Questions about eCode360? Municipal users Join us daily between 12pm and 1pm EDT to get answers and other tips!
Town of Marion, MA
Plymouth County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
[Amended 10-25-1999 STM, by Art. S4]
A. 
Applicability.
(1) 
No provision of this Zoning Bylaw shall apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a building or special permit issued before the first publication of notice of the public hearing required by MGL c. 40A, § 5. Such prior, lawfully existing nonconforming uses and structures may continue, provided that no modification of the use or structure is accomplished, unless authorized hereunder.
(2) 
If real property has been improved by the erection or alteration of one or more structures and the structures or alterations have been in existence for a period of at least 10 years and no notice of action, suit or proceeding as to an alleged violation of this chapter or of a bylaw adopted under this chapter has been recorded in the Registry of Deed for the county or district in which the real estate is located or, in the case of registered land, has been filed in the registry district in which the land is located within a period of 10 years from the date the structures were erected, then the structures shall be deemed, for zoning purposes, to be legally nonconforming structures subject to MGL c. 40A, § 6, and any local bylaw related to nonconforming structures.
B. 
Nonconforming uses. The Board of Appeals shall award a special permit to change a nonconforming use in accordance with this section only if it determines that such change or extension may not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood. The following types of changes to nonconforming uses may be considered by the Board of Appeals:
(1) 
Change or substantial extension of the use;
(2) 
Change from one nonconforming use to another, less detrimental, nonconforming use.
C. 
Nonconforming structures. The Board of Appeals may award a special permit to reconstruct, extend, alter or change a nonconforming structure in accordance with this section only if it determines that such reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood. The following types of changes to nonconforming structures may be considered by the Board of Appeals:
(1) 
Reconstructed, extended or structurally changed;
(2) 
Altered to provide for a substantially different purpose or for the same purpose in a substantially different manner or to a substantially greater extent.
D. 
Variance required. Except as provided below in Subsection E, the reconstruction, extension or structural change of a nonconforming structure in such a manner as to increase an existing nonconformity, or create a new nonconformity, including the extension of an exterior wall at or along the same nonconforming distance within a required yard, shall require the issuance of a variance by the Board of Appeals.
E. 
Nonconforming single- and two-family structures.
(1) 
Nonconforming single- and two-family residential structures may be reconstructed, extended, altered or structurally changed upon a determination by the Building Commissioner that such proposed reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change does not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure. The following types of changes shall be deemed not to increase the nonconforming nature of said structure; provided, however, that in no case shall the alteration to the nonconforming structure result in (a) a structure no more than the lesser of the maximum height allowable under these bylaws, or a ten-percent increase in existing height, or (b) a structure closer to the side or rear lot lines than 10 feet in Residence A, 15 feet in Residence B, 20 feet in Residence C or 20 feet in Residence D; said residential districts as shown on the Zoning Map of the Town of Marion, Massachusetts, February, 1984, final revision date July, 1999:
(a) 
Alteration to a structure located on a lot with insufficient area, where such alteration complies with all current setback, yard, building coverage, and building height requirements.
(b) 
Alteration to a structure located on a lot with insufficient frontage, where such alteration complies with all current setback, yard, building coverage, and building height requirements.
(c) 
Alteration to a structure encroaching upon one or more required yard or setback areas, where such alteration will comply with all current setback, yard, building coverage and building height requirements.
(2) 
In any other case, the Building Commissioner shall refer the matter to the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals may, by special permit, allow such reconstruction, extension, alteration, or change where it determines that the proposed modification will not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming structure to the neighborhood.
[Amended 4-29-2003 STM by Art. S2]
F. 
Abandonment or non-use. A nonconforming use or structure which has been abandoned, or not used for a period of two years, shall lose its protected status and be subject to all of the provisions of this Zoning Bylaw.
G. 
Catastrophe or demolition. Any nonconforming structure may be reconstructed after a fire, explosion or other catastrophe or after demolition, provided that such reconstruction is completed within 24 months after such catastrophe or demolition caused by a catastrophic event, and provided that the building(s) as reconstructed shall be located on the footprint of the nonconforming structure and rebuilt to an extent only as great in volume or area as the original nonconforming structure unless a larger volume or area or different footprint is authorized by special permit from the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals may extend by 12 months the period of completion.
[Amended 10-15-2001 STM by Art. S11]
H. 
Reversion to nonconformity. No nonconforming use shall, if changed to a conforming use, revert back to a nonconforming use.
It is the intention of these sign regulations to promote public safety, protect property values, create an attractive business climate and enhance the physical appearance of the community.
A. 
General requirements/procedures.
(1) 
Illumination. Any illuminated sign or lighting device shall employ only lights emitting a constant light source.
(2) 
Maintenance. All signs, together with their supports, braces, guys and other anchors, shall be kept in good repair and in safe condition. The owner and the lessee, if any, of the premises on which the sign is erected shall be directly responsible for keeping such sign and the area around it in a neat, clean and safe condition.
(3) 
Design limitations:
(a) 
The bottom of freestanding or projecting signs shall be no closer than eight feet to the ground where people walk and 15 feet to surfaces where vehicles may drive.
(b) 
The top of every sign shall be no higher than 18 feet from the ground or, if mounted on a building or roof, no higher than the highest point of the roof (such as the ridge line) or parapet, whichever is the higher.
(c) 
Any sign attached to a building shall project no more than five feet from the building.
(d) 
Any freestanding sign shall have a support structure which is of sufficient strength and which is securely attached to a foundation or the ground so that the sign and its support create no danger to life or limb.
B. 
Signs in residential districts. There shall be no advertising signs in any residential district, except for:
(1) 
Real estate "for sale" and "for rent" signs and related directional signs.
(2) 
Accessory use signs as provided in Subsection C of this section.
(3) 
Signs for nonconforming businesses that are located in residential districts. These signs shall carry the same restrictions as signs in the Limited Business District (Subsection D).
(4) 
Signs for proposed subdivision projects. These signs shall include the name of the developer, the size and scope of the proposed subdivision, as well as the date of the definitive subdivision hearing. The sign shall have an aggregate area of 48 square feet and shall be located on the subdivision's proposed access front.
[Added 4-28-1997 ATM by Art. 34]
C. 
Residential accessory use signs. Signs for residential accessory uses may be permitted as follows:
(1) 
No more than one sign is allowed.
(2) 
No sign shall be larger than two square feet of surface per side.
(3) 
No illumination shall be greater than a 175 watt incandescent bulb, or equivalent, per side.
(4) 
No illumination shall be directed anywhere but on the sign face, and the illumination source shall be suitably concealed by a reflecting shield.
D. 
Signs permitted in General Business (GB), Marine Business (MB), Limited Industrial (LI), and Limited Business Districts (LB).
(1) 
Each business or industrial establishment may display at each of its locations a total of two signs selected from the following:
(a) 
One wall- or roof-mounted sign having an aggregate face area of not more than 24 square feet in the GB, MB and LI and not more than 12 square feet in the LB.
(b) 
One projecting double-faced sign, each face having an aggregate face area of not more than 12 square feet in the GB, MB, LI and LB.
(c) 
One freestanding double-faced sign, each face having an aggregate face area of not more than 12 square feet in the GB, MB, LI and LB.
(d) 
If a business faces and operates with more than one geographic front for public access, it may have any two of the above signs on one public access geographic front and any one of the above on its other public access front.
(e) 
If a business is required to display a brand name, an unilluminated wall-mounted sign showing the brand name and not exceeding four square feet may be displayed in addition to the signs allowed in Subsection D(1)(a), (b) and (c) above. A maximum of two brand name signs is allowed.
(2) 
Where more than one business is located in a building or buildings on the same lot or contiguous lots, owned and operated as a unit, one freestanding sign for each main building, not exceeding 25 square feet of face area per side in the GB, MB and LI and 15 square feet of face area per side in the LB, may be provided in lieu of the individual business freestanding sign allowed in Subsection D(1)(c) and in addition to either the wall- or roof-mounted or projecting sign for each business allowed in Subsection D(1)(a) or (b) above.
(3) 
Non-advertising signs necessary to the conduct of business and signs for the necessary information and safety of customers and the public.
(4) 
Temporary banners across a street or on a building, or any other temporary sign, may be displayed for a maximum of 15 days per event or activity when such sign is used to inform the public of an activity or event sponsored by any government agency or civic, charitable, religious, patriotic, fraternal or nonprofit organization.
(5) 
Real estate "for sale" and "for rent" signs and off-premises related directional signs.
(6) 
Signs associated with an approved stand for farm produce not exceeding 12 square feet in total area.
E. 
Signs for gasoline filling and service stations and marine fuel stations. The following signs, customary and necessary to the operation of filling and service stations, are permitted:
(1) 
All signs required by federal, state and municipal laws and regulations.
(2) 
A credit card sign not to exceed two square feet in area, affixed to the building, or the gasoline pumps or permanent sign structure or non-advertising signs necessary to the conduct of business and signs for the necessary information and safety of customers and the public.
(3) 
One sign bearing the brand name or the trade name of the station, of a design specified by the vendor, permanently affixed to the building or its own metal substructure, said sign not to exceed 25 square feet in area in the GB, MB, and LI and 15 square feet in the LB.
F. 
Signs allowed by special permit (See § 230-7.4.). The Zoning Board of Appeals, in evaluating requests for special permits for signs not permitted in Article VI, shall weigh equally the community's concern that commercial signage be minimized and the right of businesses to advertise and that departure from the limitations of Article VI shall not ordinarily be granted without a clear showing of business hardship. The following signs may be allowed by special permit:
(1) 
Off-property directional or advertising signs other than those permitted in Subsection B.
(2) 
More than the number of signs allowed on a property as allowed in Subsection D.
(3) 
Signs larger than the permitted size.
(4) 
Community service signs that seek to inform the community of upcoming events are permitted, provided that no such sign shall be permitted which would habitually be detrimental or offensive or tend to reduce property values in the immediate neighborhood. Signs shall remain for no longer than 45 days. Such period may be extended for an additional forty-five-day period by the special permit granting authority upon the written request of the applicant.
[Added 4-28-1997 ATM by Art. 34]
G. 
Prohibited signs. The below-listed signs and conditions are prohibited in all districts, unless specifically allowed in other sections of this bylaw:
(1) 
Signs simulating those signs normally erected by various governmental agencies for the protection of public health or safety.
(2) 
Signs which interfere with the free and clear vision of any street or driveway.
(3) 
Freestanding signs within 10 feet of any side or rear lot line, 30 feet to street corners and within 50 feet of any residential zoning boundary.
(4) 
Signs or advertising devices, including lighting, which interfere with radio or TV reception.
(5) 
Illuminated signs or lighting devices that allow light beams or reflected lights to cause glow or reflections that can constitute a traffic hazard or a public nuisance.
(6) 
Billboards.
(7) 
Animated signs and/or flashing signs or advertising devices which create intermittent or varying light intensity, and signs with movement, including revolving signs, actuated by mechanical or electrical devices. This prohibition also applies to signs and devices located within a building, but visible on its exterior. Signs must be stationary and shall not move nor oscillate nor contain any visible moving parts.
(8) 
Illumination of a wall, roof or gable for purposes of advertising (Temporary holiday decorations are excluded from this prohibition.).
(9) 
Portable or mobile type signs, including sandwich-type and cardboard signs.
(10) 
A string of three or more banners, streamers, pennants and similar devices designed to attract attention through the use of bright colors or movement, natural or artificial.
H. 
Severability. If any section or part thereof this bylaw is held to be invalid, the remainder of this bylaw shall not be affected thereby.
[Amended 6-18-1990 STM by Art. 12]
Accessory uses customarily incidental to the permitted principal uses on the same premises are permitted, provided that no such use shall be permitted which would be detrimental or offensive or tend to reduce property values in the same or adjoining districts by reason of noise, dirt, excessive vibration or odor. Accessory uses are permitted only in accordance with lawfully existing principal uses. An accessory use may not, in effect, convert a principal use to a use not permitted in the zoning district in which it is located. Where a principal use is permitted under special permit, its accessory use is also subject to the special permit. In all instances where site plan review and approval is required for a principal use, the addition of any new accessory use to the principal use, where such addition exceeds the thresholds established in § 230-9.1, such addition shall also require site plan review and approval.
A. 
General provisions. A home occupation is considered an accessory use to a residential property in all zones. A special permit is required in a Limited Industrial Zone. A home occupation shall be incidental to the principal use as a residence, but need not be a use that is customarily associate with residential use. Except as specifically authorized by special permit, home occupations, as defined in § 230-11 of this bylaw, are permitted subject to the following conditions.
B. 
Limitation of area. The occupation or profession shall be carried on wholly within the principal building, provided that an area no larger than 25% of the floor area of the residence is used for the purpose of the home occupation or the professional use. Also permitted is the use of up to 2,000 square feet of a lot, including an accessory building thereon in connection with a trade.
C. 
Permitted home occupations. Home activities may include, but are not limited to, the following: art studio, dressmaker, millinery, handcrafts, musician, professional office of lawyer, engineer, architect, landscape architect, clergyman, certified public accountant, information technology, clerical, telephone or mail services within a dwelling occupied by same. Also permitted are trades such as carpenter, electrician, painter, plumber, or any other artisan, provided that no manufacturing or business use requiring substantially continuous employment is carried on. Farm, market garden, nursery or greenhouse and the sale of products, the major portion of which is grown on premises, are permitted.
D. 
Prohibited home occupations. Home activities may not include, but are not limited to, the following: clinic, restaurant, convalescent home, or animal hospital.
E. 
Requirements. The home occupation is allowed as-of-right, provided that it:
(1) 
Does not exhibit any exterior indication of its presence nor alter the residential appearance except for signage in compliance with these bylaws.
(2) 
Is conducted solely within a dwelling (permanent) or accessory building and solely by the person(s) occupying the dwelling as a primary residence and, in addition to the resident(s) of the premises, by not more than two employees.
(3) 
Is clearly incidental and subordinate to the use of the premises for residential purposes and does not produce vehicle traffic greater than that associated with a residential use.
(4) 
Does not create a health or safety hazard nor produce offensive noise, vibration, smoke, dust, odors, heat, lighting, and no electrical interference or environmental pollution.
(5) 
Provides adequate parking for additional vehicles associated with the home occupation.
(6) 
Is registered as a business with the Town Clerk.
[Amended 4-23-1985 ATM by Art. 20; 4-22-1996 ATM by Art. 28; 3-10-1997 STM by Art. S15; 4-28-1997 ATM by Art. 33]
Parking facilities off the street right-of-way shall be provided on the premises for all new residential and new or changed nonresidential uses. The number of spaces to be provided shall be as set forth in the Table of Parking Requirements, unless the proponent elects to provide more parking spaces than are otherwise required.
A. 
Reduction of parking requirement by special permit. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 230-6.5, the Planning Board may, by special permit, reduce the number of parking spaces required for nonresidential uses upon its determination that the intended use of the premises can be adequately served by fewer spaces. The Planning Board may consider on-street parking available near the premises as a factor in making this determination.
B. 
Off-street parking in the Limited Business District. Notwithstanding the provisions of § 230-6.5, uses located within the Limited Business District need only supply 70% of the parking requirement set forth in the Table of Parking Requirements.
C. 
Table of Parking Requirements. Parking shall be provided in accordance with the following schedule:
Principal Use
Minimum Number of Parking Spaces
General retail
1 per 200 square feet of gross floor area
Retail sales accessory to industrial use (less than 2,000 square feet of retail space)
1 per 500 square feet of gross floor area devoted to retail sales
Boat sales and service
1 per 5,000 square feet of indoor or outdoor area devoted to display, sales, service or storage
Printing and publishing
1 per 500 square feet of gross floor area
Medical office
1 per 150 square feet of gross floor area for medical and dental offices
General office
1 per 250 square feet of gross floor area
Restaurant
1 per 2 seats, plus 1 per 2 employees on the largest shift
Research and development, manufacturing or industrial
1 per 500 square feet of gross floor area or 1 per employee, whichever is greater
Warehousing and storage
1 per 2 employees, but not less than 1 space per 5,000 square feet of area devoted to indoor or outdoor storage
Inn and bed-and-breakfast
1 per sleeping room, plus 1 per 2 employees, plus 1 for the owner
School or day-care facility
1 per 4 occupants, plus 1 per 2 employees
Church, library, museum or similar place of assembly
1 per 8 occupants, plus 1 per 2 employees
Bank
1 per 175 square feet of gross floor area
Home occupation
1 per room used for office, plus 1 per nonresident employee (in addition to parking spaces for the principal residential use)
Motor vehicle service station
2 per service bay, plus 1 per employee
Dwelling unit
2 per dwelling unit
Any computation resulting in a fraction of a space shall be rounded to the next highest whole number.
D. 
Parking lot design.
(1) 
Required parking areas shall not be located forward of any building front line on the lot, or on an adjacent lot;
(2) 
Parking spaces shall be at least nine feet by 18 feet;
[Amended 4-22-1996 ATM by Art. 28]
(3) 
In parking areas with eight or more spaces, individual spaces shall be delineated by painted lines, wheel stops or other means;
(4) 
For parking areas of 15 or more spaces, bicycle racks facilitating locking shall be provided to accommodate one bicycle per three parking spaces or fraction thereof. Such bicycle rack(s) may be located within the parking area or in another suitable location as deemed appropriate by the Planning Board.
(5) 
Parking lot aisles shall be designed in conformance with the following:
Minimum Aisle Width
(feet)
Parking Angle
One-Way Traffic
Two-Way Traffic
0° (parallel)
12
20
30°
13
20
45°
14
21
60°
18
23
90°
24
24
(6) 
All artificial lighting shall be arranged and shielded so as to prevent direct glare from the light source onto any public way or any other property. All parking facilities which are used at night shall be lighted as evenly as possible within the wattage limits established by the State Building Code. All light shall be confined to the site and shall comply with the dark skies provisions set forth in § 230-9.11, Site plan details.
[Amended 5-21-2007 ATM by Art. 24]
(7) 
Access driveways to nonresidential premises shall meet the width and vertical clearance requirements of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Driveways shall not exceed 24 feet in width; provided, however, that driveways serving two-way traffic may be reduced to 10 feet in width when the driveway does not exceed 50 feet in length, does not serve more than five parking spaces, and provides sufficient turnaround so as not to require backing onto a public way.
[Amended 10-15-2001 STM by Art. S12]
(8) 
Parking facilities shall provide specially designated parking stalls for the physically handicapped in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Architectural Access Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Safety or any agency superseding such agency. Handicapped stalls shall be clearly identified by a sign stating that such stalls are reserved for physically handicapped persons. Said stalls shall be located in that portion of the parking facility nearest the entrance to the use or structure which the parking facility serves. Adequate access for the handicapped from the parking facility to the structure shall be provided.
(9) 
To the extent feasible, lots and parking areas shall be served by common private access ways, in order to minimize the number of curb cuts. Such common access ways shall be in conformance with the functional standards of the Subdivision Rules and Regulations of the Planning Board for road construction, sidewalks and drainage.[1] Proposed documentation (in the form of easements, covenants or contracts) shall be submitted with the application, demonstrating that proper maintenance, repair and apportionment of liability for the common access way and shared parking areas has been agreed upon by all lot owners proposing to use the common access way. Common access ways may serve any number of adjacent parcels deemed appropriate by the Planning Board.
[1]
Editors' Note: See Ch. 300, Subdivision Regulations.
[Amended 4-28-1997 ATM by Art. 35]
A visual screen not less than six feet in height (a solid fence, wall or strip of densely planted trees and/or shrubs) shall be provided for each of the following:
A. 
Off-street open parking areas of 10 or more spaces or more than two trucks or other construction vehicles continually parked in or adjacent to a residential district.
B. 
All exterior storage areas exceeding 400 square feet in or adjacent to a residential district.
C. 
All exterior service areas of a business or industrial use.
A trailer or mobile home is any vehicle basically designed for human habitation and for occasional or frequent mobile use, whether on wheels or rigid supports.
A. 
A mobile home or trailer may be parked or stored on a lot occupied by the owners if located within a garage or an accessory building, or if located at least 25 feet from any property line in the rear half of the lot. Use and occupancy for living or business purposes is prohibited, except as permitted by MGL c. 40A, § 3 to accommodate an owner or occupier whose residence has been destroyed by fire or other natural causes while the residence is being rebuilt.
B. 
Temporary use. Temporary occupancy of a trailer or mobile home by a nonpaying guest of the owner or occupant of the land may be permitted by the Board of Selectmen for a period not to exceed two weeks in any calendar year and an additional two-week permit may be granted by the Board of Selectmen. Temporary use and occupancy of a mobile home as an office or dwelling incidental to construction on the site may be authorized by special permit, which must be approved and signed by the Board of Health for a term not to exceed two years.
[Added 10-15-2001 STM by Art. S10]
All utilities for new commercial site development shall be installed underground and shall meet standards set by the utility companies to the extent permitted under any other applicable state or local law or regulation.