Chapter 125 - Zoning
Authority and Purpose
§ 125-1. Authority
Principal Use Regulations
Overlay District Regulations
§125-8. Water Supply Protection District.
Special Use Regulations and Performance Standards
§125-9. Accessory apartments.
Administration and Enforcement
§125-23. Board of Appeals.
Definitions and Word Usage
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Annual Town Meeting of the Town of Pelham 10‑24‑1989, Art. 7. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Driveways ‑‑ See Ch. 23.
Earth removal ‑‑ See Ch. 29.
House numbers ‑‑ See Ch. 45.
Wetlands protection ‑‑ See Ch.119
Authority and Purpose
§ 125‑1. Authority.
The Town of Pelham Zoning Bylaw is hereby adopted pursuant to the Zoning Act, Chapter 40A, of the Massachusetts General Laws. The construction, alteration, location, use and extent of use of lands within the Town of Pelham are hereby regulated as provided in this chapter.
§ 125‑2. Purpose.
The purpose of this chapter is to provide for the Town of Pelham all the protection authorized by the General Laws of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Chapter 40a, the Zoning Act, and any amendments thereof. It is further the purpose of this chapter to encourage and foster growth and development in the community which would promote the health, safety, convenience, morals and general welfare of its inhabitants as well as to lessen congestion in the streets; secure safety from fire, flood, panic and other dangers; provide adequate light and air; prevent overcrowding of the land; avoid undue concentration of population; encourage housing for persons of all income levels; facilitate the adequate provision of transportation, water, water supply, drainage, sewerage, schools, parks, open space and other public requirements; conserve the value of land and buildings, including the conservation of natural resources and the prevention of blight and pollution of the environment; encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout the town, including consideration of the recommendations of any master or comprehensive plans adopted by the town or regional planning agency; and preserve and increase amenities by the promulgation of regulations to fulfill said objectives.
§ 125‑3. Types of districts.For the purposes of this chapter of the Town of Pelham is hereby divided into the following types of use districts:
WSP Water Supply Protection Overlay
§ 125‑4. Zoning Map; boundary measurement.
A. The locations and boundaries of districts shall be within and bounded by the boundary lines for the Town of Pelham, as shown on a map entitled "Zoning Map, Town of Pelham, Hampshire County Massachusetts" dated January 15, 1969, as amended from time to time by a vote of the Town Meeting, and on file in the Office of the Town Clerk. The Zoning maps are hereby deemed to be a part of this chapter.
B. Boundary measurement.
(1) For ease of drafting the Zoning Map, where boundaries are indicated in the right‑of‑way of streets, such boundaries shall be the edge of the right‑of‑way. Where boundaries are indicated in watercourses, such boundaries shall be the center line.
(2) Where boundaries approximately follow property lines and are not more than 25 feet therefrom, the property line shall be the district boundary.
(3) Where boundaries are established at a distance parallel to a street or road and fixed by dimensions on the Zoning Map, such a distance shall be measured from the edge of the right‑of‑way.
(4) Where distances are not specified on the Zoning Map nor otherwise determined from the above provisions, the scale of the Zoning Map shall be used to determine the location of the district boundary.
(5) Where the location of a boundary line is uncertain, the Building Inspector shall determine its position in accordance with the distance in feet from other lines as given or as measured from the scale of the map.
Principal Use Regulations
§ 125‑5. Schedule of use regulations.
A. Except as provided elsewhere in this chapter, no building or structure shall be erected or altered, and no building, structure or land shall be used for any purpose other than as provided for in this section. The restrictions and controls intended to regulate development in each district are set forth in Table 1, Schedule of Use Regulations. The following notations apply to the Schedule of Use Regulations:
Schedule of Use Regulations
C. Prohibited uses
(1) No use is permitted which would be detrimental or offensive or tend to reduce property values by reason of dirt, odor, fumes, smoke, gas, sewage, refuse, excessive vibration, noise, objectionable effluent or electrical interference. No building or structure shall be constructed, and no building, structure or land, or part thereof, shall be used for any purpose or in any manner other than for one or more of the uses hereinafter set forth as permitted in the district or set forth as permissible by special permit. Use variances are not permitted.
(2) Any use not specifically or generally listed herein or otherwise permitted in a district shall be deemed as prohibited. The following uses shall be prohibited in all districts: trailers, junkyards, auto graveyards and all open storage of junk.
§ 125‑6. Dimensional and density regulations.
A. All permitted uses and uses allowed by special permit shall be in conformity with the dimensional and density regulations set forth in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations. A "lot, building or buildable," is any lot that conforms to all state and local requirements (e.g., Zoning Bylaw, Wetlands Act/Bylaw,  Health Codes, Subdivision Control Law  ) for the purposes of construction or development on said lot.
Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations
(See Definitions in § 125‑34.)
1Bed‑and‑breakfast facilities containing up to two bed‑and‑breakfast units shall have a minimum lot size of 88,000 square feet. Each additional bed‑and‑breakfast unit shall require an additional 5,000 square feet of lot area.
2[Amended 5‑11‑1996 ATM, Art. 22]
(1) Lot layout. In addition to the minimum lot area, depth, width and frontage requirements, lots shall be laid out in such a manner so that a square, with sides equal to the minimum frontage requirement for the zoning district in which it is located, can be placed within the lot with at least one point of the square lying on the front lot line with no portion of the square extending beyond the boundaries of the lot.
Antennas. Antennas shall not exceed a height of 10 feet above the peak of a roof or a maximum height of 40 feet from the ground without a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals. Furthermore, the height of any antenna shall not exceed the distance from the antenna to the closest property line.
(3) Satellite dishes used for television reception. Satellite dishes larger than 30 inches in diameter, must be mounted on the ground so that their overall height will not exceed 12 feet above existing grade. Such dishes must be of wire mesh construction and black or dark green in color. Such dishes must be totally screened from view at ground level from any adjacent lot or street. Satellite dishes 30 inches or smaller in diameter may be attached to existing structures and are not subject to the foregoing restrictions. [Amended 5‑9‑1998 ATM, Art. 29]
B. Frontage shall be measured along the public right‑of‑way line on which the lot abuts, except that on corner lots where the included angle is less than 135°, either way may be considered as the frontage, but not both together.
C. The lot or yard areas required for any new building or use may not include any part of a lot that is required by any other building or use to comply with any provisions of this chapter, nor may these areas include any property of which ownership has been transferred subsequent to the effective date of this chapter if such property was a part of the area required for compliance with the dimensional regulations applicable to the lot from which such transfer was made. No lot, whether it complies with the provisions of this chapter or not, may be divided so as not to conform with a provision of this chapter. No group of lots in common ownership may be separated or the ownership of one or more lot changed (other than the entire group when sold as a single parcel) so as not to be in conformity with a provision of this chapter.
D. All accessory structures and uses must conform to the same dimensional and density regulations as principal structures and uses, provided that in the aggregate with the principal structure(s) and use(s) they do not represent a more intensive use of land than would be allowed by the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations.
E. In the case of all residential uses, no more than one principal structure may be built on any single lot. In all other cases, more than one principal structure may occupy the same lot, provided that in the aggregate they do not represent a more intensive use of land than would be allowed if all uses were contained within a single structure.
F. The following are permitted to project into the required minimum setback areas:
(1) balcony or bay windows may project into said areas up to two feet, provided that its total length is less than 1/2 the length of the building.
(2) Open terraces, steps and stoops less than four feet in height may project into a maximum of 1/2 of the required setback area.
(3) Steps and stoops over four feet in height, windowsills, chimneys, roof eaves, fire escapes, awnings, storm enclosures or similar architectural features may project not more than five feet into said areas.
G. The provisions of this chapter governing the height of buildings shall not apply to the following structures, provided that such structures are approved by the FAA and MAA if located within the flights paths of an airport or heliport as defined by FAA regulations and are set back from all property lines the distance required in the Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations, or a distance equal to the height of the structure, whichever is greater:
(1) Chimneys, cooling towers, elevator bulkheads, elevator shafts, skylights, ventilators and other necessary appurtenances usually carried above the roof.
(2) Domes, towers, stacks or spires, if not used for human occupancy and if not occupying more than 20% of the ground floor area of the building.
(3) Ornamental towers, observation towers and other like structures, which do not occupy more than 1% of the lot area.
(4) Churches or public, municipal, agricultural or institutional buildings or buildings for public/nonprofit educational uses that are primarily used for school (not residential) purposes.
H. Swimming pools are considered to be accessory structures. All swimming pools in ground and above ground (but less, than four feet above the ground level) containing more than 12 inches of water shall be enclosed. Such enclosure, including gates, shall be secured against unauthorized entry, and the top of said enclosure must not be less than four feet in height from the ground (six feet for public or semipublic pools). No enclosure shall be constructed in such a manner so as to render it easy to climb.
I. No fence may exceed a height of 61/2 feet within 10 feet of the side and back lot lines. Fences may be placed on a lot line, but no fence or hedge may be placed on a lot so as to interfere or obstruct the visibility and movement of traffic on the street or onto and off of the lot.
J. Vehicular egress/access to a building lot. Vehicular egress/access to a building lot must be across a front lot line with a contiguous distance of at least 60 feet, except where:
(1) In particular instances, the Planning Board may issue a special permit permitting vehicular egress/access to a lot over a front lot line having less than the 60 feet of frontage, or over any side lot line or rear lot line, or
(2) A special permit for a common access driveway has been obtained.
§ 125‑7. Preexisting nonconforming uses, structures and lots.
A. The lawful use of any structures or land legally existing at the time of the amendment or subsequent amendment of this chapter may be continued although such structure or use does not conform with provisions of the chapter.
B. Restoration. A nonconforming building, structure or use existing upon the effective date of this chapter may be continued, rebuilt or resumed within two years if damaged or destroyed by fire or other natural causes.
C. Usage termination. A nonconforming use which has been abandoned or discontinued for a period of two years shall not be reestablished, and any future use shall conform with this chapter.
D. Changes. Once changed to a conforming use, no structure or land shall revert to a nonconforming use, and no nonconforming use shall be changed to another nonconforming use except upon finding by the Board of Appeals that such change shall result in a use more in keeping with the character of surrounding properties.
E. Changes, extensions or alterations of preexisting nonconforming structures or uses.
(1) Preexisting nonconforming structures may be changed, extended or altered, provided that:
(a) Where said change, extension or alteration involves the specific preexisting nonconformity of the structure and creates no additional nonconformities, it must first receive a finding from the Zoning Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration will not be substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the existing nonconforming structure.
(b) Where said change, extension or alteration will create a new violation of the present zoning requirements, appropriate variances must be received.
(c) Where all aspects of said change, extension or alteration conform, in all respects, to the present zoning requirements, no variance or finding is required.
(d) Where said change, extension or alteration involves any combination of the above, then each particular variance or finding must be received.
(2) Preexisting nonconforming uses may be extended or altered, provided that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the Zoning Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood. Unless such change, extension or alteration results in all uses fully complying with the current zoning requirements, such finding is required.
(3) Conforming use on preexisting nonconforming lot.
(a) When a conforming use on a preexisting nonconforming lot is changed, extended or altered to a use which requires a larger minimum lot area, minimum lot width or frontage and/or minimum lot depth than is required for the present use, then a variance must be received with regard to the preexisting nonconformity of the lot.
(b) When a conforming use on a preexisting nonconforming lot is changed, extended or altered to a conforming use that requires the same or less minimum lot area, minimum lot width or frontage and/or minimum lot depth (and said lot still does not fully conform to the present zoning requirements for the proposed use) than is required for the present use, then a finding would be required.
(c) When a conforming use on a preexisting nonconforming lot is changed, extended or altered to a conforming use which requires the same or less minimum lot area, minimum lot width or frontage and/or minimum lot depth (and said lot now fully conforms to the present zoning requirements for the proposed use) than is required for the present use, then neither a variance nor a finding [as stated in Subsection E(1)(c)] is required.
(4) Preexisting nonconforming use on a preexisting nonconforming lot. Preexisting nonconforming uses on preexisting nonconforming lots may be extended or altered, provided that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the Zoning Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood.
(5) Preexisting nonconforming structure ‑ change in use. A use in a preexisting nonconforming structure may be changed, extended, or altered only if there is a finding by the Zoning Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration is not substantially more detrimental than the existing use to the neighborhood.
F. Single‑lot exemption for single‑family use. Any increase in area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirements of this chapter shall not apply to a vacant lot for single‑family residential use, which:
(1) Has at least 5,000 square feet of area and 50 feet of frontage.
(2) Is in an area zoned for single‑family use.
(3) Conformed to existing zoning requirements when the lot was legally created, if any.
(4) Is in separate ownership prior to the Town Meeting vote which made the lot nonconforming and has maintained its separate identity.
G. Change, extension or alteration to a preexisting nonconforming lot. A preexisting nonconforming lot may only be changed, altered or extended as a matter of right, provided that:
(1) Such change, extension or alteration brings the lot into total conformance with the zoning requirements in existence at the time of such change, extension or alteration, or
(2) Such change, alteration or extension only adds to the preexisting nonconforming lot and does not delete anything (area, frontage, width, depth) from the original lot, or
(3) Such change, extension or alteration deducts land from the preexisting nonconforming lot but in such a manner that such reduction does not reduce the lot area, lot frontage, lot width, lot depth, building setbacks, percent of building coverage or percent of open space below that which already exists on the preexisting nonconforming lot or that which is required by the current Zoning Bylaw, whichever is the lesser, and the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that such change, extension or alteration is not substantially more detrimental to the neighborhood than the original preexisting nonconforming lot.
H. Dimensional and density regulations for lots located in more than one zoning district. Where a lot is located in more than one zoning district, the following dimensional and density regulations shall apply:
(1) Frontage. The frontage requirement for the district in which a majority of the frontage is located shall apply. In cases where the frontage is of equal length in all districts, then the most restrictive shall apply.
(2) Lot area. The lot area requirement for the district in which most of the lot area is located shall apply. In cases where the minimum lot area is of equal size in all districts, then the most restrictive shall apply.
(3) All other dimensional and density regulations. Those dimensions and density regulations required in a particular district shall apply to that portion of the lot or structure located in that district.
Overlay District Regulations
A. Purpose. The purpose of the Water Supply Protection District is to promote the health, safety and welfare of the community by protecting, preserving and maintaining the surface and groundwater resources of the town and the region from any use of land or buildings which may pollute or otherwise adversely affect the quality and quantity of its water resources.
B. Scope of authority. The Water Supply Protection District is an overlay district and shall be superimposed on the other districts established by this chapter. All uses, dimensional requirements and other provisions of this chapter applicable to such underlying districts shall remain in force and effect, except that where the Water Supply Protection District imposes greater or additional restrictions and requirements, such restrictions or requirements shall prevail. Any uses not permitted in underlying districts shall remain prohibited.
C. District delineation. A Water Supply Protection District is herein established to include all lands within the Town of Pelham.
(1) The intent of the Water Supply Protection District is to include lands within the watersheds of surface water supplies and lands lying within the recharge areas of groundwater aquifers, including lands which recharge public and private wells. The map entitled "Surface and Groundwater Resources in the Town of Pelham," on file with the Office of the Town Clerk, illustrates that these lands encompass the entire town.
(2) Where the boundaries delineated are in doubt or in dispute, the burden of proof shall be upon the owner(s) of the land in question to show where they should be properly located. At the request of the owner(s), the town may engage a professional hydrologist to determine more accurately the location and extent of an aquifer or primary recharge area and may charge the owner(s) for all or part of the cost of the investigation.
D. Prohibited uses. The following uses as well as all others not specifically permitted are prohibited as principal or accessory uses in the Water Supply Protection District:
(1) Business and industrial uses, not agricultural, including but not limited to metal plating, chemical manufacturing, wood preserving, furniture stripping, dry cleaning and auto body repair that generate, treat, process, store or dispose of hazardous wastes, except for the following:
(a) Very small quantity generators of hazardous waste, as defined by 310 CMR 30.00, that generate less than 20 kilograms or six gallons of hazardous waste per month may be allowed by special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, in accordance with § 125‑25 of this chapter;
(b) Household hazardous waste collection centers or events operated pursuant to 310 CMR 30.390;
(c) Waste oil retention facilities required by MGL c. 21, § 52A, and;
(d) Treatment works approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection and designed in accordance with 314 CMR 5.00 for the treatment of contaminated ground‑ or surface waters.
(2) Business or industrial uses, not agricultural, which dispose of process wastewaters on site.
(3) Trucking terminals, bus terminals, car washes, motor vehicle gasoline sales, automotive service and repair shops, commercial fuel oil storage and sales
(4) Solid waste landfills, dumps, auto recycling, auto graveyards, junk‑ and salvage yards, landfilling or storage of sludge and septage, with the exception of the disposal of brush and stumps, and composting of organic plant and vegetable matter.
(5) Storage of liquid petroleum products, not including liquefied petroleum gas, except for the following:
(a) Storage which is incidental to:
 Normal household, commercial, agricultural or Town of Pelham municipal use, including the maintenance or the heating of a structure;
 Waste oil retention facilities required by MGL c. 21, § 52A;
 Emergency generators required by statute, rule or regulation, or;
 Treatment works approved by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection designed in accordance with 314 CMR 5.00 for the treatment of contaminated ground‑ or surface waters, provided that storage, listed in Subsection D(5)(a) and  above, shall be in a freestanding aboveground container within a structure or within the basement of a structure, and new structures shall include at a minimum a foundation with a poured cement slab floor or a concrete reservoir of sufficient volume to contain a spill the size of the container's total storage capacity. The storage tank and piping must comply with all applicable provisions of 527 CMR 9.00, Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention regulations.
(b) Replacement of storage tanks or systems for the dispensing or storing of gasoline, which existed at the time of adoption of this chapter, provided that:
 All such replacement storage tanks or systems shall be located underground as required by Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention regulations, 527 CMR 14.
 All such storage systems shall be protected by one of the secondary containment systems specified in Massachusetts Board of Fire Prevention regulations, 527 CMR 9.08(3).
 The head of the Fire Department may deny an application for tank replacement, or approve it subject to conditions if he or she determines, in consultation with the Board of Health, that it constitutes a danger to public or private water supplies in accordance with 527 CMR 9.26(4)(d).
 Any storage tank which is removed and not replaced must have the tank fill pipe removed at the same time. Replacement of all other storage tanks for liquid petroleum products other than gasoline must be above ground in accordance with Subsection D(5)(a) above.
(6) Outdoor storage of salt, deicing materials, pesticides or herbicides
(7) Dumping or disposal on the ground, in water bodies or in residential septic systems of any toxic chemical, including but not limited to septic system cleaners which contain toxic chemicals, such as methylene chloride and 1‑1‑1 trichlorethane or other household hazardous wastes. (See list of prohibited chemicals at Board of Health or Town Clerk's office.)
(8) Stockpiling and bulk disposal of snow or ice removed from highways and streets located outside of the Water Supply Protection District that contains sodium chloride, calcium chloride, chemically treated abrasives or other chemicals used for snow and ice removal.
(9) Wastewater treatment works subject to 314 CMR 5.00 (any treatment works which discharge contaminants to the ground, except sanitary discharges less than 15,000 gallons per day which are in compliance with Title V), except the following:
(a) The replacement or repair of an existing system(s) that will not result in a design capacity greater than the design capacity of the existing system(s);
(b) The replacement of an existing subsurface sewage disposal system(s) with wastewater treatment works that will not result in a design capacity greater than the design capacity of the existing system(s); and
(c) Treatment works designed for the treatment of contaminated ground‑ or surface waters.
E. Restricted uses. The following are restricted in the Water Supply Protection District:
(1) Excavation for removal of earth, loam, sand, gravel and other soils or mineral substances shall not extend closer than five feet above the historical high groundwater table (as determined from on‑site monitoring wells and historical water table fluctuation data compiled by the United States Geological Survey, whichever is higher). Monitoring wells shall be installed by the property owner in advance of excavation to verify groundwater elevations. This section shall not apply to excavations incidental to permitted uses, including but not limited to providing for the installation or maintenance of structural foundations, freshwater ponds, utility conduits or on‑site sewage disposal or to excavation sites less than five acres in size. On sites greater than five acres, in order to verify the changes in elevation and direction of flow through triangulation, three monitoring wells shall be installed. The Board of Selectmen shall have the option to require additional monitoring wells, as appropriate to the site. The number and location of monitoring wells shall be based upon the slope of the terrain and the size of the parcel to be developed. This provision shall be applied in conjunction with Chapter 29, Earth Removal, Chapter 119, Wetlands Protection, other town bylaws and the Massachusetts Wetlands Protection Act (MGL c. 131, § 40).
(a) Access road(s) to excavation operation sites shall include a gate or other secure mechanism to restrict public access to the site.
(b) Upon completion of earth removal operations, all altered areas shall be stabilized and graded consistent with site conditions prior to initiation of work on the site, using topsoil and vegetative plantings suitable to control erosion on the site.
(2) Sodium chloride for ice control shall be used at the minimum salt‑to‑sand ratio that is consistent with the public highway safety requirements, and its use shall be eliminated on roads which are closed to the public in winter.
(3) The storage of sodium chloride, calcium chloride, chemically treated abrasives or other chemicals used for the removal of ice and snow on roads shall be covered and located on a paved surface with berms, or within a structure designed to prevent the generation and escape of contaminated runoff or leachate.
(4) Fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, lawn care chemicals or other leachable materials shall be used in accordance with the Lawn Care Regulations of the Massachusetts Pesticide Board, 333 CMR 10.03 (30, 31), as amended, with manufacturer's label instructions and all other necessary precautions to minimize adverse impacts on surface and ground water. The application of herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, other than amounts associated with normal household or agricultural use, shall require written permission from the Board of Health.
(5) In cases where soil percolation rates are faster than two minutes per inch, additional measures, such as appropriate fill materials, may be imposed by the Board of Health to slow the percolation rate for on‑site sewage disposal systems. (See Chapter 130, Board of Health Regulations).
(6) The storage of fertilizers and soil conditioners for commercial use shall be within structures designed to prevent the generation and escape of contaminated runoff or leachate.
(7) All new permanent animal manure storage areas shall be within a concrete manure storage pit or other suitable structure that is covered and/or contained to prevent nutrient loading due to the escape of runoff or leachate.
(8) All liquid hazardous materials, as defined in MGL c. 21E, must be stored either in a freestanding container within a building or in a freestanding container above ground level with protection to contain a spill the size of the container's total storage capacity.
F. Drainage. For commercial, institutional and industrial uses that require a special permit, runoff from impervious surfaces shall be diverted to a system for groundwater recharge that does not degrade water quality. Such system may include extended‑time detention basins, artificial wetlands or other similar areas covered with vegetation to enhance infiltration of the runoff into the ground. Such runoff shall not be discharged directly to rivers, streams or other surface water bodies. Dry wells are permitted only where other methods are infeasible and shall be preceded by oil, grease and sediment traps to facilitate removal of contamination. All recharge areas shall be permanently maintained in full working order by the owner(s).
G. Licensing and inspection of petroleum storage tanks.
(1) The installation of any tank for storage of petroleum products not exclusively devoted to heating the principal structure shall require a license from the Board of Selectmen, in accordance with Massachusetts Fire Prevention regulations, MGL c. 14B and 527 CMB 9.00.
(2) All existing underground storage tanks may be subject to periodic inspections under regulations promulgated by the Board of Health. The purpose of such inspections shall be to determine whether liquids are escaping to the surrounding soil or groundwater, thereby creating a public nuisance.
(3) No existing storage tank shall be continued if it is determined by the Board of Health that the contents are leaking into the soil or groundwater.
H. Nonconforming uses.
(1) Nonconforming uses which were lawfully existing, begun or in receipt of a building or special permit prior to the first publication of notice of public hearing for this chapter may be continued. Such nonconforming uses may be extended or altered, as specified in MGL c. 40a, §6, provided that there is a finding by the Board of Appeals that such change does not increase the danger of surface or ground water pollution from such use.
(2) Replacement of existing nonconforming storage tanks for liquid petroleum products, located within a structure or basement of a structure, shall be permitted. Installation of a concrete foundation or reservoir around such a replacement tank is recommended, but not required.
Special Use Regulations and Performance Standards
§125‑9. Accessory apartments.
A. Definition. An accessory apartment is a separate housekeeping unit, complete with its own means of egress, sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities, that is substantially contained within the structure of a single‑family dwelling, but functions as a separate unit.
B. Purpose. The purposes of this accessory apartment section are to:
(1) Encourage a more balanced and diverse population and income mix.
(2) Provide older homeowners with a means of obtaining, through tenants in accessory apartments, rental income, companionship, security and services, and thereby to enable them to stay more comfortably in homes and neighborhoods they might otherwise be forced to leave.
3) Make housing units available to moderate‑income households who might otherwise have difficulty finding homes within the town.
(4) Protect stability, property values and the single‑family residential character of a neighborhood.
C. Conditions. The Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) may authorize, under a special permit in all residential districts, a use known as accessory apartment in an owner‑occupied, single‑family dwelling, provided that the following standards and criteria are met:
(1) The apartment will be a complete, separate housekeeping unit that functions as a separate unit from the original unit, and has its own means of egress.
(2) Only one apartment will be created within a single‑family house.
(3) No more than three persons shall occupy the accessory apartment.
(4) The owner(s) of the residence in which the accessory apartment is located shall occupy at least one of the dwelling units on their premises. The owner must occupy the structure full time for a minimum of 18 months over a twenty‑four‑month period. When the owner(s) are not present, the unit they occupy must remain vacant.
(5) The accessory apartment shall be designed so that the appearance of the building remains that of a one‑family residence. In general, any new entrances shall be located on the side or rear of the building.
(6) The accessory apartment shall be clearly a subordinate part of the single‑family dwelling. It shall be no greater than 800 square feet nor have more than two bedrooms.
(7) At least three permanent off‑street parking spaces shall be available for use by the owner‑occupant(s) and tenant(s). These parking spaces shall be screened from ways and adjacent or abutting properties. Screening may consist of dense, hardy evergreen plantings, earthen berms, wall or tight fence, complemented by evergreen plantings or other decorative elements.
(8) The construction of any accessory apartment must be in conformity with State Building Code requirements.
9) Before a special building permit can be obtained for an accessory apartment, the owner must obtain a disposal works construction permit from the Board of Health to ensure that the existing sewage disposal system is adequate for the proposed alteration to the existing dwelling.
(10) In order to encourage the development of housing units for disabled and handicapped individuals and persons with limited mobility, the Zoning Board of Appeals may allow reasonable deviation from the stated conditions where necessary to install features that facilitate access and mobility for disabled persons.
D. Application procedure. The procedure for the submission and approval of a special permit for an accessory apartment in an owner‑occupied, single‑family dwelling shall be the same as prescribed in the special permit section by the Zoning Board of Appeals, except it shall include a notarized letter of application from the owner(s) stating that he/she/they will occupy one of the dwelling units on the premises.
E. Transfer of ownership of a dwelling with an accessory apartment. When a structure which has received a special permit for an accessory apartment is sold, the new owner, if he/she/they wish to continue to exercise the special permit, must, within 30 days of the sale, submit a notarized letter to the Building Inspector stating that he/she/they will occupy one of the dwelling units in the structure as his/her/their permanent/primary residence and shall conform to all of the criteria and conditions for accessory apartments and the approved special permit. (The foregoing sentence shall appear as a condition on any special permits that are issued under this chapter.)
Any exterior sign, lettered surface or other display used to identify or advertise shall, except as expressly provided, conform to the following restrictions:
A. General restrictions.
(1) No sign or advertising device shall project over or into any pedestrian or vehicular way customarily used by the public.
(2) No sign or advertising device shall incorporate, or be lighted by, flashing or blinking lights or be designed to attract attention by a change in light intensity or by movement.
(3) No sign or advertising device shall constitute a nuisance or hazard to pedestrian or vehicular traffic because of intensity or direction of illumination or placement.
(4) In the case of dwelling or use accessory thereto, one sign not over two square feet in area is permitted for each family residing on the premises, indicating the name of the owner or occupant or pertaining to the accessory use.
(5) The top of a sign, together with any supporting framework, shall not be situated higher than the roof line. In the case of a building with a pitched roof, the eaves line of the building shall be considered the roofline.
(6) The supporting members for any sign shall be in acceptable proportion to the size of the sign.
(7) No sign shall be erected so as to obstruct any door, window or fire escape on a building.
(8) At each boundary line of the town and within a street right‑of‑way, a single sign not exceeding 25 square feet in area indicating the meetings of all Pelham civic organizations may be erected.
(9) No sign, except for a traffic regulatory or informational sign, shall be erected which uses the words "stop," "caution" or "danger," or other similar words in such a manner as to present or imply the need or requirement of stopping or caution or the existence of danger, or which, for any reason, in the opinion of the Chief of Police, is likely to be confused with any traffic regulatory or informational sign.
(10) If lighting is provided, the source of light shall be either from within the sign or shall be exterior to the sign and shielded so as to prevent direct glare from the light source onto any public street or onto any adjacent property.
(11) One unlighted temporary sign offering premises for sale or lease shall be permitted for each parcel, provided that it not exceed six square feet in surface area, be placed on the parcel offered for sale or lease and be set back at least 10 feet from the street lot line or 1/2 of the building setback distance, whichever is less.
(12) One unlighted temporary sign of an architect, engineer or contractor, erected during the period such person is performing work on the premises on which such sign is erected, shall be permitted, provided that it not exceed four square feet in surface area and be set back at least 10 feet from the street lot line or 1/2 of the building setback distance, whichever is less.
(13) The Building Inspector is authorized to order the repair or removal of any sign and its supporting structure which, in his or her judgment, is dangerous, in disrepair or which is erected or maintained contrary to this chapter.
(14) All signs, except for those authorized under Subsection B(2) of this section (political sign), shall be removed within 30 days of the date from which they no longer serve their intended function (i.e., the service, establishment or product being advertised no longer exists).
B. Permitted signs.
(1) Any traffic, informational or directional sign owned and installed by a governmental agency shall be permitted, provided that the size, location and height be approved by the Pelham Board of Selectmen.
(2) Temporary freestanding ground signs advocating any candidacy or cause that is under consideration at a particular election (not to exceed one sign per candidate or cause per lot) shall be permitted, provided that such signs:
(a) Shall not exceed a size of six square feet.
(b) Shall not be any closer than 10 feet to any lot line.
(c) Shall not be any higher (the top) than four feet from the ground.
(d) Shall not be displayed on a building or structure.
(e) Shall not be displayed more than three months prior to the election date.
(f) Shall be taken down within three days following the election.
(3) The limitations as to the number of signs permitted do not apply to directional signs that are necessary for the safety and direction of residents, employees, customers and visitors (whether in a vehicle or on foot) of the business, industry or residence. Directional signs may not exceed a size of six square feet, may not be any higher (top of sign) than four feet from the ground and, if lighted, shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only. Only one directional sign shall be permitted per curb cut. Directional signs may carry the name of the business or project, provided that the name is clearly secondary in nature to the primary directional function of the sign and that the name occupies no greater than 1/2 the area of the directional message.
(4) Wall signs. A single wall sign is permitted for each nonresidential use, provided that:
(a) It shall be attached and parallel to a wall of the portion of the building housing the use.
(b) It shall not project horizontally more than 12 inches therefrom.
(c) Its surface area shall not be greater than six square feet.
(d) If lighted, it shall be illuminated internally or by indirect method with white light only.
5) Ground signs. The Zoning Board of Appeals may issue a special permit for one ground sign, in addition to the permitted wall sign(s), per lot for each lot frontage for nonresidential establishments or home occupation, provided that:
(a) There must be unique features to the structure, the orientation of the structure, the location or setback of the structure, or the location of establishments in the structure, especially affecting such structures or establishment, but not generally affecting the zoning district in which it is located, which restrict the visibility of wall sign(s) otherwise allowed by this chapter.
(b) Said ground sign shall be located in the same lot as the structure or establishment being advertised.
(c) Said ground sign shall not exceed a height of six feet, nor have a surface area greater than six square feet, though the Zoning Board of Appeals may require a lesser height or size.
(d) Where a single lot is occupied by more than one business, whether in the same structure or not, there shall not be more than one ground sign per lot frontage.
(e) No billboard or sign on which the principal product or service advertised is not regularly produced or available on the premises where the sign is located shall be erected.
(6) Nonconforming and temporary signs.
(a) Signs legally existing at the time this chapter is adopted may continue as nonconforming structures.
(b) The Pelham Board of Selectmen may issue a special permit allowing for the display and placement of temporary signs for public interest, not‑for‑profit, nonprofit or Pelham governmental purposes.
(c) In the case of a permitted or authorized use other than a dwelling or use accessory thereto, or in the case of sale or lease of the premises, two signs pertaining to such use, sale or lease, provided that the total area of such signs clearly visible from any point not on the premises shall exceed 12 square feet, shall be permitted only by special permit by the Board of Appeals.
(7) Residential signs. One identification sign is permitted for each dwelling unit, provided that such sign shall not exceed two square feet in surface area. The sign shall not be used for any purpose other than identifying the occupant(s).
§125‑11. Trailers and mobile homes.
A. The use of trailers or mobile homes for residential purposes is not permitted in the Town of Pelham. The Zoning Board of Appeals may issue a special permit for the residential use of a mobile home, provided that all of the following are met:
(1) The structure shall be affixed to a permanent foundation, and the exterior walls of the structure shall rest upon said foundation;
(2) The structure shall meet the Mobile Home Construction and Safety Standards of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development as well as all appropriate Massachusetts building codes in existence at the time of application and shall be so certified by the manufacturer;
(3) The minimum width of the main body of the mobile home as assembled on the site shall not be less than 24 feet as measured across the narrowest portion;
(4) The pitch of the main roof shall be not less than one foot rise for each four feet of horizontal run, and the minimum distance from eaves to ridge shall be 12 feet and;
(5) Any materials that are generally acceptable for housing built on the site may be used for exterior finish or roofing on a mobile home; provided, however, that reflection from such exterior shall not be greater than from siding coated with white gloss exterior enamel paint.
B. Trailers may be used for temporary residential purposes by the owner and occupier of a residence (on the same parcel) which has been destroyed by fire or other natural disaster for a period not to exceed 12 months while the residence is being rebuilt.
§ 125‑12. Home occupations.
A. Home occupations shall be permitted in all districts only upon issuance of a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, and in accordance with the additional requirements specified here.
B. Additional requirements. Home occupations as accessory to a residential use shall be permitted subject to the following requirements:
(1) The home occupation shall only be carried on by members of the family living on the premises;
(2) The area devoted to the conduct of the home occupation shall not exceed 30% of the habitable floor area of the dwelling unit;
(3) There shall be no change in the outside appearance of the building or premises, or other visible evidence of the conduct of such home occupation other than one sign, not exceeding four square feet of face area, nonilluminated, and mounted flat against the wall of the principle building;
(4) The special permit granted for a home occupation shall be for an initial period of not more than one year, and the permit may be renewed for up to three years (per application) thereafter upon application to the Zoning Board of Appeals; and
(5) No home occupation shall violate any other provision of this chapter.
§ 125‑13. Common access driveways.
A. Definition. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
COMMON ACCESS DRIVEWAY or COMMON ACCESS DRIVE ‑‑ A driveway/curb cut shared by not more than five lots, such that each lot has approved frontage on an existing public way, and has access obtained through the common use of a private driveway designed according to the standards for construction of shared driveways in Pelham. [Amended 5‑11‑1996 ATM, Art. 23]
B. Authority. The Pelham Planning Board shall be the special permit granting authority for all purposes under this section and shall adopt rules and regulations with respect to the administration of applications or special permits under this section, subject to the conditions set forth below.
C. Standards. Proposed common access driveways to be shared by not more than three dwelling units shall require a special permit from the Planning Board. For each such proposal the Superintendent of Public Works, Fire Chief, Board of Health, Conservation Commission and Building Inspector may provide to the Planning Board written opinion or oral testimony at a public hearing regarding matters pertaining to their particular jurisdiction, together with any questions or considerations bearing on the adequacy of the plan. This opinion or testimony may include, but is not limited to, suggestions for road specifications, wetland and open space protection and other criteria designed to promote the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Pelham. In reaching its decision, the Planning Board shall consider the following factors: whether the proposed drive creates less adverse impact to wetlands located on the lots or otherwise diminishes environmental degradation; allows safer access to lots; results in the preservation of the rural quality of the area through the reduction in the number of access ways and maintenance of existing vegetative and topographical conditions; otherwise promotes the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the Town of Pelham. This provision shall be applied in conjunction with the Subdivision Control Law (MGL c. 41., §§ 81K through 81GG) and the Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Pelham.
(1) Each lot must have adequate approved legal frontage on an existing public way. Frontage requirements for each lot shall be along a town, county, state or approved subdivision road. Frontage along the length of private/common access driveways shall in no way be used to satisfy frontage requirements as specified in this chapter.
(2) The following shall accompany an application filed for a common driveway special permit:
(a) A site plan, developed by and carrying the seal of a certified professional engineer or a registered land surveyor, shall be submitted with the special permit application showing the layout for the common driveway, meeting the following specifications:
 A width of at least 18 feet and passing turnouts providing a total width of at least 20 feet along a distance of at least 25 feet, spaced with no more than 300 feet between turnouts, and with the first such passing turnout at the driveway connection to the street.
 A maximum grade of 8%; said driveway shall not exceed a grade of 2% within 30 feet of its intersection with the public way.
 A minimum side setback of 25 feet from any property not served by the proposed driveway.
 No connection to any other way except the one from which it originates.
 Access from the same public way that serves as the frontage for the lots being serviced by the common driveway, unless unique circumstances presented to the Planning Board are such that the Board may grant permission to access the common driveway from another public way.
(b) An easement plan suitable for recording at the Registry of Deeds.
(c) Easements, covenant and agreements for the subject lots containing restrictions prohibiting any additional vehicular access to said lots from other than the common driveway approved by this special permit, stating that said common driveway is a private driveway and not a town way. The maintenance, operation, repair and reconstruction (including snow plowing and snow/ice removal) is the responsibility and liability of the property owners. All deed easements, easement plans, restrictions, covenants and agreements must be submitted to and approved by the Planning Board prior to their recording and prior to the issuance of any building permits.
(3) House numbers identifying all of the homes utilizing the common driveway shall be placed at its intersection with the town road and at each subsequent turnoff from the common driveway sufficient for identification by emergency vehicles.
D. Certification. Prior to the issuance of any occupancy permits for any of the lots serviced by such common driveway, the applicant shall submit to the Planning Board, as‑built plans, prepared and stamped by a registered professional engineer and a certified statement from a registered professional engineer that such common driveway was constructed in accordance with the approved plans.
E. Street acceptance. If application is ever made for a common driveway to become a town way, such common driveway shall first, at the applicant's expense, be made to conform to the Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land in the Town of Pelham in effect at the time that such application is made.
A. Riding stables or academies shall be permitted in the Residence District only upon issuance of a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals and in accordance with the additional requirements specified here.
B. Additional requirements. The following standards shall be used as additional requirements in the special permit approval process for all riding stables or academies:
(1) All persons giving riding lessons or instructions have a valid state license.
(2) All riding schools and stables where horses are kept for hire, whether or not instruction is given, have a valid state license.
(3) The stable operator has on display a map showing the location of all riding trails and paths on properties of other landowners.
(4) The stable operator has on file, for public use, written permission from other landowners for the traversing of horses and riders on said properties, with or without conditions and restrictions, and dated to identify the use period.
(5) Licenses shall comply with all valid federal, state and town regulations as to equine health protection.
(6) The stables shall be open during reasonable hours for inspection of records and premises by duly authorized state agents or representatives and duly authorized town inspectors, boards and commissions.
(7) The Board of Appeals may impose such additional requirements and safeguards as will protect the public health and safety and welfare, with particular consideration to the impact of such uses and the traffic generated on other property in the area.
(8) The minimum acreage required shall be a parcel or tract of land in accord with the following:
(a) Minimum acreage of one acre for one horse or pony and an additional 1/2 acre for each additional horse or pony.
(b) The required acreage shall be one contiguous parcel. This parcel may contain stables and barns but may not include the building lot area required for dwellings. The required acreage may not include any and all wetlands contained within the parcel nor any land with a slope exceeding 20%.
(9) The conduct of horse shows shall be expressly addressed in the special permit for these operations.
(10) The area to be used for the keeping of horses and/or ponies shall have adequate fencing to contain the animal(s) within the property boundaries.
(11) Sufficient off‑street parking facilities should be provided to accommodate all users and visitors to the property, as determined by the Board of Appeals.
(12) Stables, barns, corrals and yards shall be properly drained and free from excessive odor, dust and mud, so as not to create a nuisance or health hazard to the community or to surrounding property owners.
§ 125‑15. Noncommercial keeping of animals.
A. The keeping of horses and/or ponies and a private stable, for personal use of the land owner, are permitted as accessory uses in accordance with the following conditions:
(1) The minimum acreage required for not more than one horse, pony or stable shall be a contiguous parcel of not less than 60,000 square feet. One additional horse or pony, not to exceed a total of three animals, shall be permitted for each 15,000 square feet over the minimum. Foals under six months are not to be counted. The land area may include that devoted to the required building lot, but may not include any and all wetlands as well as land whose slope exceeds a 20% grade.
(2) The area to be used for the keeping of horses and/or ponies shall have adequate fencing to contain the animal(s) within the property boundaries.
(3) Stables, barns, corrals and yards shall be properly drained and free from excessive odor, dust and mud, so as not to create a nuisance or health hazard to the community or to surrounding property owners.
(4) Maintenance of the stable and property used in the keeping of horses and/or ponies shall conform to all regulations of the Board of Health and state health authorities.
B. The keeping of nonfarm animals on a property occupied by a dwelling shall be allowed as an accessory use when the keeping of such animals is for noncommercial purposes and when the keeping of such animals conforms with all regulations of the Board of Health and state health authorities.
C. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
FARM ANIMALS ‑‑ All horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, cattle, swine, sheep, goats and poultry of any age or sex.
NONFARM ANIMALS ‑‑ Those animals commonly known as "household pets," including dogs, cats, fish and birds (parrots, parakeets, etc.) and may also include rabbits, ducks, geese or chickens, provided that these do not create health, safety or noise concerns in the neighborhood.
§ 125‑16. Unregistered motor vehicles.
A. Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
MOTOR VEHICLE ‑‑ Any vehicle, self‑propelled by an internal combustion engine, which is permitted and requires a valid registration legally issued by a governmental authority in order to be operated on a public way. For the purposes of this chapter, a motor vehicle shall include but not be limited to automobiles, trucks, buses, motor homes, motorized campers, motorcycles, motor scooters and tractors.
MOTOR VEHICLE ACCESSORIES ‑‑ Any part or parts of any motor vehicle.
PERSON ‑‑ Any individual, firm, partnership and/or corporation.
PRIVATE PROPERTY ‑‑ Any real property not owned by the federal, state, county, town government or other public subdivision.
REMOVAL ‑‑ The physical relocation of a motor vehicle and/or motor vehicle accessories to an authorized location.
UNREGISTERED MOTOR VEHICLE ‑‑ Any motor vehicle that does not have a valid registration legally issued by a governmental authority.
B. No more than two unregistered motor vehicles, and no motor vehicle accessories which are not parts of said two vehicles, may be parked, stored or otherwise placed on a parcel of land without a special permit from the Board of Selectmen.
C. The Selectmen may issue a special permit to a person for the storage of more than two unregistered motor vehicles and motor vehicle accessories.
D. Any unregistered motor vehicles and/or motor vehicle accessories permitted in Subsections B and C above shall be screened from the view of the public, from abutting public ways and from abutting properties by being enclosed within a structure or fencing.
E. This chapter shall not apply to the parking, storage or otherwise placing of unregistered motor vehicles and/or motor vehicle accessories where such parking, storage or placement is in connection with a legally established business selling new and/or used automobiles and trucks, or automotive repair or automobile service stations. This chapter shall also not apply to trucks and tractors which are in use for bona fide agricultural purposes.
§ 125‑17. Public ways.
A. No construction, digging, installation or placement of objects or structures shall be allowed within the right‑of‑way lines of the public ways, except by written permission from the Board of Selectmen.
B. A plan indicating the location for each driveway shall be submitted to and approved by the Highway Superintendent prior to the issuance of a building permit. Each driveway shall conform to standards set forth by the Superintendent of Public Works.
§ 125‑18. Parking and driveway regulations. [Amended 5‑4‑1991 ATM, Art. 19]
A. General requirements.
(1) Off‑street parking shall be provided in conjunction with and during the construction, conversion and/or expansion of any structure, as well as upon the implementation, change or expansion of a use, and shall be located on the lot.
(2) In granting a special permit for any use, the Zoning Board of Appeals may require off‑street parking spaces, standards or conditions in excess to those set forth in this section, if it deems it necessary for the use.
(3) Any specific, more stringent provision in any other section of this chapter relating to parking shall prevail over provisions in this section.
B. Parking area and driveway design, location and requirements. All new structures and uses and any additions, changes, extensions or expansions to existing structures and uses shall be provided with off‑street parking spaces in accordance with the following specifications:
(1) Location. Parking facilities shall be located on the same lot with the principal use they are required to serve. Parking areas shall not be located within a required front, side or rear setback as specified in Table 2, Table of Dimensional and Density Regulations. All structures and uses requiring over five parking spaces shall locate said spaces behind the principal structure.
(2) No lot may have more than one driveway or curb cut unless a special permit has been granted by the Planning Board.
(a) Each parking space should be at least nine feet by 16 feet in size excluding the portion of the driveway to such space, and all parking areas should have adequate access and maneuvering areas.
(b) Drainage facilities for each parking area should be designed and constructed to contain stormwater runoff on the premises.
(c) Parking shall be so arranged as to prevent backing of vehicles onto any street.
(d) The layout of the parking area shall allow sufficient space for the storage of plowed snow unless snow removal by some other means is provided.
(e) Any portion of any entrance or exit driveway shall not be closer than 50 feet to the curb line of any intersecting street nor closer than 50 feet to any portion of an existing driveway.
(f) Any two driveways leading to or from the same street and from the same lot shall not be within 50 feet of each other at their intersections with the front lot line.
(g) Any entrance or exit driveway shall not exceed 18 feet in width at its intersection with the front lot line, except as provided in ~ 125‑13C.
(h) Except on a farm, only one commercial vehicle (excluding pickup trucks, vans) shall be garaged or in any way stored on any lot in any R District. Said vehicle shall not exceed 18,000 pounds gross vehicle weight.
(i) No driveway shall be closer than 5 feet to a side or rear lot line.
(j) Driveways shall not exceed a grade of 2% within 30 feet of their intersection with the public way.
(4) Additional standards for all commercial parking and lots of over five vehicles:
(a) Screening. Any parking for nonresidential use of property shall be screened from the roads and from residential uses on abutting properties. Screening may consist of decorative elements, such as building wall extensions, plantings, berms or other innovative means, must be maintained in good condition, and no advertising shall be placed thereon. The screening shall be designed so that vehicle sight distances shall not be affected at entrances, exits or at street intersections.
(b) Lighting. If lighted, drives and parking areas shall be illuminated in such a way that there shall be no glare for motorists, pedestrians or neighborhood districts or properties.
(c) The area and access driveways thereto shall be graded and drained so as to dispose of all surface water accumulation in accordance with acceptable engineering practices.
(d) A substantial bumper of 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, sidewalks and screening materials.
(e) The Planning Board may grant a special permit to allow the reduction of the parking space requirements to 80% of that required in the Table of Off‑Street Parking Regulations where conditions unique to the use will reasonably justify such a reduction, provided that a greater percentage reduction may be allowed where joint use of the same spaces by two or more uses or establishments is justifiable by virtue of the fact that the uses or establishments generate peak demand at substantially different time periods.
(f) Fire lanes or emergency access points required for buildings or other structures shall be protected from unauthorized parking through the provision of curbs, mountable barriers, landscaped areas or such other improvements subject to the approval of the Fire Chief and Chief of Police.
C. Existing spaces. Parking or loading spaces being maintained in any district in connection with any existing use on the effective date of this chapter, or any spaces subsequently provided in accordance with this chapter, shall not be decreased or in any way removed from service to the use originally intended to be served 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 table in this section. However, this regulation shall not require the maintenance of more parking or loading spaces than is required according to the table.
D. Computation of spaces. When the computation of required parking or loading spaces results in the requirement of a fractional space, any fraction shall require one space.
E. Continuance. Required off‑street parking or loading spaces which, after development, are later designated as and accepted by the town for off‑street parking or loading purposes shall continue to serve the uses or structures to meet these requirements so long as said use or structure remains.
F. Location of loading spaces. All loading spaces shall be on the same lot as the use they are intended to serve. In no case shall loading spaces be part of the area used to satisfy the parking requirements of this chapter.
G. Off‑street parking standards. In all districts, there shall be provided and maintained off‑street automobile parking spaces in connection with the construction, conversion or increase by units or dimensions of buildings, structures and use, in at least the following minimum amounts. All uses shall provide parking spaces adequate to accommodate under all normal conditions the vehicles of occupants, employees, members, customers, clients, residents and visitors to the premises, as determined by the Planning Board. The following guidelines may be used by the Planning Board when determining adequate parking:
Use Required Minimum Space
H. On‑street parking. On‑street parking is prohibited in the Town of Pelham. [Amended 5‑3‑1997 ATM, Art. 7]
§ 125‑18.1. Wireless communication towers. [Added 5‑9‑1998 ATM, Art. 28]
A. Standards. A wireless communication tower (including antennas and accessory structures, if any) may be erected upon the issuance of a special permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals, subject to site plan approval and subject to all of the following conditions:
(1) To the extent feasible, all service providers shall collocate on a single tower. Towers shall be designed to structurally accommodate the maximum number of foreseeable users (within a ten‑year period) that are technically practicable.
(2) New towers shall be considered only upon a finding by the special permit granting authority that preexisting structures or existing or approved towers cannot accommodate the wireless communication equipment planned for the proposed tower.
(3) Tower height shall not exceed 100 feet above the existing terrain.
(4) A tower shall not be erected nearer to any property line than a distance equal to the vertical height of the tower (inclusive of any appurtenant devices), measured at the mean finished grade of the tower base. The special permit granting authority may also allow lesser setbacks necessary to permit the use of an existing structure.
(5) No tower shall require guy wire supports.
(6) No tower or other associated structure shall contain signs or other devices for the purpose of advertisement.
(7) All towers shall minimize adverse visual effects on the environment. The special permit granting authority may impose reasonable conditions to ensure this result, including painting and lighting standards.
(8) All building‑mounted facilities shall be designed and located so as to appear to be an integral part of the existing architecture of the building.
(9) All electronic and other related equipment necessary for the operation of any wireless communication facility shall, wherever possible, be located within a lawfully preexisting structure or be located completely below grade. When a new structure is required to house such equipment, the siting design and materials of the structure shall be harmonious with the surrounding natural features, buildings and structures.
(10) Fencing shall be provided to control access to the site of the communication facility and shall be consistent with the character of abutting properties. Fencing is not required for antennas or other appurtenances mounted on a preexisting structure.
(11) Landscape plans submitted with the application shall identify existing vegetation, shall indicate which vegetation is to be retained and shall show all proposed new vegetation and other landscape treatment. Existing on‑site vegetation shall be preserved to the maximum extent practicable.
B. Nonuse or cessation of use. All structures associated with a wireless communication tower shall be removed within one year of construction in the event that the facility is not used or within one year of the cessation of said use. Prior to the issuance of a building permit for a wireless communication tower, the applicant shall post and submit a bond or other financial surety acceptable to the Town of Pelham in an amount sufficient to cover the cost of demolishing and/or removing the facility in the event the Building Inspector deems the facility to have been abandoned or unused for more than one year. Said amount shall be certified by an engineer, architect or other qualified professional registered to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
C. Modifications. The special permit granting authority may modify, by special exception, any provision of the standards and conditions prescribed in ~ 125‑18.1 if it can be demonstrated that it is technically infeasible to meet these standards or conditions, or that the effect of these standards or conditions is to prohibit the proposed use throughout the town, or if such modification will promote use of existing buildings or structures, collocation of wireless communication uses, improved safety or design or otherwise promote the purposes of this chapter
§ 125‑19. Filling of any water or wetland.
A special permit must be received from the Zoning Board of Appeals for the filling of any pond, lake, swamp or other existing body of water or wetland and where such filling requires an amount of fill equivalent to 100 cubic yards or more, or where the area to be filled in exceeds 10,000 square feet. Any filling of any water or wetland requires approval of the Conservation Commission.
A. A site plan shall be submitted as required in § 125‑26D, and shall include the following additional information:
(1) The premises and surrounding area within one hundred feet showing.
(2) Existing and proposed contour lines at intervals of not more than two feet resulting from the proposed filling, in relation to the topography of the premises.
(3) A tie‑in to the nearest road intersection.
(4) A plan for lighting if night operation is contemplated.
B. Provision shall be made for temporary and permanent drainage of the site.
C. Fills shall be limited to terrace fills which are not to exceed 10 feet at any one time nor be within 10 feet of an adjacent property line or any cut.
D. Regrading of all or parts of the slopes resulting from such fill shall be carried out.
E. At least six inches of topsoil shall be replaced over all filled or otherwise disturbed surfaces with seeding with a perennial cover crop, reseeded as necessary to assure uniform growth and soil surface stabilization.
F. Where any fill will have a depth of 10 feet or more and create a slope of more than one vertical in two horizontal, there shall be a substantial fence enclosing the fill at least six feet in height with suitable gates. Such fence shall be located 10 feet or more from the edge of the fill.
§ 125‑20. Filling of land other than water or wetland.
No filling of any land area shall proceed without first securing a special permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals, subject to the additional provisions contained below:
A. Exceptions. The following filling operations shall be exempt from the provisions of this section:
(1) A filling operation which does not exceed a total of 100 cubic yards of material.
(2) A filling operation which does not exceed a total area of 10,000 square feet on any lot, land parcel or subdivision thereof.
(3) A filling operation which is associated with acceptable agricultural land management practices, including, but not limited to, plowing and construction of agricultural structures; nursery operations, such as the removal and/or transplanting of cultivated sod, shrubs and trees; and logging operations.
(4) Filling operations necessary in connection with lawful construction of a building, structure, street, driveway, sidewalk, path or other appurtenance or filling, as a maintenance measure, or for landscaping purposes on existing developed lots or parcels. The aggregate of area(s) affected must not exceed 10,000 square feet; the grade change must not exceed 12 inches at any point and must not alter the drainage patterns, and the filling must not involve a quantity of materials in excess of 100 cubic yards.
B. Permit procedures. The procedure for granting a special permit shall be as set forth for all special permits, except that special permits granted under this section shall be for a period not to exceed one year. For a continuation of an operation beyond a period designated in the initial permit, a new application must be made and a new special permit must be granted in the same manner as for the initial permit, except that the Board may waive requirements for submittal of materials required by this section. The waiver must be granted in writing by the Board to the applicant. All other provisions relating to operational standards and permit procedures shall apply. A separate permit shall be required for each separate noncontinuous site, as for any expansion on the same site.
C. Required site plan. A site plan shall be included with the special permit application for any land that is to be filled and is not exempted under these provisions. Site plans for fill areas shall be prepared by a registered professional engineer or a registered land surveyor and reviewed according to the provisions of § 125‑26D. Submission of site plans shall include, in addition to the material required in § 125‑26D, the following:
(1) The premises and surrounding area within 100 feet showing the area to be filled in, property lines within which the filling is proposed and tie‑in to the nearest road intersection, existing and proposed contour lines at intervals of not more than two feet resulting from the proposed filling, in relation to the topography of the premises.
(2) The location of any buildings, structures, utilities, sewers, water and storm drains within 100 feet of the site.
(3) A certification of the quantity of fill involved.
(4) Detailed plans of all temporary and permanent drainage provisions, retaining walls, cribbing, vegetative practices, erosion and sedimentation control measures and all other protective measures and devices utilized or constructed in connection with the area to be filled.
(5) A timing schedule and sequence indicating the anticipated starting and completion dates.
(6) A plan for lighting if night operation is contemplated.
(7) Other plans, drawings or materials as may be required by the Board of Appeals.
D. Conditions. For the filling of any land area subject to the provision of this section, the following conditions shall govern:
(1) Provision shall be made for adequate temporary and permanent drainage of the site.
(2) Fills shall be limited to terrace fills which are not to exceed 10 feet at any one time nor be within 10 feet of an adjacent property line or cut.
(3) Regrading of all or parts of the slopes resulting from such fill shall be carried out.
(4) At least six inches of topsoil shall be replaced over all filled or otherwise disturbed surfaces, seeded or sodded with a perennial cover crop, reseeded or resodded as necessary to assure uniform growth and soil surface stabilization.
(5) Where any fill will have a depth of 10 feet or more and create a slope of more than one vertical in two horizontal, there shall be a substantial fence enclosing the fill at least six feet in height with suitable gates. Such fence shall be located 10 feet or more from the edge of the fill.
(6) The planned filling of any land area shall be consistent with any recreation, conservation and open space plan as prepared by the Planning Board.
(7) Documentation shall be submitted as to the effect of such filling activities on drainage, both within the immediate area and sufficiently far downstream, as required by the Building Inspector and/or the Board of Appeals.
(8) Provisions shall be made such that the filling of any land area shall not impair surface drainage, constitute an erosion hazard nor act as a source of sedimentation to any adjacent land or watercourse.
(9) Provisions shall be made such that the filling of any land area does not impair the safe and efficient operation of any on‑site sewage disposal or drainage facilities nor those located on adjacent properties.
(10) Provisions shall be made to reduce the area and duration of exposure of fill material(s) and to reduce the velocity of runoff, both during and after the completion of the filling activity in order to minimize the potential of soil erosion and siltation problems.
(11) Provisions shall be made for the adequate control of dust during filling operations.
(12) All disturbed fill areas shall be promptly seeded or sodded with a suitable ground cover and supplemented with other suitable plantings as soon as the season permits.
(13) No final slopes shall exceed a slope of more than one foot vertical in two feet horizontal.
(14) No filling of land shall cause or permit any soil, earth, sand, gravel, rock, stone loam or other fill material, or water or liquid to be deposited upon or to roll, flow or work upon or over the premises of another without the express consent of the owner of such premises so affected; nor shall any filling of land cause or permit any soil, earth, sand, gravel, rock, stone loam or other fill material or water or liquid to be deposited or to roll, flow or wash upon or over any public street, street improvement, road, sewer, storm drain, water course, right‑of‑way or public property.
(15) Such other conditions as may be deemed necessary and reasonable shall be imposed by the Board of Appeals in order to prevent damage to public or private property or any sewer, storm drain or watercourse, or to prevent the filling of land from being conducted in a manner hazardous to life or property, or in a manner likely to create a nuisance.
§ 125‑21. Environmental performance standards.
The purpose of environmental performance standards is to ensure that any use allowed by right or special permit in any district is conducted in a manner which does not adversely affect the surrounding natural or human environment by creating a dangerous, injurious or objectionable condition. The following environmental controls shall be enforced by the Building Inspector and shall apply throughout the life of the use or structure:
A. Lighting. Any outdoor lighting fixture shall be shielded so that it does not produce strong, direct light beyond the property boundaries.
(1) Excessive noise, objectionable with respect to volume, frequency, shrillness or intermittency, is prohibited.
(2) No person shall engage in or cause noisy construction activities on a site abutting residential use between the hours of 9:00 p.m. of one day and 7:00 a.m. of the following day.
C. Water runoff. The rate and quantity of surface water runoff from a site shall not be increased as a consequence of construction. If needed to meet this requirement and to maximize groundwater recharge, increased runoff from impervious surfaces shall be recharged on site by being diverted to vegetated surfaces for infiltration or through the use of detention ponds. Dry wells shall be used only where other methods are infeasible and shall employ oil, grease and sediment traps to facilitate removal of contaminants.
D. Control of erosion. Erosion of soil and sedimentation of streams and bodies of water shall be minimized by using the following erosion control practices:
(1) Exposed or disturbed areas due to stripping of vegetation, soil removal and regrading shall be permanently stabilized within six months of occupancy of a structure.
(2) During construction, temporary vegetation and/or mulching shall be used to protect exposed areas from erosion. Until a disturbed area is permanently stabilized, sediment in runoff water shall be trapped by using staked hay bales or sedimentation traps.
(3) Permanent erosion control and vegetative measures shall be in accordance with the erosion/sedimentation/vegetative practices recommended by the Soil Conservation Service.
(4) All slopes exceeding 15% resulting from site grading shall be either covered with four inches of topsoil and planted with a vegetative cover sufficient to prevent erosion or be stabilized by a retaining wall.
(5) Dust control shall be used during grading operations if the grading is to occur within 200 feet of an occupied residence or place of business. Dust control methods may consist of grading fine soils on calm days only or dampening the ground with water.
§ 125‑22. Elderly congregate housing.
A. Elderly congregate housing shall be permitted in the Residential District only from issuance of a special permit with site plan approval from the Zoning Board of Appeals and in accordance with the additional requirements specified herein.
B. Purposes. The purposes of elderly congregate housing are to:
(1) Encourage housing to ensure that elderly residents of Pelham are afforded every opportunity to remain active members of the community.
(2) Encourage careful placement of housing to meet elderly residents' needs throughout Pelham.
C. General requirements. The following standards shall be used as additional requirements to the special permit/site plan approval process for all elderly congregate units:
(1) Elderly congregate structures shall have access on roads having sufficient width, suitable grades and adequate construction to provide for the needs of vehicular traffic generated by the site.
(2) The maximum number of occupants per structure shall not exceed six.
(3) No building shall be floodlit. Drives and parking areas shall be illuminated only by shielded lights.
D. Additional utility requirements.
(1) For dwellings to be served by on‑site water and waste disposal systems, the applicant shall submit a septic system design prepared by a certified engineer and approved by the Board of Health and a plan illustrating the location of water supply wells with the special permit application.
(2) For dwellings to be served by on‑site waste disposal systems, approval shall be allowed only upon demonstration by the applicant that the groundwater quality of the boundaries of the lot will not fall below the standards established by the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection in Drinking Water Standards of Massachusetts, or by the United States Environmental Protection Agency in National Interim Primary Drinking Water Regulations, or, where groundwater quality is already below these standards, upon determination that the activity will result in no further degradation. Where compliance is in doubt, the Board of Health may hire a professional engineer to analyze and certify groundwater quality impacts and may charge the applicant for the cost of such analyses.
Administration and Enforcement
§ 125‑23. Board of Appeals.
A. There shall be a Board of Appeals consisting of five members and three associate members appointed by the Selectmen. The term of each member shall end at the date of the Annual Town Meeting of the year in which his or her term expires, or whenever his or her successor qualifies, whichever event occurs last.
B. The Board of Appeals shall have and exercise all the powers granted to it by MGL c. 40A and by this chapter, including to hear and decide on an appeal taken by:
(1) Any person aggrieved by reason of his or her inability to obtain a permit or enforcement action from any administrative officer under the provisions of Chapter 10A of the Massachusetts General Laws,
(2) The Pioneer Valley Planning Commission or
(3) Any person, including an officer or board of the town, or an abutting city or town, aggrieved by an order or decision of the Building Inspector, or other administrative official, in violation of any provision of this chapter or Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
§ 125‑24. Enforcement officials; certificates, permits and orders.
A. The Zoning Enforcement Officer shall be the officer responsible for enforcing the provisions of this chapter. The Board of Selectmen and the Police Department shall assist the Zoning Enforcement Officer when necessary and appropriate.
B. No building shall be constructed or changed, or the use changed, until a permit has been issued by the Building Inspector. No permit shall be issued until a sewage disposal works permit, when applicable, has first been obtained from the Board of Health and the proposed building and location thereof conform with the town's laws and bylaws. Any new building or structure shall conform with all adopted state and town laws, bylaws, codes and regulations. No building shall be occupied until a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Building Inspector where required.
C. The Building Inspector shall refuse to issue any permit which would result in a violation of any provision of this chapter or in a violation of the conditions or terms of any special permit or variance granted by the Board of Appeals or its agent.
D. The Building Inspector shall issue a cease and desist order on any work in progress or on the use of any premises, either of which are in violation of the provisions of this chapter.
E. Construction or use according to a building permit or special permit shall conform to any subsequent amendment of this chapter unless the construction or use is begun within a period of not more than six months after the issuance of a permit granted before the effective date of the amendment. To qualify for this exemption, construction must be completed in a continuous and expeditious manner.
§ 125‑25. Special permits.
A. Special permits may be requested for certain uses, structures or conditions as specified in § 125‑5B, Schedule of Use Regulations, and other sections of this chapter.
B. Purpose. Special permits are intended to provide detailed review of certain uses and structures which may have substantial impact upon traffic, the environment, health and safety, property values, utility systems and the character of the town, among other things. The special permit review process is intended to ensure a harmonious relationship between proposed development and its surroundings and to ensure that the proposals are consistent with the purpose and intent of this chapter.
C. Special permit granting authorities. The special permit granting authorities shall be the Zoning Board of Appeals, the Planning Board or the Board of Selectmen, as specified in the relevant sections of this chapter.
D. Special permit procedures. Special permits may be issued by special permit granting authorities (SPGAs) in accordance with MGL c. 40A, ~ 9, and with the following provisions and any regulations adopted by the special permit granting authority:
(1) Public hearing. SPGAs may establish fees to cover costs of the special permit process. These costs may include, but not be limited to, inspections, consultants and public hearing notices.
(2) Application procedures.
(a) All applications for special permits shall be made in writing on forms furnished by the Town Clerk and located in the Town Clerk's office and shall be accompanied by a site plan when required in accordance with Section 3.0, Schedule of Use Regulations and/or a plan indicating:
 Location of premises showing dimensions, abutting properties with name and address of owners, abutting and nearby streets and ways and the zoning of all properties shown.
 Location and dimension of all proposed structures, including signs and other advertising devices.
 Location and number of parking spaces.
 Type and location of all proposed outdoor lighting.
 Where appropriate, the location and type of material proposed for buffers or screening.
(b) Misrepresentation of any of the required plan items shall be cause to revoke a special permit.
(c) No special permit may be authorized for use or activity not generally permitted in the district in which the land or structure is located.
(d) Twelve completed copies shall be filed with Town Clerk who shall forthwith submit 11 copies to the SPGA.
(3) Expiration. All special permits that have no time restrictions imposed by the special permit granting authority shall lapse within two years from the date the permit was granted.
(4) Review procedures. The special permit granting authority shall submit one copy of said application and plan to the Board of Appeals, the Planning Board, the Board of Health, the Board of Selectmen, the Department of Public Works and the Conservation Commission for their review. These bodies shall within 30 days make recommendations as they deem appropriate and shall send copies thereof to the special permit granting authority and to the applicant in accordance with MGL c. 40A, § 11.
(5) Criteria. Where a special permit may be authorized by the special permit granting authority under this chapter, said authority may grant, upon written application, such special permit if it finds all of the following:
(a) That the proposed use would be suitably located in the neighborhood in which it is proposed and/or the total town.
(b) That the use will be reasonably compatible with the character and scale of other uses permitted as of right in the same district.
(c) That the use will not constitute a nuisance by reason of an unacceptable level of air or water pollution, excessive noise or visually flagrant structures and accessories.
(d) That adequate and appropriate facilities will be provided for the proper operation of the proposed use, including special attention to safe vehicular circulation.
(e) The proposed project shall comply with the environmental performance standards specified in § 125‑21 of this chapter.
(f) The proposed project shall comply with any and all additional special permit criteria or special use regulations imposed on individual uses in other sections of this chapter.
(g) The proposed project shall not create traffic congestion or impair pedestrian safety. Provision shall be made for convenient and safe vehicular and pedestrian circulation within the site and in relation to adjacent streets, property or improvements.
(h) The proposed project shall not create a significant adverse impact on the quality of surface water or groundwater during and after construction, and provision shall be made for maximizing groundwater recharge.
(i) The design of the project shall provide for adequate methods of disposal and recycling of sewage, refuse or other wastes generated by the proposed use. 
(j) The design of the project shall minimize the visibility of visually degrading elements and protect the neighboring properties from potentially detrimental or offensive uses through the use of screening or vegetated buffer zones.
(k) In reviewing site plans submitted with a special permit application, the special permit granting authority shall consider the site plan submittal and approval requirements of § 125‑26.
(l) The project shall not unduly impair the integrity of character of the district or adjoining zones, nor be detrimental to the health, morals or general welfare. The project shall be in harmony with the general purpose and intent of this chapter.
(6) Conditions, safeguards and limitations. In granting a special permit, the special permit granting authority may, in accordance with MGL c. 40A, impose conditions, safeguards and limitations. Such conditions, safeguards and limitations shall be in writing and may include but are not limited to the following:
(a) Front, side and rear yard setbacks greater than the minimum required in this chapter.
(b) Screening by the use of walls, fences, plantings or other such devices.
(c) Limitations of size, number of occupants, method or time of operation or extent of facilities.
(d) Modification of the exterior design or appearance of buildings, structures, signs or landscape materials.
(e) Additional parking, loading or traffic requirements beyond the minimum required in this chapter.
(f) Measures to protect against environmental pollution.
(g) Performance bond or other security to ensure that the project meets the conditions specified in the special permit.
(7) Changes, alterations or expansion. Any extensions, modifications or renewals of a special permit or variance shall follow the same statutory procedures as are required for the original granting of a special permit or variance.
(8) Discontinuance/abandonment. Any lapse for two years of a use allowed by special permit shall require a new special permit from the appropriate special permit granting authority.
§ 125‑26. Site plan approval.
A. Projects requiring site plan approval shall be as follows:
(1) The construction or exterior alteration of a commercial structure.
(2) The construction or exterior alteration of an industrial structure.
(3) Any other use specified in § 125‑5B, Schedule of Use Regulations, which indicates site plan approval is required.
(4) Establishment or alteration of any area for parking, loading or vehicular service, including driveways giving access thereto, for commercial and industrial uses, and all other uses requiring site plan approval.
B. Purpose. The purpose of site plan approval is to further the purposes of this chapter and to ensure that new development is designed in a manner which reasonably protects visual and environmental qualities and property values of the town, and to assure adequate drainage of surface water and safe vehicular access.
(1) The special permit granting authority shall have jurisdiction over all site plan approval associated with special permits. The Zoning Board of Appeals shall have jurisdiction over site plan approval associated with variances and findings. Each application for site plan approval shall be submitted to the special permit granting authority by the current owner of record, accompanied by 12 copies of the site plan. The special permit granting authority shall, within 15 days, transmit one copy each to the Building Inspector, Board of Health, Conservation Commission, Board of Selectmen, Highway Department, Fire Department and Police Department. [Amended 5‑4‑1991 ATM, Art. 18]
(2) The SPGA shall obtain with each submission, a deposit sufficient to cover any expenses connected with a public hearing and review of plans, including but not limited to the costs of any consultant services necessary for review purposes. The SPGA shall set the fee on a case‑by‑case basis. In addition, the special permit granting authority may charge additional fees as it deems necessary for review purposes.
D. Required site plan contents. All site plans shall be prepared by a registered architect, registered landscape architect or registered professional engineer unless this requirement is waived by the permit granting authority because of unusually simple circumstances. The SPGA may waive any information requirements it judges to be unnecessary to the review of a particular plan. All site plans shall be on standard twenty‑four‑inch by thirty‑six‑inch sheets and shall be prepared at a sufficient scale to show:
(1) The location and boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets or ways, and the location and owner's names of all adjacent properties.
(2) Existing and proposed topography, including contours and location of wetlands, streams, bodies of water, drainage swales, areas subject to flooding and unique natural land features.
(3) Existing and proposed structures, including dimensions and drawings of elevations.
(4) The location of parking and loading areas, driveways, walkways, access and egress points.
(5) The location and a description of all proposed and existing septic systems, wells or other water supply, storm drainage systems, foundation drains, utilities and refuse, recycling and other waste disposal methods, for both the lot in question and for all adjacent lots. Location of structures on adjacent lots shall also be shown.
(6) Proposed landscape features, including the location and a description of screening, fencing and plantings.
(7) The location, dimensions, height and characteristics of proposed signs.
(8) The location and a description of proposed open space or recreation areas.
E. Procedures for site plan review. The rules and regulations in this section do not supersede those of any other town board. The applicant shall still be responsible for submitting the required forms to the Board of Health and Conservation Commission. The process of site plan review in no way replaces that of the Subdivision Control Law.  The applicant shall follow the procedures specified in MGL c. 40A, § 9.
F. Site plan review criteria. The following criteria shall be considered by the granting authority in the review and evaluation of a site plan, consistent with a reasonable use of the site for the purposes permitted or permissible by the regulations of the district in which it is located. Before approval of a site plan, the reviewing board may request the applicant to make modifications in the proposed design of the project to ensure that the criteria are met.
(1) If the proposal requires a special permit, it must conform to the special permit requirements as listed in § 125‑25 of this chapter.
(2) The development shall be integrated into the existing terrain and surrounding landscape, and shall be designed to protect abutting properties and community amenities. Building sites shall, to the extent feasible:
(a) Avoid use of wetlands, steep slopes, floodplains, hilltops.
(b) Minimize obstruction of scenic views from publicly accessible locations.
(c) Preserve unique natural or historical features.
(d) Minimize street, vegetation and soil removal and grade changes.
(e) Maximize open space retention and be screened from neighboring properties and roadways.
(3) Architectural style shall be compatible with the rural/historic character and scale of buildings in the neighborhood and the town through the use of appropriate building materials, screening, breaks in roof‑ and wall lines and other architectural techniques. Variation in detail, form and siting shall be used to provide visual interest and avoid monotony. Proposed buildings shall relate harmoniously to each other with adequate light, air, circulation and separation between buildings.
(4) The development shall be served with adequate water supply and waste disposal systems. For structures to be served by on‑site waste disposal systems, the applicant shall submit a septic system design prepared by a certified engineer and approved by the Board of Health.
(5) The plan shall maximize the convenience and safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement within the site and in relation to adjacent ways. The plan shall describe estimated average daily and peak hour vehicle trips to be generated by the site and traffic flow patterns for vehicles and pedestrians showing adequate access to and from the site and adequate circulation within the site.
(6) The site plan shall show adequate measures to prevent pollution of surface or groundwater, to minimize erosion and sedimentation and to prevent changes in groundwater levels, increased runoff and potential for flooding. Drainage shall be designed so that runoff shall not be increased, groundwater recharge is maximized, and neighboring properties will not be adversely affected.
(7) The development will not place excessive demands on town services and infrastructure.
(8) Electric, telephone, cable television and other such utilities shall be underground where physically and environmentally feasible.
(9) Exposed storage areas, machinery, service areas, truck loading areas, utility buildings and structures and other unsightly uses shall be set back or screened to protect the neighbors from objectionable features.
(10) The site plan shall comply with any zoning requirements for parking, loading, dimensions, environmental performance standards and all other provisions of this chapter.
G. Final action. The SPGA's final action shall consist of one of the following:
(1) A determination that the proposed project will constitute a suitable development and is in compliance with the criteria set forth in this chapter.
(2) Approval subject to any conditions, modifications and restrictions as the SPGA may deem necessary within the guidelines established by this chapter.
(3) Denial of the application.
(1) The SPGA may require the posting of a bond to assure compliance with the plan and conditions and may suspend any permit or license when work is not performed as required.
(2) Any special permit with site plan approval issued under this section shall lapse within two years if a substantial use thereof has not commenced sooner, except for good cause.
(3) The SPGA may periodically adopt and amend additional rules and regulations relating to the procedures and administration of this section.
§ 125‑27. Variances.
The Board of Appeals is empowered to authorize upon appeal or petition with respect to particular land or structures a variance from the terms of this chapter. Such a variance shall be granted only if all the conditions specified by Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws have been met.
A. All applications for variances shall be made in writing on forms furnished by the Board of Appeals and located in the Town Clerk's office and shall be accompanied by a site plan as defined in §125-26 or, at the discretion of the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall be accompanied by a plan indicating the following:
(1) Location of premises showing dimensions, abutting properties with owner's name and address, abutting and nearby streets and ways and the zoning of all properties shown.
(2) Location and dimension of all proposed structures.
B. If the rights authorized by the variance are not exercised within one year from the date such variance was granted, they shall lapse and may be reestablished only according to Chapter 40A of the Massachusetts General Laws.
C. Variances shall only be issued following a public hearing held in accordance with MGL c. 40A, §§ 10 and 11.
§ 125‑28. Amendment.
This chapter may be amended from time to time at an Annual or Special Town Meeting in accordance with the provisions of MGL c. 40A, § 5.
§ 125‑29. Validity.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this chapter shall not invalidate any other section or provision thereof.
§ 125‑30. Previous bylaws.
Any existing Zoning Bylaws or any parts thereof inconsistent with this chapter are hereby repealed.
§ 125‑31. Violations and penalties.
Any person and/or business entity violating this chapter shall be subject to a fine of no more than $300 for each offense. Each day that such violation(s) continues shall constitute a separate offense.
The provisions of this chapter or subsequent amendments thereto shall not affect any lot shown on a definitive subdivision plan for residences which shall have been approved by the Planning Board after 1976, until a period of five years from the date of submission of said plan shall have elapsed. On plans approved prior to 1976 the limitation shall be seven years.
Definitions and Word Usage
§ 125‑33. Word usage.
Where appropriate, the singular shall include the plural and the plural the singular; the words "used" or "occupied" include the words "designed," "arranged," "intended" or "offered," to be used or occupied; the words "building," "structure," "lot," "land" or premises" shall be construed as though followed by the words "or any portion thereof;" and the words not defined herein but defined in the Subdivision Control Law  shall have the meanings given therein unless a contrary intention clearly appears. Words not defined in either place shall have the meaning given in Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
§ 125‑34. Definitions.
For the purpose of this chapter, the following words shall have the meaning given hereinafter:
ACCESSORY BUILDING ‑‑ A building customarily incidental to a principal building on the same lot or on an adjoining lot under the same ownership, and not attached to the principal building by any covered or roofed structure.
ACCESSORY APARTMENT ‑‑ A separate housekeeping unit, complete with its own sleeping, cooking and sanitary facilities, that is substantially contained within the structure of a single‑family dwelling but functions as a separate unit.
ACCESSORY USE ‑‑ The use of a building or premises which is customarily incidental to a principal permitted use. No system or facility to be used for treating, neutralizing, stabilizing or disposing of wastewater from homes, public buildings, commercial or industrial buildings, or any type of establishment, with the exception of private on‑site septic systems, may be considered an accessory use. An accessory use shall not comprise more than 33% of the total structure(s) or lot area on which it is located. A use that is not permitted in this chapter shall not be permitted as an accessory use. A use which requires a special permit in this chapter shall require a special permit as an accessory use.
APPROVED FRONTAGE ‑‑ Frontage which meets the criteria of the Planning Board for access to the lot in question.
AQUIFER ‑‑ Geologic formation composed of rock or sand and gravel that contains significant amounts of potentially recoverable potable water.
BED‑AND‑BREAKFAST ‑‑ An owner‑occupied, single‑family dwelling which may rent up to a maximum of four rooming units for transient occupancy, not to exceed a total of eight renters (without individual kitchen facilities and with an individual or shared bath/toilet facility, with at least one toilet, one bath/shower and one wash basin, separate from those required for the single‑family dwelling), which share a common entrance with the single‑family dwelling. The use of that portion of the dwelling devoted to transient occupancy shall be secondary to the use of the dwelling as a single‑family residence and shall not change the character thereof.
BOUNDARY OF A WAY ‑‑ Where no legal boundary has been established, the boundary shall be determined by lines parallel with the center line of the traveled way and at a distance of 1/2 the right‑of‑way width on both sides, and where no right‑of‑way has been established, the right‑of‑way shall be considered 40 feet wide.
BUILDING ‑‑ A combination of any materials forming a roofed enclosure intended for the shelter of persons, animals or property, including any part of a building and porches and accessory buildings attached thereto.
BUILDING COVERAGE ‑‑ The total combined area of the lot covered by buildings, expressed as a percentage of the total lot area.
BUILDING HEIGHT ‑‑ The vertical distance from the average finished grade at the front of the building to the highest point of the structure, excluding chimneys, antennas or other accessory attachments.
CLUB ‑‑ A bona fide membership organization established under provisions of the General Law.
COMMON ACCESS DRIVEWAY or SHARED ACCESS DRIVEWAY ‑‑ A driveway shared by two or more lots, such that each lot has approved frontage on an existing public way, and has access obtained through the common use of a private way designed according to the standards for construction of shared driveways in Pelham.
COMMUNITY RESIDENCE ‑‑ A building containing sleeping rooms, common rooms, dining rooms and accessory facilities intended exclusively for the use of participants of a program of rehabilitation of individuals prior to their complete reentry into normal society, operated by a program that is formally recognized by an appropriate agency of the commonwealth. One or more individuals responsible for the operation of a community residence may be resident therein, and facilities for such resident director and his/her family shall be provided.
CONGREGATE ELDERLY HOUSING ‑‑ A building arranged or used for the residence of persons aged 55 years or older, as defined in Chapter 121B of the Massachusetts General Laws, with some shared facilities and services.
DAY‑CARE CENTER ‑‑ Any facility operated on a regular basis whether as a day nursery, nursery school, child play school or under any other name which receives seven or more children during the course of any one day.
DRIVEWAYS ‑‑ Privately owned and maintained roadway providing access from a town road to a lot.
DWELLING ‑‑ A building occupied as a residence, including manufactured or modular housing that is certified as such by the State Building Inspector. Mobile homes and trailers are not considered to be dwellings except as specified under ~ 125‑11.
DWELLING UNIT ‑‑ A structure, or portion thereof, providing complete living facilities for one family.
A. An individual or group of persons related by marriage, blood and/or adoption residing together in one dwelling unit; or
B. A group of unrelated individuals, not to exceed 4, residing cooperatively in one dwelling unit.
C. FENCE ‑‑ A barrier intended to prevent escape or intrusion or to mark a boundary or to screen another area from sight.
GARAGE, PRIVATE ‑‑ A building or part thereof used for the storage of motor vehicles.
GROUNDWATER ‑‑ All the water found beneath the surface of the ground.
HABITABLE AREA ‑‑ The floor area of the living space for the exclusive use of a single‑family in a dwelling or in a dwelling unit. Living space shall not include porches, breezeways, garages, basements and any unfinished or community areas, and shall be measured as net area or as gross area less 12% for partitions and walls.
HAZARDOUS WASTE ‑‑ A waste which is hazardous to human health or the environment. Hazardous wastes have been designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under 40 CFR 250 and the Regulations of the Massachusetts Hazardous Waste Management Act, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 21C.
IMPERVIOUS SURFACES ‑‑ Materials or structures on or above the ground that do not allow precipitation to infiltrate the underlying soil. [Added 10‑27‑1993 STM, Art. 24]
LEACHABLE WASTES ‑‑ Waste materials, including solid wastes, sludge, pesticide and fertilizer wastes capable of releasing waterborne contaminants to the environment.
LOT ‑‑ An area or parcel of land, or any part thereof, in common ownership, designated on a plan filed with the Building Inspector by its owner or owners as a separate lot and having boundaries identical with those recorded in the Hampshire County Registry of Deeds. Two or more contiguous lots in common ownership may be treated as one lot for the purposes of this chapter, provided that the combined lots are used as a single lot would customarily be used, and further provided that the lots are not later subdivided or separated in a manner such that a lot, or any structure(s) or uses thereon, would not conform to any provisions of this chapter. When lots are combined and treated as one lot, all regulations shall be applied as though they were a single lot. The following shall not be counted toward land within the minimum lot area: land within public ways; land within private ways and rights‑of‑ways where the general public has the right of access by automotive vehicles; streams and bodies of water, as defined by the Massachusetts Wetland Protection Act Regulations 310 CMR 10.00 and Chapter 119, Wetlands Protection.
LOT, BUILDING OR BUILDABLE ‑‑ Any lot that conforms to all state and local requirements (e.g. Zoning Bylaw, Wetlands Act/Bylaw, Health Codes, Subdivision Control Law) for the purposes of construction or development on said lot.
LOT, CORNER ‑‑ A lot at the point of intersection of and abutting on two or more intersecting streets, the interior angle of intersection of the street lot lines, or extended lot lines in case of a curved street, being not more than 135°. For purposes of this chapter, the yard adjacent to each street shall be considered a front yard; however, this will not affect designation of the front line. (See Diagram 2.) 
LOT, INTERIOR ‑‑ Any lot other than a corner lot or a through lot.
LOT, THROUGH ‑‑ A lot which abuts two streets, but not at their intersection. (See Diagram 3.) 
LOT COVERAGE ‑‑ The portion of a lot which is rendered impervious to rainfall, including but not limited to structures, pavement and permanent accessories.
LOT FRONTAGE ‑‑ The uninterrupted length of the front lot line, as defined herein, whether straight or not.
LOT LAYOUT ‑‑ In addition to the minimum lot area, depth, width and frontage requirements, lots shall be laid out in such a manner so that a square, with sides equal to the minimum frontage requirement for the zoning district in which it is located, can be placed within the lot with at least one point of the square lying on the front lot line with no portion of the square extending beyond the boundaries of the lot.
LOT LINE, FRONT‑‑ The property line dividing a lot from a single district right‑of‑way. In the case of a corner lot or a through lot, at least one front lot line shall conform to the minimum lot frontage requirements. (See Diagrams 1 and 2.) 
LOT LINE, REAR ‑‑ The lot line most nearly opposite from the front lot line. (See Diagrams 1 and 2.)
LOT LINE, SIDE ‑‑ Any lot line that is not a front or rear lot line. (See Diagrams 1 and 2.)
LOT WIDTH ‑‑ The horizontal distance (measure parallel to the front lot line) between the side lot lines. At no point, between the front lot line and the rear of the principal structure (said rear being the furthest point of the structure from the front lot line) located on the lot, shall the lot have a width less than the minimum lot frontage required.
MOBILE HOME ‑‑ A structure designed as a dwelling unit for location on a permanent foundation, and containing sleeping accommodations and sanitary and kitchen facilities, with plumbing and electrical connections, which is designed to be transported after fabrication to a site for use, and which is certified by the State Building Inspector as being a mobile home.
OPEN SPACE ‑‑ The space on a lot unobstructed to the sky by man‑made objects other than walks; unoccupied by buildings or structures, swimming pools and terraced areas; not devoted to streets, driveways, off‑street parking or loading spaces; and expressed as a percentage of total lot area.
PARKING AREA ‑‑ Any open space used for parking motor vehicles.
PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING LOT ‑‑ A lot that, when originally created, conformed to all zoning requirements with respect to minimum lot area, minimum lot width and frontage and/or minimum lot depth that were then in effect but were subsequently amended so that the lot would no longer conform to the requirements.
PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING STRUCTURE ‑‑ A structure or addition that, when originally constructed, was lawfully in existence or lawfully begun and conformed to any zoning requirements with respect to minimum setback, maximum floor area ratio or other dimensional and area requirements that were then in effect but were subsequently amended so that the structure or addition would no longer conform to the requirements.
PREEXISTING NONCONFORMING USE ‑‑ A use that, when originally created, conformed to all zoning requirements that were then in effect but were subsequently amended so that the use would no longer conform to the requirements.
PRIMARY AQUIFER RECHARGE AREA ‑‑ Areas which are underlain by surficial geologic deposits, including glaciofluvial or lacustrine stratified drift deposits or alluvium or swamp deposits, and in which the prevailing direction of groundwater flow is toward the area of influence of water supply wells. [Added 10‑27‑1993, by Art. 24]
PRIVATE STABLES ‑‑ A building or part of a building in which one or more horses or ponies are kept for the private use of the owner, and in which no horses or ponies are kept for sale, rent, hire, breeding or for commercial cartage, trucking or other business purposes.
PROCESS WASTE WATERS ‑‑ Waste waters from any industrial, business or manufacturing process, not including human wastes, which are discharged to a sewage disposal facility. [Added 10‑27‑1993 STM, Art. 24]
PROTECTION ACT AND THE PELHAM WETLANDS PROTECTION BYLAW ‑‑ Regulations relative to the protection of wetland areas under which a landowner may ask for a determination from the Pelham Conservation Commission.
RECHARGE AREA ‑‑ Areas composed of permeable stratified sand and gravel or till and the wetlands within them which collect precipitation or surface water and allow it to percolate down to the water table and flow into aquifers or other water bodies.
SECONDARY AQUIFER RECHARGE AREA ‑‑ Areas which are underlain by surficial geologic deposits, including till or bedrock, and in which the prevailing direction of surface water flow is toward public water supply wells or potential sites for such wells. [Added 10‑27‑19936 STM, Art. 24]
SETBACK ‑‑ The minimum distance from a lot line to a building placed thereon, or feature thereof as is required in this chapter. Said setback shall be measured perpendicular to the lot line. At no point shall any structure on the lot be any closer to any street line, whether said street line directly abuts the lot or not, than the minimum front yard setback requirement for that zoning district
SIGN ‑‑ Any object constructed of any material that is intended or designed to advertise or call the attention of the public to the premises, to a product made, displayed or sold and to services rendered thereon, or to identify the building or the occupants thereof, or any privately owned permanent or temporary device, billboard, placard, painting, drawing, poster, letter, word, banner, pennant, insignia, trade flag or representation used as, or which is in the nature of, an advertisement, announcement or direction which is on a public way or on private property within public view of a public way, public park or reservation.
SIGN, ACCESSORY ‑‑ Any sign that advertises, or indicates the person occupying the premises on which the sign is erected or maintained, or the business transacted thereon, or advertises the property itself or any part thereof as for sale or rent, and which contains no other matter.
SIGN, AREA OF ‑‑ Includes all lettering, wording and accompanying designs and symbols, together with the background on which they are displayed, any frame around the sign and any cutouts or extensions, but shall not include any supporting structure or bracing. The area of a sign consisting of individual letters or symbols attached to or painted on a surface, building, wall or window shall be considered to be that of the smallest quadrangle or triangle which encompasses all of the letters and symbols. The area of a sign consisting of a three‑dimensional object shall be considered to be the area of the largest vertical cross section of that object. In computing the area of signs, both sides of V‑shaped signs, but only one side of back‑to‑back signs, shall be included.
SIGN, NONACCESSORY ‑‑ Any sign not an accessory sign.
SIGN, TEMPORARY ‑‑ Any sign, including its supporting structure, intended to be maintained for a continuous period of not more than 100 days in any calendar year.
SIGN, FREESTANDING ‑‑ Any accessory sign that is not attached to a building.
STREET ‑‑ A way, either public or private, giving access to private property and to which the public has access, but excluding an alley used for service access only. Street shall be deemed to include the entire right‑of‑way.
STRUCTURE or ACCESSORY STRUCTURE ‑‑ A combination of materials assembled at a fixed location to give support or shelter, such as a building, framework, retaining wall for a structure, tent, reviewing stand, platform, bin, flagpole, mast for radio antenna or the like. The word "structure" shall be construed, where the context allows, as though followed by the words "or part or parts thereof."
SUBDIVISION ‑‑ Including resubdivision, shall be as defined in the Subdivision Control Law, Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 41.
SURFACE WATER ‑‑ All water found above ground which shall include but not be limited to the following: year‑round, intermittent or seasonal streams; lakes, ponds, wetlands, ephemeral ponds, man‑made or natural channels or water bodies.
TRAILER ‑‑ Any vehicle or object on wheels, including devices commonly referred to as "camping trailers," "recreational vehicles" or "campers," that is so designed and constructed, reconstructed or added to by means of accessories that permit the use and occupancy thereof for human habitation, whether resting on wheels, jacks or other foundations.
TRUCKING TERMINAL ‑‑ Business which services or repairs commercial trucks which are not owned by the business. [Added 10-27-1993 STM, Art. 24]
USE ‑‑ The purpose for which a structure or lot is arranged, designed or intended to be used, occupied or maintained.
WATERSHED ‑‑ Lands lying adjacent to watercourses and surface water bodies which create the catchment or drainage areas of such watercourses and bodies.
WETLAND ‑‑ Those lands falling under the jurisdiction of the Massachusetts Wetlands Act and Chapter 119, Wetlands Protection, of the Code of the Town of Pelham.
WIRELESS COMMUNICATIONS SERVICES ‑‑ Cellular telephone services, personal communication services and enhanced specialized mobile radio services. [Added 5-9-1998 ATM, Art. 28]
WIRELESS COMMUNICATION TOWER ‑‑ A structure designed to support equipment used for the transmission or reception of electromagnetic radiation, including antennas, microwave dishes, wiring or other devices attached thereto. This definition does not include an antenna used by a federally licensed amateur radio operator or television antennas that are accessory to a residential use. [Added 5‑9‑1998 ATM, Art. 28]
YARD ‑‑ A required open space, unoccupied except as herein permitted, between a principal building and a street or a lot line.
YARD, FRONT ‑‑ A yard extending between lot side lines across the front of a lot adjacent to each street the lot adjoins.
YARD, REAR ‑‑ A yard adjacent to the rear lot line and extending between side lot lines.
YARD, SIDE ‑‑ A yard adjacent to the side lot line and extending from the front yard to the rear yard.
 Editor's Note: See MGL c. 131, § 40, and Ch. 119, Wetlands, of this Code.
 Editor's Note: See MGL c. 41., §§ 81K through 81GG.
 Editor's Note: The Attorney General has determined that this section shall only apply to parcels of five acres or less.
 Editor's Note: See also Ch. 91, Solid Waste, Art. II, Recycling.
 Editor's Note: See MGL c. 41., ~~ 81K through 81GG.
 Editor's Note: Disapproved by the Attorney General with reference to MGL c. 40, § 6, as amended by St. 1982, Ch. 185.
 Editor's Note: See MGL c. 41, § 81L.
 Editor's Note: Diagram 2 is included at the end of this chapter.
 Editor's Note: Diagram 3 is included at the end of this chapter.
 Editor's Note: Diagrams 1 and 2 are included at the end of this chapter.
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