Town of Agawam, MA
Hampden 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.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 12-4-2006 by TOR-2006-9]

§ 180-112 Open space residential development.

A. 
Intent. Open space residential development (OSRD) in accordance with this article shall be allowed by right in the Residence A-1, Residence A-2, and Agricultural Districts. "Open space residential development" shall mean a residential development adjacent to permanently preserved open space. Open space residential development shall be encouraged within the Town, and shall be the preferred method of subdivision development wherever the following purposes would be served.
B. 
Purposes. The purposes of open space residential development are:
(1) 
To allow for greater flexibility and creativity in the design of residential developments, provided that the overall density of the development is no greater than what is normally allowed in the district.
(2) 
To encourage the permanent preservation of open space, agricultural lands, forest lands and other natural resources, including aquifers, water bodies and wetlands, and historical and archaeological resources.
(3) 
To encourage a less sprawling and more efficient form of development that consumes less open land and conforms to existing topography and natural features.
(4) 
To maintain the traditional New England rural character and land use pattern in which small villages contrast with open space and farmlands.
(5) 
To facilitate the construction of streets, utilities and public services in a more economical and efficient manner.
(6) 
To ensure that residential developments respect the natural features of the land, including wetlands, watercourses, forests, prime agricultural land, steep slopes, plants, wildlife, historic sites, scenic views, and rural character.
(7) 
To promote alternatives to strip residential development lining roadsides in the Town.
(8) 
To provide wildlife corridors connecting open spaces needed by wildlife to ensure their survival.
C. 
Applicability.
(1) 
Five-acre minimum. In any residential development consisting of five contiguous acres or more and 100 feet of frontage in single or consolidated ownership, an applicant may apply for an OSRD under this article.
(2) 
Uses permitted. The permitted uses of the underlying district(s) shall continue to be in full force and effect.
(3) 
Special land features. The Planning Board may recommend that an applicant use an OSRD subdivision design if the property possesses one or more of the following special features:
(a) 
Unfragmented open land as identified as a priority for protection in the Town's Open Space and Recreation Plan, Master Plan or the Community Development Plan.
(b) 
Agricultural land with soils designated as prime or of statewide significance by the U.S. Natural Resource Conservation Service soil surveys.
(c) 
Rare, threatened, or endangered species or exemplary natural communities according to the Massachusetts BioMap Project developed by the Massachusetts Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program.
(d) 
Unique natural, cultural and/or historical features as identified in the Master Plan or Community Development Plan.
D. 
Application requirements. Applicants for open space residential development projects shall follow all procedures specified in the Town of Agawam Subdivision Rules and Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 159, Subdivision of Land.
E. 
Design standards. No approval for an OSRD shall be given unless the application complies with the following standards:
(1) 
The compatibility of the proposal with respect to the objectives and policy recommendations of the Open Space and Recreation Plan and Community Development Plan or Master Plan.
(2) 
Consistency with the Town of Agawam's Zoning Ordinance.
(3) 
The portion of a parcel placed in open space shall, to the greatest extent possible, be that which is most valuable or productive as a natural resource, wildlife habitat, farmland, or forestry land.
(4) 
Streets shall be designed and located in such a manner as to maintain and preserve natural topography, significant landmarks and trees; to minimize cut and fill; and to preserve and enhance views and vistas on or off the subject parcel.
F. 
Dimensional standards.
(1) 
Allowed density.
(a) 
The maximum number of dwelling units for an OSRD shall be determined by use of a yield plan, which is a conceptual plan showing how the parcel could be subdivided in a conventional manner. Determination of the possible number of conventional lots shall be determined by Title V regulations, 310 CMR 15.000, as well as the Agawam Board of Health regulations. For purposes of determining the number of OSRD dwelling units, each conceptual conventional lot must meet the requirements of a buildable lot for a single-family dwelling unit on one acre of land. In no case shall the number of OSRD dwelling units exceed the number of units that would be allowed under a conventional subdivision.
(b) 
There shall be no further subdivision of an approved OSRD.
(2) 
Flexible dimensional controls.
(a) 
Frontage.
[1] 
The minimum frontage for a tract on which an OSRD is proposed shall be a contiguous 100 feet and provide safe access for a right-of-way of at least 46 feet.
[2] 
In the interest of flexibility and creative site designs, there shall be a minimum frontage requirement of 60 contiguous feet for individual lots on new subdivision streets within an OSRD, with the exception described in Subsection F(2)(a)[3] below.
[3] 
For each lot developed along a public street existing at the time of the application, the minimum frontage, minimum lot size and all other dimensional controls shall be those which are-required in the underlying zoning district in which the OSRD is located.
(b) 
Lot size. The minimum lot size for all lots in the open space residential development is one acre.
(c) 
Setbacks.
[1] 
There shall be a minimum setback of 50 feet along all property boundaries of the overall tract for all structures, including accessory structures, parking areas, driveways and internal streets. Entrance streets connecting the OSRD to the external street system may cross the setback area.
[2] 
Minimum front, side, and rear yard setbacks shall be the same as normally required in the district.
(d) 
Required open space. The minimum open space requirement for an OSRD within the Residence A-1 and Agricultural Districts shall be 50% of the total tract area. The minimum open space requirement for an OSRD within the Residence A-2 District shall be 35% of the total tract area.
(3) 
Landscaped buffers.
(a) 
A landscaped buffer no less than 30 feet deep shall be provided. Entrance streets connecting the OSRD to the external street system may cross the buffer area. The natural vegetation shall be retained within the buffer area. If the natural vegetation is not sufficient to serve as an effective visual screen, landscaping shall be required to provide such a screen. Landscaping may include berms and/or decorative fencing of an appropriate height. The Planning Board may waive this requirement in instances that it deems appropriate.
(b) 
This buffer area shall be part of the open space and shall be subject to the same restrictions that apply to that area.
G. 
Common open space.
(1) 
Common open space requirements.
(a) 
Within the Residence A-1 and Agricultural Districts, a minimum of 50% of the total development parcel must be permanently protected as common open space. Within the Residence A-2 District, a minimum of 35% of the total development parcel must be permanently protected as common open space. At least 70% of the common open space shall be retained in contiguous areas, unless approved by the Planning Board.
(b) 
Watercourses, lakes, ponds, wetlands and steep slopes over 25% may be included in common open space calculations, but shall not exceed 50% of the required open space.
(c) 
The Planning Board may permit up to 3% of the open space area to be paved or built upon for structures accessory to the dedicated use of open space (i.e., pedestrian walks, bicycle paths, playgrounds, farm-related structures).
(d) 
All recreational facilities, common areas, and common open space shall be reasonably accessible to all residents of the development.
(2) 
Land protection methods for common open space.
(a) 
All land not devoted to buildings, lots, roads and other development shall be permanently protected as common open space for recreation, conservation, forestry or agricultural uses which preserve the land in its natural condition.
(b) 
The land shall be owned by a nonprofit land trust or conservation organization, homeowners' association, or individual, and a permanent deed restriction must be conveyed to the Town, with Town approval, or to a nonprofit trust or conservation organization whose principal purpose is to conserve farmland or open space. The Town shall review and approve all language contained in the deed restriction prior to final approval of the open space residential development. The deed restriction shall run with the land in perpetuity.
(c) 
Further subdivision of common open land or its use other than recreation, conservation, forest or agriculture, except for easements for underground utilities or drinking water supply wells, shall be prohibited.
H. 
Additional requirements.
(1) 
Trails. Where there is an existing local or regional trail network on land adjacent to a proposed OSRD, the developer of the OSRD may be required to connect to the existing trail network with trail corridors through the site, and shall grant the general public access to these trails in perpetuity. The trails shall be restricted to pedestrian access.
(2) 
Open space. Where there is an existing network of open space or large tracts of unfragmented open space on land adjacent to a proposed OSRD, the developer of the OSRD may be required to connect to the existing open space where feasible with the required open space set-aside, and shall grant the general public access to this open space in perpetuity. Public access shall be restricted to pedestrian traffic.
(3) 
Forest management. On sites where the open space to be preserved is mostly mature forest (70% or greater), the developer of an OSRD may be required to submit a forest management plan developed by a Massachusetts licensed forester and approved by the Planning Board.
(4) 
Viewshed and viewpoints. The development may protect in perpetuity viewsheds and associated viewpoints, which are lands or corridors of land that contribute to the visual landscape of the Town, including items such as open fields containing stone walls. The Planning Board may make use of a site visit to determine potential viewsheds and viewpoints to be preserved.
(5) 
Historic features. The development may protect in perpetuity historically significant buildings and landscapes, identified as such in the Community Development Plan, that include buildings and associated uses that are maintained and visually separated from the developed portion of the OSRD. Structures or landscapes not identified may be determined by sufficient evidence presented to the Planning Board during review of the development. Such evidence may include listing or eligibility for listing on the National Register of Historic Landmarks, or the Massachusetts Register of Historic Landmarks.
I. 
Homeowners' association.
(1) 
In the event that ownership of the land will remain with the homeowners in the open space residential development, a nonprofit homeowners' association shall be established, requiring membership of each lot owner in the open space residential development.
(2) 
The association shall be responsible for the permanent maintenance of all common lands, common open space, recreational and thoroughfare facilities, except where such responsibility is assumed by another owner of the common land (land trust or conservation organization).
(3) 
A homeowners' association agreement or covenant that will guarantee continuing maintenance of such common utilities, land and facilities, and assessing each lot a share of maintenance expenses shall be submitted with the final subdivision application. Where no homeowners' association is proposed, an alternative plan shall be submitted with the final subdivision application.
(4) 
Such agreement must be reviewed and approved by Agawam's legal counsel and the Planning Board, and shall be recorded in the Hampden County Registry of Deeds. Such agreements or covenants shall provide that in the event that the association fails to maintain the common open land in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the agreement, the Town may, after notice to the association and public hearing, enter upon such land and maintain it in order to preserve taxable values of the properties within the development and to prevent the common land from becoming a public nuisance. The covenants shall also provide that the cost of such maintenance by the Town shall be assessed equally against each of the properties within the development.

§ 180-113 Residence A-6 Low-Density Multifamily Community District.

[Added 8-12-2013 by TOR-2013-6]
A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this district to allow for greater variety and flexibility in the development of housing types and to facilitate the construction and maintenance of streets, utilities and public services in a more economical and efficient manner while at the same time conserving important natural site features and permanently preserving open space.
B. 
Application.
(1) 
A site plan for a low-density multifamily community in conformance with § 180-13 shall be submitted to the Planning Board. The following additional information shall be required:
(a) 
A development statement listing the development team, setting forth the development concept, including in tabular form the number of units, type, size (number of bedrooms, amount of living space, gross floor area), ground coverage and summary showing the area of residential development and common open space as a percentage of the total area.
(b) 
A development site plan of the entire tract in accordance with the requirements of this section and meeting, to the extent applicable, the requirements set forth for a definitive plan in the Agawam Subdivision Rules and Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 159, Subdivision of Land.
(c) 
Architectural rendering of the site plans and typical structures, including floor plans and elevations.
(d) 
A traffic study will be required. This study shall be performed by a professional engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It may include, at the discretion of the Planning Board, analysis of existing and proposed traffic conditions, driveway design, traffic signal warrant analysis, parking lot size and layout recommendations, a description of impacts on local and regional traffic due to the development, including an area and for a build-out time period as prescribed by the Planning Board. Depending on the location of the proposed curb cut, existing traffic characteristics and the volume of traffic generated by the proposal, a traffic signal may be warranted at one or all points of access. Any traffic control devices to serve the development would be designed, funded, and constructed by the project proponent at the time of the initial development or by the homeowners' association in the future. If, as a result of the traffic study, off-site traffic remediation is determined to be warranted, it shall be the responsibility of the project proponent. If the number of parking stalls required in the parking analysis exceeds the number required in the Town Code, the larger number shall be required.
(e) 
An engineering report regarding the adequacy of sewage disposal, water supply and stormwater drainage, including the impact of the proposed design on the existing municipal utility infrastructure of the Town.
(f) 
Marketing and management information, including unit selling prices, construction schedule, and phasing schedule.
(2) 
Said application shall contain sufficient information so that the Planning Board can determine the applicability of said application for the following items:
(a) 
Is consistent with the Master Plan of the Town of Agawam;
(b) 
Preserves and protects the character of the Town and especially the immediate neighborhood, giving due consideration to such features as public safety, including traffic control and traffic impact upon surrounding roads; development of adequate facilities for the use of the residents of said proposal; adequate fire protection, public health, including sewage disposal, drainage and water supply; and the compatibility of the size, location, architecture and landscaping of said project with the adjacent neighborhood and the Town;
(c) 
Minimizes potential adverse environmental impacts upon the Town;
(d) 
Is likely to result in a financially stable, soundly and attractively constructed and well managed and maintained project; and
(e) 
Conforms to the specific provisions of this chapter, including the design guidelines of this section.
(3) 
Said site plan approval shall not be issued unless the Planning Board affirmatively determines that each of the above-listed criteria is met by said applicant.
C. 
Use regulations. The following uses shall be permitted in a low-density multifamily community:
(1) 
One-family detached dwellings.
(2) 
Two-family detached dwellings.
(3) 
Recreational uses and community facilities, such as parks, gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouses and community buildings.
(4) 
Accessory uses customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal uses listed above, but expressly excluding any commercial or retail enterprises.
D. 
Dimensional requirements. A low-density multifamily community shall comply with the following dimensional requirements:
(1) 
Minimum parcel size. The total parcel shall have a minimum area of not less than 10 acres.
(2) 
Minimum parcel frontage. The total parcel shall have a minimum frontage on a public way of at least 150 feet.
(3) 
Front, side and rear yards. The minimum front yard (setback) shall be 25 feet from the interior paved way. The minimum front yard (setback) shall be 50 feet where it abuts a public way only. The side yard and rear yard requirements shall be 50 feet, inclusive of a landscaped buffer strip of not less than 15 feet, and shall pertain only to the periphery of the development. Additional buffering may be required in sensitive areas at the discretion of the Planning Board. The Planning Board may modify or waive the buffering requirement where variations in topography, natural features and vegetation, or compatible land uses, obviate the need for such a buffer.
E. 
Density regulations. The maximum number of dwelling units permitted within a low-density multifamily community shall be determined by the Planning Board to assure compliance with the purpose and intent of these regulations, and in any event shall not exceed an average of four units per acre of usable land area.
F. 
Building requirements.
(1) 
Building character. The low-density multifamily community shall be an architecturally integrated development. An architectural theme shall be carried out by the use of common building materials, color, exterior detailing, bulk and/or rooflines. Design characteristics shall be stated in the development application and shall include, but not be limited to, building materials, architectural design, and street furniture, which shall require Planning Board approval.
(2) 
Building location. Building location and orientation shall reflect:
(a) 
The relationship to street line and to other buildings in the development if in close proximity, in order to protect privacy and create visual coherence.
(b) 
Views, solar access and access to common open space in order to enhance an occupant's interest.
(c) 
Organization of large developments into recognizable subareas in order to provide scale and identity.
(d) 
Avoidance of major topography changes and destruction of significant natural site features, including removal of native trees or vegetation, in order to preserve and protect the environment.
(e) 
Reduction of visual intrusion into abutting properties in order to protect existing character to the extent practicable.
(3) 
Community facility. Unless waived by the Planning Board, the development shall establish a community room or facility for use by the residents. Such facility may provide community space for mail, indoor recreation, meetings, and other functions held by the residents.
G. 
Maximum building height. The maximum height of structures shall be two stories or 35 feet above the ground.
H. 
Minimum setback distance between buildings. The minimum setback distance between buildings shall be 30 feet.
I. 
Stairways. All egress stairways are to be contained within the building structure proper.
J. 
Utilities.
(1) 
Each dwelling in a low-density multifamily community shall be provided with access drainage and utilities that are functionally equivalent to that provided under the Planning Board's Subdivision Regulations.[2] All utilities shall be placed underground.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 159, Subdivision of Land.
(2) 
All dwelling units shall be serviced by a public water supply deemed adequate for fire protection and domestic use.
(3) 
All dwelling units shall be connected to public sewers if available. If public sewers are not available, all dwelling units shall be serviced with on-site sewage disposal systems which shall be designed to meet the requirements of approval from the Agawam Board of Health and/or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as necessary.
(4) 
All outdoor lighting in the development shall be designed to improve visibility, safety and a sense of security while minimizing energy use, operating costs, glare and light pollution. Outdoor lighting shall be designed to prevent misdirected or excessive artificial light. Building areas shall not be floodlit. Roadways, parking areas, walkways and other public areas shall be illuminated only by properly positioned, high-efficiency, full-cutoff-shielded lighting fixtures not higher than 15 feet in height.
K. 
Parking and circulation requirements.
(1) 
There shall be an adequate, safe and convenient arrangement of pedestrian circulation, roadways, driveways and parking.
(2) 
Vehicular access to the low-density multifamily community shall be provided from an existing public way which, in the opinion of the Planning Board, is adequate to service the proposed development. As a matter of public safety, an additional access may be required.
(3) 
All roads within the low-density multifamily community shall be privately owned and maintained and shall be designed with sufficient width, suitable grade and adequate construction to safely provide for the needs of vehicular traffic generated by the development. Access roads shall be designed and constructed according to the requirements of the Agawam Subdivision Rules and Regulations[3] or as otherwise modified by the Planning Board.
[3]
Editor's Note: See 159, Subdivision of Land.
(4) 
Garages or off-street parking spaces, or a combination thereof, shall be provided for all occupants, employees, and visitors, and shall be not less than two garage spaces per dwelling unit. Road widths and other factors will be evaluated when considering on-street parking.
(5) 
The development shall be served by sidewalks in accordance with the Planning Board Subdivision Rules and Regulations. The use of exterior stairs and raised curbing in areas where there will be pedestrian activity shall be minimized.
L. 
Landscaping requirements.
(1) 
A coordinated landscape design for the entire project area, including landscaping of structures, parking areas, driveways and walkways, and buffer strips shall be submitted for approval by the Planning Board.
(2) 
Wherever possible, existing trees and vegetative cover shall be conserved and integrated into the landscape design.
(3) 
Proper maintenance of the landscaping, including the buffer strip, shall be the responsibility of the owner and shall be a condition of conformance with the Zoning Bylaws.
M. 
Common open space requirements.
(1) 
All land within the low-density multifamily community which is not covered by buildings, roads, driveways, parking areas or other development, or which is not set aside as private yards, patios or gardens for the residents, shall be common open space. The area of the common open space shall equal at least 30% of the total area of the active adult community tract. Such land shall have a shape, dimension, character and location suitable to assure its use for park, recreation, conservation or agricultural purposes by all the residents of the development.
(2) 
Suitable and usable outdoor recreational area or areas shall be provided for the use of tenants. At least 1,000 square feet per dwelling unit must be usable open space for active and passive recreation. [This amount may be included in the 30% common open space requirement set forth in Subsection M(1) above.] Such space shall not include wetlands as determined by the Conservation Commission. Usable open space may be defined to include land for community gardens, hiking/jogging paths, tennis courts, swimming pools or similar facilities.
(3) 
Further subdivision of common open land or its use for other than recreation, conservation, or agriculture, except for easements for underground utilities, shall be prohibited.
(4) 
Provision shall be made so that the common open space shall be owned in common and readily accessible to the owners and residents of all units in the development or by a membership corporation, trust or association whose members are the owners and residents of the units. In all cases the common open space shall be subject to a perpetual restriction running to or enforceable by the Town which shall be recorded in respect to such land. Such restriction shall be in such form and substance as the Planning Board shall prescribe and may contain such additional restrictions on development as the Planning Board may deem appropriate.
N. 
Community association.
(1) 
An owners' association shall be established requiring membership of each unit owner in the low-density multifamily community. The association shall be responsible for the permanent maintenance of communal water, sewage, and recreational and thoroughfare facilities. An association agreement or covenant shall be submitted with the application guaranteeing the continuing maintenance of such common utilities, land and facilities, assessing each unit a share of maintenance expenses. Such agreement shall be subject to the review and approval of Agawam legal counsel and the Planning Board and shall be recorded in the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.
(2) 
Such agreements or covenants shall provide that in the event that the association fails to maintain the common facilities in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the agreement, the Town may, after notice to the association and public hearing, enter upon such land and maintain it in order to preserve the taxable value of the properties within the development and to prevent the common land from becoming a public nuisance. The covenants shall also provide that the cost of such maintenance by the Town shall be assessed ratably against the properties within the development.
O. 
Project identification.
(1) 
As a condition of its approval, the Planning Board may permit a sign showing the project name to be permanently affixed at each entrance to the development, which shall be designed to be compatible with the character of the development and the surrounding neighborhood. Each sign shall be of a size and design to be approved by the Planning Board, provided that no such sign shall exceed 32 square feet in size.
(2) 
All streets shall be posted with standard street signs, and all street names shall be approved by the Planning Board. Dwelling units shall be assigned street numbers as assigned by the Assessor's office.
P. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
As a condition of its approval, the Planning Board may establish time limits for any development or phases thereof.
(2) 
Before any building permits are issued for buildings in a given phase, the developer may be required to provide the Town with performance security in a form and amount satisfactory to the Planning Board to guarantee the construction of required site improvements.
Q. 
Waivers. The Planning Board may waive or modify any requirement of this section for compelling reasons of safety, aesthetics or site design.

§ 180-114 (Reserved)

§ 180-115 Residence A-5 Age-Restricted Housing District.

[Added 4-3-2006 by TR-2006-9[1]]
A. 
Purpose. It is the purpose of this district to allow for greater variety and flexibility in the development of housing types and to facilitate the construction and maintenance of streets, utilities and public services in a more economical and efficient manner while at the same time conserving important natural site features and permanently preserving open space.
B. 
Age-restricted occupancy. The active adult community shall provide age-restricted housing comprised of dwelling units limited to use and occupancy primarily by persons at least 55 years of age or older, who are able to maintain an active, independent lifestyle without the help of additional on-site support services.
(1) 
Not more than three residents shall occupy any dwelling unit.
(2) 
All occupants of a dwelling unit shall be age 55 or older except as follows:
(a) 
A spouse or cohabitating partner of an occupant age 55 or older;
(b) 
An occupant who survives his or her spouse or partner;
(c) 
Not more than one child residing with his or her parent(s), provided that said child is 18 years of age or older.
(3) 
The owner of the development shall publish and follow policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to be housing for persons 55 and older, including federal Housing and Urban Development (HUD) rules for verification of occupancy.
C. 
Application.
(1) 
A site plan for an active adult community in conformance with § 180-13 shall be submitted to the Planning Board. The following additional information shall be required:
(a) 
A development statement listing the development team, setting forth the development concept, including in tabular form the number of units, type, size (number of bedrooms, amount of living space, gross floor area), ground coverage and summary showing the area of residential development and common open space as a percentage of the total area.
(b) 
A development site plan of the entire tract in accordance with the requirements of this section and meeting, to the extent applicable, the requirements set forth for a definitive plan in the Agawam Subdivision Rules and Regulations.
(c) 
Architectural rendering of the site plans and typical structures, including floor plans and elevations.
(d) 
A traffic study will be required. This study shall be performed by a professional engineer registered in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It may include, at the discretion of the Planning Board, analysis of existing and proposed traffic conditions, driveway design, traffic signal warrant analysis, parking lot size and layout recommendations, a description of impacts on local and regional traffic due to the development, including an area and for a build-out time period as prescribed by the Planning Board. Depending on the location of the proposed curb cut, existing traffic characteristics and the volume of traffic generated by the proposal, a traffic signal may be warranted at one or all points of access. Any traffic control devices to serve the development would be designed, funded, and constructed by the project proponent at the time of the initial development or by the homeowners's association in the future. If, as a result of the traffic study, off-site traffic remediation is determined to be warranted, it shall be the responsibility of the project proponent. If the number of parking stalls required in the parking analysis exceed the number required in the Town Code, the larger number shall be required.
(e) 
An engineering report regarding the adequacy of sewage disposal, water supply and stormwater drainage, including the impact of the proposed design on the existing municipal utility infrastructure of the Town.
(f) 
Marketing and management information, including unit selling prices, construction schedule, phasing schedule, and drafts of policies and procedures that demonstrate the intent to be housing for persons 55 and older.
(2) 
Said application shall contain sufficient information so that the Planning Board can determine the applicability of said application for the following items:
(a) 
Is consistent with the Master Plan of the Town of Agawam;
(b) 
Preserves and protects the character of the Town and especially the immediate neighborhood, giving due consideration to such features as public safety, including traffic control and traffic impact upon surrounding roads; development of adequate facilities for the use of the residents of said proposal; adequate fire protection, public health including sewage disposal, drainage and water supply; and the compatibility of the size, location, architecture and landscaping of said project with the adjacent neighborhood and the Town;
(c) 
Minimizes potential adverse environmental impacts upon the Town;
(d) 
Is likely to result in a financially stable, soundly and attractively constructed and well managed and maintained project; and
(e) 
Conforms to the specific provisions of this chapter, including the design guidelines of this section.
(3) 
Said site plan approval shall not be issued unless the Planning Board affirmatively determines that each of the above-listed criteria is met by said applicant.
D. 
Use regulations. The following uses shall be permitted in an active adult community:
(1) 
One-family detached dwellings.
(2) 
Two-family detached dwellings.
(3) 
Recreational uses and community facilities, such as parks, gardens, swimming pools, tennis courts, clubhouses and community buildings.
(4) 
Accessory uses customarily incidental and subordinate to the principal uses listed above, but expressly excluding any commercial or retail enterprises.
E. 
Dimensional requirements. An active adult community shall comply with the following dimensional requirements:
(1) 
Minimum parcel size. The total parcel shall have a minimum area of not less than 10 acres.
(2) 
Minimum parcel frontage. The total parcel shall have a minimum frontage on a public way of at least 150 feet.
(3) 
Front, side and rear yards. The minimum front yard (setback) shall be 25 feet from the interior paved way. The minimum front yard (setback) shall be 50 feet where it abuts a public way only. The side yard and rear yard requirements shall be 50 feet inclusive of a landscaped buffer strip of not less than 15 feet and shall pertain only to the periphery of the development. Additional buffering may be required in sensitive areas at the discretion of the Planning Board. The Planning Board may modify or waive the buffering requirement where variations in topography, natural features and vegetation, or compatible land uses obviate the need for such a buffer.
[Amended 12-4-2006 by TOR-2006-12]
F. 
Density regulations. The maximum number of dwelling units permitted within an active adult community shall be determined by the Planning Board to assure compliance with the purpose and intent of these regulations, and in any event shall not exceed an average of four units per acre of usable land area.
G. 
Building requirements.
(1) 
Building character. The active adult community shall be an architecturally integrated development. An architectural theme shall be carried out by the use of common building materials, color, exterior detailing, bulk and/or rooflines. Design characteristics shall be stated in the development application and shall include, but not be limited to, building materials, architectural design, and street furniture, which shall require Planning Board approval.
(2) 
Building location. Building location and orientation shall reflect:
(a) 
The relationship to street line and to other buildings in the development if in close proximity, in order to protect privacy and create visual coherence.
(b) 
Views, solar access and access to common open space in order to enhance an occupant's interest.
(c) 
Organization of large developments into recognizable subareas in order to provide scale and identity.
(d) 
Avoidance of major topography changes and destruction of significant natural site features, including removal of native trees or vegetation, in order to preserve and protect the environment.
(e) 
Reduction of visual intrusion into abutting properties in order to protect existing character to the extent practicable.
(3) 
Community facility. Unless waived by the Planning Board, the development shall establish a community room or facility for use by the residents. Such facility may provide community space for mail, indoor recreation, meetings, and other functions held by the residents.
H. 
Maximum building height. The maximum height of structures shall be two stories or 35 feet above the ground.
I. 
Minimum setback distance between buildings. The minimum setback distance between buildings shall be 30 feet.
J. 
Stairways. All egress stairways are to be contained within the building structure proper.
K. 
Utilities.
(1) 
Each dwelling in an active adult community shall be provided with access drainage and utilities that are functionally equivalent to that provided under the Planning Board's Subdivision Regulations. All utilities shall be placed underground.
(2) 
All dwelling units shall be serviced by a public water supply deemed adequate for fire protection and domestic use.
(3) 
All dwelling units shall be connected to public sewers if available. If public sewers are not available, all dwelling units shall be serviced with on-site sewage disposal systems which shall be designed to meet the requirements of approval from the Agawam Board of Health and/or the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection as necessary.
(4) 
All outdoor lighting in the development shall be designed to improve visibility, safety and a sense of security while minimizing energy use, operating costs, glare and light pollution. Outdoor lighting shall be designed to prevent misdirected or excessive artificial light. Building areas shall not be floodlit. Roadways, parking areas, walkways and other public areas shall be illuminated only by properly positioned, high-efficiency, full-cutoff-shielded lighting fixtures not higher than 15 feet in height.
L. 
Parking and circulation requirements.
(1) 
There shall be an adequate, safe and convenient arrangement of pedestrian circulation, roadways, driveways and parking.
(2) 
Vehicular access to the active adult community shall be provided from an existing public way which, in the opinion of the Planning Board, is adequate to service the proposed development. As a matter of public safety, an additional access may be required.
(3) 
All roads within the active adult community shall be privately owned and maintained and shall be designed with sufficient width, suitable grade and adequate construction to safely provide for the needs of vehicular traffic generated by the development. Access roads shall be designed and constructed according to the requirements of the Agawam Subdivision Rules and Regulations or as otherwise modified by the Planning Board.
(4) 
Garages or off-street parking spaces, or a combination thereof, shall be provided for all occupants, employees, and visitors, and shall be not less than two garage spaces per dwelling unit. Road widths and other factors will be evaluated when considering on-street parking.
(5) 
The development shall be served by sidewalks in accordance with the Planning Board Subdivision Rules and Regulations. The use of exterior stairs and raised curbing in areas where there will be pedestrian activity shall be minimized.
M. 
Landscaping requirements.
(1) 
A coordinated landscape design for the entire project area, including landscaping of structures, parking areas, driveways and walkways, and buffer strips shall be submitted for approval by the Planning Board.
(2) 
Wherever possible, existing trees and vegetative cover shall be conserved and integrated into the landscape design.
(3) 
Proper maintenance of the landscaping, including the buffer strip, shall be the responsibility of the owner, and shall be a condition of conformance with the Zoning Bylaws.
N. 
Common open space requirements.
(1) 
All land within the active adult community which is not covered by buildings, roads, driveways, parking areas or other development, or which is not set aside as private yards, patios or gardens for the residents, shall be common open space. The area of the common open space shall equal at least 30% of the total area of the active adult community tract. Such land shall have a shape, dimension, character and location suitable to assure its use for park, recreation, conservation or agricultural purposes by all the residents of the development.
(2) 
Suitable and usable outdoor recreational area or areas shall be provided for the use of tenants. At least 1,000 square feet per dwelling unit must be usable open space for active and passive recreation. [This amount may be included in the thirty-percent common open space requirement set forth in Subsection N(1) above.] Such space shall not include wetlands as determined by the Conservation Commission. Usable open space may be defined to include land for community gardens, hiking/jogging paths, tennis courts, swimming pools or similar facilities.
(3) 
Further subdivision of common open land or its use for other than recreation, conservation, or agriculture, except for easements for underground utilities shall be prohibited.
(4) 
Provision shall be made so that the common open space shall be owned in common and readily accessible to the owners and residents of all units in the development or by a membership corporation, trust or association whose members are the owners and residents of the units. In all cases the common open space shall be subject to a perpetual restriction running to or enforceable by the Town which shall be recorded in respect to such land. Such restriction shall be in such form and substance as the Planning Board shall prescribe, and may contain such additional restrictions on development as the Planning Board may deem appropriate.
O. 
Community association.
(1) 
An owners' association shall be established requiring membership of each unit owner in the active adult community. The association shall be responsible for the permanent maintenance of communal water, sewage, recreational and thoroughfare facilities. An association agreement or covenant shall be submitted with the application guaranteeing the continuing maintenance of such common utilities, land and facilities, assessing each unit a share of maintenance expenses. Such agreement shall be subject to the review and approval of Agawam legal counsel and the Planning Board and shall be recorded in the Hampden County Registry of Deeds.
(2) 
Such agreements or covenants shall provide that in the event that the association fails to maintain the common facilities in reasonable order and condition in accordance with the agreement, the Town may, after notice to the association and public hearing, enter upon such land and maintain it in order to preserve the taxable value of the properties within the development and to prevent the common land from becoming a public nuisance. The covenants shall also provide that the cost of such maintenance by the Town shall be assessed ratably against the properties within the development.
P. 
Project identification.
(1) 
As a condition of its approval, the Planning Board may permit a sign showing the project name to be permanently affixed at each entrance to the development, which shall be designed to be compatible with the character of the development and the surrounding neighborhood. Each sign shall be of a size and design to be approved by the Planning Board, provided that no such sign shall exceed 32 square feet in size.
(2) 
All streets shall be posted with standard street signs, and all street names shall be approved by the Planning Board. Dwelling units shall be assigned street numbers as assigned by the Assessor's Office.
Q. 
Enforcement.
(1) 
As a condition of its approval, the Planning Board may establish time limits for any development or phases thereof.
(2) 
Before any building permits are issued for buildings in a given phase, the developer may be required to provide the Town with performance security in a form and amount satisfactory to the Planning Board to guarantee the construction of required site improvements.
R. 
Waivers. The Planning Board may waive or modify any requirement of this section for compelling reasons of safety, aesthetics or site design.
[1]
This resolution inadvertently placed § 180-115 into Art. XV. The section was reassigned to Art. XVI 12-4-2006 by TOR-2006-12.