Flexible Development Requirments and Procedures
BYLAW: Flexible Development Requirements
MUNICIPALITY: Weston, Massachusetts
DATE ADOPTED: (Amended 1994)
The general purpose of Flexible Development is to allow greater flexibility and creativity in the design and layout of single family residential development, without any increase in permitted density, in order to:
a. minimize alteration of or damage to the natural and cultural features and topography of the land;
b. avoid undue adverse impacts of new development on existing homes and neighborhoods;
c. preserve wooded areas and other undeveloped open land particularly along Town roads;
d. preserve the existing semi-rural appearance of the Town.
1. Applicability. An owner or owners of land in a Single Family Residence District may apply to the Planning Board for a Special Permit for Flexible Development under this Section VI.H. This will exempt such land from the lot area, frontage, setback and other applicable dimensional requirements set forth in the Table of Conventional Dimensional Requirements of this Zoning By-Law in order to fulfill the purposes of Flexible Development. The Planning Board in order to fulfill the purposes of Flexible Development. The Planning Board shall be the Special Permit Granting Authority for any Special Permit for Flexible Development issued under this Section. Nothing in this section shall be interpreted as conflicting with the right of a landowner to proceed under the Subdivision Control Law with an application for a preliminary or definitive subdivision plan pursuant to G.L.c.41, Sections 81S and 81T, or with an application for endorsement of a plan of land division as"approval not required" pursuant to G.L.c.41, Section 81P.
An applicant for a Special Permit for Flexible Development shall pay a filing fee and review fees as the Planning Board shall deem reasonably necessary, which fees shall be set forth in the Planning Board Special Permit Rules for Flexible Development.
A landowner seeking to create a Flexible Development of land may file with the Planning Board an Application for a Special Permit for Flexible Development. The Application shall conform to the applicable requirements for a Definitive Subdivision Plan as set forth in the Planning Board's Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land, as well as the Flexible Development requirements contained herein and all other requirements in the Special Permit Rules for Flexible Development.
The Planning Board shall give notice, hold a public hearing and file its decision regarding a Flexible Development Application, in accordance with the procedures governing special permits contained in Sections 9, 11 and 15 of M.G.L.c.40A, the Zoning Act.
4. Dimensional Requirements.
A Special Permit for Flexible Development may authorize the creation and use of lots meeting the following dimensional requirements in lieu of the conventional dimensional requirements contained in Section VI.B.2. and VI.B.3.
a. Lot Area. Each lot shall be at least of a size capable of supporting the construction of a single-family dwelling and its accessory structures in accordance with all applicable state and local regulatory requirements and the purposes of Flexible Development.
b. Frontage. The frontage of each lot for a building site created in a Flexible Development shall be that necessary, in the opinion of the Planning Board, to provide for adequate access to the lot. Where shared driveways or other circumstances provided adequate access to an individual lot, frontage may not be required.
c. Setbacks. All structures shall be set back a minimum of twenty (20) feet from all lot lines, provided, however, that with respect to lot lines which abut an existing street or which otherwise abut land outside the Flexible Development, setbacks from said lot lines shall conform to the Section VI.B.2. setback requirements applicable to conventional development in the underlying zoning district.
d. Building Height. The height of all buildings or other structures within a Flexible Development shall conform to the requirements of Section VI.E.
5. Other Requirements
a. Buildable Lot. Buildable lot shall be defined for purposes of determining the density of a Flexible Development as an area of contingous land, having sufficient area and dimensions to meet the applicable requirements of this Zoning By-Law for use as the site of one single family detached dwelling, and conforming to all relevant state and local laws and regulations.
b. Developed Areas. The boundaries of the area(s) within each lot that will contain all principal and accessory structures shall be shown on the plan and designated as the "Developed Areas". The areas so designated shall be of a size and location to satisfy the stated purposes and standards set forth herein.
c. Single Dwelling. Not more than one single family dwelling and its accessory structures and uses may be located on a lot created under Flexible Development pursuant to Section VI.F.2.
d. Density. The maximum number of lots for building sites in a Flexible Development shall not exceed the number of buildable lots which could be created through conventional development of the site. The allowable maximum density shall be based upon the maximum number of buildable lots which may be created through conventional development of the land without substantial waivers from the Planning Board's Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land and in conformance with the conventional dimensional requirements for the underlying zoning district. The Planning Board shall make the final determination of density, provided, however, that for the limited purpose of showing conformance with said conventional dimensional requirements, the applicable minimum frontage and lot width requirements shall be 200 ft. in the Single family Residence District A, 150 ft in the Single Family Residence District B, 125 ft. in the Single Family Residence District C, and 100 ft. in the Single Family Residence District D.
e. Restrictions Against Further Development. No Flexible Development for which a Special Permit has been issued under this Section may be further subdivided. A notation to that effect shall be made on the Lotting Plan as defined in the Planning Board Rules and Regulations to be endorsed by the Planning Board and recorded in the Registry of Deeds or the Land Court. In addition, a perpetual restriction, running with the land, and enforceable by the Town of Weston, shall be recorded with respect to the land within the Flexible Development. Such restriction shall provide that no lot in the Flexible Development may be further subdivided into additional building lots. Said restriction shall be in such form and substance as the Planning Board shall prescribe and may contain such additional restrictions on development and use of the lots as the Planning Board may deem appropriate.
6. Allowed Uses.
The land in a Flexible Development may be used for any use otherwise allowable in the Single Family Residence District in which it is located, pursuant to the provisions of Section V. Use Regulations.
In reviewing an Application for a Special Permit for Flexible Development, the Planning Board shall consider the extent to which the Application meets the purposes of Flexible Development by satisfying the following standards:
a. The laying out of Developed Areas, roads, storm drains, sewage disposal systems, and utilities shall be in conformance with the natural features of the parcel, minimizing changes to the topography and maximizing the amount of preserved wooded areas and other open space.
b. The amount of land to be disturbed for the construction of buildings, driveways, septic systems, utilities, storm drainage systems and roads shall be minimized.
c. Important natural and historic features of the land, as determined by the Planning Board, shall be protected.
d. The Flexible Development shall be in keeping with and enhance the overall semi-rural appearance of Weston by:
(i) preserving views from existing roads;
(ii) avoiding undue adverse impacts on neighborhoods;
(iii) conserving natural and historic resources, including but not limited to those linked to off-site protected resource areas.
e. The impacts of road and utility installations for each dwelling unit served shall be less than those generated by a conventional development of the same land.
f. The design, number and location of curb cuts shall be such that any conflict with existing traffic flow is minimized, and the semi-rural appearance of existing streets is maintained or enhanced.
g. Provision, satisfactory to the Planning Board, shall be made with regard to the ownership and maintenance of any and all private roads, common driveways, common land, or other common facilities within the Flexible Development.
h. The design shall minimize the size of Developed Areas.
The Planning Board shall not grant a Special Permit for Flexible
Development unless the Application is consistent with the above
standards and conforms to the dimensional and use requirements for
Flexible Development set forth herein and in the Planning Board Special
Permit Rules for Flexible Development.