Chapter 7-05
USE REGULATIONS

Sections:

7-05-010    General provisions

7-05-020    Classification of uses

7-05-030    Table of Uses

7-05-040    Environmental performance standards

7-05-010 General provisions.

A.    No building or structure shall be erected and no building or structure or land or water area shall be used for any purpose or in any manner except in accordance with this chapter.

B.    No building permit shall be issued for any use that is subject to Section 7-03-050 unless a site plan has been reviewed and approved in accordance with the requirements therein.

C.    Signs or other outdoor advertising shall be in accordance with Section 7-09-040.

D.    Accessory uses.

(1)    An accessory use shall be incidental and subordinate to the principal use on the lot.

(2)    An accessory use shall be located on the same lot as the principal residential or nonresidential use to which it is accessory, and shall not alter the character of the premises on which it is located or impair the area proximate to its location.

E.    Business and Industrial districts.

(1)    More than one (1) permitted use may be located in a single building.

(2)    No oil storage tank in any establishment shall exceed a capacity of fifty thousand (50,000) gallons.

F.    Unregistered motor vehicles which are unfit for use, permanently disabled or have been dismantled or are otherwise inoperative shall not be stored, parked or placed upon any land in the town unless wholly contained within a building or in an area unexposed to the view of the public and abutters or in an area properly approved for the keeping of the same by licensed junk dealers.

G.    Prohibited uses.

(1)    Any building, use or structure not specifically permitted shall be deemed prohibited.

(2)    In all zoning districts, no use shall be permitted which would be offensive because of injurious or noxious noise, vibration, smoke, gas, fumes, odors, dust, debris, glare, radiation, or electrical interference, or other objectionable features, or be hazardous to the town due to fire or explosions or the creation of traffic hazards, or any other cause.

(3)    Marijuana establishments.

(a)    Consistent with G.L. c.94G, § 3(a)(2), all types of nonmedical "marijuana establishments" as defined in G.L. c.94G, § 1, including marijuana cultivators, independent testing laboratories, marijuana product manufacturers, marijuana retailers or any other types of licensed marijuana-related businesses, shall be prohibited within the Town of Northborough. This prohibition of marijuana establishments specifically includes any establishment engaged in the on-site social consumption of marijuana or marijuana products as either a primary or accessory use, and shall include private social clubs or any other establishment which allows for social consumption of marijuana or marijuana products, regardless of whether the product is sold to consumers on site. In addition, the sale of marijuana accessories, as defined in G.L. c.94G, § 1, and any other applicable law or regulation, shall be prohibited within the Town of Northborough.

(b)    All medical marijuana treatment centers, as defined under Chapter 94I of the General Laws and any other applicable law or regulation governing the medical use of marijuana, shall be prohibited within the Town of Northborough.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28; 4-23-18 ATM, Art. 37.)

7-05-020 Classification of uses.

A.    Exempt uses.

(1)    Exempt by statute: Any use that a zoning bylaw may not prohibit or control by requiring a special permit, as set forth in MGL C. 40A, § 3.

(2)    Municipal uses: Use of land or buildings for public purposes by the Town of Northborough or the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District.

B.    Residential uses; principal.

(1)    Single-family dwelling, detached: A detached residential dwelling unit designed or intended or used exclusively as a single housekeeping unit for one (1) family, with common cooking and living facilities. Not more than one (1) detached single-family dwelling shall be located on a lot unless the regulations of a given zoning district specifically allow an exception by special permit. As used in this bylaw, “single-family dwelling” shall not include a mobile home.

(2)    Single-family dwelling, attached, or townhouse: A residential building of at least three (3) but not more than eight (8) single-family attached dwelling units. Each unit shall have its own at-grade access.

(3)    Cottage dwelling: A type of detached single-family dwelling unit allowed by special permit in the Downtown Neighborhood District, designed and intended as a “starter” home for young families or a dwelling unit for senior households.

(4)    Two-family dwelling: A detached residential building designed or intended or used exclusively as the home or residence of two (2) families. A two-family dwelling does not include a detached single-family dwelling with an accessory dwelling.

(5)    Multifamily dwelling: A building designed or intended or used as the home or residence of three (3) or more families, each occupying a separate dwelling unit, living independently of each other and which may have a common right in halls and stairways; with the number of families in residence not exceeding the number of dwelling units provided.

(6)    Congregate residence: A residential dwelling designed or intended or used for single-room occupancy, with shared or common areas such as cooking facilities or a living room, and individual rooms that may or may not have complete or partial cooking facilities. In a congregate residence, a room or suite of rooms designed or intended for occupancy by one (1) family shall constitute a unit. The following requirements shall apply to a congregate residence:

(a)    A congregate residence shall be designed to have the appearance of a detached single-family dwelling, with one (1) entrance on the front facade and other entrances on the side or rear;

(b)    Off-street parking shall be located to the side or rear of the congregate residence, separated from the nearest lot line by a landscaped buffer of at least four (4) feet in width, with evergreen or dense deciduous plantings, walls, fence, or a combination thereof; or in a garage or carport. Each parking space and the driveway leading thereto shall be paved or shall have an all-weather gravel surface, and no motor vehicles shall be regularly parked on the premises other than in such a parking space; and

(c)    No congregate residence shall be located less than thirty (30) feet from any lot line abutting a detached single-family dwelling.

(7)    Assisted living facility: A residence certified by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs, or its successor, under MGL C. 19D to provide room and board and assistance with activities of daily living for three (3) or more adult residents not related by consanguinity or affinity to their care provider, and to collect payments or third-party reimbursements to provide such services. An assisted living facility may include a licensed adult day care center as an accessory use.

(8)    Mobile home: Any vehicle or object designed and constructed or reconstructed or added to by means of accessories or facilities to permit the use and occupancy thereof for human habitation, whether resting on wheels, jacks or other foundations and shall include the type of vehicle commonly known as a “mobile home,” which shall mean a dwelling unit built on a chassis and containing complete electrical, plumbing and sanitary facilities and designed to be installed on a temporary foundation for living quarters.

C.    Residential uses; accessory.

(1)    Garage or carport: A garage for noncommercial vehicles, located on the same lot or in the same building as the dwelling unit to which it is accessory.

(2)    Storage of recreational vehicle: Storage or keeping of one (1) camping, utility or boat trailer not exceeding thirty-three (33) feet in length and eight (8) feet in width, provided it is set back from abutting property lines by the minimum yard setback requirements of the applicable zoning district.

(3)    Other accessory structure: Barn, greenhouse, swimming pool, shed, gazebo, or other structures clearly accessory and incidental to the principal residential use.

(4)    Accessory dwelling unit: A dwelling unit subordinate in size and accessory to a detached single-family dwelling, which may be located within or attached to an owner-occupied single-family dwelling or detached existing structure, such as a garage or barn.

The following conditions shall apply to an accessory dwelling unit:

(a)    The owners of the dwelling with the accessory unit shall occupy one (1) of the units as their principal residence, except for temporary absences of not more than six (6) months. For the purposes of this bylaw, “owners” shall be one (1) or more individuals holding title to the property, and “principal residence” shall mean the owner’s residence for voting and tax purposes;

(b)    There shall be not more than one (1) accessory dwelling unit on a lot;

(c)    The maximum gross floor area of the accessory dwelling unit shall not exceed twenty-five percent (25%) of the gross floor area of the existing dwelling or seven hundred (700) square feet, whichever is greater;

(d)    The accessory dwelling unit shall be designed so as to preserve the appearance of the existing single-family dwelling on the lot. Unless prohibited by the State Building Code, all stairways to second or third stories shall be enclosed within the exterior walls of the dwelling, and any new entrance shall be located on the side or in the rear of the dwelling; and

(e)    There shall be provided at least one (1) off-street parking space for the accessory dwelling unit in addition to parking for the principal dwelling. Off-street parking shall be located in a garage or carport, or in the driveway.

(5)    Boarding house: An owner-occupied, detached single-family dwelling in which long-term, nontransient lodging, with or without meals, is supplied for compensation to not more than three (3) persons unrelated to the owner; without cooking facilities for the exclusive use of individual occupants. As used in this bylaw, “boarding house” does not mean or include transient quarters such as a motel, hotel, or bed and breakfast or inn. Any food service provided shall be in compliance with applicable regulations of the Northborough Board of Health.

(6)    Home occupation: An occupation conducted as an accessory use in an owner-occupied detached single-family dwelling or a detached accessory structure, by the resident owner or members of the owner’s family.

(a)    Home occupation is divided into the following classes:

[1]    Home professional office: Office for the practice of a profession, such as medicine, dentistry, law, architecture, engineering or fine arts.

[2]    Home personal service: Personal services such as insurance, notary public, real estate broker, dressmaking or tailoring, beauty care, clerical services; or studio for the teaching of fine or domestic arts and crafts; family day care licensed under MGL C. 28A, § 10; home baker or caterer.

[3]    Home business workshop: Business or shop of a painter, carpenter, electrician or similar construction trade.

[4]    Home hospitality or tourism establishment: Bed and breakfast in an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, with transient overnight lodging of not more than three (3) paying guest rooms and guest meals limited to breakfast prepared in a central kitchen, and no cooking facilities located in individual guest rooms or suites.

[5]    Home specialty retail: Sale of items manufactured on the premises; or the sale of collector’s items such as antiques, stamps, coins, and similar items.

(b)    The following conditions shall apply to any home occupation:

[1]    Not more than one (1) nonresident shall be employed on the premises except by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals;

[2]    Not more than twenty-five (25) percent of the existing gross floor area of the dwelling shall be devoted to the home occupation, including any stock-in-trade, commodities, or products associated with said use, except by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals;

[3]    Except for one (1) sign as permitted in a residential district in Section 7-09-040, there shall be no advertising visible from off the lot or display of goods or wares visible from the street;

[4]    No traffic shall be generated by the home occupation in greater volume than would normally be expected in a residential neighborhood, and any need for parking generated by the conduct of the home occupation shall be met off the street and other than in a required front yard;

[5]    There shall be no sale of goods on the premises except when associated with a home personal service or specialty retail occupation; and

[6]    No equipment or process shall be used in the home occupation which creates noise, vibration, odor, fumes, gas, smoke, dust, or electrical disturbance detectable to the normal senses off the lot.

D.    Extensive uses.

(1)    Agriculture, on five (5) or more acres of land: Exempt under MGL C. 40A, § 3.

(2)    Agriculture, on less than five (5) acres of land: Production of agricultural, floricultural or horticultural commodities; the growing and harvesting of forest products upon forest land, and the raising of livestock, including horses, subject to applicable regulations of the Northborough Board of Health, but shall not include the keeping and raising of swine, cattle, or other domesticated animals used for food purposes, or fur-bearing animals.

(3)    Farm stand: A facility for the sale of produce, dairy products or other agricultural, floricultural or horticultural commodities, as defined in MGL C. 40A, § 3.

(4)    Forestry: Cultivating and harvesting of forest products, including the sale of firewood, on five (5) or more acres of land.

(5)    Passive recreation, open space or conservation: Use of land in its natural state or improved with trails or resource management programs that do not significantly alter its natural state, or water resource or wildlife management programs.

(6)    Golf course: A golf course open to the general public for a per-visit or membership fee, or a private golf course, which may include an accessory club house, swimming, tennis and related recreation facilities, or a retail shop or food service establishment only when clearly subordinate to the principal recreation use.

(7)    Day camp: A lot, tract or parcel of land operated as either a commercial or noncommercial enterprise in which seasonal facilities are provided for all or any of the following: camping, picnicking, boating, fishing, swimming, outdoor games and sports and activities incidental and relating to the foregoing, but not including miniature golf grounds, golf driving ranges, mechanical amusement device, or permanent structures for housing of guests.

(8)    Overnight camp: As for day camp, except that uses and structures for the lodging of guests shall be permitted in locations appropriate for extensive outdoor recreation.

E.    Institutional uses.

(1)    Cultural use: A public or nonprofit charitable museum for the display of artistic, historic, natural, anthropological, or similar artifacts and materials, an art gallery accessory to a museum, or a library, facility or hall for live performing arts productions (“legitimate theater”), or similar use.

(2)    Hospital: An acute or chronic care facility with an original license from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, pursuant to MGL C. 111, § 51, to provide medical, surgical, skilled nursing or rehabilitation services to in-patients or institutionalized persons; or an ambulatory surgery center. Such facility may include ambulatory care and emergency services, specialty medical diagnostic or treatment services, and accessory facilities and integral functions such as laboratories, out-patient departments, training, staff offices, and similar adjunct facilities and functions.

(3)    Medical clinic or ambulatory surgery center: An outpatient care facility licensed or approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to provide medical or surgical services. Such facility may include emergency services, specialty medical diagnostic or treatment services, and accessory facilities and integral functions such as laboratories, training, staff offices, and similar adjunct facilities and functions, but no in-patient facilities.

(4)    Nursing home: An extended or intermediate care facility licensed by the Department of Public Health under MGL C. 111, § 71 to provide full-time convalescent or chronic care, and may include adult day care.

(5)    Adult day care: A day services program designed to provide assistance with activities of daily living and meet the cognitive, social, physical, and medical needs of elderly clients, and provide temporary relief for their caregivers; certified, licensed, or operated under a contract administered by the Executive Office of Elder Affairs or other state agency authorized under the laws of the Commonwealth.

(6)    Private nonprofit club or membership organization: Premises or buildings of a nonprofit organization exclusively serving members and their guests for social, recreational, athletic, or civic purposes, but not including any vending stands, merchandising, or commercial activities except as required generally for the use of the club membership and the purposes of such club.

(7)    Rest home: A facility licensed by the Department of Public Health to provide twenty-four (24) hour supervision and supportive services for individuals who do not routinely need nursing or medical care.

F.    Mixed uses.

(1)    Mixed-use development: One (1) or more buildings containing a mix of principal uses, such as business and residential uses, on a single lot. For purposes of this bylaw, mixed-use development includes the sub-classifications listed below.

(a)    Limited mixed-use building: A single building with a business, professional or medical office and one (1) dwelling unit, not including a home occupation.

(b)    Artist live/work unit: A dwelling unit combined with a studio, typically in an open floor plan offering large, flexible space for use and occupancy by artists, subject to a deed restriction or other mechanism acceptable to the Planning Board to limit the space to use by artists. “Artist” means a person professionally employed in the visual, performing, literary, design or media arts.

(c)    Shop for custom work: Manufacture of crafts or custom work to be sold at retail only on the premises.

(d)    Vertical mixed-use development: A building in which the ground floor facing the street is used primarily for permitted business uses, and other ground-floor and upper-floor space is designed or intended or used for residential or office uses.

(e)    Horizontal mixed-use development: Two (2) or more buildings on one (1) lot, which provide business uses in building(s) facing the street and residential or office uses above the ground floor or in separate building(s) behind or to the side.

(2)    Farm business: Retail store or restaurant use accessory to an agricultural use on five (5) or more acres of land, where such retail store or restaurant does not otherwise conform to the definition of a farm stand under MGL C. 40A, § 3. Merchandise not produced on the premises shall be companion items intended to be used with (for planting, caring for, displaying, combining with, canning, or preserving) the agricultural or horticultural produce which is produced on the farm, but shall not include farm machinery and equipment except hand tools, building materials, furniture, or other like items. Examples of companion merchandise include canning jars, pumpkin carving kits, wreath making supplies, floral arranging supplies, potting soil, pots, packaged fertilizer, mulch, peat moss, pruning shears, gardening gloves, Christmas tree decorations.

(3)    Continuing care retirement community: A managed development that provides housing, services and nursing care primarily to persons over fifty-five (55) years of age; which includes two (2) or more of the following uses: assisted living residence, nursing home or chronic care facility, adult day care facility, or medical offices; and for which there is a legal agreement that assures life care to residents and services appropriate to each type of housing.

G.    Business uses.

(1)    Trade.

(a)    Retail store: A building for display and sale of merchandise at retail, such as the following, which will serve as illustrations only and are not to be considered exclusive: drug store, newsstand, food store, candy shop, dry goods and notions store, antique store or gift shop, hardware store, household appliance store, furniture store, florist, optician, music and radio store, or an art studio or gallery. As used in this bylaw, retail does not include adult uses as defined in Section 7-10-050. A retail store may have one (1) or more vendors within it and may occupy one (1) building or a portion of a building. There shall be no outside storage of materials or finished goods, but outdoor display of merchandise is permitted for any retail use during normal hours of operation, subject to minor site plan review under Section 7-03-050(A)(3), within the front yard or within the side yard if the side yard abuts a public right-of-way; provided, that:

[1]    Such use is clearly related to the retail use conducted inside the principal building;

[2]    All merchandise shall be located within the confines of the retailer’s owned or leased property;

[3]    A minimum width of forty-two (42) inches shall be continuously maintained and unobstructed on the sidewalk or entrance into the principal building, or any other designated sidewalks or pedestrian paths, as shown on the approved site plan;

[4]    Outdoor storage or display of merchandise is prohibited in designated or required landscaped areas, parking lots, or drive aisles;

[5]    Such use does not obstruct or otherwise interfere with visibility at intersections; and

[6]    Outdoor display is not intended to be, and shall not be interpreted to include, outdoor storage. No merchandise shall remain outdoors when the business is closed.

(b)    Drive-through retail. A retail store in which merchandise may be purchased at a drive-up service window.

(c)    Commercial greenhouse: A greenhouse, salesroom or stand for the propagation, storage and sale of nursery or garden products to be sold at retail on the premises. A commercial greenhouse shall be allowed in a residential district only when located on more than five (5) acres of land.

(d)    Wholesale trade: A business for the sale of commodities in quantity to retailers for resale or for further processing, including associated warehouse or outdoor storage and distribution facilities.

(e)    Sale of grain, lumber, or construction or garden supplies: A business establishment engaged in the sale of grain, lumber, garden supplies, and related agricultural or construction products inside a building, including the sale and storage of products outside the building as an accessory use.

(f)    Temporary outdoor sales of holiday trees, wreaths, or similar horticultural products: An event of a temporary nature during any holiday season designed to provide for the outdoor sale of trees, wreaths, flowers, or similar holiday horticultural products. Such facilities would not include the use of a permanent structure designed to enclose such use.

(2)    Hospitality and food service.

(a)    Bed and breakfast; inn: A building or group of buildings intended to be used or used for transient overnight lodging for not less than four (4) nor more than twenty-four (24) paying guests, with guest meals typically included in the room charge and limited to breakfast prepared in a central kitchen. No cooking facilities shall be located in individual guest rooms or suites. (See also home occupation.)

(b)    Conference center: A facility for formal consultation, discussion and/or education of business employees and associates and may provide for attendees and staff adequate housing, eating and recreational facilities contained within the same building.

(c)    Hotel or motel: A building or part thereof, or a group of buildings on a single lot, providing transient overnight lodging accommodations and accessory services to the general public, for more than twenty-four (24) paying guests. For a hotel or motel with units equipped with independent cooking facilities, such units shall not be occupied by any guest for more than two (2) continuous months, nor may guests reoccupy any unit within thirty (30) days of a continuous two-month stay or stay more than a combined total of four (4) months in any calendar year, unless such requirements are specifically waived by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. No occupant of such hotel or motel may claim residency at such location.

(d)    Restaurant: A food service establishment where food is prepared, served and consumed inside a building or on an attached patio or other outdoor seating area on the premises, and provides seating accommodations for all patrons to be served at any one (1) time. A restaurant may include a bar or lounge as an accessory use, or the taking of food and drink from the building as incidental. “Restaurant” does not include an establishment that operates exclusively or principally as a caterer, a food processing establishment, a retail food store or a take-out food service establishment, nor does it include drive-through service.

(e)    Deli, sandwich shop, pizza shop or take-out food service: A food service establishment where food is prepared and sold at retail and may or may not be consumed on the premises, such as a deli or sandwich shop serving sandwiches, soups, salads, pizza or other individually portioned food items on a take-out basis. It may include a walk-up service window or counter for take-out food service, but not drive-through service.

(f)    Drive-through food service: A food service establishment in which food prepared and sold at retail may be consumed on the premises or purchased at a drive-up service window.

(g)    Take-out food service: A food service establishment in which food prepared and sold at retail may be consumed on the premises or purchased from a counter or a walk-up service window and consumed off the premises; but not a drive-through service.

(h)    Catering service: Provision of prepared food, service staff or equipment to an off-premises location.

(3)    Recreation and entertainment.

(a)    Commercial recreation, indoor: A facility operated as a business, open to the public for a per-visit or membership fee, for indoor recreation purposes such as tennis, racquetball, swimming, ice skating, roller skating or similar activities, including a health club or athletic club, but not including indoor recreation programs operated by the Town of Northborough or its various departments, or by the Northborough-Southborough Regional School District.

(b)    Commercial recreation, outdoor: A facility operated as a business, open to the public for a per-visit or membership fee, for outdoor recreation purposes such as skiing, swimming, ball games, miniature golf, golf driving range, or similar customary and usual sports or recreation activities, but not including a golf course (see also, extensive uses: golf course).

(c)    Commercial amusement: A building or any portion thereof used for entertainment or amusement activities, such as a pool hall, bowling alley, video arcade, or cinema or movie theater, but not including adult uses as defined in Section 7-10-050.

(4)    Financial and professional service uses.

(a)    Bank: A bank, loan agency or similar financial institution.

(b)    Automated teller machine (ATM): A machine that acts as a teller for standard banking transactions such as cash withdrawals, deposits, and checking account balances, regardless of where it is located.

(c)    Professional or business office: A building, a portion thereof, or a group of buildings intended to be used or used for the performance of professional or clerical duties, including recognized professions such as an attorney, accountant, architect, engineer or appraiser, and similar professions that require advanced education and training and typically require licensure or certification; but not including a medical or dental office.

(d)    Medical or dental office: A building designed or intended or occupied and used by one (1) or more physicians providing outpatient health care, including dental care, with accessory facilities such as specialty diagnostic services, laboratories, and administrative offices, with no accommodations for overnight stays; not including a hospital, medical clinic or an ambulatory surgery center.

(5)    Services.

(a)    Educational use, nonexempt. An educational use conducted by a for-profit organization, such as a computer training program, a cosmetology school, or a trade school or training program that is not otherwise exempt under MGL C. 40A, § 3.

(b)    Personal service establishment: An establishment whose primary business relies on customers coming and going on a regular basis and which provides a service directly to the consumer, such as a barber, hairdresser, manicurist, caterer, decorator, dressmaker or tailor, optician, photographer, shoemaker or upholsterer, and similar uses, but not including professional or business office or medical office uses.

(c)    Postal service: A post office or similar establishment for the delivery and receipt of mail or parcels, but not including a parcel distribution facility.

(d)    Repair shop: A building used for the repair of appliances, office equipment, bicycles, lawn mowers or similar household or small-business equipment, but not including repair of automobiles, motorcycles or large vehicles or equipment.

(6)    Vehicle sales and service.

(a)    Auto filling or service station: A building or part thereof with not more than three (3) service bays, where the principal activity is the sale of motor vehicle fuel and related products and services, including routine vehicle maintenance services; or a car wash. All maintenance and service, other than minor service and emergency repairs, shall be conducted entirely within a building. No vehicle service station or car wash shall be located within one thousand five hundred (1,500) feet of another vehicle service station or car wash. An auto filling and service station shall not include a repair shop or body shop.

(b)    Auto repair shop: Establishment where the principal service is the mechanical repair, excluding body work, of automobiles, motorcycles, trailers, recreational vehicles, farm equipment or similar motor vehicles, not including an auto service station.

(c)    Auto body shop: Establishment where the principal service is the repair and painting of automobiles, motorcycles, trailers, recreational vehicles, farm equipment or similar motor vehicles; provided, that all but minor repairs shall be conducted entirely within a building.

(d)    Auto sales: Salesroom and related dealership facilities for new motor vehicles, including open-air display for automobiles, boats, motorcycles, farm implements or similar light motor vehicles (maximum ten thousand (10,000) pound gross vehicle weight and one hundred thirty-five (135) inch wheel base), with sale of used cars as an accessory use.

(e)    Commercial parking: Parking lot or parking garage open to the public for automobiles and similar light motor vehicles.

(7)    Other business uses.

(a)    Veterinary clinic: A facility for medical or surgical treatment of domestic animals and incidental short-term boarding within a fully enclosed building. A veterinary clinic may include operating facilities, recovery and laboratory facilities incidental thereto.

(b)    Kennel: Facility for breeding, sale, boarding or training of more than three (3) dogs or other domestic nonfarm animals.

(c)    Funeral home: Undertaking or funeral establishment.

(d)    Adult uses as defined in Section 7-10-050.

(e)    Commercial storage facility: A building or structure for the storage of goods and materials, which may include a refrigerated storage facility (cold storage) or a warehouse for the storage of wholesale goods and merchandise. Commercial storage shall not include a self-storage facility.

(f)    Self-storage facility: A building consisting of individual, small, self-contained units that are leased or owned for the storage of business and household goods, automobiles, boats or contractor’s supplies.

H.    Public service or public utility uses.

(1)    Bus stop, sheltered: a structure intended to be used or used as an assembly and waiting area for passengers of common carrier bus, shuttle or regional transit services.

(2)    Public transportation terminal: A structure that serves passengers of a public transportation service upon departure and arrival, including waiting areas, drop-off/pick-up zones, and on-site parking facilities or the storage and repair of vehicles as accessory uses.

(3)    Public service or public utility: Use of land, buildings or other structures by a regulated public service corporation or public utility to provide essential services such as electricity, telephone or similar services, but not including a wireless communication facility.

(4)    Communication tower: Any tower or structure, natural or man-made, existing or erected, used to support one (1) or more antennas, including self-supporting lattice towers, guyed towers, or monopoles, for electromagnetic transmission and/or reception purposes such as radio and television transmission towers, microwave towers, common carrier towers, wireless communications facilities (“WCF”), alternative tower structures and the like; but not including a communication tower used by an amateur radio operator with a written license or permit from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to be the control operator of an amateur radio facility.

(5)    Wireless communication facility (WCF): A facility used for the purpose of commercial or public wireless communications uses, such as cellular telephone services, enhanced specialized mobile radio services, microwave communications, personal wireless communications services, paging services and the like, as defined in Section 704 of the Federal Telecommunications Act of 1996, as amended. Such facilities shall include towers, antennas, antenna support structures, panels, dishes, communication buildings, communication structures and accessory structures in their entirety or as separate components. A WCF is a transmission and reception substation, not a principal facility for conducting a communications business. See Chapter 7-10.

I.    Industrial uses.

(1)    Light manufacturing: Fabrication, processing, packaging, or assembly operations, employing only electric or other substantially noiseless and inoffensive motor power, utilizing hand labor or quiet machinery and processes, and free from neighborhood-disturbing agents such as odors, gas, fumes, smoke, cinders, refuse matter, electromagnetic radiation, heat, vibration, or noise; provided, that all operations are located entirely within an enclosed building and there is no outside storage of materials or finished goods.

(2)    Research and development: An establishment or other facility for carrying on investigation in the natural, physical or social sciences, including, but not limited to, research and development of renewable or alternative energy technologies, or engineering and development as an extension of investigation with the objective of creating end products and the accessory development, fabrication, and light manufacturing of prototypes, or specialized machinery and devices integral to research or testing, provided such operations are free from neighborhood-disturbing agents such as odors, gas, fumes, smoke, cinders, refuse matter, electromagnetic radiation, heat, vibration, or noise; and further provided, that all accessory operations and storage of materials or finished goods are located entirely within an enclosed building.

(3)    Data processing and records storage: An establishment providing business services such as but not limited to payroll processing, financial transactions processing, document preparation, management and operation of computer facilities, or Internet service providers.

(4)    Printing and publishing: An establishment engaged in printing newspapers, books, magazines or periodicals, music, and similar products; or producing print, electronic (e.g., CD-ROM, diskette) or Internet publications.

(5)    Distribution and transportation uses.

(a)    Warehouse: Building for the sorting, storage or wholesale marketing of materials, merchandise, products or equipment.

(b)    Trucking, rail or freight terminal: Facility in which freight brought by truck or rail is assembled or stored for reshipment, or in which tractor or trailer units and other trucks are parked or stored, including accessory facilities for the fueling and repair of trucks parked or stored on the premises.

(6)    Other industrial uses.

(a)    Natural resource extraction: The process by which soil, sand or gravel is removed from any open pit, borings or any other underground workings and produced for sale, exchange or commercial use or otherwise removed from the site, and all shafts, slopes, drifts or inclines leading thereto and including all buildings, structures and equipment above and below the surface of the ground used in connection with such process. Natural resource extraction shall not be deemed to include exploratory activities, the drilling or boring of wells for the purpose of obtaining water, nor the removal of soil and other related material as necessary to establish another permitted use upon the same site.

(b)    Fuel storage: A facility with aboveground or underground tanks for the storage of fuel products to be distributed off-site to retail fuel outlets.

(c)    Contractor’s yard: Lumber yard, construction contractor’s yard or other open-air establishment for the storage, distribution, or sale at wholesale or retail of materials (but not including salvage materials), merchandise, products or equipment, fabrication of sub-assemblies, or parking of wheeled equipment; provided, that all operations shall be such as to confine to the premises disturbing dust, noise, odors, or other objectionable effects; and provided further, that such use is not hazardous by reason of the potential for fire, explosion, radiation release or other casualty.

(d)    Heliport: An area of land or water or a structure used or intended to be used for the take-off or landing of a helicopter, which may include auxiliary facilities such as waiting room, hangar, parking, fueling or maintenance facilities.

J.    Nonresidential accessory uses.

(1)    General.

(a)    Any use permitted as a principal use also shall be permitted as an accessory use, provided such use is customarily incidental to the main or principal building or use of the land, as determined by the Building Inspector.

(b)    Any use authorized as a principal use by special permit may also be authorized as an accessory use by special permit, provided such use is customarily incidental to the main or principal building or use of the land.

(2)    Nonresidential accessory uses also include any of the following:

(a)    Facilities for training employees of the principal use.

(b)    Accessory to an industrial use:

[1]    Restaurant or cafeteria, pharmacy, printing and copying, office supplies or personal services accessory to a permitted use, primarily for the use of employees; provided, that all such uses combined shall not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of total gross floor area of principal building.

[2]    Retail outlet accessory to a light manufacturing use.

[3]    One dwelling unit per industrial establishment, on the same lot as and incidental to a permitted industrial use, occupied by the owner or an employee, such as a watchman’s or caretaker’s quarters.

(4-24-17 ATM; 4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28; 4-27-15 ATM, Art. 46; 4-22-19 ATM, Art. 30.)

7-05-030 Table of Uses.

No land, structure or building shall be used except for the purposes permitted in the district as set forth in the Table of Uses (Table 1), unless exempt under MGL C. 40A, § 3 or Section 7-05-020, or where other regulations apply in an overlay district. In the Table of Uses, a use permitted by right is denoted by the letter “Y,” and a prohibited use is denoted by the letter “N.” A use denoted by the letters “BA” may be allowed by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and a use denoted by the letters “PB” may be allowed by special permit from the Planning Board. In some cases, a use denoted by the letter “Y” may require a special permit if the use exceeds a certain density or floor area. These uses and the applicable special permit threshold are indicated in footnotes to the Table of Uses.

Table 1. Table of Uses. Part A. Residential Districts. 

USES

RA

RB

RC

GR

MSR

DN

EXEMPT USES

See Section 7-05-020(A)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

RESIDENTIAL USES

Principal Uses

Single-family dwelling, detached

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Cottage dwelling1

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Single-family dwelling, attached2

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Two-family dwelling3

N

N

PB

PB

PB

PB

Multifamily dwelling4

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Congregate residence5

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Assisted living residence

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

BA

Accessory Uses

Garage or carport6

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Storage of recreational vehicle

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Other accessory structure

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Accessory dwelling unit

BA

BA

Y

Y

Y

Y

Boarding house

N

N

BA

BA

BA

Y

Home occupation (See Section 7-05-020(C)(6))

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home professional office

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Home personal service

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Y

Home business workshop

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Home hospitality or tourism establishment

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Y

Home specialty retail

N

N

N

N

BA

Y

EXTENSIVE USES

Agriculture on less than 5 acres of land

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Farm stand, nonexempt

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Forestry

Y

Y

Y

N

N

N

Passive recreation, open space or conservation

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Golf course

BA

BA

N

N

N

N

Day camp or overnight camp

BA

BA

N

N

N

N

INSTITUTIONAL USES

Cultural use

N

N

N

BA

BA

Y

Nursing home or rest home

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

N

Adult day care

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Nonprofit club or membership organization

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

MIXED USES

Limited mixed-use building

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Artist live/work unit

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Shop for custom work

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Farm business

BA

BA

N

N

N

N

Continuing care retirement community

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

N

BUSINESS USES

Trade

Retail store7

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Art gallery

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Hospitality and Food Services

Bed and breakfast; inn

N

N

N

BA

BA

BA

Restaurant, excluding alcoholic beverages

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Deli, sandwich shop, pizza shop

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Catering service

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Financial or Professional Services

Professional or business office

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Medical or dental office

N

N

N

BA

BA

BA

Services

Personal service establishment

N

N

N

N

N

BA

Other Business Uses

Kennel

BA

N

N

N

N

N

Funeral home

N

N

BA

BA

N

N

Marijuana establishment8

N

N

N

N

N

N

Medical marijuana treatment center8

N

N

N

N

N

N

PUBLIC SERVICE OR PUBLIC UTILITY

Public service or public utility

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Communication tower (including wireless communication facility)

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

1    A cottage dwelling shall not exceed one thousand six hundred (1,600) sq. ft. of gross floor area.

2    In the Downtown Neighborhood District, the maximum number of single-family attached units on a lot shall be four (4) permitted, and five (5) to eight (8) by special permit.

3    In the RC, GR, MSR, and DN districts, approval of a two-family dwelling shall be subject to design review by the Design Review Committee in accordance with two-family design guidelines adopted by the Planning Board and on file with the Town Clerk.

4    In the Downtown Neighborhood District, the maximum number of multifamily units on a lot shall be four (4) permitted, and five (5) to eight (8) by special permit.

5    In a residential district, no congregate residence shall contain more than twelve (12) units.

6    Permitted if accessory to a permitted use; requires a special permit if accessory to a residential use that requires a special permit. Garage space shall not be provided on a lot for more than three (3) motor vehicles, except that space may be provided in a garage for one (1) additional motor vehicle for each four thousand (4,000) sq. ft. of area by which the lot area exceeds twenty thousand (20,000) sq. ft. up to a maximum of five (5) motor vehicles. Not more than one (1) commercial vehicle shall be stored on such lot.

7    In the Downtown Neighborhood District, no retail establishment shall exceed two thousand (2,000) sq. ft. of gross floor area.

8    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7-03-030 or any other provision of this zoning bylaw, no use variance for a marijuana establishment, medical marijuana treatment center, or sale of marijuana accessories shall be permitted.

 

Table 1. Table of Uses. Part B. Commercial and Industrial Districts. 

USES

DB

BE

BW

BS

HB

I

EXEMPT USES

See Section 7-05-020(A)

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

RESIDENTIAL USES

A. Principal Uses

Single-family dwelling, attached9

BA

N

N

N

N

N

Multifamily dwelling10

BA

N

BA

N

N

N

Congregate residence

BA

BA

BA

N

N

N

Assisted living facility

BA

BA

BA

N

N

N

B. Accessory Uses

Accessory dwelling unit

BA

BA

BA

N

N

N

Boarding house

BA

N

N

N

N

N

Home occupation

Home professional office

N

N

N

N

N

N

Home personal service

N

N

N

N

N

N

Home business workshop

N

N

N

N

N

N

Home hospitality or tourism establishment

N

N

N

N

N

N

Home specialty retail

N

N

N

N

N

N

EXTENSIVE USES

Golf course

N

N

N

N

BA

PB

INSTITUTIONAL USES

Cultural use

Y

Y

Y

N

BA

N

Hospital

N

N

N

N

N

PB

Medical clinic or ambulatory surgery center

N

N

BA

BA

Y

Y

Nursing home or rest home

BA

BA

BA

N

BA

N

Adult day care

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Non-profit club or membership organization

Y

Y

Y

Y

BA

N

MIXED USES

Limited mixed-use building

Y

Y

Y

BA

N

N

Artist live/work unit

Y

BA

BA

BA

N

N

Shop for custom work

Y

Y

Y

BA

BA

PB

Vertical mixed-use development

Y

Y

Y

BA

N

N

Horizontal mixed-use development

BA

N

BA

BA

N

N

Farm business

N

Y

Y

N

N

N

Continuing care retirement community

N

N

BA

N

N

N

BUSINESS USES

Trade

Retail store11

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Drive-through retail12

N

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

Art studio or gallery

Y

Y

Y

N

Y

N

Commercial greenhouse

N

Y

Y

BA

Y

N

Wholesale trade

N

N

BA

BA

Y

Y

Grain, lumber, construction or garden supply sales

N

N

BA

N

Y

Y

Temporary outdoor sales of holiday horticultural products

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Hospitality and Food Services

Bed and breakfast; inn

Y

Y

Y

BA

BA

N

Hotel, motel or conference center

BA

N

BA

BA

Y

PB

Restaurant, excluding alcoholic beverages

Y

Y

Y

BA

Y

N

Restaurant, including alcoholic beverages

BA

BA

BA

BA

Y

N

Deli, sandwich shop, pizza shop

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Drive-through food service

N

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

Catering service

BA

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Recreation and Entertainment

Commercial recreation, indoor

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

Commercial recreation, outdoor

N

N

BA

N

BA

PB

Commercial amusement

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

Financial or Professional Services

Bank

Y

Y

Y

BA

Y

N

Automated teller machine13

Y

Y

Y

BA

Y

N

Professional or business office

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Medical or dental office

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

Services

Personal service establishment

Y

Y

Y

Y

Y

N

Postal service

Y

Y

Y

BA

N

N

Educational use, nonexempt

N

N

BA

BA

N

PB

Repair shop

BA

Y

Y

BA

Y

N

Vehicle Sales and Service

Auto filling or service station

N

N

N

N

BA

PB

Auto repair shop

N

N

N

BA

BA

PB

Auto body shop

N

N

N

N

BA

PB

Auto sales

N

N

N

N

BA

PB

Commercial parking

N

BA

BA

N

BA

PB

Other Business Uses

Veterinary clinic

N

BA

BA

BA

BA

N

Kennel

N

N

BA

N

N

N

Funeral home

BA

BA

BA

N

N

N

Adult uses

N

N

N

N

BA

N

Commercial storage facility

N

N

BA

BA

N

PB

Marijuana establishment14

N

N

N

N

N

N

Medical marijuana treatment center14

N

N

N

N

N

N

PUBLIC SERVICE OR PUBLIC UTILITY

Bus stop, sheltered

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

PB

Public transportation terminal

N

N

N

N

BA

PB

Public service or public utility

BA

BA

BA

BA

BA

Y

Communication tower (including wireless communication facility)

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

INDUSTRIAL USES

Light manufacturing

N

N

N

BA

N

Y

Research and development

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Data processing center and records storage

N

N

N

BA

N

Y

Printing and publishing

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Transportation and Distribution Uses

Warehouse

N

N

N

BA

N

Y

Trucking, rail or freight facility, or parcel distribution facility

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Other Industrial Uses

Natural resource extraction

N

N

N

N

N

PB

Fuel storage

N

N

N

N

N

PB

Contractor’s yard or lumber yard

N

N

N

N

N

Y

Heliport

N

N

N

N

N

PB

Accessory uses; see Section 7-05-020(J)

N

N

N

BA

N

Y

9    In the Downtown Business District, the maximum number of single-family attached units on a lot shall be four (4) units.

10    The maximum number of multifamily units on a lot shall be six (6) units by special permit in the Downtown Business and Business West Districts.

11    Retail is subject to the following maximum gross floor area requirements per individual retail establishment: Downtown Business, up to five thousand (5,000) sq. ft. permitted, maximum of fifteen thousand (15,000) sq. ft. by special permit; Business East, up to fifteen thousand (15,000) sq. ft. permitted, maximum of twenty-five thousand (25,000) sq. ft. by special permit; Business West, up to fifteen thousand (15,000) sq. ft. permitted, maximum of twenty-five thousand (25,000) sq. ft. by special permit; Business South, up to fifteen thousand (15,000) sq. ft. permitted, maximum of fifty thousand (50,000) sq. ft. by special permit.

12    Drive-through retail shall be subject to the same maximum gross floor area requirements that apply to retail.

13    In the Downtown Business or Business East District, an ATM shall be located inside a building with other permitted uses, or mounted on an exterior wall of a bank for walk-up or drive-through service. A free-standing or kiosk-style ATM or an ATM mounted on an exterior wall of a building for drive-through service is permitted only in the Business West, Business South (by special permit), or Highway Business District.

14    Notwithstanding the provisions of Section 7-03-030 or any other provision of this zoning bylaw, no use variance for a marijuana establishment, medical marijuana treatment center, or sale of marijuana accessories shall be permitted.

(4-24-17 ATM; 4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28; 4-24-12 ATM, Arts. 48, 49; 4-22-13 ATM; 4-27-15 ATM, Art. 48; 4-23-18 ATM, Arts. 37, 39; 4-22-19 ATM, Art. 31.)

7-05-040 Environmental performance standards.

A.    Purposes. The purpose of this section is to establish minimum environmental performance standards related to the development and use of land in order to promote the public safety, health, and general welfare of the citizens of the Town of Northborough.

B.    Applicability.

(1)    Every use, activity, process or operation located or occurring in an industrial district or an industrial use in any other district shall comply with the performance standards prescribed in this section.

(2)    Existing uses. No such existing use, activity, process or operation shall be hereafter altered or modified so as to conflict with, or further conflict with, such environmental performance standards. If, as of the date of adoption of this bylaw, the operations of any lawful existing use violate these environmental performance standards, such operations shall not be varied or changed in any way as to increase the degree of such violations. The operation of any existing conforming use in violation of the performance standards shall not in itself make such use subject to Chapter 7-08.

C.    Noise. With respect to industrial uses having an impact on residential uses, the sound due to the operations of the facility, measured at the property line of the facility, shall not be increased over the ambient sound level by more than five (5) decibels weighted for the “A” scale [dB(A)]. The ambient sound level is the sound from all sources other than the subject facility. The ambient sound measurement (A-weighted sound level) is taken where the offending sound cannot be heard, or with the sound source shut-off. The ambient sound level is the level that is exceeded ninety percent (90%) of the time that the noise measurements are taken. This subsection shall not apply to the following activities:

(1)    Any noise produced by a registered motor vehicle; provided, that such vehicle is equipped with all noise-suppression devices required for legal operation under such registration by the laws of the Commonwealth;

(2)    Parades, public gatherings, or sporting events, for which permits have been issued where required by any federal, state, or local law or regulation;

(3)    Construction and maintenance activities between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.;

(4)    Emergency police, fire, and ambulance vehicles; or

(5)    Police, fire, and civil and national defense activities.

D.    Lighting.

(1)    Outdoor lighting for nonresidential uses, such as but not limited to parking lot lighting, security lighting and decorative lighting, shall be shielded or directed away from a residential district.

(2)    Absent evidence to the contrary, outdoor lighting that meets the requirements of Section 7-09-020(C) and is installed and operated under a site plan approved by the Planning Board or special permit granting authority shall be presumed to comply with these standards.

E.    Miscellaneous standards.

(1)    Cinders, fumes, toxic gases, smoke, refuse, or other waste materials shall be effectively confined to the premises and treated or disposed of in accordance with state and federal regulations governing air, water, and soil pollution.

(2)    No emission of any dirt, dust, fly ash and other forms of particulate matter, or any other air, water, or other pollutants shall exceed the emission levels of state and federal regulations governing air, water, and soil pollution.

(3)    No emission of radioactive material shall exceed the limitations of state and federal regulations governing air, water, and soil pollution.

(4)    All activities involving, and all storage of, inflammable and explosive materials shall be provided with adequate safety devices against hazards from fire and explosion, and with adequate fire fighting and fire suppression equipment as determined by the Northborough Fire Department, and shall be conducted in accordance with permits and licenses issued by the Fire Department and the Board of Selectmen under MGL C. 148, where applicable. Burning of waste materials in the open contrary to state law is prohibited.

(5)    No release of toxic or biohazardous material shall be allowed except in conformance with state and federal regulations and unless all applicable permits therefor have been granted by the appropriate issuing authorities.

F.    Compliance.

(1)    The applicant for a special permit for any use subject to the performance standards of this section shall submit a plan and description to the special permit granting authority of all proposed activities, a plan and specifications for the control or restriction of all dangerous and objectionable elements, and an affidavit acknowledging understanding of the applicable standards and agreeing to comply with the same at all times.

(2)    The Building Inspector may require an applicant for a building permit, certificate of occupancy, or certificate of zoning compliance to supply, at the applicant’s expense, such technical evidence as is necessary in support of the application, and may, in connection therewith, and at the applicant’s expense, obtain expert advice as necessary to review the plans and proposals of the applicant.

(3)    Compliance with state, federal, and local environmental regulations is the continuing obligation of the property owner and operator. When the Building Inspector suspects a subsequent violation he may, as necessary, obtain expert advice which, if the violation is established, shall be paid for by the violator; or otherwise, by the town.

(4-27-09 ATM, Art. 31; 4-26-10 ATM, Art. 28.)