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Town of Marion, MA
Plymouth County
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[Added 4-4-1989 STM by Art. 11; amended 6-18-1990 STM by Arts. 2, 9, 15; 4-25-1994 ATM by Art. 28; 3-10-1997 STM by Arts. S8, S9, S10, S17; 4-26-1999 ATM by Arts. 19, 21; 10-25-1999 STM by Art. S3; 11-13-2000 STM by Art. S1; 4-22-2002 ATM by Art. 21; 4-29-2003 STM by Art. S3]
In this bylaw, certain terms and words, unless a contrary meaning is required by the context, or is specifically prescribed, shall have the meanings given herein. Words applying to the masculine gender shall apply to the feminine gender. Words used in the present tense include the future. The words "used" and "occupied" include the words "designed," "arranged," "intended" or "offered to be used or occupied." The words "building," "structure," "lot," "land" or "premises" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or any portion thereof." The word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory. The word "constructed" shall include the words "built," "enlarged," "erected," "altered," "moved" and "placed." The word "person" includes a corporation or partnership, as well as an individual. Terms used in this bylaw shall have the same meanings as ascribed to them in the building code unless the context of usage in this bylaw clearly indicates another meaning.
As used in this bylaw, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ACCESSORY APARTMENT
A separate, complete dwelling unit which is:
A. 
Contained substantially within the structure of a one-family dwelling unit, is served by a separate entry/exit and can be isolated from the principal one-family dwelling unit; or
B. 
Contained entirely within an accessory building located on the same lot as a one-family dwelling.
ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
See "structure, accessory."
ACCESSORY USE
See "use, accessory."
ACRE
The area of land to be equal to 43,560 square feet, as measured by acceptable surveying practices.
ADULT BOOKSTORE
An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade, books, magazines, and other matter which are distinguished or characterized by their emphasis depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
ADULT CABARET
A nightclub, bar, restaurant, tavern, dance hall, or similar commercial establishment which regularly features persons or entertainers who appear in a state of nudity, or live performances which are distinguished or characterized by nudity, sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
ADULT DAY CARE
A facility, whether principal or accessory, providing nonresidential day care to adults over the age of 16. Not more than 15 such persons shall be served at an accessory facility.
ADULT MOTION-PICTURE THEATER
An enclosed building or any portion thereof used for presenting material (motion-picture films, videocassettes, cable television, slides or any other such visual media) distinguished by an emphasis on matter depicting, describing, or relating to sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
ADULT PARAPHERNALIA STORE
An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock devices, object, tools, or toys which are distinguished or characterized by their association with sexual activity, including sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
ADULT USE
Adult bookstores, adult cabarets, adult motion-picture theaters, adult paraphernalia stores, and adult video stores as defined herein.
ADULT VIDEO STORE
An establishment having as a substantial or significant portion of its stock-in-trade for sale or rent motion-picture films, videocassettes, DVDs, and similar audio/visual media, which are distinguished or characterized by their association with sexual activity, including sexual conduct or sexual excitement as defined in MGL c. 272, § 31.
ALTERATION
Any construction, reconstruction or other action resulting in a change of the structural parts or height, number of stories, size, use or location of a building or other structure.
ASSISTED-LIVING FACILITY
A structure or structures containing dwelling units for persons in need of assistance with activities of daily living, as defined and regulated by Chapter 19D of the General Laws.
BASEMENT
A story partly underground but having at least 1/2 of its height above the average level of the adjoining ground. A basement shall be counted in determining the floor area of a building.
BED-AND-BREAKFAST
A private owner-occupied residence in which lodging and the breakfast meal are offered to transients for a fee.
BODY ART PARLOR OR STUDIO
A facility where tattoos, body piercing or other forms of body decoration are provided for a fee or for any other type of compensation.
BUFFER or BUFFER STRIP
An area within a site which is adjacent to or parallel with the property line, consisting of a continuous strip, except required vehicle or pedestrian access points, of existing vegetation or of vegetation created by the use of trees or shrubs, designed to minimize intrusion of dirt, dust, litter, noise, glare from motor vehicle headlights, artificial lights (including ambient glare), or view of signs, unsightly buildings or parking lots.
BUILDING
A structure, or portion thereof, either temporary or permanent, having a roof or other covering forming a structure for the shelter of persons, animals and property of any kind; no trailer or mobile home shall be used as a building, except as permitted by § 230-6.7 of this chapter and MGL c. 40A, § 3.
BUILDING CODE
The State Building Code of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, as the same may be amended from time to time.
BUSINESS OR PROFESSIONAL OFFICE
A building or part thereof, for the transaction of business or the provision of services, exclusive of the receipt, sale, storage, or processing of merchandise.
CHANGE OF USE
See "use, change of." See also § 230-9.1.
CHILD-CARE FACILITY
A day-care center or school-age child care program, as those terms are defined in MGL c. 15D, § 1A.
CLUB, NONPROFIT
Buildings, structures and premises used by a nonprofit social or civic organization as defined by MGL c. 180 or by an organization catering exclusively to members and their guests for social, civic, recreational, or athletic purposes which are not conducted primarily for gain and provided there are no vending stands, merchandising, or commercial activities occurring in said building or structures or on said premises, except as may be required generally for the membership and purposes of such organization. (See § 230-4.2D, Recreational Uses.)
COMMERCIAL GREENHOUSE
A facility on a parcel with less than five acres for retail sale of plants and related products which are raised on and/or off the premises.
COMMERCIAL RECREATION, INDOOR
A structure for recreational, social or amusement purposes, including all connected rooms or space with a common means of egress and entrance, which may include as an accessory use the consumption of food and drink. Indoor commercial recreation shall include theaters, concert halls, dance halls, skating rinks, bowling alleys, health clubs, dance studies, or other commercial recreational centers conducted for or not for profit.
COMMERCIAL RECREATION, OUTDOOR
A lot or combination of lots used for recreational, social, or amusement activities. This definition shall include: drive-in theater, golf course/driving range, bathing beach, sports club, horseback riding stable, boathouse, game preserve, marina or other commercial recreation carried on in whole or in part outdoors, except those activities more specifically designated in this bylaw. (See § 230-4.2D, Recreational Uses.)
COMMON OPEN SPACE
A parcel or parcels of land or an area of water, or a combination of land and water within the site designated and intended for the use and enjoyment of residents. Common open space may contain such complementary structures and improvements as are necessary and appropriate for the benefit and enjoyment of residents.
CONSERVATION SUBDIVISION
An option as defined in Article X of the Marion Zoning Bylaw, which permits an applicant to build single-family dwellings with reduced lot area and frontage requirements designed to create a development in which the buildings and accessory uses are clustered together into one or more groups with adjacent open land.
CONTRACTOR'S YARD
Premises used by a building contractor or subcontractor for storage of equipment and supplies, fabrication of subassemblies, and parking of wheeled equipment. (See § 230-4.2K, Miscellaneous Commercial Uses.)
COOKING FACILITIES
Any facilities (including without limitation a hot plate, microwave or portable oven, but not including an outdoor grill) which permit the occupant to prepare meals in the building on a regular basis.
DRIVE-IN OR DRIVE-THROUGH WINDOW
Any window or similar feature at a facility, except restaurants, designed to serve persons while situated in a motor vehicle.
DRIVEWAY
An improved access (other than a street) connecting between a way or a street and one or more parking or loading spaces.
DWELLING
A building or part thereof designed, erected and used for continuous and permanent habitation for one or more families or individuals. A dwelling does not include a vessel.
DWELLING UNIT
A portion of a building occupied or suitable for occupancy as a residence and arranged for use of one or more individuals living as a single housekeeping unit with its own cooking, living, sanitary, and sleeping facilities, but not including trailers or mobile homes, however mounted, or commercial accommodations offered for periodic occupancy.
EDUCATIONAL USE (EXEMPT)
See "use, educational."
ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT
A concise report which accomplishes the following: evaluates the positive and negative, and direct and indirect impact of a development project on the natural and man-made environment; and proposes reasonable measures to mitigate impacts.
ESSENTIAL SERVICES
Services provided by a public service corporation or by governmental agencies through erection, construction, alteration, or maintenance of gas, electrical, steam, or water transmission or distribution systems and collection, communication, supply, or disposal systems, whether underground or overhead, but not including wireless communications facilities. Facilities necessary for the provision of essential services include poles, wires, drains, sewers, pipes, conduits, cables, fire alarm boxes, police call boxes, traffic signals, hydrants and other similar equipment in connection therewith.
FAMILY DAY CARE, LARGE OR SMALL
Any private residence operating a facility as defined in MGL c. 28A, § 9. (See § 230-4.2M, Accessory Uses.)
FEMA
The Federal Emergency Management Agency of the United States Government. This agency administers the National Flood Insurance Program and the Flood Insurance Rate Maps.
FLOOR AREA RATIO
The ratio of the gross floor area of the building or buildings on one lot to the total area of the lot.
FUEL
A substance that produces useful energy when it undergoes a chemical reaction. For example, coal, wood, gas, or natural gas.
FUEL OIL
A fraction obtained from petroleum distillation, either as distillate or a residue and burned in a furnace or boiler for the generation of heat or used in an engine for the generation of power. For example, heavy oil, marine fuel or fuel oil.
GENERAL SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
A facility providing general services such as appliance or equipment repairs, furniture or upholstery repairs, and offices for trades or crafts, but excluding motor vehicle services of any kind.
GROSS FLOOR AREA
The sum of the horizontal areas of the floors of a building or several buildings on the same lot measured from the exterior face of exterior walls, or from the center line of the wall separating two buildings, not including any space where the floor-to-ceiling height is less than seven feet three inches.
GROUNDWATER
Water beneath the surface of the ground whether or not flowing through known and definite channels.
GROUNDWATER RECHARGE AREA
That portion of the drainage basin where water enters the saturated zone and the net flow of groundwater is directed from the saturated area to an aquifer.
HAZARDOUS OR TOXIC MATERIAL
A material which is hazardous to human health or to the environment, as defined by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and under 40 CMR 250 and the regulations of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Act, MGL c. 21, § 1.
HOME OCCUPATION
An accessory use of a dwelling for customary craft occupations conducted by a resident occupant, or for the practice by a resident of a recognized profession or trade.
HOMEOWNERS' ASSOCIATION
A corporation or trust owned or to be owned by the owners of lots or residential units within a site approved for a conservation subdivision or open space development, which entity shall hold the title to open land and which is responsible for the costs and maintenance of said open land and any other facilities to be held in common.
HOUSING, AFFORDABLE
Housing for people of low or moderate income which is constructed, rehabilitated, remodeled and sold, leased or rented by the Town of Marion, a local housing commission or authority, or by any other public agency, nonprofit corporation, limited-dividend corporation or partnership or cooperative, the construction, remodeling, financing, sale, lease or rental of which housing is regulated and financially assisted by agencies of the government of the United States or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts under programs the purpose of which is to provide housing for people of low or moderate income. For the purposes of this definition, the terms "low income," "moderate income" and "limited income" shall have the meanings defined in the programs or laws administered by such agencies.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACE
A surface which has been compacted or covered with a layer of material so that it is, or may become, highly resistant to infiltration by water. Semi-impervious surfaces such as compacted clay, gravel and other materials which may become compacted over time, as well as most conventionally surfaced streets, roofs, sidewalks, parking lots and other similar structures and materials, shall be considered to be impervious.
LIGHT MANUFACTURING
Fabrication, assembly, processing, finishing work or packaging.
LOT
A single area of land in one ownership throughout defined by metes and bounds or boundary lines as shown in a recorded deed or on a recorded plan.
LOT AREA
The horizontal area of the lot, exclusive of any area in a public or private way open to public usage.
LOT FRONTAGE
That boundary of a lot coinciding with the street line, being an unbroken distance along a way currently maintained by the Town, county, state, or along ways shown on the definitive plans of approved subdivisions, through which actual access to the potential building site shall be required. Lot frontage shall be measured continuously along one street line between side lot lines, or, in the case of corner lots, between one side lot line and the midpoint of the corner.
LOT LINE, FRONT
That property line which establishes frontage on a way.
LOT LINE, REAR
That property line which is farthest from and most nearly parallel to the front lot line. All other lot lines are side lot lines. Triangular and irregularly shaped lot lines may have no rear lot line.
LOT LINE, SIDE
Any lot line not defined as a front or rear lot line.
MAJOR COMMERCIAL PROJECT
Any commercial use or combination of commercial uses set forth in the Table of Principal Uses under the heading "G. Retail Uses" with a gross floor area of more than 5,000 square feet.[1]
MARINA
A facility which provides dockage or berthing for more than five vessels and may also provide facilities for the servicing of vessels. Dockominiums, where the berths are individually owned, shall be included with the definition of a marina.
MARION WATERS
All waters within the geographic bounds of the Town of Marion, including ocean waters along the coastal bounds of the Town.
MAXIMUM LOT COVERAGE
Includes the gross ground floor area of all buildings and all impervious surfaces.
MEAN HIGH WATER
The line where the arithmetic mean of the high water heights observed over a specific nineteen-year metonic cycle (the National Tidal Datum Epoch) meets the shore and shall be determined using hydrographic survey data of the National Ocean Survey of the U.S. Department of Commerce.
MEDICAL OFFICE OR CLINIC
A building designed and used for the diagnosis and treatment of human patients that does not include overnight care facilities.
MOTOR VEHICLE BODY REPAIR
An establishment, garage or work area enclosed within a building where repairs are made or caused to be made to motor vehicle bodies, including fenders, bumpers and similar components of motor vehicle bodies. Such establishment does not include the storage of vehicles for the cannibalization of parts.
MOTOR VEHICLE GENERAL REPAIR
Premises for the servicing and repair of autos, but not to include retail fuel sales. Such premises do not include establishments for motor vehicle body repair or motor vehicle junkyards or graveyards. (See § 230-4.2I, Motor Vehicle Related Uses.)
MOTOR VEHICLE JUNKYARD OR GRAVEYARD
The use of any area or any lot, whether inside or outside of a building, for the storage, keeping, or abandonment of junk, scrap or discarded materials, or the dismantling, demolition, or abandonment of automobiles, other vehicles, machinery, or parts thereof.
MOTOR VEHICLE SERVICE STATION
Premises designed for the supplying of motor vehicle fuel, and which may also provide oil, lubrication, or minor repair services. Washing shall be permitted only as an incidental or subordinate use. Not included in this definition are services designed for automobile body repair, painting or major vehicle repair. (See § 230-4.2I, Motor Vehicle Related Uses.)
MULTIFAMILY USE
Two or more dwelling units on a single lot, including any mix of single-family, two-family, or multifamily structures, whether or not attached, and regardless of form of tenure.
MUNICIPAL FACILITIES
Facilities owned or operated by the Town of Marion or facilities licensed by the Town to other entities.
NONEXEMPT ROADSIDE FARM STAND
Facility for the sale of produce, wine, other edible farm products, flowers, fireplace wood, preserves, dairy and similar products on property not exempted by MGL c. 40A, § 3. The footprint of such facility shall be less than 100 square feet for the sale of produce, flowers and firewood.
NURSERY
A facility on a parcel with less than five acres for retail sale of trees, shrubs, plants and related products which are raised on and off the premises.
NURSING OR CONVALESCENT HOME
Any building with sleeping rooms where persons are housed or lodged and furnished with meals and nursing care for hire. (See § 230-4.2K, Miscellaneous Commercial Uses.)
PARKING SPACE (HANDICAPPED)
An area, except for residences, suitable for parking a car, having adequate access for entry and exit while other adjacent parking spaces are occupied and one which complies with the standard set forth in 521 CMR 23.
PARKING SPACE (NON-HANDICAPPED)
An area measuring at least nine feet by 18 feet, suitable for parking a car, having adequate access for entry and exit while other adjacent parking spaces are occupied and one which complies with the standard set forth in 521 CMR 23.
PERSONAL KENNEL
A facility on a parcel with more than five acres specifically used in the breeding, raising and training of dogs owned by the property owner.
PERSONAL SERVICE ESTABLISHMENT
A facility providing personal services such as a hair salon, barber shop, tanning beds, dry cleaning, print shop, photography studio, and the like.
PIER, ACCESSORY
A pier serving as an accessory to a single-family residence and which is located on the same lot as the residence.
PIER, ASSOCIATION
A pier used exclusively for noncommercial purposes by an association of boat owners.
PIER, COMMERCIAL
A pier available or used for commercial purposes.
RESEARCH LABORATORY
Buildings, structures or parts thereof constructed, altered or used for the following purposes: (1) general and technical office, nonmedical; (2) research laboratory engaged in research, experimental and testing activities, including but not limited to the fields of biology, chemistry, electronics, engineering, geology, medicine and physics, provided that no recombinant DNA research or technology is involved.
RESTAURANT
A building or portion thereof containing tables and/or booths for at least 2/3 of its legal capacity, which is designed, intended and used for the indoor sales and consumption of food prepared on the premises, except that food may be consumed outdoors in areas designated for dining purposes, which are adjunct to the main indoor restaurant facility. The term "restaurant" shall not include "fast-food restaurant" or "drive-in restaurant."
RESTAURANT, DRIVE-IN
A restaurant or fast-food restaurant with a window designed to serve people in motor vehicles.
RESTAURANT, FAST-FOOD
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 on or off the premises, with food ordering at a counter, rather than at a table.
RESTAURANT, OUTDOOR
An establishment serving food at tables or at counters in which more than 50% of the seats are out of doors, such as an open porch, deck, patio or on the grounds.
RETAIL, GENERAL
A facility selling goods but not specifically listed in § 230-4.2, the Table of Use Regulations, and less than 5,000 square feet of gross floor area.
ROOMING HOUSE
A dwelling in which the person resident therein provides sleeping accommodations for not more than four paying guests who are not provided with meals or individual or shared cooking facilities.
SIGN
Any temporary or permanent lettering, word, numeral, billboard, pictorial representation, display, emblem, trademark, device, banner, pennant, insignia or other figure or similar character, located outdoors, whether constituting a structure or any part thereof, or attached, painted on, or in any other manner represented on a building or other structure, and which is used to announce, direct, attract, advertise or promote.
SIGN, ACCESSORY
Any sign relating to an allowed accessory use of the premises.
SIGN, BILLBOARD
A large freestanding, permanent sign which directs attention to a business, commodity, services or entertainment conducted, sold or offered elsewhere than upon the premises where the sign is located.
SIGN, BUSINESS
A sign identifying the business, company or agency located on the premises. An advertising sign used to direct attention to a product and/or a service or activity not performed on the premises shall not be considered a business sign; such signs are not allowed in Marion.
SIGN, DIRECTIONAL
A sign which directs and gives guidance, but does not contain any advertising.
SIGN, FACE AREA THEREOF
The area within the shortest line that can be drawn around the outside perimeter of a sign, including any frame. Structural members designed for support purposes shall not be included in computing the sign area if they are not used for advertising purposes.
SIGN, FREESTANDING
A sign not supported by a wall nor building and supported by its own permanent base or foundation on or in the ground.
SIGN, PORTABLE OR MOBILE
A sign, not including banners, pennants and the like, which is not supported by its own permanent base nor foundation in the ground.
SIGN, PROJECTING
A sign which is attached to a building, extends more than 12 inches therefrom and provides necessary clearance for pedestrians and vehicles.
SIGN, ROOF
A sign which is mounted on the roof of a building above the eave line. The top of the sign may not extend higher than the highest point of the roof on which it is mounted.
SIGN, WALL-MOUNTED
A sign which is attached directly to the wall of a building and does not extend more than 12 inches therefrom and provides necessary clearance for pedestrians.
SPECIAL PERMIT GRANTING AUTHORITY
The Board of Appeals, Board of Selectmen, or the Planning Board as designated in this bylaw.
STORY
A portion of a building between the surface of any floor and the surface of the floor or ceiling next above it. A half story is a space under a sloping roof which has the line of intersection of the roof and wall space not more than three feet above floor level, in which space the possible floor area with head room of five feet or less occupies at least 40% of the floor area of the story directly beneath it.
STREET
An improved public way laid out by the Town of Marion, the Plymouth County Commissioners or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or a way which the Marion Town Clerk certifies is maintained by public authority as a public way, or a way in existence having, in the opinion of the Planning Board, sufficient width, suitable grades and adequate construction to accommodate the vehicular traffic anticipated by reason of the proposed use of the land abutting thereon or served thereby, and for the installation of municipal services to serve such land and buildings erected or to be erected thereon. A way shall not be a "street" with respect to any lot which does not have appurtenant to it a recorded right of access to and over such way for vehicular traffic.
STRUCTURE
A combination of materials to form a construction, including, among others, buildings, stadiums, tents, reviewing stands, platforms, stagings, observation towers, water tanks, play towers, swimming pools, trestles, sheds, shelters, fences over six feet high, display signs, flagpoles, masts for radio antennas, courts for tennis or similar games, backstops, backboards. A vessel shall not be considered to be a structure.
STRUCTURE, ACCESSORY
A use or structure which is subordinate to, customarily incidental to and located on the same lot as the principal building or use to which it is accessory.
STRUCTURE, NONCONFORMING
A structure lawfully existing at the time of this bylaw, or any subsequent amendment thereto, which does not conform to one or more provisions of this bylaw.
TRACT
An area of land comprising one or more lots for the purposes of an application under this bylaw.
USE, ACCESSORY
A use incidental and subordinate to the principal use of the structure or lot; or a use not the principal use, which is located on the same lot or in the same structure as the principal use.
USE, CHANGE OF
Any change in type or class of activity for a nonresidential lot or building requires site plan review. Examples of types of activity include, but are not limited to, the following: retail sales, medical use, food service, office use, manufacturing, distribution, etc. Any changes within a type or class of use may require site plan review. There shall be a review if change results in a significant change in impact on the neighborhood as in the following: pedestrian or vehicular traffic flow within or to the site, parking requirements, noise, odors, hours of operation, outdoor lighting, use of outside space for display of goods. All nonresidential nonconforming uses will require site plan review.
USE, EDUCATIONAL (EXEMPT)
Use of land or structures for educational purposes on land owned or leased by the commonwealth or any of its agencies, subdivisions or bodies politic or by a religious sect or denomination, or by a nonprofit educational corporation defined in MGL c. 180.
VARIANCE
Such departure from the terms of this bylaw which the Zoning Board of Appeals, upon appeal in specific cases, is empowered to authorize under the terms of Article II, § 230-2.3D, of these bylaws.
VEGETATIVE COVER
Shrubs, grass, trees and other forms of growing ground cover, whether landscaped or naturally occurring.
WAREHOUSE
A building used primarily for the storage of goods and materials, for distribution, but not for sale on the premises, but excluding mini or self-storage facilities.
WETLANDS
Area characterized by conditions described in MGL c. 131, § 40.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION
The transmission of information over a distance without requiring wires, cables, or any other electrical conductors.
YARD
An open space on a lot not covered by a building or structure.
YARD, FRONT
A yard extending between lot side lines across the lot adjacent to each street it abuts.
YARD, REAR
A yard extending between the side lines of a lot adjacent to the rear line of the lot.
YARD, SIDE
A yard extending along each side line of a lot between front and rear yards.
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 230-4.2, Table of Principal Uses.