Town of Agawam, MA
Hampden County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 6-2-2014 by TOR-2014-4]

§ 180-139 Scope.

The scope of this article is to regulate mixed-use development in appropriate areas of the Town and to protect the public health, safety, and general welfare in the Town of Agawam by establishing controls that will facilitate flexible development while protecting the public interest.

§ 180-140 Purpose; intent.

A. 
The purpose of this article is to foster a greater opportunity for creative development by providing guidelines which encourage a mix of uses compatible with existing and neighboring properties, to provide housing and business uses in locations where a variety of Town services are available, to promote utilization of existing buildings and property, and to encourage the provision of open areas.
B. 
The intent, furthermore, is to encourage interaction among activities located within a mixed-use development, to enhance business vitality, reduce vehicular traffic, provide employment opportunities for residents close to home, ensure the compatibility with each other of the commercial and residential uses, and ensure that the appearance and effects of buildings and uses are harmonious with the character of the area in which they are located by:
(1) 
Allowing a diversity of uses in close proximity in the district within a limited area, including residential, commercial, and office;
(2) 
Accommodating mixed-use buildings with neighborhood-serving retail, service and other uses on the ground floor and residential units above;
(3) 
Encouraging development that exhibits the physical design characteristics of pedestrian-oriented storefront-style shopping streets;
(4) 
Promoting the opportunity for people to work, meet, shop and utilize services in the vicinity of their residences;
(5) 
Providing opportunities for the development of affordable housing;
(6) 
Providing opportunities for a mixture of uses in the same building;
(7) 
Promoting a positive pedestrian environment in the district;
(8) 
Facilitating integrated physical design;
(9) 
Promoting a high level of design quality;
(10) 
Encouraging the development of flexible space for small and emerging businesses;
(11) 
Facilitating development proposals responsive to current and future market conditions; and
(12) 
Encouraging the development of open spaces and parks within the district to accommodate workers, residents, pedestrians, and shoppers.

§ 180-141 Establishment and administration.

A. 
The Agawam Mixed-Use Business C District shall include the properties listed below. These properties are included by reason of their potential to provide a flexible development area aligned with the purpose of this article.
Assessor's Map, Block and Lot
I14-5-34
I15-9-1
J15-1-1
J15-1-2
J15-1-3
J15-4-1
J15-4-2
J15-4-3
J15-4-4
J14-3-3
J14-3-4
J14-3-5
J14-3-7
J14-4-1
J14-4-2
J14-4-3
J14-4-5
J14-4-6
J14-4-7
J14-4-8
J14-4-9
J14-5-8
B. 
The provisions of this § 180-141 shall be administered by the Planning Board, except as otherwise provided herein.
C. 
The Planning Board may waive any information requirements it judges to be unnecessary to the review of a particular plan. Such waiver decisions must be documented in writing by the Planning Board.

§ 180-142 Definitions.

The following definitions shall apply to all mixed-use applications under these zoning ordinances:
ASSISTED LIVING
Housing for adults, with services provided, such as meals, laundry, and housekeeping.
BUSINESS SERVICES
Services used in the conducting of business and commerce, including only:
A. 
Consumer and mercantile credit reporting;
B. 
News services;
C. 
Research, development and testing;
D. 
Business management and consulting;
E. 
Insurance company service offices;
F. 
Real estate offices.
CAFE
A coffee house or small restaurant, often with an enclosed or outdoor section extending onto the sidewalk.
DRIVEWAY
A space, located on a lot, built for access to a garage or off-street parking or loading space.
FAST-FOOD RESTAURANT
An establishment whose principal business is the sale of pre-prepared or rapidly prepared food directly to the customer in a ready-to-consume state for consumption either within the restaurant building or off the premises. Orders are not generally taken at the customer's table, and food is generally served in disposable wrapping or containers.
LIVE/WORK UNIT
A single unit (e.g., studio, loft, or one-bedroom) consisting of both a commercial/office and a residential component that is occupied by the same resident. The live/work unit shall be the primary dwelling of the occupant.
LOT COVERAGE
The area of a lot covered by the footprint of all structures, as well as decks, balconies, porches, and similar architectural features and driveway areas, expressed as a percentage of the total lot area.
MIXED-USE DEVELOPMENT
The development of a tract of land, building, or structure with two or more different uses, such as, but not limited to, residential, office, commercial, institutional, or entertainment, in a compact village form, with vehicular access to an accepted public way. A proposed mixed-use development shall demonstrate that the project shall be served by Town water and sewer service upon completion of the proposed development.
ODOR
A strong and unpleasant smell, for example, a garbage or chemical smell.
PERSONAL SERVICES
Establishments primarily engaged in providing services involving the care of a person or his/her apparel, including but not limited to:
A. 
Laundering, dry cleaning and garment services not exceeding 5,000 square feet of floor area per establishment;
B. 
Coin-operated laundries;
C. 
Shoe repair;
D. 
Photographic services;
E. 
Beauty and barber shops;
F. 
Apparel repair and alteration;
G. 
Funeral services;
H. 
Health clubs;
I. 
Clothing rental.
PROFESSIONAL SERVICES
Services performed by professional persons for business and personal use, including but not limited to:
A. 
Medical and health offices and clinics;
B. 
Planning;
C. 
Engineering and architectural;
D. 
Accounting;
E. 
Auditing and bookkeeping;
F. 
Educational and scientific.
SENIOR AND/OR HANDICAPPED HOUSING or SENIOR APARTMENTS
Age-restricted multi-unit housing for adults 55 and older, or handicapped persons, with self-contained living units for older adults who are able to care for themselves. Usually no additional services such as meals or transportation are provided.
SIT-DOWN RESTAURANT
An eating establishment with turnover rates generally of at least one hour or longer, serving food intended for consumption on the premises.
TREEBELT
Can consist of tree planters, brick pavers, and benches with a minimum width of five feet.

§ 180-143 Use regulations.

A. 
Uses allowed by right with site plan review in a mixed-use development.
(1) 
Mixed-use developments may be constructed in the Mixed-Use Development Overlay District with site plan review by the Planning Board in accordance with § 180-13. The following uses may be included by right with site plan review within a mixed-use structure in a mixed-use development:
(a) 
Retail uses;
(b) 
Sit-down restaurants;
(c) 
Cafes and outdoor dining areas;
(d) 
Multifamily residential uses;
(e) 
Home occupations;
(f) 
Professional service offices;
(g) 
Personal service establishments;
(h) 
Municipal uses;
(i) 
Banks or financial institutions, automated teller machines (ATMs);
(j) 
Health club;
(k) 
Townhouses (single-family dwellings connected by one or more walls);
(l) 
Cinema, theater, or auditorium;
(m) 
Park, recreation or playground;
(n) 
Artist studio/residence;
(o) 
Assisted-living residential uses, senior apartments and senior housing;
(p) 
Artisan manufacturing or production (hand tools only, e.g., jewelry or ceramics);
(q) 
Civic uses;
(r) 
Live/work units;
(s) 
Multiple uses in the same structure;
(t) 
Bars and cocktail lounges.
(2) 
The above uses are not allowed as stand-alone structures in this district.
B. 
Special permit uses in a mixed-use development.
(1) 
The following uses may be included within a mixed-use development with the approval of a special permit from the Board of Appeals in accordance with §§ 180-11 and 180-12:
(a) 
Hotel/motel not exceeding 10 guest rooms per establishment;
(b) 
Dry cleaning, linen cleaning, or diaper services which clean clothing articles on site;
(c) 
Animal hospitals;
(d) 
Drive-up service windows associated with banks, pharmacies or cafes;
(e) 
Fast-food restaurants.
(2) 
Within a mixed-use development, the above-listed uses shall not be allowed as freestanding buildings.
C. 
Prohibited uses in a mixed-use development.
(1) 
The following uses shall not be included within a mixed-use development:
(a) 
Industrial uses;
(b) 
Motor vehicle sales, maintenance and repair facilities;
(c) 
Gasoline filling stations;
(d) 
Adult entertainment uses;
(e) 
Automobile or truck sales;
(f) 
Junkyards.
D. 
Same-structure/on-site mixed-uses.
(1) 
Within an approved mixed-use development, there shall be no restriction on combining different categories of use within the same building except any imposed by the State Building Code or other federal, state, or local regulations.
(2) 
No mixed-use development shall have more than 75% of the total square footage in the development used for residential uses, including multifamily uses, assisted living and senior housing.
E. 
Special permit criteria for all mixed-use developments.
(1) 
All mixed-use developments requiring a special permit in § 180-143B above must meet the special permit requirements in § 180-11 and the site plan approval requirements in § 180-13.
(2) 
All mixed-use developments requiring a special permit must also meet the following additional special permit criteria:
(a) 
The project complies with the additional performance standards for mixed-use developments in § 180-144 below.
(b) 
The project is consistent with the purposes of this article, as stated in § 180-140.
F. 
Dimensional requirements. The dimensional requirements applicable to the Mixed-Use Overlay District are shown in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations below:
Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations for the Mixed-Use Business C District
Minimum Lot
Area
Minimum Frontage
Minimum Front Yard
Minimum Side Yard
Minimum Rear Yard
Maximum Height
Maximum Lot
Coverage
Maximum
Setback
0 square feet
25 feet
10 feet
0 feet
20 feet
45 feet/3 stories
75%
15 feet

§ 180-144 Performance standards for mixed-use developments.

To the extent feasible, all mixed-use developments must meet the performance standards in § 180-144 A through O below. No use shall be permitted that causes or results in dissemination of dust, smoke, gas or fumes, excessive odor, noise, vibration or excessive light violating the standards set forth in the performance criteria in this § 180-144 A through Q. Any other performance standards of the Town shall also apply to uses conducted under this § 180-144 of the Agawam Zoning Ordinance.
A. 
Access and traffic impacts:
(1) 
Traffic and safety impacts to the existing and proposed roads shall be minimized.
(2) 
Access provided via shared curb cuts shall be encouraged. Curb cuts shall be as narrow as is feasible, without resulting in traffic safety issues.
(3) 
Pedestrian and vehicular traffic shall be separated, and walkways shall be provided for access to adjacent properties and between businesses.
(4) 
Plans must illustrate provisions for safe automobile, pedestrian and bicycle circulation. Provisions must be made for motor vehicle, bicycle, and pedestrian circulation connections to adjacent lots.
(5) 
The Planning Board shall require a detailed traffic study for the following uses:
(a) 
High-volume-traffic-generating uses with a trip generation rate over 700 vehicles/day (based on Institute of Transportation Engineers rates found in trip generation);
(b) 
The construction of a new mixed-use development structure of more than 25,000 square feet in gross floor area; and
(c) 
Any external enlargement that brings the mixed-use development total to 25,000 square feet gross floor area for all structures.
(6) 
The Planning Board may waive any or all requirements for a traffic study for external enlargements of less than 2,000 square feet of gross floor area in excess of the 25,000 square feet gross floor area threshold. The traffic impact statement shall contain:
(a) 
The projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or leave the site, estimated for daily and peak-hour traffic levels;
(b) 
The proposed traffic flow pattern for both vehicles and pedestrian access shall be described and related to the site plan, including vehicular movements at all major intersections likely to be affected by the proposed use of the site;
(c) 
Traffic flow patterns at the site, including entrances and egresses, loading and unloading areas, and curb cuts on site and within 100 feet of the site;
(d) 
A detailed assessment of the traffic safety impacts of the proposed project or use on the carrying capacity of any adjacent highway or road, including the projected number of motor vehicle trips to enter or depart from the site estimated for daily hour and peak-hour traffic levels, road capacities and impacts on intersection. Existing daily and peak-hour traffic levels and road capacities shall also be given;
(e) 
A parking lot vehicle traffic and pedestrian circulation plan shall be designed to minimize conflicts and safety problems.
B. 
Noise:
(1) 
In order to protect, preserve, and promote the health, safety, welfare, and peace and quiet of the inhabitants of Agawam through the reduction, control, and prevention of such loud or raucous noise that unreasonably disturbs, injures, or endangers the comfort, privacy, repose, health, peace or safety of reasonable persons, all noise levels, measured at a height of four feet above the ground surface at all property lines, using a sound meter which meets the most current American National Standards Institute's Specification for Type II Sound Level Meters, must not exceed the following standards:
Time of Day
Maximum Sound Level (dBA)
7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
65*
7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
50
11:00 p.m. to 7:00 a.m.
45
* Note:
65 dba = normal conversation
50 dba = noise level of a normal working refrigerator
45 dba = a quiet library
(2) 
These standards shall not apply to power tools and equipment (i.e., lawn mowers, leaf blowers, sweepers, etc.) used in the normal maintenance of the site's outdoor areas (i.e., lawn, garden, parking, etc.). Such outdoor maintenance shall be limited to between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.
C. 
Emissions and odors:
(1) 
Emissions and odors shall be completely and effectively confined within the building or so regulated as to prevent any nuisance, hazard, or other disturbance from being perceptible (without the use of instruments) at any lot line of the premises on which the use is located. No emissions are permitted which can:
(a) 
Cause any damage to health of humans, animals or vegetation;
(b) 
Cause excessive soiling;
(c) 
Result in odorous gases or odoriferous matter in such quantities as to be offensive.
(2) 
The determination of what emissions are in violation of this provision shall be made by the Zoning Enforcement Officer or his/her designee, taking into consideration all of the following:
(a) 
The level of the odor;
(b) 
The nature of the odor is usual or unusual;
(c) 
The origin of the odor is natural or unnatural;
(d) 
The level of the ambient odor;
(e) 
The proximity of the odor to living/sleeping facilities;
(f) 
The nature and zoning of the area from which the odor emanates and the area where it is received;
(g) 
The duration of the odor; and whether the odor is recurrent, intermittent, or constant.
D. 
Lighting:
(1) 
Lighting systems should be designed, constructed, and installed in a manner that controls glare and light trespass, minimizes obtrusive light, conserves energy and resources while maintaining safety, visibility, security of individuals and property and curtailing the degradation of the nighttime visual environment. Evenly distributed lighting throughout a site will minimize impacts on surrounding neighborhoods and increase efficiency. By directing light where it is needed and only the intensity necessary to serve the intended purpose, these standards will prevent glare and its harsh shadows and blind spots.
(2) 
All lighting shall comply with the following:
(a) 
Except for approved exterior lighting, operations producing glare shall be conducted entirely within an enclosed building. No direct or sky-reflected glare, whether from floodlights or from high temperature processes such as welding shall be permitted beyond its lot lines onto neighboring properties, or onto any street.
(b) 
Exterior lighting, including but not necessarily limited to lighting of exterior walls of buildings from an external light source, lighting of parking areas, and lighting of walks and drives, shall be done in such a manner as to direct light away from adjacent lots and public ways.
(c) 
All outdoor light fixtures and illuminated signs shall be designed, located, installed and directed in such a manner as to prevent light trespass beyond the property line and light above a ninety-degree horizontal plane. If necessary, an applicant may need to provide photometric plans and/or manufacturing specification sheets to show conformance with these standards.
(d) 
All nonessential lighting, including display, parking, and sign lighting, shall be turned off after business hours, leaving only the lighting necessary for site and pedestrian security, crime prevention and streetlighting.
(e) 
All lighting shall be recessed and shielded to prevent off-site glare.
(f) 
Site lighting shall conform to the following output standards:
Maximum
(footcandle)
Site Average
(footcandle)
Footcandle at Property Line
5
2.5
0
E. 
Storage:
(1) 
All materials, supplies and equipment shall be stored in accordance with Fire Prevention Standards of the National Board of Fire Underwriters and shall be screened from view from public ways and abutting properties.
F. 
Waste disposal:
(1) 
Waste disposal shall follow state and Town Board of Health regulations.
(2) 
Storage of waste and waste facilities shall be screened from view from public ways and neighboring properties.
(3) 
Appropriate provisions shall be made for the disposal of trash, which may include, but shall not be limited to, the provision of trash compactors within the building or on site, as well as a signed annual contract for rubbish removal.
(4) 
Dumping of dumpsters shall be limited to weekdays between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. only. Dumpsters must be fenced, gated and screened from view.
G. 
Loading/unloading:
(1) 
The Planning Board may require that operations, including loading and unloading, shall be limited to weekdays between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m. only.
(2) 
Loading and unloading platforms and doorways specially designed for loading/unloading are prohibited on the front side of any building.
H. 
Walkways:
(1) 
For public convenience, a pedestrian and/or bicycle way or sidewalk system shall connect all uses on the site and otherwise provide appropriate circulation or continuity to an existing pedestrian or bicycle circulation system. These uses include, but are not limited to, residential, parking, transit, bicycling, recreation, and commercial uses.
(2) 
Walkways and sidewalks must conform to requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Massachusetts Architectural Access Board (MAAB).
(3) 
Sidewalks are required along all Town streets. A treebelt is required adjacent to sidewalk areas. The Planning Board can waive treebelt requirements in situations where they determine that local conditions warrant.
(4) 
The development should provide internal and/or public pedestrian connections that are direct, convenient and pleasant with appropriate amenities (e.g., attractive sidewalks and benches).
I. 
Vehicular access, parking and loading, and shared parking requirements:
(1) 
Parking shall be located to the side or rear of buildings. In no case shall parking be allowed in the treebelt adjacent to the sidewalk or within the front setback of any lot.
(2) 
Parking spaces may be located either on or off the lot. Applicant must show proof of space, dedicated to the use, its location relative to the building, and must indicate if the space is owned or leased.
(3) 
Buildings that do not have frontage on a street must provide access for emergency and service vehicles through the layout and design of driveways, interior service roads, or pedestrian and bicycle circulation corridors.
(4) 
The Planning Board may allow shared parking in a mixed-use development.
(5) 
A parking study shall be required for all new structures within the district. A parking study is not required for reuse of existing structures. A formal parking study may be waived for small developments where there is established experience with the land use mix and its impact is expected to be minimal. If standard rates are not available or limited, the applicant may collect data at similar sites to establish local parking demand rates.
J. 
Alleys:
(1) 
Alleys are permitted to access parking in the rear of structures, with Planning Board review.
(2) 
Alleys must be safe, secure and well lit.
(3) 
Alleys must be paved, with a minimum width of 10 feet.
K. 
Development and design standards:
(1) 
Existing buildings shall be reused for mixed-use developments, where feasible, as a priority over new construction.
(2) 
Buildings or structures that are listed or eligible for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places and/or the Massachusetts Register of Historic Places shall be converted, constructed, reconstructed, restored or altered to maintain or promote the status of the building or structure on, or eligibility for inclusion on, the State or National Register of Historic Places.
L. 
Signs:
(1) 
Signs shall conform to the existing ordinances of the Town of Agawam in §§ 180-75 through 180-89.
(2) 
Permitted signs include signs located within the sign band on building facades; awning signs; hanging signs projecting from building facades; window signs and unmovable freestanding signs.
(3) 
Temporary signs permitted include political signs; special events signs; and for-sale or for-lease signs.
(4) 
Prohibited signs include flashing signs; roof signs; movable signs; internally lit plastic signs.
(5) 
Each business may display not more than two permanent signs.
(6) 
Sign materials should be durable and easy to maintain. Signs may be constructed of wood, metal, stone, gold leaf, glass, canvas or stained glass or encased in a wooden frame.
(7) 
Sign illumination may include external white light illumination, provided it is shaded from view off the premises, and neon.
(8) 
Sign size. Signs may not exceed 16 square feet in area.
(9) 
Sign height. Freestanding pole signs shall have a maximum height of 10 feet; other freestanding signs shall have a maximum height of four feet.
M. 
Landscaping requirements:
(1) 
Screening of mechanical equipment, trash, and loading areas shall be provided through the use of walls, fences, and/or dense, evergreen plant materials.
(2) 
The landscaped perimeter area shall have a minimum width of at least five feet and can consist of tree planters, brick pavers, and benches.
(3) 
Landscaping shall be provided for driveways and other vehicular use areas to provide visual and climatic relief from broad expanses of pavement and to channelize and define logical areas for pedestrian and vehicular traffic.
(4) 
Interior parking areas shall be landscaped with sufficient shade trees to provide 50% shade within 15 years of installation.
(5) 
Completion of the landscaping requirements may be postponed due to seasonal weather conditions for a period not to exceed six months from the time of project completion.
N. 
Green infrastructure and stormwater runoff:
(1) 
To the extent feasible, mixed-use development projects shall recharge all stormwater on site. The use of green infrastructure strategies for stormwater recharge, such as permeable pavements, tree box filters, green streets, rain gardens, stormwater infiltration basins and green roofs, are strongly encouraged.
(2) 
Applicants' site plans shall indicate how the proposed development addresses green infrastructure and stormwater recharge.
O. 
Maintenance of landscaping and screening:
(1) 
All landscaping and screening shall be maintained by the property owner.
(2) 
Landscaping and screening plant materials shall not encroach on the public walkways or roadways in a way that impedes pedestrian or vehicular traffic or visibility.
(3) 
Shrubs or trees that die shall be replaced within one growing season.
P. 
Appearance/architectural design:
(1) 
Architectural design shall be compatible with the historic character and scale of buildings in the neighborhood and the Town of Agawam through the use of appropriate building materials, screening, breaks in roof and wall lines and other architectural techniques.
(2) 
In making its decision, the Planning Board may consider whether the building design is compatible with the following design guidelines:
(a) 
Exterior facades are faced with stone or brick, or clapboards of wood, aluminum or vinyl;
(b) 
Exterior facade treatment is compatible on all sides visible from a public way or parking lot;
(c) 
Facades facing Town streets have windows facing the street.
(3) 
Variations in architectural detail, form and siting shall be used to provide visual interest and avoid monotony.
(4) 
Existing buildings subject to reconstruction or rehabilitation and proposed buildings shall be compatible with the historic character and scale of contiguous buildings within the immediate neighborhood vicinity.
(5) 
Proposed buildings should relate harmoniously to each other.
(6) 
Buildings shall be designed so that retail, restaurant, and personal-service establishments are strongly encouraged to be located on the ground or below-grade building levels.
(7) 
The entire building facade must be oriented to front and side street property lines and must be located within 15 feet of such property lines, with sidewalks in front of buildings.
(8) 
Public open spaces, such as plazas and pocket parks, are encouraged within the development.
Q. 
Outdoor dining:
(1) 
Outdoor dining shall be permitted by right, as an accessory use for any restaurant use, and must comply with the following standards:
(a) 
Alcohol may be served to and consumed by patrons in outdoor dining areas, provided that all necessary licenses are acquired. These licenses are to be gathered through the Liquor Commission, the Building Department and the Board of Health.
(b) 
The hours of operation of outdoor dining areas may be equal to or less than the hours of operation of the main restaurant. Dining areas which abut residential areas must end outdoor dining and seating by 11:00 p.m.
(c) 
Litter must be cleaned up regularly.

§ 180-145 Optional affordable housing bonus.

A. 
A density bonus may be provided by the Planning Board, in return for provision of affordable housing, if the following criteria are met:
(1) 
At least 10% of the total dwelling units in a mixed-use development may be designated as affordable housing. Affordable housing will be defined as those residential units affordable to a household earning up to 80% of the median income in Agawam's statistical area.
(2) 
The affordable housing units shall include resale, lease or rental controls that will ensure continued affordability by future low- and moderate-income households. Deed restrictions or similar devices shall be used to limit future sale or rental prices for these purposes.
(3) 
The affordable units may be located in an existing structure if their construction constitutes a net increase in the number of dwelling units in the development.
B. 
The Planning Board shall determine the density bonus, which may consist of both of the following:
(1) 
An increase in building height to a maximum of four stories;
(2) 
An increase in lot coverage to a maximum of 95%.