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Special Development Overlay District
Special Development Overlay District 2 September 2006
ACTIONS:
I. Amend Chapter 145 of the Winthrop Town Code by adding Article X.A, Special
Development Overlay District, as follows:
Article X.A, Special Development Overlay District
§ 145-61.1. Purpose.
The purposes of the Special Development Overlay District are to encourage the
redevelopment and reuse of existing nonresidential properties in a manner compatible with
surrounding neighborhoods or commercial areas; to prevent disinvestment and deterioration
of nonresidential buildings that have become obsolete for their original purposes by allowing
reuse for other economic uses, including but not limited to residential uses; to protect and
enhance the value of real property; and to provide regulatory flexibility to achieve the
foregoing.
§ 145-61.2. Establishment of District.
The Special Development Overlay District (SDOD) is hereby established as an overlay
district. The District is bounded on the map entitled, “Special Development Overlay
District,” dated July 31, 2006, on file with the Town Clerk.
§ 145-61.3. Relationship to Existing Zoning.
The underlying zoning shall remain an integral part of the Winthrop Zoning Bylaw, Chapter
145 of the Winthrop Town Code, and shall neither be modified, repealed nor amended by
this section. The owners of property in the SDOD shall continue to possess all current zoning
rights and be subject to the requirements applicable in the underlying zones. In the event that
an owner desires to use his property for the uses provided for herein, the rules and
regulations of the SDOD shall apply and by filing an application for development plan
review or a special permit for a development subject to such rules and regulations, the owner
shall be deemed to accept and agree to them. Where the SDOD provisions are silent on a
zoning rule or regulation, the requirements of the underlying district shall apply.
§ 145-61.4. Definitions.
A. Building Reuse Project: The redevelopment and reuse of an existing nonresidential
building, such as a municipal, institutional, commercial, or industrial building or
other building not originally designed or intended for use as dwelling units, in the
Special Development Overlay District in order to achieve the purposes of said
District. A Building Reuse Project may include alteration or expansion of an existing
building or new construction of additional buildings on the same lot, subject to the
requirements of this article.
B. Existing Gross Floor Area Ratio (FAR): The ratio of the gross floor area to the total
area of the lot for buildings in existence on the effective date of the SDOD.
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C. Net Leasable Area. The leasable area of a building, exclusive of common space such
as hallways, building foyers, areas devoted to heating, air conditioning, elevators, and
other utility areas.
§ 145-61.5. Use Regulations.
The following use regulations shall apply in the SDOD. All uses permitted by right or
allowed by special permit are subject to Development Plan Review under § 145-61.9 and
shall conform to the Minimum Building and Site Design Standards in § 145-61.10.
A. Permitted Uses. The following uses are permitted in the SDOD:
(1) Building Reuse Project
(a) Multi-family dwelling; garden apartment.
(b) Professional or business office, but not including a medical or dental
office; provided that no individual office establishment shall exceed
7,500 sq. ft. of net leasable area.
(c) Mixed-use development, subject to § 145-61.7, provided that the
proposed development includes business uses permitted by right in the
underlying district as set forth in § 145-21. Where the proposed
development includes business uses that are not permitted by right in
the underlying district, mixed-use development in the SDOD requires
a special permit from the Planning Board in accordance with
Subsection B(2) below.
(2) New Construction
(a) Semi-detached or duplex dwelling.
(b) Attached dwelling development or multi-family dwelling, garden
apartment, up to one unit per 2,500 sq. ft.
(3) Accessory uses.
B. Uses Allowed by Special Permit. The Planning Board may grant a special permit for
one or more the following uses, whether or not the proposed development is a
Building Reuse Project as defined in this article:
(1) Medical or dental office, or a professional office exceeding 7,500 sq. ft. of net
leasable area.
(2) Mixed-use development, subject to § 145-61.7.
(3) New construction of an attached dwelling development or multi-family
dwelling, garden apartment, up to one unit per 1,800 sq. ft.
Special Development Overlay District 2 September 2006
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(4) Indoor or outdoor recreational use, including a commercial recreational use,
when developed in conjunction with residential or commercial uses or a
combination thereof on the same lot or on contiguous lots under common
ownership.
(5) Accessory use to a use allowed by special permit
C. Use Variances. Use variances shall not be granted in the SDOD.
§ 145-61.6. Dimensional Regulations.
The dimensional regulations for the underlying district(s) as set forth in Article V and the
Table of Dimensional Regulations of this chapter shall apply to the SDOD, except as
follows:
A. Maximum Density and Intensity of Use
(1) For a Building Reuse Project:
(a) There shall be no minimum lot area per dwelling unit for residential
uses.
(b) The maximum gross floor area ratio (FAR) shall not exceed 1.25 of
the existing FAR except as provided in Subsection (3) below.
(2) For other uses:
(a) The minimum lot area for a semi-detached or duplex dwelling shall be
10,000 sq. ft.
(b) The maximum density for an attached dwelling development or a
multi-family dwelling, garden apartment shall not exceed 1 unit per
2,500 sq. ft. of lot area except by special permit from the Planning
Board under § 145-61.5B.
(c) The maximum FAR for nonresidential uses or mixed-use development
shall not exceed .80, except as provided in Subsection (3) below.
(3) The Planning Board may grant a special permit for a maximum FAR not
exceeding 1.50 of the existing FAR, subject to the special permit and
development plan review standards set forth in this article.
B. Maximum Height.
(1) Except as provided in Subsection (2) below, the maximum height for
residential uses shall be 35 feet, and the height of the highest eave shall not
exceed 27 feet. However, when the maximum height for residential uses in
the underlying district is greater than 35 feet, the height regulations in the
Special Development Overlay District 2 September 2006
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underlying district shall apply.
(2) Where the height of a Building Reuse Project exceeds the maximum height
under B(1) above, the maximum height shall be the height of the existing
building developed pursuant to this section. However, the Planning Board
may grant a special permit to allow vertical expansion in a Building Reuse
Project, subject to the following requirements:
(a) The building height shall not increase by more than one story above
the existing number of stories, and unless waived by the Planning
Board, the height increase shall be accommodated by an upper-floor
minimum setback in the front façade of at least five feet commencing
no higher than the existing height, with the exception of access
components (such as an elevator shaft) and unoccupied architecture
features, not to exceed 25% of the aggregate front façade area.
(b) Any horizontal expansion of the building shall not increase the
existing footprint by more than 20%.
(c) A flat or nearly flat roof is prohibited unless the Planning Board
approves a flat roof structure that is capped by an articulated parapet
design which acts as a structural expression of the building façade and
its materials and is visible from all sides of the building, or a green
roof system with green roof plants suited for the local climate, as
determined by the Planning Board.
C. Lot Coverage. A Building Reuse Project for an attached dwelling development or
multi-family garden apartment shall be exempt from the maximum lot coverage
requirements of § 145-23H.
D. Setback; Front Yard. The minimum front yard setback shall be the lesser of the
minimum front yard setback for the underlying district or the setback of the existing
principal building on the lot. For purposes of this section, existing accessory
structures, if any, shall not be used to establish the minimum front yard setback.
E. Minimum Separation of Buildings. In a development with two or more buildings on
the same lot, the minimum separation between buildings shall be 20 feet or 2/3 height
of the taller building, whichever is greater.
F. Open Space, Landscaped. A development in the SDOD shall provide at least 20% of
the lot area as landscaped open space as defined in § 145-5, unless the Planning
Board determines during development plan review that it is physically infeasible or
uneconomic for a Building Reuse Project to comply, in which case the Planning
Board may approve a reduction or waiver of the landscaped open space requirement.
G. Minimum Floor Area, Dwelling Units. Any dwelling unit in a semi-detached
dwelling, an attached dwelling, or multi-family garden apartment, or dwelling units in
a mixed-use development, shall comply with the following minimum floor area
Special Development Overlay District 2 September 2006
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requirements, measured as living area, unless the Planning Board authorizes a
reduction by special permit:
(1) One-Bedroom Unit: 700 sq. ft.
(2) Two-Bedroom Unit: 900 sq. ft.
(3) Three-Bedroom Unit: 1,200 sq. ft.
§ 145-61.7. Mixed-Use Development
A. Definition. Mixed-use development shall be as defined in § 145-13A.
B. Business uses; minimum floor area. At least 30% of the total floor area of a mixeduse
building shall contain business uses.
C. Location of dwelling units. Residential uses shall be located above the ground floor of
a mixed-use building unless the Planning Board grants a special permit to locate
residential uses at grade, subject to the following:
(1) The ground floor of the front façade of any building facing the street shall
contain business uses only, and
(2) The entrance to any at-grade residential unit is on the side or rear of the
building.
§ 145-61.8. Special Permit Granting Authority.
The Planning Board shall be the Special Permit Granting Authority for uses in the SDOD.
The Planning Board’s decision shall be based upon the considerations in § 145-34 and all
applicable requirements of § 145-23H.
§ 145-61.9. Development Plan Review.
A. General Requirements.
(1) No building permit shall be issued for any development in the SDOD unless
the Planning Board has approved a development plan, with or without
conditions.
(2) The submission requirements for site plan review under § 145-34C and
environmental design review under § 145-37B shall constitute the submission
requirements for development plan review in the SDOD. In addition, the
submission requirements for development plan review shall include any
supplemental plans or drawings necessary to demonstrate compliance with the
design standards set forth in § 145-61.10.
(3) The Planning Board shall base its development plan review decision on the
standards set forth in § 145-34 and § 145-37, as applicable, and on a
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determination that the proposed development meets the requirements of §
145-61.10 and § 145-61.11.
(4) The Planning Board may adopt administrative regulations and procedures to
implement this section.
B. Application, Review and Decision Procedures for Permitted Uses.
(1) For a permitted use, development plan review shall be an administrative
review conducted by the Planning Board prior to any application for a
building permit. The Planning Board shall distribute the plan for review in
accordance with § 145-37F, except that for a Building Reuse Project, the
Planning Board shall also refer the plan to the Winthrop Historical
Commission.
(2) Within 30 days of receipt of an application for development plan review, the
Planning Board shall hold a public hearing in accordance with the procedures
set forth in § 145-37E.
(3) Not later than 45 days following the close of the public hearing, the Planning
Board shall either approve the development plan as submitted or approve said
plan with conditions, which shall be conditions imposed on the building
permit and enforced by the Building Inspector.
(4) Any party aggrieved by the Planning Board’s decision may appeal to the
Board of Appeals (BA) under the provisions of M.G.L. c.40A, §15 and § 145-
70C of this chapter.
C. Review and Decision Procedures for Special Permit Uses
(1) For any use requiring a special permit in the SDOD, development plan review
shall be incorporated within the special permit process and be subject to
conditions of the special permit.
(2) Application, review and decision procedures shall be in accordance with §
145-34 and §145-37 of this chapter.
D. Performance Guarantee. A performance bond shall be required as a condition of
development plan approval. The performance bond may be secured by deposit of
money or negotiable securities in the form selected by the Planning Board, and must
be posted with the town to guarantee completion of improvements to be made in
compliance with the plans submitted and approved hereunder. The amount of security
shall be 125% of the full cost of all site improvements as determined by an estimate
from the applicant's engineer, which may be confirmed or increased by the Board.
For purposes of this article, site improvements shall mean site improvements or
facilities planned and designed to fully serve the proposed development and to
mitigate the on-site impacts of the development, as shown on the plan approved by
the Planning Board or as set forth in the Planning Board’s conditions of approval.
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§ 145-61.10. Minimum Building and Site Design Standards.
A. Building orientation. New buildings shall be oriented parallel with the front setback
line to establish and preserve a consistent building line, with primary entrances
oriented toward the street.
B. Garages. Garage doors or loading docks are prohibited in the front façade of any
principal or accessory building facing the street.
C. Outdoor storage. Outdoor storage, trash collection or compaction, loading, or other
such uses are prohibited within 50 feet of any public or private street, public
sidewalk, or internal pedestrian way, unless specifically approved by the Planning
Board during development plan review.
D. Landscaped buffer. Any development on a lot abutting a residential district shall
provide a landscaped buffer in accordance with § 145-23F and the following
additional requirements, which shall supersede § 145-23F in the event of a conflict.
The landscaping shall include at least one shade tree or two ornamental trees and five
shrubs for each 30 feet in length of the buffer, planted within 15 feet of the property
line abutting the residential district. A minimum of one-third of the trees and shrubs
must be evergreen. Plantings need not be evenly spaced. As part of development plan
review, the Planning Board may approve an alternative landscaping plan that results
in equal or greater screening to abutting residential properties, in the opinion of the
Planning Board.
E. Water conservation. Landscaping shall be comprised primarily of non-invasive,
drought-resistant plantings that include trees, flowers, shrubs, succulents and
ornamental grasses. High-water use turf shall not exceed 25% of all landscaped areas
or open space on the site. Outdoor watering may be achieved by drip irrigation or
low-energy spray irrigation, or another water-conserving irrigation system deemed
comparable in the opinion of the Planning Board. Rainwater harvesting systems are
encouraged where feasible.
§ 145-61.11. Internal Circulation, Off-Street Parking and Loading Requirements.
A. Applicability of Article VI. The provisions of Article VI of this chapter shall apply to
the SDOD except as modified below. Where there is a conflict, the provisions of this
article shall govern.
B. Roadways. The internal roadway(s) shall be adequate for the proposed use as
determined by the Planning Board, and shall be maintained by an association of unit
owners, the applicant or the entity that owns and manages the development.
C. Parking Spaces. Off-street parking shall be provided in accordance with the
following minimum requirements:
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(1) Semi-detached or attached dwelling unit: 2 spaces per unit.
(2) Multifamily dwelling units: 1 space per studio unit, 1.5 spaces per onebedroom
unit, 2 spaces per unit with two or more bedrooms; plus 1 visitor
space for every 5 units.
(3) Age-restricted dwelling unit: 1.5 spaces per unit, except that for an assisted
living facility, there shall be an average of .5 spaces per unit; plus 1 visitor
space for every 5 units.
(4) Other uses: in accordance with 145-30 of this chapter.
(5) Mixed Uses: Requirements for each use shall be added, unless the Planning
Board determines as part of development plan review that a smaller number is
adequate for the proposed development.
D. Reserve Parking. For a Building Reuse Project, the Planning Board may authorize a
decrease in the required number of off-street parking spaces, subject to the following
conditions:
(1) The decrease in number of parking spaces is not more than twenty-five
percent (25%) of the total number of spaces required under this Section and §
145-30. The waived parking spaces shall not be used for building area and
shall be labeled as "Reserve Parking" on the site plan.
(2) The decrease in number of required spaces will not create undue congestion,
traffic hazards, or a substantial detriment to the neighborhood, and does not
derogate the intent and purpose of this article.
(3) The reserve parking spaces shall be properly designed as an integral part of
the overall parking development, and in no case shall any reserve parking
spaces be located within areas counted as yard setbacks.
(4) If, after one (1) year from the date of issuance of a certificate of occupancy,
the Building Inspector and/or Planning Board find that all or any of the
reserve spaces are needed, the Planning Board may require that all or any
portion of the spaces identified as reserve parking on the site plan be
constructed within a reasonable time period, as specified in writing by the
Planning Board following a public meeting with the owner of the property.
Notice of the public meeting shall be by publication in a newspaper of general
circulation in accordance with M.G.L. c.40A, Section 11.
E. Increased Reserve Parking. The Planning Board may require provisions for an
increase in the minimum require number of parking spaces, provided that:
(1) The increase is no more than fifteen percent (15%) of the total number of
parking spaces required for the use(s) in question.
Special Development Overlay District 2 September 2006
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(2) Any such increase in the number of required parking spaces shall be based
upon the special nature of a use or building.
(3) The increased number of parking space shall be labeled "Increased Reserve
Parking" on the site plan and shall be properly designed as an integral part of
the overall parking layout, located on land suitable for parking development
and in no case located within an area counted as yard setback.
(4) The applicant shall not be required to construct any of the spaces labeled as
"Increased Reserve Parking" for at least one (1) year from the date of issuance
of a certificate of occupancy. If the Building Inspector and/or Planning Board
find that all or any of the increased reserve spaces are needed, the Planning
Board may require that all or any portion of the spaces identified as increased
reserve parking on the site plan be constructed within a reasonable time
period, as specified in writing by the Planning Board following a public
meeting with the owner of the property. Notice of the public meeting shall be
by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in accordance with
M.G.L. c.40A, Section 11.
(5) Where the increased reserve parking area is required by the Planning Board
and the applicant has otherwise provided the minimum required number of
parking spaces under § 145-30 and this section, the area of land reserved for
the increased number of parking spaces may be deducted from the minimum
landscaped open space under §145-61.6(E).
F. Parking for commercial vehicles. For a development with residential uses,
commercial vehicles may be parked on the site only in accordance with § 145-29(A).
G. Location of parking areas. No off-street parking shall be located between the front
façade of the building and the front property line, except that the Planning Board may
waive this requirement for an existing parking lot serving a Building Reuse Project.
H. Pedestrian Safety. Walkways shall be provided in appropriate locations on the site
and shall be clearly recognizable through the use of raised, textured or color surface
treatments.
§ 145-61.12. Severability.
The invalidity of any section or provision of this Article shall not invalidate any other section
or provision thereof.
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II. Amend Chapter 145 of the Winthrop Town Code by adding the following text to § 145-6,
Designation of Districts, after G, Conservation District (C):
Further, the following overlay district is hereby established:
Special Development Overlay District
The location and boundaries of which are shown on the Special Development Overlay
District Map, dated July 31, 2006, on file with the Town Clerk, said map being an
amendment to the Zoning Map.


 
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