Town of Weymouth, MA
Norfolk County
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[Added 4-2-2018 by Ord. No. 17-127]
The Commercial Corridor Overlay District is an overlay district. Parcels within the overlay district are subject to either the additional requirements of the overlay district or the underlying district at the applicant's option. In cases where a conflict exists, the regulations of the overlay zoning or the underlying zoning shall apply based upon the scheme the applicant intends to comply.
The overlay district applies to the underlying districts in specific areas that are zoned as Business District (B-1) and Highway Transition (HT) with the intent of creating development and redevelopment opportunities along portions of the Town's major commercial corridors in the specific locations identified on the Town of Weymouth Zoning Map.[1] Further, this overlay district is created to permit the incorporation of a residential component as part of mixed-use developments. This is not possible within the underlying Business District (B-1) and limited within the Highway Transition District (HT).
It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Commercial Corridor Overlay District to establish reasonable standards reflective of the changing retail and office markets and additionally support within this district the Town's intent and goals to:
A. 
Promote the economic development, general welfare and safety of the community through the use of basic urban design standards in special development areas.
B. 
Provide the broadest range of compatible commercial and residential uses and encourage the development and redevelopment of underutilized or obsolete commercial property and ensure development and redevelopment that includes current retail and service trends and allows for a wide variety of mixed uses.
C. 
Encourage reuse and redevelopment of existing buildings and building lots along portions of the gateway corridors of Route 18, Route 53, and Route 3A and Columbian Street.
D. 
Encourage the consolidation of smaller lots and curb cuts.
E. 
Promote urban design that is consistent with the Town of Weymouth's economic development, planning and programmatic efforts.
F. 
Provide flexibility with regard to dimensional requirements in a manner that is consistent with the purposes and intent of this article.
The Town intends with the overlay district to provide additional development options for qualifying properties. The overlay district shall not take away the rights permitted by the underlying zoning district.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
A. 
Definitions.
The following areas are established and defined.
(1) 
The Route 53 Corridor is generally defined as the area along Route 53 from Broad Street to the Hingham town line with the exception of the Washington Street Corridor.
(2) 
The Washington Street Corridor is generally defined as the portion of Route 53 beginning at the intersection with Route 18 and extending to approximately 650 feet east of the intersection with Middle Street.
(3) 
The Route 18 Corridor is generally defined as the area along Route 18 from the intersection with Route 53 to the Abington Town Line.
(4) 
The Columbian Street Corridor is generally defined as the area along Columbian Street from the Braintree town line to the intersection with Forrest Street.
(5) 
The Route 3A Corridor is generally defined as the area along Route 3A between Neck/Green Street and the Hingham Town Line.
Refer to the Town of Weymouth Zoning Map[1] for the precise extents of the overlay.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Town Clerk.
B. 
Generally.
Application for special permit can be made to the Board of Zoning Appeals under this article provided that the lot consists of at least 30,000 square feet and either of the below is true:
(1) 
The proposal consists of both a residential and nonresidential use with the ground floor of the building reserved for use as retail, office, or both and provides an active, transparent facade. See § 120-25.23C. Proposals may also be comprised of more than one principal building on a lot representing the mixed use; or
(2) 
The proposal is for a professional office building of between three and five stories dependent on the additional requirements in § 120-25.17A.
In addition to the applicability requirements, an applicant must have a pre-application conference with the Director of Planning and Community Development or other appropriate staff as determined by him, to discuss additional criteria including:
A. 
Adequacy of the site for the size of the proposed project and the extent that building design elements as well as setbacks, height and density (FAR) prevent large monolithic structures that overwhelm the streetscape and adjoining neighborhoods. Design elements shall be tailored to the building's specific location.
B. 
Suitability of the site for the proposed use or uses ensuring that the retail use is compatible with the residential component of the proposal as well as with existing residential uses abutting the proposal. Specific consideration should be given to noise, lighting, and hours of operation.
C. 
Degree to which the proposed project complies with the goals of the Town's Master Plans.
D. 
Impact on traffic, pedestrian flow, safety, and access for emergency vehicles.
E. 
Impact on established residential properties and areas including noise, lighting, and traffic.
F. 
The extent to which the project promotes sustainable building, site design, and internal walkability.
G. 
Extent to which buildings, driveways, parking areas, loading areas, outdoor activity areas, light sources, trash areas, and other potential nuisances shall be located and designed to minimize adverse impacts on abutting residential properties. To limit the adverse impact of any proposed use the special permit may require alternative site layouts, including increased setbacks from residential property lines, different locations of buildings, parking areas, and driveways, the incorporation of loading and trash collection areas as part of the principal building design, and increased screening for light sources and outdoor activity areas.
H. 
Driveway intersections with streets and traffic circulation patterns within lots shall be located and designed to minimize congestion and safety problems on adjacent streets and nearby intersections. The special permit may require alternative driveway locations and site design in order to alleviate potential congestion or safety problems and to maximize internal circulation.
Further, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall review all special permit requests with these criteria in mind.
A. 
Height.
Proposals shall have a minimum of three stories and 45 feet with a maximum of five stories and 70 feet in the following areas:
(1) 
The Route 18 corridor [§ 120-25.15A(3)].
(2) 
The Route Washington Street corridor [§ 120-25.15A(2)].
(3) 
The Route 3A corridor [§ 120-25.15A(5)].
Within the Route 53 corridor [§ 120-25.15A(1)] and within the Columbian Street corridor [§ 120-25.15A(4)], height shall be limited to a minimum of three stories and 45 feet and a maximum of four stories and 60 feet.
The Board of Zoning Appeals shall consider in its review of the appropriate height within the defined ranges the following:
(4) 
The purpose and intent of the overlay district.
(5) 
Visual scale of proposal in context to the surrounding area.
(6) 
Proximity to established residential areas.
(7) 
Extent to which a proposal utilizes topography, facade articulation, roof line variation, step-up techniques, and building materials to achieve appropriate visual scale.
B. 
Setbacks.
Recognizing that the primary mode of transportation along major commercial corridors will be the automobile, the goal of this article is to safely accommodate traffic while preventing these gateway corridors from being visually dominated by large expanses of paved parking areas. With this in mind the following setback requirements shall be, at least, as follows:
(1) 
The maximum front yard setback shall be 70 feet, taken as an average across the building frontage to allow for a minimum five-foot landscape area along the frontage, a row of parking, and a travel aisle.
(2) 
The minimum front yard setback shall be 25 feet and will include a minimum five-foot landscape area along the frontage.
(3) 
When a setback averaging less than 70 feet is proposed, the height of the building will be limited to two stories and 35 feet from the front of the building to the seventy-foot setback line.
(4) 
Side setbacks shall be 10 feet.
(5) 
Rear setback shall be 15 feet.
C. 
Additional requirements when abutting a residential use.
A twenty-foot "no build" and "no parking" buffer will be provided along any property line abutting an existing residential use. A landscape and irrigation plan shall be submitted showing the size, species and location of planting material as well as the design and building materials of a fence. The buffer must adequately screen the proposed development from abutting residential uses as determined by review by the Director of Planning and Development. At a minimum, buffer trees should be of three-inch to four-inch caliper.
The buffer will consist of a privacy fence and landscape screen as illustrated below.
When abutting an existing residential use, in addition to the twenty-foot "no build" and "no parking" buffer, a step-up approach shall be applied to building heights as illustrated below. Building height will be limited to 35 feet for the first 25 feet after the twenty-foot buffer.
The required buffers are to be located so as not to interfere with safe emergency vehicle access and will be subject to review and approval by the Weymouth Fire Department.
The building area for any building for occupancy should not exceed a floor area ratio (FAR), as defined in § 120-6, of the following:
The Route 53 and Columbian Street corridors shall have a maximum FAR of 0.75.
The Route 18, Route 3A and Washington Street corridors shall have a maximum FAR of 1.00.
Any building within 1,000 feet of an MBTA Commuter Rail station may increase its maximum FAR by 0.25.
FAR as defined in § 120-6 excludes commercial space and structured parking from FAR calculations.
All proposals under this article shall dedicate a minimum of 15% of the total land area as open space. Further, a maximum building coverage of 60% shall apply and only 75% of any site shall be of an impervious material.
A. 
Generally.
Parking shall be provided per below:
Studios and one bedrooms
1.25 spaces per unit minimum with 1.5 spaces maximum
All other residential
1.5 spaces per unit minimum with 2 spaces maximum
If the proposed development site is within 1,000 feet of an MBTA Commuter Rail station, the Board of Zoning Appeals may accept a reduction in the above requirements to 1.0 space per studio or one-bedroom unit and 1.25 for other units.
The number of spaces required for other uses are pursuant to § 120-74 of this ordinance.
B. 
Shared parking arrangements.
The Town encourages the use of shared parking arrangements. The Board of Zoning Appeals may consider proposals of this kind as justification for at most a twenty-percent reduction in the required on-site parking.
In considering proposals for shared parking, the Board of Zoning Appeals shall use the following criteria:
(1) 
Uses sharing the parking facility may be on a separate lot, but shall be a maximum of 600 feet from the closest parking space. The applicant must submit a copy of the formal, written agreement outlining the details of the shared use agreement;
(2) 
The hours of operation and peak demand of the uses involved;
(3) 
The applicant shall demonstrate that vehicles occupying a particular number of spaces are unlikely to require the use of those spaces at the same time of day or same day of the week as the other shared use; and
(4) 
The degree to which the applicant is committed to implementation of transit demand management measures such as those to promote car and van pooling, bicycling, and public transit.
The Town of Weymouth has adopted the Commonwealth's Complete Streets Policy and has been designated as a Green Community. The Town is committed to ensuring that all proposals provide the amenities required to encourage multi-modal and clean energy transportation options. As such, the Town requires the following to be included as part of each development proposal:
A. 
Charging stations for electric, hybrid, or similar types of vehicles shall be installed with the below frequency based on parking spaces:
(1) 
One to 25 spaces: zero.
(2) 
Twenty-six to 50 spaces: one.
(3) 
Fifty to 100 spaces: two.
(4) 
One additional charging station for each additional 50 spaces thereafter.
B. 
Bicycle racks shall be installed as part of each development. The required number of rack spaces shall be at least 15% of the total number of residential units.
In cases of lots with split zoning, the overlay district shall extend over the entire lot.
A. 
Buildings shall generally be sited to face streets and sidewalks of the main corridor with entrances located to provide convenient access from the sidewalk network.
B. 
An accessible, primary pedestrian entrance to the building shall face an abutting street. For interior buildings sites, entrances should connect to a pedestrian way that provides convenient access to the abutting street and sidewalk network.
C. 
Building walls facing the street should present an active facade incorporating windows, doors, columns, changes in materials, modulation of the facade, and similar details to add visual interest.
D. 
Parking for ground level, non-residential uses may be provided along the front, the sides, or both the front and sides of the building while parking for residential uses is encouraged to be sited in the rear of the building or within an interior parking structure. A detailed landscape, irrigation, and lighting plan for all parking areas shall be submitted as part of the application.
E. 
Any portion of an above-ground parking structure fronting a public way shall include facade details and landscaping to maintain an attractive streetscape.
F. 
Dumpsters, heating, ventilation, air conditioning, mechanical, electrical and plumbing equipment and loading docks shall be fully screened from view.