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Chapter 7.1 Section VIII Parking and Loading Regulations

A.      OFF-STREET PARKING AND LOADING REQUIREMENTS: In any district, if any structure is construed, enlarged, or extended, and any use of land established, or any existing use is changed, after the effective date of this bylaw, parking and loading spaces shall be provided in accordance with Table 4 and 5. An existing structure which is enlarged or an existing use which is extended after the effective date of this bylaw, shall be required to provide parking and loading spaces in accordance with the following tables for the entire structure or use, unless the increase in units or measurements amounts to less than 25 percent whether such increases occurs at one time or in successive stages.


1.      Parking or loading spaces being maintained in any district in connection with any existing use on the effective date of this bylaw shall not be decreased so long as said use remains, unless a number of parking or loading spaces is constructed elsewhere such that the total number of spaces conforms to the requirements of the following tables, provided. This regulation shall not require the maintenance of more parking or loading spaces than is required according to the tables.

2.      The parking spaces required for the uses listed in the following table shall be on the same lot as the use they are intended to serve or when practical difficulties prevent their establishment upon the same lot, they shall be established no further than 300 feet from the premises to which they are appurtenant. In no case shall the required parking space be part of the area used to satisfy any loading requirements of this bylaw.

3.      No commercially licensed vehicle, in excess of 10,000 lb. gross vehicle weight except school buses or a farm vehicle on a farm and construction equipment (during actual construction on the site) shall be parked over night in the R-M, R-10, R-2 and R-1 districts.


Number of Parking Spaces Per Unit
Two per unit
Lodging House, Multi-family dwelling, motel and hotel
One and one-half per rental unit
Automotive retail and service establishments
One space for each 4,000 sq. ft. of gross land area
Retail, service, finance, insurance, real estate or other "business" professional establishments
One space per each 200 sq. ft. of net floor area
Wholesale establishment space
One per each 450 sq. ft. of net floor
Manufacturing  or industrial establishment - area, plus one space for each 2 employees
One space for each 500 sq. ft. of gross floor area, exclusive of storage
Theater, restaurant, auditorium, church or similar place of public  assembly with se
ating facilities
One for each four seats of total seating capacity
One space per two beds
Nursing Home
One space per three beds
School junior high school and four per class- room in a senior high school plus spaces needed for auditorium or gymnasium, whichever has the larger capacity
Two per classroom in an elementary and
Other community facilities(Town building, recreation etc.) or public utility
One per each 300 sq. ft. of net floor space
Private Recreation Area
Sufficient parking for participants and spectators as approved over the site plan requirements of this bylaw
Publicly sponsored multi-family dwelling for elderly as defined in Chapter 121B of the General Laws of Massachusetts and housing sponsored by a non- profit organization and designed specifically for elderly persons under recognized government assist ed programs
One per residential unit plus one space for each 20 residential units


Number of Loading Spaces Per Unit
Retail trade, manufacturing and hospital establishment with over 5,000 sq. ft. of net floor area
One per 20,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof of net floor area up to two spaces, one additional space for each 60,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof
Business services, other services, community facility (school, church, town building, recreation, etc.) or public utility establishment with over 5,000 sq. ft. of new floor area
One per 75,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof of net floor area up to two spaces one additional space for each additional 200,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof

4.      The loading spaces required for the uses listed in the above table shall in all cases be on the same lot as the use they are intended to serve. In no case shall the required loading spaces be part of the area used to satisfy the parking    requirements of this bylaw.

The Planning Board, in connection with the issuance of a site plan review special permit in accordance with the provisions of Section XI.J.3.g or the issuance of a special permit in accordance with the provisions of Section XI.J.3.i, shall have the authority to modify the parking and/or loading requirements of this Section VIII, including the layout, dimensions and number of required parking spaces up to maximum of twenty percent (20%) where it is demonstrated that with such modification there will be adequate off-street parking and/or loading to provide for the needs of the subject building or use.


INTENT: Additional landscaping will provide, visual buffering, shading, an increase in comfort level, a pedestrian friendly environment, and enhance the appearance of the Town.

All landscaping required under this Section VIII.C. shall be maintained in a healthy growing condition, free of refuse and debris. Utilized species shall be tolerant of harsh conditions imposed by New England weather. Native species are preferred. Plantings that do not survive must be replaced, in kind, within one growing season. All plant material and fencing shall be arranged and maintained so as not to obscure the vision of traffic.

All trees planted must have a minimum caliper of three (3) inches when measured two (2) feet above ground and all shrubbery must be of a size appropriate for a three (3) gallon container.

The following landscaping requirements shall apply to all Commercial and Business Office-Professional zoning districts. The requirements under this Section VIII C.3. are incorporated into the Planning Board special permit and/or site plan review process. The Planning Board has the right to waive any of the landscaping requirements, but not the setback areas set forth in Section VIII C.4., upon a specific finding, in writing, that a substantial hardship would result or would otherwise cause the property to be in non-compliance with this by-law.

One (1) shade tree shall be planted in an interior landscaped island for every ten (10) interior parking spaces. This is in addition to any perimeter or other on site tree plantings. The islands shall not be smaller than 5 feet by 5 feet (5’ x 5’) for each interior tree.

The entire required five (5) foot side and rear yard setback shall consist of a landscaping buffer.

In all C and BO-P districts thirty percent (30%) of the fifteen (15) foot setback required under subsection (5)(d) below shall consist of a landscaping buffer with low lying vegetation not exceeding three (3) feet in height.

Every commercial retail building shall provide at least one (1) bicycle rack holding one (1) bicycle for every ten parking spaces provided that in no case shall the applicant be required to provide bicycle rack(s) holding more than six (6) bicycles. The rack(s) shall be located in the front or on the side of the building.

Dumpsters, transformers, generators, and other similar structures shall be located in the rear of the building whenever possible. The Planning Board may require the combination of dense landscaping and fencing for screening. Fencing shall be at least six (6) feet in height.

4.      All parking or loading areas containing over five (5) spaces in any zoning district including automobile service and drive-in establishments shall be either contained within structures, or subject to the following:

The area shall be effectively screened on each side which adjoins or faces the side or rear lot line of a lot situated in any “R” district. Landscape screening shall consist of planting areas at lest (20) feet wide located along the side or rear lot lines. The screening shall consist of deciduous or evergreen shrubbery, or a mixture of both types, four (4) to seven (7) feet in height, planted not more than three (3) feet apart on center, at least two  (2) feet from the lot line, and shall provide a mature appearance within three years from planting. In addition, all planting areas shall be landscaped with grass, plants, shrubs, flowers, or mulch. The Planning Board, in connection with the issuance of a site plan review special permit in accordance with the provisions of Section XI.J.3.g., shall have the authority to 1). reduce by up to twenty percent (20%) of the width of the landscape screening area required by this subsection where it is demonstrated that with such reduction there will be adequate screening from adjoining residential properties and that such action is in the best interest of the Town, and 2). allow in whole or in part the use of a fence, wall or other structure to achieve the purpose of screening where it is demonstrated that such structure would be more effective and suitable for screening than shrubbery. The screening required by this subsection shall be set back fifteen (15) feet from each street lot line.

The area and access driveways thereto shall be surfaced with bituminous or cement concrete material and shall be graded and drained so as to dispose of all surface water accumulations.

A substantial bumper or masonry steel or heavy timber, or a concrete curb or berm curb which is backed shall be placed at the edge of surfaced areas except driveways in order to protect abutting structures, properties and sidewalks.

Any fixture used to illuminate any area shall be so arranged as to direct the light away from the street and away from adjoining premises used for residential purposes.

Any repair or service facility such as gas, oil or water for use by vehicles, shall not be less that twenty five (25) feet from any lot line.

5.      Any non-residential parking area shall also be subject to the following:

There shall not be any motor vehicle parked within five (5) feet of any side or rear lot line.

There shall not be any vehicle repair facilities or any repair made to any motor vehicles with in required parking area.

There shall not be any storage of materials or equipment or display of merchandise within  the required parking area.

Parking shall not be permitted closer than fifteen (15) feet from any street lot line in any “C”, “BO- P”, “I-Q” district.

Parking and loading spaces shall be so arranged as not to permit backing of automobiles onto any street.

Any portion of any entrance or exit driveway to the parking or loading area for a non-residential use shall not be closer than one hundred seventy five (175) feet on an arterial street, and one hundred (100) feet on other streets from any intersecting street. No more than two driveways shall serve any one lot.

Any two (2) driveways leading from a street to a single area shall not be within fifty (50) feet on an arterial street as measured between their nearest edges at their intersection with the front lot line. For collector and minor street, the distance shall be twenty (20) feet.

Any entrance or exit driveway shall not exceed twenty (20) feet in width at its intersection with the front lot line.

6.      Parking spaces as required for Dwellings in Table 4 shall not be located within the required front yard area in any “R” district.


INTENT:   The intent of this lighting by law is (i) to protect the historical characteristics of the business and commercial districts while allowing for adequate outdoor or exterior lighting that will increase public safety and (ii) to eliminate, in all districts, nuisances or public hazards caused by glare from outdoor or exterior lighting.

1.      In no district shall any light lumens trespass or produce glare onto an abutters property.

2.      The following regulations shall apply to lighting other than lighting of single and two family residential homes.  These regulations shall not be applicable to temporary holiday lighting or internal lighting, to street lighting, traffic control lighting or other lighting installed by or required by a governmental agency for public safety on street or ways, or to any emergency lighting.

a.      No lighting fixtures shall exceed or be installed in excess of 25 feet in height.

b.      No individual lighting fixture shall exceed the following maximum footcandles:

(i)     Parking Lots                            Horizontal Illuminance
                                                       Maximum Footcandles

Level of Activity                                       
Display of Automobiles                                  20.0
HIGH                                                              4.0
Fast Food Facilities
Community Shopping Centers
Individual Retail Facilities                              3.0
Office Parking
Residential Complex Parking
LOW                                                               1.5
Educational Facilities

(ii)    Driveways/Egresses                                1.0
(iii)   Building Exteriors
       Active Entrances                                          5.0
        Inactive Entrance                                         1.0
        Floodlit Buildings/Monuments/Signs               10.0

(iv)    Gas Station Pump Island                  20.0

(v)             Recreational Fields                              20.0

c. All light emitting devices in excess of .8 footcandles shall be shielded.

d. Floodlighting, inserted at ground level, of free standing signs or businesses is permitted provided that the lighting is directed away from public ways, does not produce glare and is not in excess of 10 footcandles and is otherwise in compliance with the provision of Section VIII.

e. No free standing wooden poles shall be utilized for lighting purposes.

f. Pole and flood lighting shall be directed below the horizontal plane of the light emitting device, away from traffic, and be directed within property boundaries of the property on which it serves.

g. No freestanding lighting poles shall be placed within fifteen feet of the front yard setback in any C, BO-P, I, I-Q zones. Existing parking lots located in the fifteen foot front yard setback may install lighting within the setback requirement for the purpose of providing illumination to existing areas upon a finding from the electrical inspector that the lighting will result in an increase in public safety, that glare will not occur, and poles do not result in the obstruction of site distance.   

h.      A lighting plan shall be submitted with all building permit, variance, special permit, site plan review, and electrical permit applications. The lighting plan shall depict the location, and height of the lighting fixture and include manufacturer’s specification data including the lumens and photometric data, (expressed intensity in foot candles) showing angle of cut-off. All lighting plans are subject to the approval of the Town of Holden Electrical Inspector and no lighting plan can be changed without comparable approval.

i.      Temporary lighting which does not conform to this ordinance maybe allowed upon the review and approval of a lighting plan to the Town of Holden Electrical Inspector upon a finding that the use will benefit the public good and not result in a public nuisance or hazard. The temporary lights may not be in use for a period greater than two weeks and shall under no circumstances exceed 10 footcandles.

j.      The use of laser and searchlights for advertising purposes are prohibited.

3.      Enforcement:  The Electrical Inspector of the Town of Holden is hereby designated as the individual responsible to enforce the lighting provision of this bylaw. The Electrical Inspector is authorized to order the repair or removal of any light fixture and its supporting structure which in his judgement is dangerous, or in disrepair or which is erected or maintained contrary to this bylaw.

Town of Holden 1204 Main Street, MA 01520
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