Town of Andover, MA
Essex County
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7.1 CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT.

7.1.1 General.

7.1.2 Dimensional Requirements.

7.1.3 Noncluster Layout.

7.1.4 Open Space.

7.1.5 Special Permit.

7.2 PLANNED DEVELOPMENT.

7.2.1 Applicability.

7.2.2 Density.

7.2.3 Dimensional Requirements.

7.2.4 Affordability.

7.2.5 Design Standards.

7.2.6 Open Area.

7.2.7 Procedure.

7.2.8 Special Permit.

7.2.9 Conditions.

7.3 NEW MULTI-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION — ATTACHED CLUSTER.

7.3.1 Purpose.

7.3.2 Applicability.

7.3.3 Density.

7.3.4 Dimensional Requirements.

7.3.5 Open Space.

7.3.6 Design Standards.

7.3.7 Application.

7.3.8 Board Review.

7.3.9 Additional Information.

7.3.10 Special Permit Procedure.

7.3.11 Special Permit.

7.4 ELDERLY HOUSING.

7.4.1 Purpose.

7.4.2 Applicability.

7.4.3 Assisted Living Residences — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

7.4.4 Assisted Living Residences — Affordability.

7.4.5 Assisted Living Residences — Accessory Uses.

7.4.6 Long-term Care Facilities — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

7.4.7 Congregate Living Facilities — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

7.4.8 Independent Living Residence — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

7.4.9 Special Permit Procedure.

7.5 CONVERSION TO MULTIFAMILY USE.

7.5.1 General.

7.6 MULTIPLE DWELLINGS.

7.6.1 General.

7.6.2 Conversions.

7.6.3 Construction.

7.6.4 Special Permit.

7.7 (RESERVED)

7.8 DIMENSIONAL SPECIAL PERMIT — AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

7.8.1 Purpose and Intent.

7.8.2 Affordable Housing Defined.

7.8.3 Standards and Regulations.

7.8.4 Findings Required.

7.8.5 Conditions To Be Imposed.

7.8.6 Application Requirements and Procedure.

7.9 DIMENSIONAL SPECIAL PERMIT — HISTORIC PRESERVATION.

7.9.1 Purpose and Intent.

7.9.2 Historic Structures Defined.

7.9.3 Parent Parcel Defined.

7.9.4 Standards and Regulations.

7.9.5 Findings Required.

7.9.6 Conditions To Be Imposed.

7.9.7 Application Requirements and Procedure.

7.1 CLUSTER DEVELOPMENT.

7.1.1 General.

The Planning Board may grant a special permit for the construction and occupancy of a cluster development on a tract of land of 10 acres or more, in any single residence district other than the Single Residence A District, subject to the following regulations and conditions of this Section 7.1.

7.1.2 Dimensional Requirements.

1. 
Open Space and Lot Area. The total area of open space (see Section 7.1.4 below) plus all lots in such proposed development shall not be less than the product of the total number of lots times the minimum lot size for the zoning district in which the development is located, and in no case shall an individual lot have less than 2/3 of the required lot size for the zoning district in which the development is located.
2. 
Minimum Lot Frontage. The minimum frontage of any individual lot shall be 100 feet measured at the street line.
3. 
Reduced Lot Frontage or Lot Area. Only lots fronting on a proposed "minor" street (a turn-out street, cul-de-sac or dead-end street) may have reduced lot area as per Section 7.1.2.1 above and/or a minimum lot frontage of 100 feet measured at the street line.
4. 
Conformance to Frontage and Area Requirements. All lots on existing town or public ways or lots abutting proposed major streets of the development (as defined in the Subdivision Rules and Regulations) shall conform to the frontage and area requirements of the zoning district in which the development lies. The provisions of this Zoning By-Law amendment shall not apply to those lots approved prior to the adoption of this amendment pursuant to the provisions of G.L. c. 40A and 41 and the Rules and Regulations governing the subdivision of land in the Town of Andover.
5. 
Reduction in Side Yard. In consideration of a special permit for a cluster development under this section, the Planning Board may approve a reduction in the minimum side yard depth to 20 feet.

7.1.3 Noncluster Layout.

The applicant shall demonstrate to the Board by a written statement accompanied by a sketch plan of a noncluster layout at a scale of one inch equals 40 feet or one inch equals 100 feet, the reason or reasons why the Board should give favorable attention to an application for a special permit to cluster.

7.1.4 Open Space.

All land not designated for roads, lots for dwellings or other development within the development shall be held for common open space. Common open space shall be preserved for recreation or conservation and shall comprise not less than 30% of the land within the cluster development; provided, however, that proposed open space areas deemed by the Board to be inappropriate for the uses of recreation, protection of significant natural features or buffering due to size, shape or location of such space or area shall be excluded from the computation of required open space areas.
1. 
Conveyance. Such open land shall either be conveyed to the Town of Andover and accepted by it for park or open space use or be conveyed to a nonprofit organization, the principal purpose of which is the conservation of open space, or be conveyed to a corporation or trust owned or to be owned by the owners of lots or residential units within the plan, articles of corporation or trust to be legally drawn up and available for review by Planning Board prior to final approval of the plan. If such a corporation or trust is utilized, ownership thereof shall pass with conveyances of the lots or residential units. In any case where such land is not conveyed to the town, a restriction enforceable by the Town of Andover shall be recorded providing that such land shall be kept in an open or natural state and not be built upon or developed for accessory uses such as parking or roadway. All such open space shall be restricted by deed from all future building. Before final approval of the special permit by the Planning Board, the developer shall state which of the three conveyance options above is being proposed, and such disposition, if approved, shall be recorded as a restriction on the development plan.
2. 
Pedestrian Accessways. The Board may require the provision or reservation of pedestrian/bicycle accessways of suitable width and in locations suitable for pedestrian/bicycle movement of different types connecting open space areas within the cluster subdivision or to other adjacent open spaces and neighborhoods.

7.1.5 Special Permit.

The Planning Board shall approve a special permit for a cluster development only if it finds that the proposed disposition of lots and buildings under the particular circumstances involved will make more efficient the provision by the town of health, safety, protective and other services without causing substantial detriment to the character of the neighborhood. In its consideration of a plan being proposed as a cluster subdivision, the Board shall give particular attention to, and may use as a basis for its decision, the following criteria:
1. 
The arrangement of lots, streets and buildings as they may promote the harmonious integration of the proposed development with existing surrounding properties;
2. 
Originality in the overall layout and design to achieve the best possible relationship between the proposed development and the land;
3. 
Usability of open spaces for active or passive recreation, determined by size, shape, topography and location;
4. 
Inclusion within open spaces of irreplaceable natural features such as streams, mature trees or clusters of trees, rock outcrops, eskers, bluffs, slopes and historic or archaeological features;
5. 
Accessibility of open spaces to the disabled, elderly and children;
6. 
Suitability of open spaces for scenic values and improvement or preservation of views.

7.2 PLANNED DEVELOPMENT.

7.2.1 Applicability.

The Planning Board may grant a special permit for Planned Development-Multifamily Dwelling (PD-MD) or Planned Development-Mixed Use (PD-MU) for the following types of structures and uses:
1. 
PD-MD. (a) conversion or expansion of existing nonresidential structure(s) to multifamily dwellings; or (b) new multifamily dwelling construction;
2. 
PD-MU. (a) redevelopment, conversion or expansion of existing structure(s) to a combination of multifamily and business uses or a combination of nonresidential uses permitted in the zoning district; or (b) new construction for combined multifamily and business uses or new construction for a combination of nonresidential uses permitted in the zoning district.
a. 
Exemption from Special Permit Requirement. Any mixed use development comprised only of nonresidential uses shall not require a PD special permit under this section of the by-law if the lot area is less than two acres in size.

7.2.2 Density.

The maximum allowable density shall be determined by calculating the required lot area per dwelling unit as follows:
1. 
General Business District. Two thousand square feet of lot area per dwelling area unit.
2. 
Mixed Use District. Three thousand square feet of lot area per dwelling unit. The Planning Board may, in its discretion, according to the characteristics of any particular lot, allow less than the 3,000 square feet of lot area per dwelling unit.
[Amended 4-28-2010 ATM, Art. 56]

7.2.3 Dimensional Requirements.

1. 
Building Height. Any addition or new construction shall not exceed the maximum height allowed by Appendix A, Table 2 of this by-law.
2. 
Building Coverage.
a. 
General Business District: In a General Business District, an existing structure occupying more than 2/3 of the lot area shall not be expanded. New structures shall not exceed 2/3 of the lot area within the General Business district.
b. 
Mixed Use District. In a Mixed Use District, maximum building coverage shall not exceed 40% for new construction or expansion.
3. 
Building Setbacks.
a. 
General Business District: In a General Business District, building setbacks shall be determined in accordance with Section 4.1.4.2.b of this by-law.
b. 
Mixed Use District: In a Mixed Use District, new construction or building expansion shall be set back 20 feet from all property lines.
4. 
Minimum Lot Frontage. In a Mixed Use District only, the lot shall have a minimum frontage of 50 feet on an existing public way.
5. 
Setbacks From Residential Dwellings.
a. 
General Business District: No building in a General Business District shall be erected within 15 feet of a residential building.
b. 
Mixed Use District: In a Mixed Use District, no structure shall be constructed nearer than 50 feet from the outside wall of an existing residential dwelling.

7.2.4 Affordability.

No application for a PD-MD or PD-MU which contains residential use shall be approved unless at least 15% of the total dwelling units proposed are devoted to affordable housing, or such percentage as may be required by state or federal subsidy programs; provided, however, that such applications requesting three or fewer dwelling units are exempt from this requirement. "Affordable housing" shall be defined as any housing subsidized by the federal or state government under any program to assist the construction of affordable housing as defined in the applicable federal or state statute, whether built or operated by any public agency or any nonprofit or limited dividend organization. The calculation of affordable units shall be rounded to the next whole number for units equal to 0.5 or greater.

7.2.5 Design Standards.

1. 
Access. Parking lot driveways shall not provide access onto North Main Street or Main Street unless granted a special permit by the Planning Board in accordance with Section 5.1.10.
2. 
Parking Requirements.
a. 
There shall be two parking spaces per dwelling unit. Visitor parking shall be determined by the Planning Board with reference to the number of dwelling units proposed.
b. 
For mixed use developments, the parking required for each use shall be calculated and added to the total.
c. 
Upon the issuance of a special permit by the Planning Board, the required number of parking spaces on a common lot may be reduced if it can be shown that the parking needs for the uses are such that a lower total will serve all uses adequately. The Planning Board shall use the criteria under Section 5.1.12.5 of this by-law in its review of the proposed parking alternative(s).
d. 
Parking lots and driveways shall be designed as per Section 5.1 of this by-law. The Planning Board, in its discretion, may allow alternative dimensional designs for parking spaces and parking aisles if the Board finds that the design satisfies the objectives of Section 5.1.1 of this by-law.
e. 
Parking areas, driveways and pedestrian walkways shall be designed to ensure safe separation of vehicles and pedestrians and sufficient on-site traffic circulation and control in relation to surrounding streets and pedestrian ways. Pedestrian walkways shall be designed to link parking areas to buildings and, where applicable, to provide access along waterways and to abutting open space.
3. 
Landscaping, Screening and Lighting. Where a parking lot exceeds 50 parking spaces, at least 5% of the parking lot interior shall be landscaped. "Landscaping" is defined as planted trees, shrubs and ground covers in a prepared planting area. Landscaping shall be used to: (a) buffer adjacent properties; (b) provide separation between buildings and parking areas; and c) provide shading within parking areas.
a. 
Parking areas shall be screened by landscaping, fencing or berming to minimize headlight glare. Lighting shall be designed and screened to prevent light overspill onto abutting properties and ways.
4. 
Disposal Areas. Adequate provision shall be made for snow disposal areas and dumpsters where appropriate. Dumpsters shall be screened by fencing or landscaping.
5. 
Access and Utilities.
a. 
The lot shall have frontage on an existing public way with sufficient capacity to safely accommodate the projected traffic volume;
b. 
There shall be town water and sewer available with sufficient capacity to serve the project.
c. 
Emergency vehicles shall have sufficient access to each structure.

7.2.6 Open Area.

In a Mixed Use District, at least 20% of the lot shall be maintained as open area. Open area shall include landscaped yard setbacks, natural areas, recreation areas, pedestrian walkways, conservation areas, landscaping around buildings and interior landscaping for parking lots.

7.2.7 Procedure.

Twelve copies of an application for a special permit for PD-MD or PD-MU shall be filed with the Planning Board. An interdepartmental review shall be conducted by staff of Planning, Conservation, Health, Public Works, Building, Police and Fire. Comments from the staff meeting shall be submitted in writing to the Planning Board. The application shall include the following information:
1. 
Analysis of the existing conditions on the site, including but not limited to wetlands, existing topography, soil conditions, areas within the one-hundred-year flood, trees over eight inches in diameter and any other significant natural features;
2. 
Site plan, which shall be prepared and stamped by a registered professional engineer, shall contain at least the following information: location, bulk and height of all existing and proposed buildings and accessory buildings and uses; existing and proposed topography; driveways and parking provisions; proposed landscaping plan, including continued use of existing vegetation, new plantings, screening, fencing, etc.; proposed lighting, signs, service areas, refuse and waste disposal areas;
3. 
Calculation of building footprint and impervious surface area for internal driveways and parking lot areas;
4. 
Calculation of parking requirements and analysis of proposed parking alternative(s) if a reduction in the number of parking spaces is being requested;
5. 
Description of extent to which the plan's design takes advantage of natural terrain;
6. 
Description and calculation of the open area(s) and its utility to the proposed development (size, shape, location and accessibility);
7. 
Projected size of each dwelling unit (square feet and number of bedrooms); description of the number and location of the affordable and market rate units;
8. 
Information on the subsidizing programs to be used and comments in writing from the subsidizing agency;
9. 
Plan for maintenance of open space, waste disposal drainage systems, roadways and snow removal;
10. 
Elevation of building exterior, description of building materials and type of construction and interior layout;
11. 
Description of the neighborhood in which the site is located, including utilities and other public facilities, and projected impacts of the proposed development on these;
12. 
Traffic analysis, which shall be conducted under the supervision of town staff. If consultant services are deemed by the town to be necessary, all costs shall be borne by the applicant;
13. 
A master sign plan showing the location, size and design of all signs proposed for the project site;
14. 
Those requirements not applicable to the proposed project shall be noted in the application.

7.2.8 Special Permit.

The Planning Board may grant a special permit if it finds all of the following:
1. 
That the design standards and review criteria in this section have been met;
2. 
The provisions for parking and vehicular circulation on the site and access onto adjacent roadways will promote safe traffic control and flow;
3. 
The provision for landscaping and screening will provide an adequate buffer for adjoining properties and will minimize the impact of the proposed uses and parking areas, and the effect of the bulk and height of buildings and structures;
4. 
Any provision for pedestrian ways will provide safe and convenient access on-site with linkage to adjacent pedestrian areas;
5. 
The project will provide for adequate drainage, water and sewer facilities with sufficient capacity to serve the planned development;
6. 
The intersections and roadways likely to be affected by the proposal are of sufficient capacity and design to accommodate the planned development.

7.2.9 Conditions.

In granting a special permit, the Planning Board may impose reasonable conditions and safeguards which may include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
1. 
Requirements for reasonable off-site improvements to offset the impacts on the capacity and safety of adjacent roadways and intersections, and the capacity of the water, sewer and drainage systems affected by the proposed development;
2. 
Conditions to minimize impacts on environmental quality;
3. 
Requirements on the site design of the planned development to ensure compatibility with existing structures and neighboring properties;
4. 
Controls on the location and type of vehicular and pedestrian access.

7.3 NEW MULTI-FAMILY DWELLING CONSTRUCTION — ATTACHED CLUSTER.

7.3.1 Purpose.

The purposes of this Section are:
1. 
To promote and encourage alternative forms of housing which are accessible to existing town services;
2. 
To protect the natural environment and to conserve open space;
3. 
To promote energy conservation;
4. 
To allow development within the existing capacities of town services; and
5. 
To provide housing which will not be detrimental to the established or future character of the neighborhood and town.

7.3.2 Applicability.

The Planning Board may grant a special permit for Attached Cluster to allow the construction of multiple dwellings subject to the criteria of Section 9.4.2 and to the following conditions set forth herein.

7.3.3 Density.

The maximum base number of dwelling units shall be determined by dividing the buildable area by the minimum lot size allowed in the zoning district. For each base dwelling unit of 1,000 square feet or less, the applicant is entitled to a credit for 50% of an additional dwelling unit of smaller size. Buildable area is calculated by subtracting from the total area of the lot a number which is 90% of the area shown as wetlands on the Town of Andover wetland maps.

7.3.4 Dimensional Requirements.

1. 
Lot Size. Each lot shall be not less than 10 acres nor more than 25 acres.
2. 
Building Height. No building shall exceed 35 feet.
3. 
Building Setbacks.
a. 
Each building shall be set back at least 75 feet from all property boundaries;
b. 
Each building shall be set back at least 15 feet from any road or parking area and set back at least 50 feet from other buildings.
4. 
Frontage. The lot shall have a minimum of 50 feet of frontage on an existing public way which has sufficient capacity to accommodate the projected traffic flows from the project.

7.3.5 Open Space.

All land not designated for roads, buildings, privately owned yards and which is unsuitable for development shall be designated open space. Areas which are unsuitable for development shall include, but not be limited to, floodplains; wetlands as shown on the Town of Andover wetland maps; slopes of greater than 15%; and areas with ledge closer than four feet to the surface of the ground.
1. 
Open space shall comprise a minimum of 60% of the total area of the lot, and at least 50% of the open space shall be accessible and usable for recreation purposes.
2. 
Prior to the sale of any dwelling unit, the applicant shall submit a conservation restriction on the open space to the Planning Board for its review, modification and approval, and shall record the approved conservation restriction in the Registry of Deeds. In the event of the sale of any dwelling unit prior to the recording of an approved conservation restriction, the town shall have a lien on said real property for the value of the conservation restriction.
3. 
Prior to the sale of any dwelling unit, the applicant shall convey all open space land to either the town, a nonprofit corporation or a homeowners' association. If the applicant intends to convey to a nonprofit corporation or a homeowners' association, the applicant must obtain the prior approval of the Planning Board.

7.3.6 Design Standards.

The following design standards shall apply:
1. 
There shall be not less than three nor more than six dwelling units in each building;
2. 
Each dwelling unit shall have a separate exterior entrance to the unit at ground floor level;
3. 
Buildings shall be designed and placed and landscaping used to maximize visual and audible privacy between buildings;
4. 
The number of dwelling units which have more than four rooms excluding bathrooms may not exceed 60% of the total number of dwelling units in the development;
5. 
The design and layout of the buildings and accessory uses may not be altered without prior approval of the Planning Board;
6. 
At least two parking spaces per dwelling unit shall be provided on the lot either in an off-street paved area or in a garage or carport; no parking area may have more than 12 spaces;
7. 
Adequate provision shall be made for aisles, driveways, visitor parking and snow disposal;
8. 
Appropriate landscaping shall be used to prevent or minimize lighting overspill;
9. 
All utilities shall be buried;
10. 
All access roads shall have a minimum width of 30 feet and shall be built to a standard approved by the Planning Board, dependent upon the advice of the Director of Public Works;
11. 
No entrance or exit from the development to an existing public or private way may be allowed unless there are sight distances of at least 250 feet in both directions on the public or private way, and unless no other public way or private way intersects the existing roadway within 150 feet of the proposed entrance or exitway;
12. 
There shall be town water and sewer available in said public way, and said water and sewer lines shall have sufficient capacity to accommodate the project.

7.3.7 Application.

Twelve complete copies of the application for a special permit for attached cluster shall be filed with the Planning Board. The application shall include the following information:
1. 
Analysis of the existing conditions on the site, including but not limited to wetlands, existing topography, soil conditions, areas within the one-hundred-year flood, trees over eight inches in diameter and any other significant natural features;
2. 
Calculation of buildable area, as per Section 7.3.3;
3. 
Site plan, which shall be prepared and stamped by a registered engineer and a registered landscape architect, shall contain at least the following information: location, bulk and height of all proposed buildings and accessory buildings and uses; existing and proposed topography; driveways and parking provisions; proposed landscaping plan, including continued use of existing vegetation, new plantings, screening, fencing, etc.; proposed lighting, signs, service areas, refuse and waste disposal areas;
4. 
Calculation of a footprint: buildings, roadways, accessory uses;
5. 
Description of extent to which the plan's design takes advantage of natural terrain;
6. 
Description of open space and its utility to the town and the proposed development (size, shape, location, natural resource value and accessibility by residents of the town or of the cluster);
7. 
Projected size of each unit (square feet and number of bedrooms);
8. 
Plan for maintenance of open space, waste disposal, drainage systems, roadways, snow removal;
9. 
Elevation of typical building exterior, description of building materials and type of construction, typical interior layout;
10. 
Description of the neighborhood in which the site is located, including utilities and other public facilities, and projected impacts of the proposed development on these;
11. 
Traffic analysis, including projected volume and ability of the existing street network to absorb the proposed development's traffic.

7.3.8 Board Review.

Before acting upon the application, the Planning Board shall submit it to the following boards and agencies which may review it jointly or separately: the Board of Health, the Conservation Commission, the Department of Public Works, the Design Advisory Group and other boards or agencies the Planning Board may deem appropriate. Any such agency to which applications are referred for review shall submit such recommendations as it deems appropriate to the Planning Board. Failure to make recommendations within 20 days of receipt shall be deemed lack of comment or opposition.

7.3.9 Additional Information.

After the opportunity for review by other boards and agencies, the Planning Board may require the applicant to supply more specific information about the proposed development, as per questions and comments of the reviewing boards and agencies. Such additional information shall be submitted within 10 days of the expiration of the previous 20 days as set forth in Section 7.3.8. above.

7.3.10 Special Permit Procedure.

The procedure for a special permit under this section shall be governed by Section 9.4. If the Planning Board disagrees with the recommendations of the Conservation Commission or the Board of Health, the reasons shall be stated in the special permit decision filed with the Town Clerk.

7.3.11 Special Permit.

The Board may grant a special permit for Attached Cluster only if its finds that the applicant has demonstrated the following:
1. 
That the Attached Cluster plan will be in harmony with the purposes of Section 7.3.1 and the long-range plan of the town;
2. 
That it will not have a detrimental impact on the neighborhood, will be designed with due consideration for health and safety, and is superior to a conventional subdivision plan in preserving open space, minimizing environmental disruption, allowing more efficient provision of services or allowing for greater variety in prices and types of housing stock.

7.4 ELDERLY HOUSING.

7.4.1 Purpose.

The objectives of this section are to achieve the following public purposes:
1. 
To provide for the development and use of alternative housing and nursing care for the elderly in accordance with the Town's Master Plan.
2. 
To create home health care, housing and other supportive services for the elderly population outside of an institutional setting.
3. 
To encourage the preservation of open space.
4. 
To provide alternative housing for the elderly that cause relatively little demand on town services.
5. 
To preserve the town's residential character.
6. 
To provide such accommodations in a manner harmonious with the surrounding land uses while protecting natural resources and open space.
7. 
To provide housing which is affordable to the elderly population who are Andover Residents.

7.4.2 Applicability.

The Planning Board may grant a special permit for elderly housing as described in Section 7.4.
1. 
This section shall not apply to assisted living residences existing on the date of adoption of this section.

7.4.3 Assisted Living Residences — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

Dimensional requirements and design standards shall be as follows:
1. 
Minimum Lot Size. An assisted living facility shall be permitted in a SRA and SRB District only within a single lot containing a total area of not less than five acres. In the MU District, the minimum lot size shall be two acres. There shall be no minimum lot size required for the GB District.
2. 
Density. The maximum allowable density shall be 3,000 square feet of lot area per assisted living unit.
3. 
Building Height. Any addition or new construction shall not exceed 35 feet in height as measured in accordance with the State Building Code or three stories. This does not preclude the reuse and renovation of existing structures which may exceed this height limit.
4. 
Building Coverage. The maximum building coverage, including accessory buildings, shall not exceed 30% of the lot area for new construction or expansion of existing structures.
5. 
Building Setbacks. In the SRA and SRB Districts, buildings shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from all property lines. In the MU District, the building setback will be 20 feet. Buildings in the GB District shall be setback as required in Section 4.1.4.2.b of this by-law.
6. 
Setback from Residential Dwellings. In the SRA and SRB Districts, all buildings associated with the assisted living facility shall be no closer than 200 feet from existing residential dwellings; however, with respect to accessory structures not greater than 300 square feet in said districts, the SPGA, in its discretion, may reduce said setback by an amount up to but not greater than 100 feet if it determines that said structure will not adversely impact the use and enjoyment of the existing residential dwelling. In the MU and GB districts, the setback shall be 50 feet.
7. 
Minimum Lot Frontage. The minimum lot frontage shall conform to the requirements of the district where such use is located.
8. 
Town Services. Assisted living residences shall be serviced by public water and sewer of sufficient capacity to serve the project. Any extension and/or replacement of sewer and/or water lines necessary to provide sufficient capacity shall be the responsibility of the applicant.
9. 
Transportation Services. The operator of the assisted living residence shall be required to provide or arrange for transportation to town services and facilities.
10. 
Common Open Space: In the SRA and SRB Districts, there shall be an area of common open space equal to at least 30% of the lot area. The common open space shall be retained in perpetuity for conservation or passive recreation use. No more than 25% of the minimum required open space shall be situated within wetlands. A permanent conservation restriction running to or enforceable by the town shall be recorded for the common open space area and shall include restrictions that the land be retained in perpetuity for conservation and/or passive recreation.
11. 
Parking. The minimum number of parking spaces provided on the lot shall be 0.4 parking space per assisted living unit plus one parking space per three employees during the largest shift. Up to 25% of the minimum number of required spaces may be allocated for compact cars in accordance with the design standards of Appendix A, Table 3 this by-law. The Planning Board, in its discretion, may require additional parking spaces to serve the needs of employees, visitors and service vehicles, such spaces to be provided in a "reserve parking area" which would not be built unless determined necessary by the Inspector of Buildings.
12. 
Access and On-site Circulation. Adequate on-site circulation shall be provided to and from the site, taking into consideration the adjacent sidewalks and streets and accessibility of the site and building(s) thereon for emergency vehicles. Adequate provision shall be made for off-street loading and unloading requirements of delivery vehicles and passengers using private transportation.
13. 
Public Safety. The facility shall also have an integrated emergency call, telephone and other communication system to provide monitoring for its residents. There shall be sufficient site access for public safety vehicles. A plan shall be approved by the Andover Fire Department for the emergency evacuation of residents with emphasis on ensuring the safety of residents with physical impairments.
14. 
Landscaping. Landscaping and screening is required to obscure visibility from beyond the boundaries of the premises of parking areas, dumpster locations and loading areas. In the SRA and SRB Districts, the minimum setback from all property lines of such parking lots, dumpster locations and loading areas except for their points of ingress and egress, shall be 15 feet.

7.4.4 Assisted Living Residences — Affordability.

Except as provided in Sections 7.4.4.6 and 7.4.4.10, 15% of the total number of assisted living units shall be set aside as affordable housing units for elderly persons who qualify as low, moderate, or upper-moderate income persons as defined as follows:
Low income: below 60% of the Lawrence Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area (SMSA) median income based on Housing and Urban Development (HUD) figures ("median income").
Moderate income: 60-79% of median income.
Upper-moderate income: 80-100% of median income.
1. 
In determining the total number of affordable units required, a fractional unit of 0.5 or more shall be regarded as a whole unit. To the extent legally permissible, the affordable units shall be offered to eligible Andover residents before being offered to non-Andover eligible elderly persons.
2. 
Such affordable units may be rented, sold or otherwise provided to qualified elderly persons in accordance with income and asset limitations established by the authorizing state or federal agency in those instances where the affordable units benefit directly from such assistance, or in the absence thereof pursuant to the definitions of income and assets established for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, or pursuant to the standards promulgated by the SPGA.
3. 
Affordable units shall be dispersed throughout the building(s) and shall be compatible with and generally comparable to the market-rate units in terms of location, quality and character.
4. 
Of the affordable units, the applicant shall set aside units representing all three income levels as follows: 20% shall serve low income persons, 50% shall serve moderate income persons and 30% shall serve upper-moderate income persons.
5. 
Although eligibility for the affordable units shall be determined by reference to income and assets of the prospective residents, the affordable units shall be considered affordable only if they are restricted in the amount of monthly rent or other monthly charges for the unit based upon a percentage of the applicable median income. For purposes of computing the monthly rent or other monthly charges for the unit, there shall be excluded any special charges for extra or specialized services which are not provided to the general population of the project but are unique to the particular needs of an individual resident. The standards of affordability for proposed projects, including, without limitation, the methods of determining and maintaining eligibility, the percentage of applicable median income used for limiting the monthly amounts charged for the affordable units and any variations in the percentages of median income in the three income levels shall be set and revised from time to time by the SPGA provided said standards are consistent with appropriate federal and state standards.
6. 
At the discretion of the SPGA, the applicant may be permitted to set aside a lower percentage of affordable units, but in no case less than 10% of the units, if, in the opinion of the SPGA, the applicant has demonstrated that public subsidies (including, without limitation, public or low interest financing, tax benefits and town-provided subsidies such as provision of services, real estate tax abatements or reduced assessments or reductions of water and sewer charges with respect to the affordable units) are unavailable or inappropriate and/or the provision of the required percentage of affordable units will threaten the viability of the project without some form of relief. In such cases, or in order to encourage an applicant to exceed the required percentage of affordable units, the SPGA may:
a. 
Provide a density bonus whereby the total number of allowable units computed hereunder ("Maximum allowable units") may be increased by an amount of additional units determined by the SPGA, not to exceed 25% of the maximum allowable units, and any such additional units granted by the SPGA as a density bonus shall be market units and shall not cause a corresponding increase in the number of required affordable units;
b. 
Permit higher percentages of units to be offered to moderate or upper-moderate-income persons; and/or
c. 
Permit the applicant to make a cash or other contribution to the town or its designee for use by the town in (1) providing or subsidizing affordable housing for low, moderate, and upper-moderate-income elderly persons as defined by this section of the by-law or (2) providing other elderly facilities or elderly services.
7. 
Affordability restrictions shall be embodied in applicable deed covenants, contractual agreements and/or other mechanisms to ensure compliance with this section.
8. 
All affordable units shall be maintained as affordable housing units for the life of the assisted living facility.
9. 
Prior to the issuance of any building permit for any units, a clearance certificate shall be required to be issued by the Planning Department indicating compliance with this subsection. No clearance certificate shall be issued for any units until (a) all documents necessary to ensure compliance with this subsection including, without limitation, the documents referred to in Section 7.4.4.7 have been executed and, if required, recorded at the Registry of Deeds and (b) any required cash or other contribution has been made to the town or its designee.
10. 
Nothing in this subsection shall preclude a developer from setting aside more than the required number of affordable units or from setting aside additional units for higher but limited income groups or from setting aside more units for lower-income groups.

7.4.5 Assisted Living Residences — Accessory Uses.

The operator of the assisted living facility may also provide optional services on the site for the convenience of residents, including but not limited to transportation, barber/beauty services, sundries for personal consumption, laundry services and other amenities, provided such uses serve primarily the residents and staff of the assisted living residence and the accessory uses shall be wholly within a residential structure and shall have no exterior advertising display.

7.4.6 Long-term Care Facilities — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

1. 
Building Coverage. The maximum building coverage, including accessory buildings, shall not exceed 30% of the lot area for new construction or expansion of existing structures.
2. 
Building Setbacks. Buildings shall be set back a minimum of 50 feet from all property lines.
3. 
Setback from Residential Dwellings. All buildings associated with the long-term care facility shall be no closer than 200 feet from existing residential dwellings.
4. 
Minimum Lot Frontage. The minimum lot frontage shall conform to the requirements of the district where such use is located.
5. 
Town Services. Long-term care facilities shall be serviced by public water and sewer of sufficient capacity to serve the project. Any extension and/or replacement of sewer and/or water lines necessary to provide sufficient capacity shall be the responsibility of the applicant.

7.4.7 Congregate Living Facilities — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

The provisions for assisted living residences, Sections 7.4.3 to 7.4.5 inclusive, shall apply.

7.4.8 Independent Living Residence — Dimensional Requirements and Design Standards.

1. 
The provisions of Section 7.6.2 for conversion of a one- or two- or more family dwelling, shall apply.
2. 
Parking Requirements. The provisions of Appendix A, Table 3, Section A.5.d shall apply.

7.4.9 Special Permit Procedure.

The procedure for a special permit under this section shall be governed by Section 9.4.

7.5 CONVERSION TO MULTIFAMILY USE.

7.5.1 General.

The conversion of an existing structure of 50,000 square feet gross floor area or more to multifamily dwelling use shall be permitted upon the grant of a special permit by the Board of Appeals, subject to the following conditions:
1. 
There shall be at least 3,500 square feet of lot area per dwelling unit.
2. 
Off-street parking shall be provided as per Appendix A, Table 3, subsection A.4.d.
3. 
The dimensional requirements of Section 4.0 shall be waived for the existing structure and any addition or extension required by law for handicapped access and/or life safety purposes. No other exterior additions or extensions shall be allowed.
4. 
All elements of the site design, including but not limited to vehicular and pedestrian circulation, landscaping and exterior lighting, shall be laid out to reinforce the harmony of the premises with the surrounding neighborhood.
5. 
The criteria of Section 9.4.2 shall govern the decision of the Board of Appeals.

7.6 MULTIPLE DWELLINGS.

7.6.1 General.

The Board of Appeals may grant a special permit for the construction, conversion and occupancy of multiple dwellings subject to the following regulations and conditions of this Section.

7.6.2 Conversions.

For the conversion of a structure with one dwelling unit or a structure with two or more dwelling units, the following eligibility criteria apply:
1. 
The building must have existed prior to March 10, 1941.
2. 
There shall be 2,500 square feet of lot area for each family.
3. 
Parking shall be provided as required by Appendix A, Table 3.
4. 
The building may not be increased in area, footprint, height or otherwise enlarged beyond the existing framework, except as may be necessary for secondary egress in the form of an outside stairway.
[Added 4-30-2002 ATM, Art. 52]

7.6.3 Construction.

The construction of apartment buildings shall be governed by these conditions:
1. 
No more than 12 dwelling units shall be contained in any building in an Apartment District.
2. 
There shall be a minimum of 3,500 square feet of lot area per dwelling unit.
3. 
There shall be a paved driveway or paved walk adequate to accommodate emergency vehicles, within 50 feet of the outside entrance to each dwelling unit.
4. 
No dwellings shall be nearer to each other at any point than the sum of the heights of their opposing exterior walls unless both such walls are unpierced, and walls shall be considered opposing if the angle between them is less than 30°.
5. 
No structure shall be built within 30 feet of any way, and no structure or parking space shall be built or maintained within 20 feet of any other exterior property line.
6. 
Off-street parking shall be provided as per Appendix A, Table 3, subsection A.4.b.

7.6.4 Special Permit.

The criteria of Section 9.4.2 shall govern the decision of the Board of Appeals.

7.7 (RESERVED)

7.8 DIMENSIONAL SPECIAL PERMIT — AFFORDABLE HOUSING.

[Added 4-28-2003 ATM, Art. 32]

7.8.1 Purpose and Intent.

The purpose of this by-law is to encourage the development of affordable housing in the Town of Andover by increasing the supply of housing in the town that is available to low- and moderate-income households. The by-law gives the Board of Appeals authority to issue a special permit modifying dimensional standards for the use of existing nonconforming lots for purposes of affordable housing as defined herein.

7.8.2 Affordable Housing Defined.

For purposes of a dimensional special permit for affordable housing, "affordable housing" is defined as any housing subsidized by the federal or state or local government under any program to assist the construction of affordable housing as defined in the applicable federal or state statute, whether built or operated by any public agency or any nonprofit or limited dividend organization. Any local program shall be subject to applicable state regulations or guidelines.

7.8.3 Standards and Regulations.

The following specific standards shall be applied to a dimensional special permit for affordable housing:
1. 
At least 90% of the area of the lot shall be comprised of contiguous uplands.
2. 
The lot shall be served by municipal sanitary sewer and water. In the event municipal sewer is not available, the lot shall be capable of supporting an on-site sewage disposal system.
3. 
There may not be more than one single-family dwelling on the lot.
4. 
No dwelling unit may contain more than 2,000 square feet of living area, exclusive of garage space.
5. 
The Board of Appeals may establish setback requirements that are compatible with adjoining properties.

7.8.4 Findings Required.

In addition to the findings required under Section 9.4.2. of the Zoning By-law, the permit granting authority shall consider the following specific items:
1. 
That the modification of dimensional requirements is necessary to accomplish the purpose and intent of this by-law.
2. 
That the proposed dwelling is compatible with the existing neighborhood with regard to size and architecture.
3. 
That in the absence of a special permit, the use of an existing nonconforming lot would not be available for affordable housing.

7.8.5 Conditions To Be Imposed.

If the Board of Appeals grants the special permit, it shall impose as conditions of approval, the following:
1. 
In the event of a catastrophic event which results in damage to the affordable dwelling such that it cannot be repaired, the owner may rebuild on the lot, provided that the new dwelling does not contain more than the same interior floor area as the original dwelling, and meets one of the following requirements:
a. 
The new dwelling is placed in the same footprint as the original structure; or
b. 
The new dwelling is built in conformity with the zoning side, front and rear setbacks in effect at the time of the rebuilding.
2. 
The owner shall record at the North Essex Registry of Deeds an affordable housing restriction in the form approved by the Board of Appeals, and approved and endorsed by the Director of Housing and Community Development in accordance with Chapter 184, Sections 31 and 32 of the General Laws, which restriction shall include, but not be limited to the following conditions:
a. 
The residential unit shall serve households with household income at or below 80% of the area median income.
b. 
The residential unit shall have a deed restriction and resale formula that keeps the unit permanently affordable.
c. 
The sale of the unit shall be subject to an affirmative and fair marketing plan.
d. 
Any mortgagee shall subordinate its mortgage to this restriction.
3. 
When the decision of the Board of Appeals on the application for a dimensional special permit for affordable housing has become final, the notice of decision and the approved and endorsed affordable housing restriction with any required mortgagee subordination shall be recorded concurrently at the Essex North District Registry of Deeds.

7.8.6 Application Requirements and Procedure.

Sixteen copies of an application for a dimensional special permit for affordable housing shall be filed with the Board of Appeals. Copies of the application will be distributed to the interdepartmental review team and a review shall be conducted involving but not limited to staff representatives of Planning, Building, Health, Public Works, Conservation, School, Police, and Fire. Comments from the interdepartmental review shall be submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The application shall include the following information:
1. 
A plan prepared by a registered land surveyor and/or professional engineer showing the lot proposed to be used for the development of affordable housing. The plan shall be at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet, on a sheet size not smaller than 11 inches by 24 inches, and not larger than 18 inches by 24 inches, and shall show the following information:
a. 
All existing property lines with bearings and distances;
b. 
The location and size of all existing structures or buildings on and adjacent to the lot, and the distances between all existing and proposed structures or buildings;
c. 
The public way on which the lot has its frontage;
d. 
Proposed front, side and rear building setback lines;
e. 
Existing and proposed topography (grading);
f. 
Significant trees or other natural features;
g. 
The location and type of utilities serving the lot;
h. 
All wetland areas as shown on the Town's Wetland Maps, or as determined by the Conservation Commission;
i. 
The name of the owner and all parties having any interest in the lot, including book and page numbers of the documents at the Registry of Deeds which describe such an interest;
j. 
A copy of the deed of ownership shall be included with the application;
k. 
All easements on the lot shall be shown as to location, dimensions and type;
l. 
Preliminary architectural details of the proposed affordable dwelling to be constructed on the lot, including square footage, number of bedrooms, height, and proposed exterior details;
2. 
A letter from the Andover Housing Partnership Committee indicating that the applicant has presented the proposal to the Committee at a regular public meeting. The letter may contain any recommended conditions for the special permit.
3. 
The provisions of Sections 9.4.1. through 9.4.7. of the Zoning By-law shall apply to the application, hearing, decision, conditions and lapse of a dimensional special permit for affordable housing.
4. 
A dimensional special permit issued under this by-law shall contain an account of all required findings and considerations made by the permit granting authority in its decision to allow such exception to the by-laws.

7.9 DIMENSIONAL SPECIAL PERMIT — HISTORIC PRESERVATION.

[Added 4-28-2003 ATM, Art. 29]

7.9.1 Purpose and Intent.

The purpose of this by-law is to encourage the preservation of buildings, structures, sites and settings of historic significance, by allowing such buildings or features to remain in place, or be moved to another location rather then be demolished or otherwise compromised. The by-law gives the Board of Appeals authority to issue a special permit modifying certain dimensional standards for the creation of new lots, or for the use of existing lots for purposes of preservation of historic structures or buildings as defined herein.

7.9.2 Historic Structures Defined.

For purposes of a dimensional special permit for historic preservation the historic building or structure must be located in the Town of Andover and must be listed on one of the following:
1. 
The National Register of Historic Places;
2. 
The State (Commonwealth of Massachusetts) Register of Historic Places; and
3. 
The Andover Historic Building Survey.

7.9.3 Parent Parcel Defined.

A parent parcel is the parcel of land that is to be divided.

7.9.4 Standards and Regulations.

The following specific standards shall be applied to a dimensional special permit for historic preservation:
1. 
The lot must be located in the SRA, SRC or SRB Zoning District.
2. 
Any new lot created under this by-law in any single-family residential zoning district shall contain not less than 1/2 the minimum lot area for the zoning district in which it is proposed, and such minimum lot area shall be contiguous upland, free of wetlands.
3. 
Lot frontage and building setbacks on new lots created under this by-law shall be as follows:
a. 
In the SRA District: frontage: 50 feet; front: 25 feet; side: 10 feet; rear: 30 feet;
b. 
In the SRB District: frontage: 75 feet; front: 35 feet; side: 15 feet; rear: 30 feet;
c. 
In the SRC District: frontage: 100 feet; front: 35 feet; side: 20 feet; rear: 30 feet;
4. 
Any new lot created under this by-law shall have its required frontage on a public way as measured at the street line.
5. 
Any new lot created under this by-law in the Single Residence A or Single Residence B Zoning District shall be served by municipal sanitary sewer and water.
6. 
Any new lot created under this by-law in the Single Residence C Zoning District shall be served by municipal water, and if sanitary sewer is not available, the lot shall be in fact capable of supporting an on-site sewage disposal system, or in the event that said lot is not serviced by municipal sanitary sewer and water at the time of the Zoning Board hearing, but the Zoning Board finds that sewer will be available, the Zoning Board shall make as a condition of its approval that no occupancy permit shall issue until the lot is serviced by municipal sanitary sewer and water.
7. 
Other than when there is an existing historic structure on the parent parcel which is the subject of a related special permit application, no new lot may be created that would render the parent parcel of land nonconforming with regard to dimensional requirements, including but not limited to area and frontage.
8. 
A vacant existing nonconforming lot need not meet the standards set forth in Subsections 1 through 3 above; however, the provisions of Subsections 4 and 5 will apply.
9. 
The special permit granting authority shall determine whether or not an historic structure or building can be placed on a lot without detrimental effect on abutting properties or the street on which the lot has its frontage.

7.9.5 Findings Required.

Priority in granting a dimensional special permit for historic preservation shall, in all cases, be placed upon keeping buildings and structures in place, rather than moving them to other locations, provided that the existing site can be shown to represent valid historical setting and context. Moving of structures or buildings to other locations shall be considered only if no other preservation measures are practical or reasonable on the existing site, or if the proposed removal is to return a building or structure to an original or more historically accurate location. In addition to the findings required under Section 9.4.2. of the Zoning By-law and the foregoing standards and regulations, the permit granting authority shall consider the following specific items:
1. 
That the modification of dimensional requirements is necessary to protect, preserve or maintain an historic structure or building;
2. 
That the proposed work, including any relocation or reconstruction, preserves, to the maximum extent feasible, the historical and architectural features of the structure or building;
3. 
That in the absence of a special permit, destruction of an historic structure or building will result.

7.9.6 Conditions To Be Imposed.

If the Zoning Board of Appeals grants the special permit, it shall impose, as minimum conditions, the following:
1. 
In the event of a catastrophic event which results in damage to the historic structure such that the historic structure cannot be repaired, the owner may rebuild on the lot, provided that the new dwelling does not contain more than the same interior floor area as the historic structure and meets one of the following requirements:
a. 
The new dwelling is placed in the existing footprint; or
b. 
The new dwelling is built in conformity with the zoning side, front and rear setbacks in effect at the time of rebuilding.
2. 
Prior to the move, the Board of Selectman of the Town of Andover shall approve the route and the timing of the move of the building or structure.
3. 
In the event that the owner of the lot wishes to make changes to the historic structure after it is relocated, it must submit any changes to the Preservation Commission for its review and approval. If the Preservation Commission determines that the change is not a minor change, the owner must seek a modification of the special permit from the Zoning Board.
4. 
Upon the appeal period expiring, the applicant shall submit the approved plan to the Planning Board for an approval not required endorsement pursuant to Chapter 41, Section 81P of the General Laws. Such an endorsement shall be a condition of the special permit approval.
5. 
The owner shall record at the Essex North District Registry of Deeds an historic preservation restriction in the form approved by the Zoning Board of Appeals, and approved and endorsed by the Massachusetts Historical Commission in accordance with Chapter 184, Section 32, of the General Laws, which shall at a minimum provide for conditions under which alterations, additions or modifications may be made, and in the event of damage to the historic structure such that the historic structure cannot be repaired, the owner may rebuild on the lot, provided that the new dwelling does not contain more than the same interior floor area as the historic structure and meets one of the following requirements: (i) the new dwelling is placed in the existing footprint; or (ii) the new dwelling is built in conformity with the zoning side, front and rear setbacks in effect at the time of rebuilding. Any mortgagee shall subordinate its mortgage to this restriction.
6. 
When the decision of the Board of Appeals on the application for a dimensional special permit for historic preservation has become final, the applicant shall submit the plan upon which the decision is based to the Planning Board for certification as an approval not required plan pursuant to Chapter 81, Section 4IP, of the General Laws. The notice of decision of the Board of Appeals, the approved and endorsed historic preservation restriction with any required mortgagee subordination, and the approval not required plan certified by the Planning Board shall be recorded concurrently at the Essex North District Registry of Deeds.

7.9.7 Application Requirements and Procedure.

Sixteen copies of an application for a dimensional special permit for historic preservation shall be filed with the Board of Appeals. Copies of the application will be distributed to the interdepartmental review team, and a review shall be conducted involving but not limited to staff representatives of Planning, Preservation Commission, any applicable Historic District Commission, Building, Health, Conservation, School, Public Works, Police and Fire. Comments from the interdepartmental review shall be submitted to the Zoning Board of Appeals. The application shall include the following information:
1. 
A plan prepared by a registered land surveyor and/or professional engineer showing the lot proposed to be created or used for the preservation of an historic structure or building. The plan shall be suitable for purposes of submission as an approval not required plan. The plan shall be at a scale of one inch equals 20 feet, on a sheet size not smaller than 11 inches by 24 inches, and not larger than 18 inches by 24 inches, and shall show the following information:
a. 
All existing and proposed property lines with bearings and distances;
b. 
If the application is for the creation of a new lot, then the parent parcel from which the lot is being taken shall also be shown at the same scale;
c. 
The location and size of all existing structures or buildings on and adjacent to the proposed lot, and the distances between all existing and proposed structures or buildings;
d. 
The public way on which the existing or proposed lot will have its frontage;
e. 
Proposed front, side and rear building setback lines;
f. 
Existing and proposed topography (grading);
g. 
Significant trees or other natural features;
h. 
The location and type of utilities serving the lot;
i. 
Wetlands delineation;
j. 
The name of the owner and all parties having any interest in the lot, including book and page numbers of the documents at the Registry of Deeds which describe such an interest;
k. 
A copy of the deed of ownership shall be included with the application; and
1. 
All easements on the lot.
2. 
If the historic structure is going to be relocated, a map showing the route over which the historic structure or building will be moved;
3. 
If the historic structure is going to be relocated, a letter from the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Tree Warden of the Town and the Director of Public Works approving the route. It is the responsibility of the applicant to contact and obtain approvals (if needed) from utility companies having overhead cables, lines or wires along the route, and from the Massachusetts Highway Department if a state roadway is involved and from the Director of Public Works, Police Chief and Fire Chief of any city or town included on the route. The applicant is responsible for any costs associated with police supervision along the route;
4. 
An approval letter from the Preservation Commission, certifying that the structure is an historic structure, as defined in this by-law and any recommended conditions for the special permit;
5. 
A statement of any changes to be made to the historic structure;
6. 
The provisions of Sections 9.4.1. through 9.4.7. of the Zoning By-law shall apply to the application, hearing, decision, conditions and lapse of a dimensional special permit for historic preservation;
7. 
A dimensional special permit issued under this by-law shall contain an account of all required findings and considerations made by the permit granting authority in its decision to allow such exception to the by-laws.