Proposed Village Overlay District

Article 17 of the May 7, 2012 Town Meeting Warrant creates a Village Overlay District in the area just east and west of 495 and the Salt Box. Properties within the proposed district are already zoned business or limited business. The Planning Board is not rezoning any residential property to create this district. The Planning Board has worked on the Village Overlay and Design Guidelines for over four years and over these years has held many public forums, hearings, meetings, visioning sessions etc..

1) The Village Overlay District does not require a housing component but allows this as an option. Current zoning does not allow a mix of housing or business.

2) Traffic, signs and lighting, abutter impacts etc.. would all be looked at under the Special Permit (Planning Board),  Site Plan Review (Board of Selectmen) and Design Review (Design Advisory Team).   Approving the village overlay does not give a developer a green light. Under Site Plan review the Board of Selectmen will look at the environmental, fiscal, community, and traffic impacts as well as the overall development which includes items such as protection of adjoining premises for sound and sight buffers,  safety of vehicular and pedestrian movement, parking and loading areas, waste disposal, structures, open space, demands on fire, police and highway, and lighting.  The Planning Board requires a traffic study and looks at the impact of traffic during the Special Permit process. In fact the following is required in order for the Planning Board to issue a Special Permit:

Proposed development projects under the Bolton Village Overlay District shall be granted special permits only in conformity with the following:

a)      suitability of the site for the proposed development;

b)      adequacy of the site in terms of the density of proposed uses;

c)      impact on the visual character of the business district and surrounding neighborhood;

d)     provides goods and services needed by the local community;

e)      follows the Design Guidelines;

f)       adequacy of pedestrian access to buildings, public spaces, and between adjacent uses;

g)      degree to which the proposed project complies with the goals of the Bolton Master Plan;

h)      meets affordable housing goals;

i)      creates compatible retail and commercial space (not “strip malls”);

j)      permits small to moderate economic development and residential uses designed in a village setting and scale;

k)    provides strong connections, consistent architecture, and small scale structures;

l)      limits size and bulk of as to be consistent with the village character;

m)    allows for housing at a higher density;

n)    reduced setbacks;

o)    allows parking to be to the rear or side of the structures;

p)    allows multiple buildings in order to create small scale structures which would be more consistent with the village character;

q)   provides provision to reduce or eliminate undesirable visual, noise, odors or similar impacts upon adjoining properties and the public;

r)     provides safe vehicle access to and from the right-of-way; and

s)    privacy for residences

3) The Planning Board felt it was appropriate to include the Salt Box in the Village Overlay District since it is closely located to the 495 business and limited business district. Currently the Salt Box has a 11,500 SF footprint. 2,300 SF more than what is currently allowed under current zoning. Do you know that if the Salt Box were to redevelop the property at 10% the development would have to be 434 SF less than what currently exists.

8 % would allow: (9,200 SF)

Salt Box is currently 11,934 SF

Up to 10% would allow:

1)        Total of 11,500 SF (2,300 SF more than what is allowed under current zoning)

2)       Would be 434 SF less than what the Salt Box is developed as

3)        In other words the Village Overlay would require a smaller project than what the Salt Box already exists as!

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About Southborough Town Planner

I am the Town Planner for the Town of Southborough MA
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