City of Gardner, MA
Worcester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
For the purposes of this article, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
ACCESS DRIVEWAY
The travel lane that allows motor vehicles ingress from the street and egress from the site.
BUILDING SERVICE AREA
A room or rooms in a building used to house electrical or mechanical equipment necessary to provide central utility service to the building, such as a boiler room.
DRIVE-THROUGH
Consists of stacking lanes and drive-up window to allow a drive-through facility to provide such products or service(s).
DRIVE-THROUGH FACILITY
An establishment that provides or dispenses products or services, through an attendant or an automated machine, to persons remaining in vehicles that are in designated stacking lanes. A drive-through may be in combination with other uses, such as a bank, personal service shop, retail store, eating establishment or gas station.
INTERIOR DRIVEWAY
A travel lane located within the perimeter of a parking lot which is not used to directly enter or leave parking spaces. An interior driveway shall not include any part of the access driveway.
MANEUVERING AISLE
A travel lane located within the perimeter of a parking lot by which motor vehicles directly enter and leave parking spaces.
NET FLOOR AREA
The total of all floor areas of a building, not including storage areas, stairways, elevator wells, rest rooms, common hallways and building service areas.
PARKING STALL LENGTH OF LINE
The longitudinal dimension of the stall measured parallel to the angle of parking.
STACKING LANE
An on-site queuing or pass-through lane for motorized vehicles that is separated from other vehicular traffic and pedestrian circulation by barriers, markings, or signage.
WIDTH OF PARKING STALL
The linear dimensions measured across the stall and parallel to the maneuvering aisle.
Except as otherwise provided in this article, no building or structure shall be located upon any lot and no activity shall be conducted upon any lot unless the required parking facilities are provided on site in accordance with this article.
A. 
Change of use. For all zoning districts, except COM1, a change in use where the existing use (or in the case of a vacancy, the next previous use) did not provide for the number of on-site parking spaces required by this chapter, then the proposed use shall only have to provide an additional number of parking spaces equal to the increase, if any, between the number required under this chapter for the existing use and the number required for the proposed use.
B. 
Commercial 1 Districts.
(1) 
For COM1 Districts, no additional parking is required for the following:
(a) 
A change in use or rearrangement of uses in an existing building that does not increase the total floor area within the building.
(b) 
The replacement of an amount of floor area equal to that in existence at the time of enactment of this amendment to this chapter.
(c) 
The addition of a second story to one-story buildings.
(d) 
Federal, state or municipal uses.
(2) 
Having applied Subsection B(1)(a), (b), (c) and (d) immediately above, an increase in total floor area that results in a net increase in the number of required parking spaces may be accommodated off site when adequate municipal parking facilities are available to serve the land use. Adequacy of municipal parking facilities shall be determined via the site plan review application and review procedures, § 675-1010, Site plan review, of this chapter. A major entrance of the land use should be within 500 feet of the municipal parking facility. Shared parking opportunities should be recognized where the same parking space can be utilized by two or more different land uses due to differences in principal hours for the uses involved.
C. 
Residential uses.
(1) 
Each parking area may have one access driveway which shall be a maximum of 24 feet wide.
(2) 
Each parking area may have one additional access driveway for each 200 feet of frontage, provided that all such access driveways shall be at least 200 feet apart on the parking area measured from the center line of each access driveway.
(3) 
No parking space or other paved surface, other than an access driveway(s) shall be located within five feet of any lot line.
Where the use of a building or buildings has not been determined at the time of application for a building permit or special permit, the plan shall demonstrate that the parking requirements applicable to the most intensive use allowed in the district where such undetermined use is to be located can be provided, however, that the number of parking spaces actually built need not exceed the number required by the actual use or uses of the building.
In the following instances, relief from parking regulations may be granted:
A. 
By special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, pursuant to § 675-1170, Special permits:
(1) 
In the case of a change from a nonconforming use to a conforming use, that the benefits of a change to a conforming use outweigh the lack of parking spaces; or
(2) 
In the case of a change from one conforming use to another conforming use, that the lack of parking spaces will not create undue congestion or traffic hazards on or off the site.
B. 
By the Planning Board pursuant to § 675-1010, Site plan review, or where it is acting as the special permit granting authority pursuant to § 675-1170, Special permits, where it determines the grant of a waiver would not be detrimental to the functioning of the site and would not create undue congestion of traffic hazards on or off the site.
A. 
Comparable use requirements. Where a use is not specifically included in the schedule of parking uses, it is intended that the regulations for the most nearly comparable use specified shall apply.
B. 
Schedule of parking uses.
Principal Use
Parking Spaces Required
Dwelling
1 per dwelling unit with 1 or fewer bedrooms; 2 per dwelling unit with 2 or more bedrooms
Home occupation
1 per nonresident employee
Motel or hotel
1 per room plus 1 per 400 square feet of public meeting area and restaurant space
Bed-and-breakfast
2 spaces, plus 1 per guest unit
Assisted living; nursing home; group/rest home; rooming house
1 per 2 beds
Educational/schools
Nursery/child care
3 per 1,000 gross square feet
Elementary/middle/junior
1.2 per employee
High school
0.25 per student
College and university
1.2 per 1,000 gross square feet
Hospital
3 per patient bed
Convenience retail
2 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Retail store
1 per 200 square feet of net floor area for store with gross floor area up to 5,000 square feet of net floor area and 1 per 250 per 1,000 square feet of net floor area greater than 5,000 of net floor area
Bank
1 per 200 square feet of net floor area
Business or professional office and personal service establishment
1 per 300 square feet of net floor area
Libraries, museums and art galleries
2.5 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Medical or dental office
4.2 per 1,000 square feet of gross floor area
Restaurant
1 per 4 seats
Fast-food restaurant
1 per 70 square feet of net floor area
Religious; club or lodge; civic center or other place of assembly
1 per 75 square feet of assembly area or 1 per 4 seats, whichever is greater
Motor vehicle general and body repair
1 per each service bay plus 1 per employee
Motor vehicle light service
2 per service bay plus 1 per employee
Mixed use
Sum of various uses computed separately
Public transit station
1 per 250 square feet devoted to office and public uses plus sum of other uses computed separately
Transportation terminal
1 per 250 square feet devoted to office use plus 1 per company vehicle operating from premises
Veterinary clinic/kennel, commercial
2 per 1,000 square feet plus 1 per employee
Industrial/manufacturing
1 per 2,000 square feet of net floor area for the first 20,000 square feet, plus 1 per each additional 10,000 square feet
C. 
Loading areas. One or more off-street loading areas shall be provided for any business that may be regularly serviced by tractor-trailer trucks and other similar delivery vehicles, so that adequate areas shall be provided to accommodate all delivery vehicles expected at the premises at any one time. Loading areas shall be located at either the side or rear of each building and shall be designed to avoid conflicts with vehicles and pedestrians using the site or vehicles and pedestrians using adjacent sites.
Off-street parking facilities shall be laid out and striped in compliance with the following minimum provisions:
Angle of Parking
Width of Parking Stall
(feet)
Parking Stall Length of Line
(feet)
Width of Maneuvering Aisle
(feet)
90° (2-way)
9.0
18
24
60° (1-way)
10.4
22
18
45° (1-way)
12.7
25
14
Parallel (1-way)
8.0
22
14
Parallel (2-way)
8.0
22
18
A. 
Parking location and layout.
(1) 
To the extent feasible, parking areas shall not be located to the forward of any building front line on the lot.
(a) 
Notwithstanding the above, the Planning Board may grant permission during site plan review to locate not more than eight parking spaces in front of the principal building, where such location promotes a better site layout. As condition of such permission, the Board may require that provisions be made for a common access way linking the property with existing or future adjacent uses.
(2) 
Required parking spaces, loading areas and driveways shall be provided and maintained with suitable grading, paved surfaces and adequate drainage. No parking space or other paved surface, other than an access driveway(s) or walkway(s), shall be located within 10 feet of any lot line, and notwithstanding the foregoing, no parking space or other paved surface other than an access driveway(s) or walkway(s) shall be located within the limits of a landscaped buffer area.
(3) 
Each parking area may have one access driveway which shall be at least 24 feet wide at its narrowest point but not more than 36 feet wide at its widest point. Each parking area may have one additional access driveway for each 200 feet of frontage, provided that all such access driveways shall be at least 200 feet apart on the parking area measured from the center line of each access driveway. In the case of an access driveway which shall be used for one-way traffic only, the minimum width may be reduced to 14 feet at its narrowest point.
(4) 
Interior driveways, other than maneuvering aisles, shall be at least 20 feet wide for two-way traffic and 14 feet for one-way traffic.
(5) 
Adequate provisions for snow removal and/or snow storage must be made and indicated on site plans. Landscaped areas may not be used for snow storage.
B. 
Lighting and landscaping requirements. All surface parking areas containing more than eight spaces shall be laid out and enhanced by landscaping in accordance with the following standards:
(1) 
Parking areas, loading areas, storage areas, refuse storage and disposal areas, and service areas shall be screened from view, to the extent feasible, from all public ways and from adjacent properties, using planted buffers, berms, natural contours, fences or a combination of the above.
(2) 
Parking areas shall contain 150 square feet of planted areas per 1,000 square feet of parking proposed, appropriately situated throughout the parking area to break up large expanses of pavement.
(3) 
Screening.
(a) 
Parking areas shall be screened along their perimeters from adjacent streets and properties using a combination of the following:
[1] 
A buffer strip of at least 10 feet in width of densely planted shrubs or trees which are at least 2.5 feet high at the time of planting and are of a type that may be expected to form a year-round screen; parking areas containing more than 25 spaces shall require a planted buffer strip of 20 feet in width.
[2] 
A wall, barrier, or fence of uniform appearance. There shall be a landscaped strip with a minimum width of three feet between the base of the wall, barrier, or fence and any street or abutting property. The wall, barrier, or fence is recommended to be three feet in height and shall not be more than six feet in height.
[3] 
A landscaped earth berm at least three feet in height and 18 feet in width.
[4] 
The screening as required herein shall be located so as not to conflict with any corner visibility requirements or any other City ordinances. Such screening may be interrupted by entrances or exits.
(4) 
All artificial lighting shall be not more than 11 feet in height in pedestrian areas, and 20 feet in parking areas, and shall be arranged and shielded to prevent direct glare from the light source onto any public way or any other property. All parking areas which are used at night shall be lighted as evenly and fully as possible. The Planning Board shall require that the applicant provide the type, energy efficiency, and intensity (lumens) of all proposed and replacement lighting for the parking areas.
C. 
Structured parking design guidelines. Placement of off-street parking spaces in structures is encouraged to limit impervious surfaces, promote efficient use of land, and enhance streetscapes. Parking structures are subject to the following performance standards:
(1) 
Parking structures shall be no more than 40 feet in height. The height and mass of the structure should be consistent with the urban design fabric within which the structure is to be located.
(2) 
The exterior facade should maintain a horizontal line throughout. The sloping nature of the interior structure, necessary in the design of parking structures, should not be repeated on the exterior facade.
(3) 
Facades that face public rights-of-way should incorporate a repeating pattern that includes color change, texture change and material change, each of which should be integral parts of the structure, not superficially applied trim, graphics, or paint. In addition, vertical elements should be incorporated into the exterior facade design to create a repeating pattern. This can be accomplished using reveals, projecting ribs, or offsets. All such elements should repeat at intervals of no more than 30 feet.
(4) 
A wall or other screening of sufficient height to screen parked vehicles and which exhibits a visually pleasing character should be provided. In commercial districts with an existing or planned urban design fabric, ground-level retail use is encouraged to enhance the streetscape. Where retail is not practical, other amenities, such as an art wall, are encouraged as means of enhancing the streetscape. The ground level of the structure should never consist of a featureless length of a wall.
(5) 
Pedestrian entrances should be well defined and attractive.
(6) 
Areas of vehicular entry should be located on the side or the rear of the structure wherever possible to attract less attention. The presence and appearance of garage entrances should be minimized so that they do not dominate the street frontage.
(7) 
Building should take advantage of site topography to minimize the vehicular entry where possible.
(8) 
Interior and exterior lighting shall be arranged to ensure public safety and shielded to prevent direct glare onto any public way or any other property. The Planning Board shall require the applicant to provide the type and intensity (lumens) of all proposed lighting for the parking structure.
D. 
Drive-through performance and design standards.
(1) 
Purpose. The purpose of this section is to protect the health, safety, welfare and convenience of residents, minimize traffic congestion, and maintain the architectural integrity of the surrounding area by requiring performance standards for the construction and operation of drive-through facilities.
(2) 
Administration.
(a) 
Drive-through facilities may be allowed by special permit from the Gardner Planning Board in the Commercial 1, Commercial 2, and in some cases Industrial 1 Zoning Districts, provided the facility meets the requirements of this Article VII and the dimensional requirements for the underlying zoning. The Planning Board shall follow the procedural requirements for special permits as set forth in MGL c. 40A, § 9, and Article XI, § 675-1170, of the City of Gardner Zoning Code.
(b) 
No special permit for any drive-through facilities shall be issued without site plan approval first having been obtained from the Planning Board, § 675-1010, Site plan review, of the Zoning Code. In addition to the standard set forth within, the site plan must meet all dimensional, parking, landscaping, and signage requirements within the City of Gardner Zoning Code.
(3) 
Performance and design standards. Drive-through facilities shall comply with the performance and design standards set forth in this section. The Planning Board may impose additional conditions or alter performance and design standards if it finds that a substantially better design will result from such additional or alternate standards. In so doing, the Planning Board shall consider how such additions or alterations will impact public safety, character of the neighborhood, and the environment.
(a) 
Traffic impact study (TIS). The Planning Board shall require that a traffic impact study (TIS) be prepared by a registered professional engineer who is a member of the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE). The purpose of a TIS is to document existing traffic conditions in the vicinity of the proposed drive-through facility, to describe the volume and effect of projected traffic generated by the proposed project, and to identify measures to mitigate any adverse impacts on traffic, as stated in the following:
[1] 
Existing traffic conditions: average daily and peak-hour volumes, average and peak speeds, sight distances, appropriate and pertinent accident data, levels of service of intersections and streets likely to be affected by the proposed project. Generally, such data shall be presented for all streets and intersections adjacent to or within 500 feet of the project's boundaries. The data will be no more than 24 months old upon submittal unless other data is specifically approved by the Planning Board.
[2] 
Projected impact of proposed project: projected peak-hour and daily traffic generated by the drive-through on roads and ways in the vicinity; sight lines at the intersections of the proposed driveways and streets; existing and proposed traffic controls in the vicinity; projected postdevelopment traffic volumes and levels of service of intersections and streets likely to be affected by proposed project.
(b) 
Site development plan.
[1] 
The site development plan, prepared by a registered professional civil engineer and registered land surveyor, shall comply with the development plan requirements identified in § 675-1010 of the City of Gardner Zoning Code and shall accompany the site plan review and special permit applications.
[2] 
The proposed site development plan shall incorporate recommendations of the traffic impact study. The following guidelines shall be used to evaluate compliance with the standards herein:
[a] 
Requires a minimum of two stacking lanes: one lane to be used for product or service delivery and one, at a minimum, to be used as an outlet for traffic flow and public safety vehicle access. No matter how many stacking lanes are used for product or service delivery, a minimum of one stacking lane shall be included in the design as an outlet for traffic flow and public safety vehicle access.
[b] 
Entrances to stacking lane(s) shall be clearly marked and shall be a minimum of 40 feet from the intersection with the public street. The distance shall be measured from the property line along the street to the beginning of the entrance.
[c] 
Each stacking lane shall be 10 feet in width along all portions of the lane(s).
[i] 
Fast-food restaurants shall have a minimum of 10 spaces for stacking cars accessing the ordering window or speaker. If pickup/payment windows are provided separately, the stacking distance between windows and/or speaker(s) shall be a minimum of two stacking spaces.
[ii] 
Banks, service and retail establishments shall have a minimum of five stacking spaces for cars accessing a drive-through window or speaker.
[d] 
Stacking lanes shall be delineated from traffic aisles, other stacking lanes and parking areas with striping, curbing, landscaping and the use of alternative paving materials or raised medians.
[e] 
Stacking lanes shall be designed to prevent congestion, both on site and on adjacent streets. Stacking lane layout:
[i] 
Shall be integrated with the on-site circulation pattern;
[ii] 
Shall minimize conflicts between pedestrian and vehicular traffic by providing physical and visual separation between the two;
[iii] 
Shall be located at the side or rear of buildings;
[iv] 
Shall provide an emergency bypass or exit;
[v] 
Shall not impede or impair access into or out of parking spaces;
[vi] 
Shall not impede or impair vehicular or pedestrian traffic movement;
[vii] 
Shall not interfere with required loading and trash storage areas;
[viii] 
Shall not enter or exit directly into a public right-of-way.
[f] 
Locate buildings with drive-through along the front lot line closest to the street edge whenever possible.
[g] 
Layout of outdoor service equipment, menu signs and speaker boards.
[i] 
There shall be one sign permitted for each stacking lane used for product or service delivery.
[ii] 
Signs shall be a maximum of 40 square feet, with a maximum height of seven feet, and shall follow requirements of Article IX, Signs and Advertising Devices. P.O.S. signs placed on a menu sign shall not cause the menu sign to exceed these maximum standards.
[iii] 
Menu signs and speaker boards shall be physically shielded from any public street and residential properties by landscaping or other means.
[iv] 
Outdoor speakers shall be directed away from abutting properties.
[h] 
Trash receptacles should be placed strategically within the drive-through layout to minimize litter on site.
[i] 
Provide sufficient setbacks, buffer, and screening from residential or other abutting properties, including sound- and light-attenuating barriers when appropriate.