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Chapter 7.1 Section XIV Village Regulations


A Village shall be an area developed as an entity and occupied by a balanced mix of land uses, as allowed by Village Special Permit granted by the Zoning Board of Appeals after receipt of the recommendations of the Planning Board.

B.      INTENT

The intent of Village zoning is to allow a variety of land uses, within a planned development of localized density, which integrates the different elements such that each complements the function of each other use, thus improving the quality of the Village as a whole.

Such a symbiotic effect depends on careful integration of the mixed land uses into a coherent Village. To ensure a beneficial mix of uses, the following requirements must be met, the Village Site Plan must be approved, and a Village Special Permit must be issued.


l.      Landuse
A Village development shall include a minimum of three of the following permitted land uses, one of which shall be residential, subject to other Village regulations:

a)      Residential
b)      Restaurant
c)      Theater or Auditorium
d)      Recreational Facility
e)      Parking (open lots, and attached or detached single or multi-space garages)
f)      Business and Professional Office
g)      Retail Establishment (not including production facilities, but allowing on-site assembly)
h)      Personal Service Business
i)      Hotel or Motel
j)      Community Facility

2.      Proportional Balance of Landuse

To ensure a balanced mix of integrated land uses, the following proportional linkage requirements shall be applied:

a)      Residential
Residential uses shall be balanced by other permitted uses by application of the following formulae:

i       The minimum total area (sq. ft.) of non-residential uses shall be no less than 150 sq. ft. multiplied by the total number of residential bedrooms.

i i     The minimum total area (sq. ft.) occupied by retail establishments, personal service businesses, and business & professional offices shall be no less than 100 sq. ft. multiplied by the total number of residential bedrooms.

iii     The minimum total area (sq. ft.) of residential uses shall be no less than 40% of the total floor area (sq. ft.) of Village building uses.

b)      Open Space

Village Open Space shall be provided for recreational and social opportunities, to enhance Village appearance, and for access to areas of natural beauty. Open Space shall be considered to be that portion of the Village not covered by new or existing buildings, accessory structures, parking spaces, or roadways; and may include courts, yards, exterior paths, plantings, greenery, and covered or interior atria which are freely accessible and not serving an essential building function, characterized by natural lighting.

At least 75% of the required Village Open Space shall not be natural wetlands, or land having slopes exceeding 15%.

b.      The minimum allowable area (sq. ft.) of Village Open Space shall be determined by application of the following formulae:

i       F =     F -     F
T       R       P

A       B       C
ii      F = .2(D)+ .3(D) + .7(D)

iii     F = P / 1000

F =     The minimum fraction of the gross Village area set aside
T      for Open Space

F =     Residential based open space requirement

F =     Abutting open space credit

A =     The number of residential units in renovated existing buildings

B =     The number of residential units in townhouses

C =     The number of residential units in multi-family buildings

D =     The total number of residential units

P =     The number of acres of Open Space abutting the Village, which is fully and freely accessible to the public for the purposes of recreation or conservation, such as state, town, or conservation society owned forests, parks, lakes or ponds, recreational fields, etc.

2.(c)   Public Access

i       The minimum allowable portion of the required open space in a Village which shall be open and accessible for free public use and enjoyment shall be determined by application of the following formula:

P = O x N / T

Where:          P       =       Minimum allowable area (sq. ft.) of publicly
A              accessible open space.
O       =       Required are (sq. ft.) of Village open space

=       F x gross Village area (sq. ft.)

N     = Total net floor area (sq. ft.) of Non-residential uses

T       =       Total floor area (sq. ft.) of all Village
building uses

ii      No portion of the required publicly accessible open space in a Village shall contain land with slopes exceeding 15%, unless such slope is demonstrated to be usual or appropriate to the public recreational use of that portion of the publicly accessible land.

d)      Restaurants

Each 100 sq. ft. of restaurant use shall be balanced by a minimum of 350 sq. ft. of other combined non-residential uses, as listed in Section XIV, c - 1c) - 1j)

e)      Hotels or Motels

The total number of hotel or motel rental rooms in a Village shall not exceed the total number of residential units.

3.      Area Regulations

All Area Regulations pertain to the exterior dimensions of the total Village area.

a)      Minimum Required Village Area

The minimum required Village area shall be the greater of i or ii:

i       Five acres
ii      10,000 sq. ft., plus 3,500 sq. ft. for each residential unit more than two

b)      Minimum Village Width

The minimum Village width shall be 200 feet.

c)      Minimum Village Frontage

The minimum Village frontage shall be 150 feet.

d)      Minimum Village Yards

i       Front:  30 feet
ii      Side :  15 feet
iii     Rear :  15 feet
iv      The minimum yard requirements shall not apply to existing buildings and existing lot lines of a Village
v       New lot lines for a Village shall not increase the non-conformity of lot-line setbacks to existing buildings.

4.      Height, Bulk & Appearance Regulations

a)      Maximum Building Coverage

The total area covered by all the buildings within a Village shall not exceed 40% of the total Village area.

b)      Maximum Permitted Height

i       New Construction: The maximum permitted height of buildings shall be 35 feet, measured from average finished grade adjacent to the building.

ii      Existing buildings: Existing building heights shall be accepted within a Village; and renovations of existing buildings within the Village shall be allowed to increase building height by no more than ten feet.

c)      Minimum Residential Floor Area

The minimum residential floor area for each unit within a Village shall be 768 sq. ft.

d)      Townhouse Residential Buildings

i       Shall have separate entrances for each dwelling unit
ii      Shall have no continuous facades exceeding 100 feet
iii     Shall have a minimum offset of five feet, to interrupt continuous facades within an individual building
iv      Shall have a minimum of twenty feet between exterior walls of adjacent buildings
v       Shall have a minimum average unit width of twenty feet, and a minimum unit width of sixteen feet, measured from center to center of common side walls.

e)      Multi-Family Residential Buildings

The maximum number of individual dwelling units contained within a single multi-family Village residential building shall be twelve.

5.      Signs & Billboards

a)      All signs and billboards within a Village shall conform to the existing Zoning Bylaw regulations in Section VII, A, B, C & D.

b)      All signs mounted on, attached to, or pertaining to Village residential buildings or uses shall conform to the existing Zoning Bylaws, Section VII, E.

c)      All non-residential signs and billboards within a Village shall conform to the existing Zoning Bylaws Section VII, F1), 2), 3a) 3e) & 4, with the substitution of the existing words: "for each lot street frontage" with the new words: "for each individual business, office, or separate establishment", and with the prohibition of individual standing signs for individual businesses or establishments.

d)      All Village signs for non-residential use, and residential signs described in the existing Zoning Bylaws Section VII, E 1), 2), 5), & 6) shall be both similar in appearance and consistent in design throughout the Village. Guidelines for signage shall be included in the application for Village Special Permit.

6.      Off-Street Parking & Loading Regulations

a)      Minimum Parking Requirements by Use

i       Residential: One and one half spaces per one unit
ii      Hotel or Motel: One and one half spaces per rental room
iii     Restaurant, Theatre, or Auditorium: One space per four seats of total seating capacity
iv      Private Recreational Area: Sufficient parking for participants & spectators, as approved by Village Special Permit
v       Other permitted Uses: One space per 200 sq. ft. net occupied floor area, excluding cellars, unenclosed porches, attics, common areas, public spaces, utility spaces, and any space intended and designated for HVAC equipment

b)      Total Village Parking Requirements

i       A Village shall provide sufficient parking spaces to conform to each of the above listed use determined parking requirements.

ii      Parking spaces apportioned to different uses may be combined through Village Special Permit approval, where non-simultaneous use can be demonstrated, up to a maximum adjustment of 25%.

iii     Village parking shall be allowed only with a Village Parking Permit, to be issued initially by the Planning Board with the Village Special Permit, then renewed by the Planning Board every three years.

7.      Utilities

a)      All utilities within a Village shall conform to the Sub-division Control Regulations and requirements for utilities.

b)      All Villages shall be connected to the Town sewer system.

8.      Streets

All proposed public streets or ways to be located within a Village shall conform to the Subdivision Control Regulations pertaining to public streets and ways.


l.      Administration

a)      The Village Special Permit Granting Authority is the Zoning Board of Appeals, which shall include the Planning Board in joint review and for purposes of recommendation which recommendation shall not be binding on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

b)      The application for a Village Special Permit shall include a Village site plan, and may include additional informational materials. Nine copies of all submissions are required.

c)      The application and administration procedures for a Village Special Permit are as required for a Special Permit as stated in Section XI, J herein, and in the Mass. General Laws, Chapter 40 A.

d)      A Village Special Permit is a pre-requisite for application for a building permit for work within a Village.

2.      Village Site Plan

a)      A Site Plan for development within a Village shall be submitted for approval by Village Special Permit, with the application for a Village Special Permit.

b)      The Village Site Plan shall satisfy the informational requirements for a Definitive Plan, as set forth in the existing Subdivision Control Regulations.

c)      The Village Site Plan shall also include the following additional information:

i       The locations of the buildings, parking spaces, and open spaces

ii      The proposed Village landuses, and sq. ft. of area devoted to each.

3.      Village Site Plan Approval

a)      Village Site Plan approval is a prerequisite for granting a Village Special Permit for development within a Village, to satisfy certain requirements and concerns.

b)      Village Site Plan approval shall be predicated on its compliance with the Village district Zoning Bylaw Regulations and requirements, as set forth in section XIV herein.

c)      The Zoning Board of Appeals also shall impose in addition to the conditions specified for permitted uses, such additional conditions as it finds reasonably appropriate to safeguard the neighborhood, or otherwise serve the purposes of this bylaw, as may be indicated by application and consideration of the Village General Review Standards, and by recommendations of the Planning Board.

4.      General Review Standards

In reviewing each application for a Village Special Permit, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board shall study the Village Site Plan and associated materials with reference to the health, safety and welfare of the prospective occupants, the occupants of neighboring properties, and users of the adjoining streets or highways, and the welfare of the Town generally, including its amenities.

In addition to compliance with all of the Village requirements set forth herein, the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board shall look for:

a)      Conformance with the intent of a Village, as set forth herein.

b)      Traffic safety and ease of access at street and highway entrances and exits of driveways, and internal private and public ways, taking into account grades, sight distances, and distances between such driveway entrances, exits, and the nearest existing street or highway intersection.

c)      Safety and adequacy of driveway layout and sufficiency of access for service vehicles such as electricity, gas, fuel, telephone, laundry, rubbish removal, water, sewer, fire police, ambulance, or other routine or emergency vehicles.

d)      Safe and adequate means of disposal of sewage, of garbage and rubbish, safety and adequacy of water supply and distribution, and of fire-fighting facilities on the site.

e)      Assurance of positive storm-water drainage and snow-melt run-off from all driveways and from all parking and loading areas in the Village.

f)      The distribution of open space.

g)      A reasonable schedule for timely execution of the proposed Village development.

h)      Effective integration of the various landuses in a coherent Village.


l.      The Building Inspector shall issue the Village Certificate of Compliance/Occupancy, as a prerequisite for occupancy of a Village.

2.      The Certificate shall approve and confirm that construction and renovation within the Village are substantially in compliance with the approved Village Site Plan and Village Special Permit conditions.

3.      Certificates of Compliance/Occupancy may be issued separately for sequential phases of Village development.

Town of Holden 1204 Main Street, MA 01520
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