
5.0131 Not more than two persons other than residents of the premises are regularly employed there in connection with such use.
5.0132 No trading in merchandise is regularly conducted except for products made on the premises or of parts of other items customarily maintained in connection with, and incidental to, such merchandise.
5.0133 No external change is made which alters the residential appearance of the building on the lot.
5.0134 All operations, including incidental storage, are carried on within the principal or accessory building, and that there is no outward evidence that the premises are being used for any purpose other than residential (except for an accessory sign or vehicle as hereinafter permitted).
5.0135 The proposed accessory use would be suitably located in the neighborhood in which it is proposed and/or the total Town, whichever is deemed appropriate by the Board of Appeals.
5.0136 In Residence Districts, the use will be reasonably compatible with other uses permitted as of right in the same district;
5.0137 The use will not constitute a nuisance by reason of an unacceptable level of air or water pollution, excessive noise or visually flagrant structures and accessories, and the use is not a serious hazard to abutters, vehicles or pedestrians.
5.0138 Adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, including special attention to safe vehicular circulation on the site and at the intersection with abutting streets. 5.014 Livestock or Poultry - The raising or keeping of livestock or poultry for use by residents of the premises shall be considered as an accessory use that is allowed by right in the Outlying Residence and Low-Density Residence Districts, subject to approval of a Special Permit by the Board of Appeals in the Neighborhood Residence and Residential Village Center Districts, and not permitted elsewhere.
5.015 Garaging or Parking of Motor Vehicles
5.0151 Garaging or parking of one light panel, delivery or pick-up truck shall be considered to be a permitted accessory use in a residential district.
5.0152 Garaging or parking of larger commercial vehicles or more than one commercial vehicle may be allowed under a Special Permit, issued by the Board of Appeals.
5.016 Dwellings in Industrial and Commercial Districts
In an Industrial District and in a Commercial District, one dwelling unit may be considered as an accessory use on any lot where such unit is necessary for the accommodation of a manager, custodian, security guard, or other employee essential to the operation of the principal non-residential use, but only if such dwelling unit is specifically authorized by the Board of Appeals under a Special Permit.
5.017 Trailer - A trailer or mobile home may be used on any lot for not more than 60 days in any twelve month period and shall be removed at the end of said 60 days, except as provided below:
5.0170 The owner or occupier of a residence which has been destroyed by fire or natural disaster may place a mobile home on the site of such residence and may, by right, reside in such mobile home for a period not to exceed twelve months while the residence is being built. Any such mobile home shall be subject to the provisions of the State Sanitary Code.
5.0171 The tenant of a commercial place of business which has been destroyed by fire or natural disaster may place a trailer on the site of such place of business and may, by right occupy such trailer for period not to exceed twelve months while the business premises are being built. Any such trailer shall be subject to the provisions of the Amherst Board of Health.
5.0172 In circumstances other than noted in Sections 5.170 and 5.171 above, the Board of Appeals may allow the use of a trailer or mobile home as a dwelling or commercial place of business for longer than 60 days, under Special Permit, provided that a time limit is imposed as part of such permit.
5.0173 A trailer may be used for a construction site office on a temporary basis, such trailer to be removed upon completion of the construction project.
Where clearly secondary and incidental to a manufacturing establishment or other Principal Use in a Light Industrial District, any of the following shall be considered as Accessory Uses:
5.020 Restaurant, company store, or similar facility for the convenience of and use by, employees on the premises;
5.021 Salesroom for selling at retail to the general public not more than 10% of any goods assembled, packaged, finished, processed or otherwise manufactured on the premises;
5.022 Regular open-air storage of materials, merchandise, products or equipment needed in connection with, or produced by, the Principal Use on the Premises, but only if such open storage is specifically authorized by a Special Permit from the Board of Appeals.
A restaurant, company store, or similar facility for the convenience of, and use by, employees on the premises shall be considered an accessory use in the OP and PRP Districts.
SECTION 5.04 RETAIL BUSINESS AND CONSUMER SERVICE USES 5.040 The rental of automobiles, trucks, trailers and farm implements may be granted under a Special Permit as accessory to establishments selling motor vehicle fuel, related products and services.
5.041 Seasonal outdoor dining, including sidewalk cafes, courtyard or terrace dining and similar uses may be permitted in the B-G, B-L, B-VC and COM districts as an accessory use to a restaurant, cafeteria, or similar eating establishment or to a bakery, deli or other similar establishment for the production and sale of food or beverage on the premises, under a Special Permit or Site Plan Review approval, whichever is required for the principal use. In residential districts, seasonal outdoor dining may be permitted under a Special Permit as an accessory use to a farm stand restaurant. Where appropriate health, fire and building permits have been obtained, seasonal outdoor dining uses may also include the outdoor preparation and cooking of food or beverage.
The following conditions shall apply to any seasonal outdoor dining permitted under this section:
5.0410 Except as may be specifically allowed under conditions attached to said Site Plan Review or Special Permit, no structure, framework, planter box, fence, wall or furnishing used in conjunction with the operation of an outdoor dining use shall be allowed to remain in the area so used between November 1 and the April 1 following thereafter. In the B-G District, such temporary structures and furnishings shall be exempt from the provisions of Sections 6.20 and 6.23. No such exemption shall apply to fixed or permanent structures or furnishings.
5.0411 Where a site for a proposed outdoor dining facility is partly or completely situated upon a sidewalk within the public way or upon other publicly-owned land, evidence of a lease and/or license allowing the use of the site by the applicant shall be provided prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit.
5.0412 The permit-granting authority shall receive from the Building Commissioner a statement that the outdoor dining use will not unduly hinder safe exit from or access to the establishment in the event of a fire or other emergency.
5.0413 Except as may be specifically allowed under conditions attached to said Site Plan Review or Special Permit, no wall or fence related to an outdoor dining facility shall have a height of more than four (4) feet. No such facility shall be equipped with free-standing heating and cooling devices or served by the HVAC system(s) of adjacent and associated buildings, except for fans.
Signs and advertising devices referring to the property itself, or to commodities or service customarily available on the premises, shall be considered Accessory Uses, subject to the restrictions set forth in Article 8, Sign Regulations.
5.060 Swimming Pools
5.0600 Private Swimming Pools - In-ground or above-ground swimming pools, 24 inches deep or greater, may be considered accessory to the use of a dwelling unit provided such pool is used only by the residents of the premises and their guests, that no portion of the water area be closer than 20 feet to the front, any side or rear lot line, and that the pool be securely fenced to a height of not less than four feet, and that if such fence has a gate, it be a self-closing gate with a latch. No fence shall be required for above-ground pools if access to the pool, and any deck area surrounding he pool, is exclusively by means of ladders or stairs that are removable, retractable, or that may be secured in some other way so as to prevent access to the pool and the deck area surrounding the pool.
5.0601 Public and Semi-Public Swimming Pools - Refer to Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 140, Section 206.
5.061 Recreation Ways - Specific provisions for transportation by bicycle, horseback and walking within the Flood Prone-Conservancy District shall be considered as an accessory use.
Uses accessory to and necessary in connection with scientific research, scientific development, or related production activities in districts where such activities are permitted by right may be permitted upon the issuance of a Special Permit, provided that the Board of Appeals finds that the proposed accessory use does not substantially derogate from the public good. Such an accessory use need not be located on the same parcel or parcels of land as the related principal use or activity permitted by right.
5.080 A licensed family day care service for six (6) or fewer children shall be permitted as an accessory use, by right, in a one family dwelling, two family dwelling, converted dwelling, row house, and apartment. The adjacent tenants, adjacent neighbors and the property owner shall be notified by certified mail by the day care day care provider at least two (2) weeks prior to the establishment of the licensed family day care service. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall be provided with a copy of the license to operate.
5.081 A licensed day care facility shall be permitted as an accessory use in the following zoning districts, provided that the Zoning Enforcement Officer is provided with a copy of the license to operate: R-F, B-G, B-L, B-VC, COM, OP, LI, PRP.
5.090 Farm Conference Center
The Board of Appeals may authorize, by issue of Special Permit, the use of a portion of a property as a Farm Conference Center, in the R-LD, R-O, and R-N Districts only, provided that:
5.0901 The use shall be located on a parcel of land of at least five acres in size, on which there is an existing principal use that is agricultural in nature.
5.0902 The Farm Conference Center uses shall be related to, and incidental to agricultural uses.
5.0903 The subject property shall have a lot frontage of at least 200 feet on a heavily travelled road and shall be located close to business, commercial and/or educational districts.
5.0904 All buildings associated with this use shall be connected to the public sewer system prior to occupancy.
5.0905 All buildings used for the conference center shall be located at least 100 feet from all property lines.
5.0906 The parking for such use shall be located at least fifty feet from all property lines and shall be screened from residential abutters.
5.0907 The Board of Appeals may authorize the provision of temporary accommodations in conjunction with the Farm Conference Center. However, no permanent or continuing residential occupancy shall be authorized under this section.
5.0908 Parking shall be provided in accordance with Section 7.002 of the Zoning Bylaw.
5.091 Farm Stand Restaurant
The Board of Appeals may authorize, by the issuance of a Special Permit, the use of a portion of a property as a farm stand restaurant in the R-LD, R-O and R-N districts only, provided that:
5.0910 The use shall be located on a parcel of land of at least five (5) acres in size on which there is an existing principal use that is agricultural in nature.
5.0911 The restaurant use shall be related to and incidental to the agricultural use and farm stand, and some of the food products served therein shall have been produced by the owner of the land on which the restaurant is located.
5.0912 The subject property shall have a frontage of at least 200 feet on a heavily travelled road and shall be located close to business and/or commercial districts.
5.0913 For the purposes of this section, the farm stand restaurant shall be deemed incidental to the principal use if the farm stand restaurant area accessible to the public does not exceed 40% of the total floor area in the building in which it is located which would not include any outside area eating accommodations as may be approved by the Special Permit Granting Authority.
5.0914 All buildings associated with this use shall be connected to the public sewer system prior to occupancy. The Board of Appeals may waive this requirement based upon a finding that public sanitary sewer is not reasonably available to the site, that such waiver is not detrimental to the neighborhood and that the existing or proposed septic system is in accordance with regulations of the Board of Health.
Any filling of land accessory to the development of property, which raises the existing grade of any portion of a property 5,000 square feet or more in area by an average of two (2) feet or more, or any such filling which raises the existing grade of any portion of a property 2,000 square feet or more in an area by an average of five (5) feet or more shall require a Special Permit subject to the following conditions:
5.100 No slope created by the filling operation shall be finished at a grade in excess of the natural angle of repose of the materials.
5.101 All filled areas which are not to be built upon within one (1) year shall, upon completion of the operation, be covered with not less than four (4) inches of loam, brought to the finish grade, seeded and mulched in a satisfactory manner.
5.102 No permit for the filling of land shall be issued if such filling will: 1) endanger public health or safety; 2) constitute a nuisance; 3) result in a detriment to the normal use of the adjacent property; 4) cause significant erosion or sedimentation due to improper drainage design or management; or 5) result in traffic hazards in residential areas or excessive congestion, or physical damage on public ways.
5.103 In granting a permit for such an accessory use, the Zoning Board of Appeals may impose reasonable requirements on grading, seeding and planting, barriers needed for public safety, control of erosion and drainage and other appropriate aspects of the use.
5.104 The Zoning Board of Appeals may require a suitable performance bond or other security adequate to ensure satisfactory compliance with provisions of this section.