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Chapter 7.1 Section XVIII Retirement Community
Section XVIII
RETIREMENT COMMUNITY

Section 1 - Intent and Applicability

The intent of this section is to allow flexibility in development of parcels for housing and related services for retired and aging persons, with particular interest in meeting the needs of residents of Holden. A Retirement Community, as defined herein, may be allowed upon grant of a special permit by the Planning Board.

Section 2 - Definition

As used in this by-law, Retirement Community shall mean a development on a parcel of twenty (20) acres or more comprised of a mixture of dwelling unit(s) as defined herein to include Independent Housing and may include a combination of Congregate Housing, Assisted Living Facility(s), and Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facility(s) with said dwelling units designed to accommodate the needs of an aged population. A Retirement Community shall operate under common management serving the principal purpose of assisting the elderly in maintaining an independent lifestyle. For those projects comprised of greater than twenty (20) acres, a Retirement Community shall be limited to persons at least one of whom in each household shall have attained the age of fifty-five (55) years. The program of in house resident services offered by a Retirement Community development that includes any combination of Congregate Housing, and/or Assisted Living Facility(s), and/or Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facility(s) shall be primarily for the benefit of residents and their guests of the Retirement Community and shall include a majority of the following:

Restorative care/skilled nursing*
Transportation services
Financial assistance
Barber/beautician
Medical evaluation/health care maintenance
Home health
Assisted Care*
Adult day care and respite care services
Food services
Cleaning services
Exercise, recreational, educational and social services
Other services, activities and accessory uses incidental to the operation of a Retirement Community

In house services may only be provided to residents and their guests and may not display exterior advertising. The program of in house services offered by the Retirement Community shall be specified in the Special Permit application and the scale of each service shall be in proportion to the number of dwelling units in the Retirement Community and subject to approval by the Planning Board.

*Assisted Care includes the provision of services geared to an aging adult population which may have difficulty functioning independently and may require oversight including, but not limited to the provision of a full meal plan, transportation services, personal care and assistance with medications.

*Restorative care/skilled nursing includes the provision of services for long-term nursing, convalescent or rehabilitative care; supervision and care incident to old age, retirement home care for elderly persons.

Section 3 - Types of Dwellings and Facilities Permitted

The Planning Board may grant a Special Permit to allow a Retirement Community in any zoning district. A Retirement Community shall adhere to the dimensional requirements of the underlying zoning district except as set forth in Section 4 of this Section XVIII: Specific Restrictions. A Special Permit granted by the Planning Board may allow the construction of detached or attached dwellings of any combination, and may also allow the construction of a restorative care center/skilled nursing facility/clinic, congregate housing, assisted living facility(s) and accommodations for in house resident services. There shall be provided in appropriate cases suitable means of access to and egress from and access within all buildings designed for occupation for dwelling purposes or in house services for handicapped persons as required to comply with the standards of the Architectural Access Board. Enclosed walkways and/or non enclosed walkways connecting buildings shall be permitted.

INDEPENDENT LIVING RETIREMENT HOUSING: As used in this Bylaw, Independent Living Retirement Housing means private residential dwelling units, individually equipped with a minimum of a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and living area.    Geared toward independently functioning adults, this housing typically does not offer on-site supportive services but is designed to be barrier free and may include emergency call features complemented by housing management and maintenance services.

CONGREGATE HOUSING: As used in this Bylaw, Congregate Housing means private dwelling units/apartments which may have kitchen facilities within a complex containing central dining and other common areas and is designed for an adult population requiring some supportive services including but not limited to meals, housekeeping, home health and other supportive services. Congregate Housing under this section of the bylaw must obtain all required permits and/or licenses that are required to operate such facility by any department of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Holden.

ASSISTED LIVING FACILITY: As used in this Bylaw, an Assisted Living facility means a twenty-four hour staff along with private dwelling units which may contain independent efficiency kitchens, but which contain common kitchen, dining and other activity areas. Assisted Living facilities are geared to an adult population which may have difficulty functioning independently and may require oversight including, but not limited to the provision of a full meal plan, transportation services, personal care and assistance with medications. Special care programs specifically designed for adults with memory loss are included in this category. Assisted Living Facility(s) under this section of the bylaw must obtain all required permits and/or licenses required to operate such a facility by any department of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts including Certification by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs pursuant to M.G.L. Chapter 19D and the Town of Holden.

RESTORATIVE CARE/SKILLED NURSING FACILITY includes any institutions which provide services primarily to three or more individuals admitted thereto with long-term nursing, convalescent or rehabilitative care; supervision and care incident to old age; or retirement home care for elderly persons and includes services provided by nursing homes, convalescent homes, long term care facilities, rest homes, infirmaries for older adults, charitable homes for the aged. Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facility(s) under this section of the bylaw must obtain all applicable permits and licenses required by any agency of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Holden.

DWELLING UNIT: One or more living or sleeping rooms arranged for the use of one or more individuals living as a single housekeeping unit with individual or congregate cooking, living, sanitary and sleeping facilities, excluding Mobile Homes and Trailers. The intent of this definition is to define a "home" with private sleeping rooms rather than a dormitory arrangement of sleeping quarters.

Section 4 - Specific Restrictions

A Retirement Community as provided herein shall also be subject to the following specific restrictions.

A.      Density and Parcel Size

A Retirement Community shall occupy a parcel of land of twenty (20) acres or greater. The maximum number of dwelling units permitted in a Retirement Community shall be determined as follows:

Single family detached dwelling units require a land area of 10,000 square feet exclusive of required open space.

Duplexes require a land area of 15,000 square feet exclusive of required open space.

Triplexes require a land area of 22,500 square feet exclusive of required open space.

Townhouses or other multifamily residential dwelling units require a land area of 15,000 square feet for the first two dwelling units and 6000 square feet per dwelling unit for each dwelling unit thereafter exclusive of required open space.

No more than 50% of the dwelling units in a Retirement Community shall be in any one of the above referenced categories [single family detached dwelling units, duplexes, triplexes, townhouses or other multifamily dwelling units] if the Retirement Community consists of more than ten dwelling units. The Planning Board may waive this requirement if it can be demonstrated that the request is consistent with the objectives of the bylaw and is in the best interests of the Town and its residents.

Congregate Housing and/or Assisted Living Facilities occupying a single structure may be constructed at a density of 12 dwelling units per acre exclusive of required open space and acreage devoted to other use with no more than two such facilities occupying a Retirement Community site. These facilities must adhere to the open space requirements of this article. Congregate Housing and/or Assisted Living Facilities may not function independently of a Retirement Community under Section XVIII of the Holden Zoning Bylaws. Any Congregate Housing or Assisted Living Facility under this section of the bylaw must obtain all required permits and/or licenses required by any department of the United States of America, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Town of Holden. Development plans submitted under this section shall include a construction schedule indicating that other forms of housing allowed under this section will be constructed prior to or concurrent with commencement of construction of Congregate Housing or Assisted Living Facilities.

An increase in the number of dwelling units of up to twenty (20) percent of the maximum dwelling units allowed may be permitted based upon each additional dwelling unit so granted being Affordable Housing. In granting such increases the Planning Board shall require that the developer provide legally enforceable assurances which are acceptable to the Planning Board that the dwelling units so granted will continue to be Affordable Housing. For the purposes of this section "Affordable Housing" means housing affordable to people or families with incomes as set by the Department of Housing and Community Development for this purpose.

B.      Set back

Single family detached dwelling units, duplexes, and triplexes, townhouses, multifamily residential dwelling units, Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities, Congregate Housing, and Assisted Living Facilities are to be set back a minimum of 50 feet from the outside perimeter property line of the retirement community. This 50 foot setback is intended to act as a buffer and shall not be disturbed from its natural state for the entire distance excepting for additional plantings or as required by the Planning Board and excepting the entranceway(s). The Planning Board may approve the removal of dead, dying or scrub vegetation in conjunction with additional plantings.

The minimum setback for Congregate Housing, Assisted Living Facilities, and Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facilities shall be increased by 15 feet for structures over one story in height.

C.      Lot coverage and Open Space Requirements

Lot coverage, including both building footprints and all other impervious surfaces, for any Retirement Community shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the total parcel.

If the Retirement Community contains more than 4 buildings, these buildings shall be sited using cluster principles. At least twenty-five (25) percent of the Retirement Community site, of which fifty (50) percent shall not be wetlands, shall be preserved as open space exclusive of parcel size restrictions and set back requirements in Sections 4A and 4B. A minimum of seventy-five (75) percent of the open space shall be maintained as a natural vegetation area except that plantings, passive recreational uses (as may be permitted and/or required by the Planning Board), the installation, repair and maintenance of footpaths, underground utilities, access ways (if required by the Town of Holden or other governmental agency), drainage structures and facilities and such other construction as may be permitted and/or required by the Planning Board under the provisions of Site Plan Approval are permitted. However, such portions of the open space as shall have been disturbed for purposes so permitted shall be restored to former conditions as approved by the Planning Board. The open space shall be protected by a recorded restriction enforceable by the Town of Holden.

D.      Parking

There shall be at least one and one/half (1.5) off-street parking spaces per dwelling unit. Notwithstanding the foregoing Congregate Housing shall provide a minimum of one (1) off street parking space per dwelling unit and a Restorative Care/Skilled Nursing Facility or Assisted Living Facility shall have at least one-half (.5) off-street parking space per bed or dwelling unit respectively.

E.      Roads, Driveways, and Utilities

All roads, driveways, utilities, and drainage facilities within a Retirement Community shall be designed and constructed in conformance with the Town of Holden Subdivision Control Regulations. The Planning Board may waive said rules and regulations if it determines that such action will advance the intent of these regulations.

Section 5 - Other Objectives

The following objectives are important in the development of a Retirement Community and are to be considered by the Planning Board in determining whether to grant a Special Permit for a Retirement Community:

A.      It is desirable to minimize municipal costs and environmental impacts through reduction, to the extent reasonable, in the length of streets, utilities and drainage systems per dwelling unit served.

B.      It is desirable to increase the size of contiguous area assured of preservation in a natural state and the number of off-street pathways and trails, recreation areas and wilderness area open to all residents of the Retirement Community.

C.      It is desirable that all existing scenic vistas be respected and preserved and that new scenic vistas be created.

D.      It is desirable to increase vehicular safety by having fewer, better located and designed egresses onto existing streets.

E.      It is desirable to preserve environmental quality by reduction (i) of the total area over which vegetation is disturbed by cut or fill or displacement; (ii) in critical lands (slopes in excess of fifteen percent (15%), land within one hundred (100) feet of a water body, wetland or stream having outstanding or rare vegetation) disturbed by construction; (iii) of the extent of waterways altered or relocated; (iv) in the volume of cut and fill for roads and construction sites.

F.      It is desirable to have the design and location and materials of the structure(s) on the site be sensitive to the natural and environmental conditions, vistas and abutting properties.

G.      There should be positive benefit to the Town in some important respects, such as mitigation of environmental damage, better controlled traffic, preservation of current character through location of reserved open space, meeting the shelter and/or health needs of special populations of the Town.

Section 6 - Procedures

The procedures to obtain a special permit from the Planning Board for a Retirement Community, including administration, powers, hearings and time limits, shall be those set forth for a special permit.

Section 7 - Application and Submission Requirements

The application and submission requirements for a special permit from the Planning Board for a Retirement Community shall comply with Section 7. I.XI.J.1 and the Holden Planning Board Plan Submittal Requirements on file with the Holden Town Clerk and include at minimum:


Application fee as specified in the above referenced document
Application forms in duplicate
A Sepia or Mylar of the Plan
Blueprint copies as specified in above referenced document
A Certified Abutters List
Mailing labels as specified in above referenced document

Plans shall show boundaries of the premises; existing and proposed topography, buildings (including the facades thereof), parking, screening, water, sanitary sewerage, storm drainage, site landscaping (including walls, fences, walks, planting areas and green belts), loading areas, driveway openings, driveways, service areas and lighting. If phasing is considered an overall development plan of the proposed use of the entire tract of land designated for the Retirement Community shall be submitted.

Section 8 - Application Review Procedures

The Planning Board, through the special permit review process, shall exercise standards for review and standards for approval for a Retirement Community which comply with the intent and requirements of Sections 1-7 above and assure the following:

A.      Safety of internal circulation and egress.

B.      Adequate access to each structure for fire and service equipment.

C.      Traffic safety and ease of access at street and highway entrances and exits of driveways, taking account of grades, sight distances and distances between such driveway entrances, exits and the nearest existing street(s) or highway intersection(s).

D.      Appropriate scale of dwelling units, including group structures, which may exceed the average dimension of units on surrounding properties, but not to an excess which negatively affects surrounding properties as determined by the Planning Board.

E.      Appropriate loading space for associated services but no less than one (1) space per 40,000 square feet of such space and no less than one (1) space overall.

F.      Buffering of the Retirement Community from surrounding properties with vegetation and/or fencing as needed and determined by the Planning Board.

The Planning Board shall grant a Special Permit under this section only when it finds that the appropriateness of the location for the uses and structures, the adequacy of public sewerage and water facilities or the suitability of the site for on-lot sewerage and water systems, any possible adverse effect on the neighborhood and/or Town, undue nuisance or serious hazard to vehicles or pedestrians, and adequate and appropriate facilities to ensure the proper operation of the proposed use, structure, or condition the Retirement Community is consistent with the intent of this bylaw.

The Board shall impose reasonable conditions to safeguard the neighborhood, or otherwise serve the purposes of this bylaw, including, but not limited to, the following: front, side, or rear yards greater than the minimum required otherwise by this bylaw; screening and buffers; modification of the exterior appearance of structures; limitation upon the size, number of occupants, method and time of operation, or extent of facilities; regulation of the number and location of driveways or other traffic features; and off-street parking or loading or other special features beyond the minimum required in this bylaw.

The Planning Board shall provide findings of fact regarding its decision(s) for approval of any Special Permit granted under this Section XVIII of the bylaws.





 
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