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Age Restricted Housing Bylaw
9.13 AGE RESTRICTED HOUSING COMMUNITY (ARHC)
A master-planned development of land as a unified residential community,
constructed expressly for use and residence by persons who have achieved a
minimum age of fifty five (55) years, in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 151 B,
Section 4, Subsection 6, and also incorporating the preservation of natural open
space areas as an integral element of the development. An Age Restricted
Housing Community shall be permitted only within the Age Restricted Housing
Community Overlay District and only upon the granting of a special permit by the
Zoning Board of Appeals.

9.13-1 Purpose
The purposes of the Age Restricted Housing Community Overlay District are:
a. To increase the variety of housing choices for citizens who are 55 years of age
and older;
b. To provide well-designed homes affordable to residents who wish to remain
in the community;
c. To recognize the importance of diversity and variety in the design of Age
Restricted housing communities;
d. To provide housing which reduces residents' burdens of building and yard
maintenance and which minimizes demands on municipal services;
e. To promote flexible and efficient use of land while maintaining a respect for
its natural beauty.
f. To provide for building at a higher density than would normally be allowed,
and allow greater flexibility in site planning to promote affordable housing
and the preservation of open space and historic resources within the
development; and
g. To provide for the review of all such proposals prior to construction, to ensure
compliance with the above intent and objectives and to assure that the
proposal will not result in or contribute to incompatible use of the land,
pollution of the soil or groundwater, traffic congestion or inappropriate site
development.

9.14 Applicability
The Zoning Board of Appeals (hereafter in this Section called the Board), acting
as Special Permit Granting Authority, may grant a Special Permit for construction
of a Age Restricted Housing Community (ARHC) and accessory structures, in the
Age restricted Housing Community Overlay District as defined below:

9.14-1 Age Restricted Housing Community Overlay District Delineation: The age
restricted housing community overlay district shall be defined as the areas of town
serviced at a public way by Williamsburg public sewer and Williamsburg public
water.

9.14-2 Special Permit Approval: Approval by the Board of a special permit hereunder
shall not substitute for compliance with MGL Chapter 41: subdivision control
laws, nor reduce any time periods for board consideration under the law.

9.14-3 Uses in the ARHC Overlay District:
Non-residential uses may be permitted in the ARHC development upon the
issuance of a Special Permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals, provided that such
use shall be consistent only with those uses allowed by right and by Special
Permit in the Village Residential zone and the gross square footage of the
proposed use does not exceed 4% of the gross building square footage of the
ARHC.

9.14-4 Age Qualification: An ARHC shall constitute housing intended for persons of age
fifty-five or over in accordance with M.G.L. chapter 151B, section 9, sub-section 6.
One hundred percent (100%) of the dwelling units in a Age Restricted Housing
Community shall each be occupied by at least one person fifty-five (55) years of age or
older except in the event of the death of the qualifying occupant of a dwelling unit, or
foreclosure or other involuntary transfer of a dwelling unit, a two (2) year exemption
shall be allowed to facilitate the transfer of the dwelling unit to another eligible
household.

9.14-5 Applicant Qualifications: The applicant for a Special Permit for an ARHC shall be the
owner of the land proposed for such development or be authorized in writing by the
owner to apply for and be issued such Special Permit.

9.14-6 Maximum Number of ARHC Dwelling Units in the Town of Williamsburg: The
maximum number of permitted housing units within all permitted ARHC developments
in the Town of Williamsburg shall be limited to a number equivalent to five percent (5%)
of the existing residential units (excluding ARHC units) located in the Town of
Williamsburg. For the purpose of this Bylaw, the number of residential units shall be as
established by the Board of Assessors as of January 1 of each calendar year.

9.14-7 Affordability Requirement: A proposal shall, at a minimum, set aside fifteen percent
(15%), with a minimum of one (1) unit per development, of the total number of dwelling
units provided on the site as affordable Age Restricted housing. For the purposes of this
Section, affordable Age Restricted housing shall be defined as dwelling units that are
rented or sold to, and occupied by, households earning up to 80% of the Median Area
Household Income, as such median is defined by the United States Department of
Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Affordable Age Restricted rental units shall be
“rent restricted”, as such term is defined in the Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit
Program, Internal Revenue Code Section 42(g)(2), such that rents, including utilities, are
set at no more than thirty (30) percent of the income limit. Affordable Age Restricted
units shall be dispersed throughout the ARHC and shall be externally indistinguishable
from the market rate units. The property owner shall seek the services of a third party
entity such as a local community development corporation to manage the assignment of
affordable age restricted units.

9.14-8 Permanent Age Restriction: Each dwelling unit within an ARHC shall be subject to a
permanent age restriction, described in a deed, deed rider or lease, and the organizational
documents for the ARHC shall be recorded with the Hampshire Registry of Deeds or run
with the land for a minimum period of 99 years and shall be enforceable by any or all of
the owners of the ARHC or by the Town.

9.15 DIMENSIONAL REGULATIONS AND DEVELOPMENT REQUIREMENTS
Except as noted below, an ARHC shall comply with all applicable dimensional
regulations and development requirements listed in the Rules and Regulations Governing
the Subdivision of Land in the Town of Williamsburg, Massachusetts.
a. Lot Area: At the time of granting a special permit by the Zoning
Board of Appeals, the property under consideration for an ARHC shall
be located on one or more contiguous parcels, whether or not separated
by a public or private way, having an area of at least five (5) acres.
b. Lot Frontage: an ARHC shall have a minimum frontage of not less
than 100 feet.
c. Setbacks: There shall be no minimum standards for internal lot line
setbacks within the ARHC, however the distribution of buildings and
lots within the ARHC shall be distributed in a manner designed to
enhance the primary and secondary resources as defined in Section
9.62 and 9.63. There shall be a minimum of 30 feet between the edge
of the access drive and any abutting property line.
d. Lot Width: the lot or combination of lots upon which an ARHC is
located shall maintain a minimum width of open land between the
limits of work of the ARHC and any adjacent property of 50 feet,
except for access to the development.
e. Open Space: at least 50% of an ARHC lot shall be maintained as open
space as defined in Section 9.5.
f. Number of Dwelling Units: The maximum number of dwelling units
allowed in an ARHC is 40. The minimum number of dwelling units
allowed in an ARHC is 7.
g. Distribution Of Dwelling Unit Types: In an ARHC development, the
distribution of dwelling unit types shall be at the discretion of the
applicant, except for the following standards:
 At least 50% of the units constructed shall be single-family or twofamily
dwellings.
h. Parking: Parking for motor vehicles shall be provided as follows:
 Two (2) spaces per dwelling unit.
 Guest parking – One (1) space per six (6) dwelling units.
 Common Facility parking – Additional parking spaces shall be provided
at shared or common facilities (swimming pool, clubhouse, etc.) within
the ARHC provided that no common facility lot shall contain more than
twelve (12) spaces.
 All driveways must meet the performance standards for parking
lots set forth in the Williamsburg Zoning Bylaw, Section 10.

9.15-1 Roadways and Lot Access: All proposed roads shall comply with Section
8 of the Construction Standards as contained in the Rules and Regulations
Governing the Subdivision of Land in the Town of Williamsburg and the
roadways must be named. The construction and maintenance of roads,
driveways, alleyways, and parking areas in an ARHC is the sole
responsibility of the project applicant or an association of dwelling unit
owners.

9.15-2 Natural and Neighborhood Features: The plan for an ARHC shall be
designed to maximize the preservation of natural and neighborhood
features. To the extent possible, existing vegetation should be retained
where such growth provides a benefit to the natural environment. In
developed areas, the design of the ARHC shall also consider humandesigned
landscapes by extending existing street tree plantings and by
providing landscapes and landscape amenities that reinforce the physical
layout of the neighborhood.

9.15-3 Pedestrian Facilities: The plan for an ARHC shall incorporate pedestrian
systems that allow for the convenient and safe movement of those who
choose to walk for leisure or as a means of transportation. Connections to
the Town’s existing or planned sidewalk network shall be made by the
applicant where possible.

9.15-4 Transit Access: The applicant shall make every reasonable effort to insure
adequate access to transit routes, including bus stops, from the ARHC
development.

9.15-5 Landscaping And Screening: All service areas and equipment, rubbish and
recycling containers, service outbuildings, and any other accessory
facilities identified by the Zoning Board of Appeals, shall be adequately
screened from the view of public ways and adjacent properties using
vegetative plantings, fencing, berms, or a combination of these techniques.

9.15-6 Accessory Buildings and Structures: In an ARHC, accessory buildings
and structures may be permitted, including clubhouse, swimming pool,
tennis court, cabanas, storage and maintenance structures, garages, and
other customary accessory structures. Accessory buildings and structures
shall be shown on the Site Plan.

9.15-7 Other Facilities: All facilities for utility services, drainage, lighting and
signage shall be in accordance with requirements established by the
Zoning Board of Appeals, consistent with applicable provisions of the
Williamsburg Zoning Bylaws and the Williamsburg Subdivision
Regulations.

9.15-8 Project Maintenance: In an ARHC there shall be an organization of the
owners of the residential dwelling units, either a Condominium or
Homeowners Association, which shall be responsible for the maintenance
and repair of internal roads and driveways, snow plowing, landscape
maintenance, trash removal, utility services and maintenance and repair of
other common elements and facilities serving the residents. The Town of
Williamsburg shall assume no responsibility for these facilities unless
specifically noted under separate agreement.

9.15-9 Water Supply and Wastewater Disposal: In every development
wastewater disposal shall comply with the regulations of the Williamsburg
Board of Health and applicable Massachusetts Department of
Environmental Protection regulations. No ARHC shall be approved that is
not served by the Town of Williamsburg Public Sewer System. No
ARHC shall be approved that is not served by the Town of Williamsburg
Public Water Supply System.

9.16 BUILDING AND DWELLING UNIT REQUIREMENTS
The following requirements shall apply to all buildings and dwelling units in an
Age Restricted Housing Community:

9.16-1 Dwelling Unit Types: Unit types allowed in an approved ARHC are:
 Single-Family Detached
 Duplex or Two-Family Dwelling
 Triplex or Three-Family Dwelling
 Quadplex or Four-Family Dwelling
9.16-2 Maximum D.U. per Building. No building shall contain greater than four
(4) dwelling units.

9.16-3 Maximum Number of Bedrooms. No dwelling unit shall contain more
than two (2) bedrooms.

9.16-4 Maximum Height: No building shall exceed 35 feet in height.

9.16-5 Architectural Appearance: All buildings shall be compatible with the
character, scale and context of the surrounding neighborhood. The
applicant shall present and respond to review comments by the
Williamsburg Historical Commission.

9.17 OPEN SPACE AND BUFFER AREA REQUIREMENTS
No development, including clearing, primary or accessory structures, parking,
wastewater disposal or stormwater management, shall take place within the
required open space areas.

9.17-1 In ARHC development the following requirements for open space shall
apply:
a. The open space shall be planned as single, contiguous areas whenever
possible. Long thin strips or narrow areas of open space (less than 100
feet wide) shall occur only when necessary for access, as vegetated
buffers along wetlands or the perimeter of the site, or as connections
between open space areas.
b. Open space areas shall be designed to protect or enhance the primary
and secondary resources as defined in Sections 9.62 & 9.63.
c. Where the proposed development abuts or includes a stream, river,
body of water or wetland, these areas and the buffer to such areas shall
be incorporated into the open space. Where appropriate, reasonable
access shall be provided to the shorelines.
d. Where a proposed development abuts land held for conservation
purposes, the development shall be configured to minimize adverse
impacts to the abutting conservation land. Trail connections should be
provided where appropriate.
e. No more than 50 percent of the common open space shall be situated
within wetlands or the Williamsburg Floodplain Overlay District.
f. Open space shall be used solely for recreation, conservation,
agriculture or forestry purposes by residents and the public. The board
shall have the authority to approve or disapprove particular uses
proposed for the open space.
g. The open space shall be owned in common by the owners of the
dwelling units in the ARHC, or by an organization or entity owned and
controlled by such dwelling unit owners. An enforceable restriction
shall be recorded on all open space parcels providing that such land
shall be kept in an open or natural state and not be built for residential
use or developed for accessory uses such as parking, roadway or active
recreation.

9.18 APPLICATION PROCEDURES
The Planning Board shall by regulation establish a fee schedule for each application.
The procedure for issuance of a special permit for an Age Restricted Housing
Community shall be as follows:

9.18-1 Preliminary Plan and Determination of Density:
Applicants shall submit preliminary plans and materials for a joint review by the
Zoning Board of Appeals and the Planning Board prior to formal application for
special permit. The applicant may submit a Sketch Plan to assist the Boards in
making a determination regarding maximum number of dwelling units to be
permitted on the tract of land proposed for an AHRC. The sketch plan shall be
drawn at 1” = 40’ and include a Yield and Proposed development plan as
follows:
a. A yield plan drawn to scale shall clearly indicate the number of buildable
residential lots the applicant believes would be attainable if the site were to
be developed as a conventional subdivision consistent with the Rules and
Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in the Town of
Williamsburg, MA.
b. A proposed development plan drawn to scale shall clearly indicate the
primary and secondary resource areas as defined below. From these two
resource areas, the final plan shall clearly indicate the building placement,
lots and road layout of the proposed AHRC.
c. A registered architect, surveyor, landscape architect, or professional
engineer shall prepare all Site Plans All Proposed Development Plans
shall be on standard 24” x 36” sheets and shall be prepared at a
sufficient scale to show:
 The location and boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets or ways,
and the location and owners’ names of all adjacent properties.
 Existing and proposed topography including two-foot contours, the
location of wetlands, streams, water bodies, drainage swales, areas
subject to flooding, and unique natural land features.
 Boundary lines of all proposed lots with approximate dimensions
and lot areas in square feet.
 Existing and proposed structures, including dimensions and
elevations.
 The location of existing and proposed parking and loading areas,
driveways, walkways, access and egress points.
 The location and description of all existing and proposed septic
systems, water supplies, storm drainage systems, utilities, and
refuse and other waste disposal methods.
 Proposed landscape features including the location and a
description of screening, fencing and plantings.
 The location, dimensions height, and characteristics of proposed
signs and lighting.
 The location and a description of proposed open space or
recreation areas.

9.18-2 Primary Resource Areas:
Primary resource areas should show the following:
a. The location of all wetlands and floodplains as determined by a licensed
hydrologist, and/or qualified licensed professional.
b. The location of all significant woodlands, tree lines, or open fields or
meadows, rocky outcroppings of ledge or bedrock, public water supply areas,
watershed divides, aquifer recharge areas, drainage ways, wildlife habitat and
corridor areas and areas of slopes greater than 10%.
c. The location of soil test pits with supporting documentation on test results.

9.18-3 Secondary Resource Areas:
Secondary resource areas should show the following:
a. The location and description of all significant scenic views, fences and stone
walls, roads and trails, recreational areas, historic structures and
archeological sites.
b. A statement of the proposed use and ownership of the open space as
permitted by this bylaw.

9.18-4 Board Determination on Yield Plan:
Based on the sketch plans, drawings and any other materials the applicant
submits relevant to the tract under consideration, the Planning Board shall make
a determination within 30 days as to the number of conventional lots that can be
achieved on the proposed site.

9.18-5 Maximum Density of Proposed Development Plan:
If the proposed area of common open space exceeds 60% of the site, the
permitted maximum density allowed under the ARHC special permit shall be the
number of conventional lots as determined by the board times 110 percent. If the
proposed area of common open space exceeds 70% of the site, the permitted
maximum density allowed under the ARHC special permit shall be the number of
conventional lots as determined by the Planning Board times 120 percent.

9.18-6 Conclusion of the Preliminary Plan Process:
Upon the conclusion of the preliminary plan process, the Planning Board shall
approve, approve with modifications or disapprove said preliminary plan and in
the case of disapproval, the Planning Board shall state in detail the reasons for its
disapproval.

9.19 DEFINITIVE PLAN
A Definitive Plan of an ARHC may be submitted after a preliminary plan
application and determination of density has been made by the Planning Board
.The purpose of Plan Review is to further the purposes of this Bylaw and to
ensure that new development of ARHC residential structures are designed in a
manner that reasonably protects visual and environmental qualities and property
values of the Town, and assures safe vehicular access, safe pedestrian movement,
and appropriate drainage of surface water.

9.19-1 Application
a. Each application for ARHC Plan Review shall be submitted to the
Planning Board by the current owner of record, accompanied by
eleven (11) copies of the Site Plan.
b. The Planning Board shall by regulation establish a fee schedule for
each such application
c. A definitive plan may not be submitted without an approval of the
preliminary plan as endorsed by the Planning Board.

9.19-2 Required Site Plan Content
Site Plans shall be on standard 24"x 36” drawing. A registered architect,
surveyor, landscape architect, or professional engineer shall prepare all
Site Plans. All sheets and shall be prepared at a sufficient scale to show:
a. The location and boundaries of the lot, adjacent streets or ways, and
the location and owners’ names of all adjacent properties.
b. Existing and proposed topography including two-foot contours, the
location of wetlands, streams, water bodies, drainage swales, areas
subject to flooding, and unique natural land features.
c. Boundary lines of all proposed lots with approximate dimensions and
lot areas in square feet.
d. Existing and proposed structures, including dimensions and elevations.
e. The location of existing and proposed parking and loading areas,
driveways, walkways, access and egress points.
f. The location and description of all existing and proposed septic
systems, water supplies, storm drainage systems, utilities, and refuse
and other waste disposal methods.
g. Proposed landscape features including the location and a description of
screening, fencing and plantings.
h. The location, dimensions height, and characteristics of proposed signs
and lighting.
i. The location and a description of proposed open space or recreation
areas.
j. The Planning Board may request any additional information it judges
to be necessary or convenient, or waive any information requirements
it finds unnecessary, for the review of a particular plan.

9.19-3 Procedures for Site Plan Review
a. An application for a Special Permit for an ARHC requiring ARHC
Plan Review shall be considered incomplete without an application for
ARHC Plan Review by the Planning Board.
c. The period of review for a Special Permit requiring ARHC plan review shall be
the same as any other Special Permit and shall conform to the requirements of
Chapter 40A Section 9, "Special Permits." Specifically a joint Public Hearing
shall be held by the Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals within
sixty-five (65) days of the filing of a Site Plan Review application with the
Planning Board. Within forty-five (45) days of the joint Public Hearing, the
Planning Board and the Zoning Board of Appeals shall hold a joint meeting at
which the Planning Board shall report its findings and recommendations
regarding the Site Plan application. Within forty-five (45) days after the joint
meeting, and no longer than ninety (90) days from the date of the close of the
Public Hearing, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall, after due consideration of the
recommendations of the Planning Board, take final action on the Special Permit.

9.19-4 Site Plan Review Criteria
The following criteria shall be considered by the Planning Board in the
review and evaluation of an ARHC 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.
a. 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:
 Minimize impact on wetlands, steep slopes, flood plains, hilltops;
 Minimize obstruction of scenic views from publicly accessible
locations;
 Preserve unique natural or historical features;
 Minimize tree, vegetation and soil removal and grade changes;
 Maximize open space retention;
 Screen objectionable features from neighboring properties and
roadways.
b. 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
vehicular traffic to be generated by the site, traffic flow patterns for
vehicles and pedestrians showing adequate access to and from the site,
and adequate circulation within the site.
d. The Site Plan shall show adequate measures to prevent pollution of surface or
groundwater, to minimize erosion and sedimentation, to prevent changes in
groundwater levels, and to prevent increased run-off and potential for flooding.
Drainage shall be designed so that run-off shall not be increased and that
neighboring properties will not be adversely affected. A system of groundwater
recharge shall be provided that does not degrade groundwater quality.
e. Recharge shall be by storm water infiltration basins or a similar system covered
with natural vegetation. Dry wells shall be used only where other methods are not
feasible. All basins and wells shall be preceded by oil, grease and sediment traps
to facilitate removal of contamination. Any and all recharge areas shall be
permanently maintained in full working order by the owner.
f. Electric, telephone, cable TV, and other such utilities are required to be
underground unless proven to be physically and environmentally unfeasible.
g. Exposed storage areas, machinery, service areas, truck loading areas, utility
buildings and other unsightly structures or uses shall be set back or visually
screened to protect the neighbors from objectionable site characteristics.
h. Outdoor lighting shall be designed to prevent glare or light, which reflects, strays
or scatters beyond the subject structure or structures.
i. Noise generated by machinery or equipment shall not extend beyond the property
line.
j. The Site Plan shall comply with all other provisions of this bylaw.

9.19-5 Technical Consultants
If after receiving a subdivision application the Planning Board determines that it
requires technical advice 'unavailable from municipal employees and
departments to review the application, it may employ outside consultants. The
Planning Board may, by majority vote, require that the applicant pay a
reasonable review fee for the employment of outside consultants chosen by the
Planning Board alone.
a. A review fee may be imposed only if:
 The work of the consultant consists of
review of studies prepared on behalf of the applicant, and not of
independent studies on behalf of the Planning Board,
 The board finds that an adequate review can
not be performed by Town board members or employees,
 The work is in connection with the
applicant's specific project, and
 All written results and reports are made part
of the record before the Planning Board.
b. Before a fee is imposed:
 The applicant shall be given five business days notice and opportunity to
submit written comments relative to the invitation for bids or request for
proposals,
 The applicant shall be given five business days notice and opportunity to
comment on all bids or proposals prior to the selection of the consultant
and the award of a contract,
 The applicant shall be given five business days notice and the
opportunity to file an appeal of the selection of the outside consultant
with the Selectboard. Grounds for said appeal are limited to written
claims, with written documentation, that the consultant selected has a
conflict of interest or does not posses~ the minimum required
qualification
 in accordance with MGL Ch. 44, Section 53G.

9.19-6 Finding
a. Before a finding on an ARHC Plan, the Planning Board may request
the applicant to make modifications in the proposed design of the
project to ensure that the above criteria are met.
b. After a public hearing, the Planning Board may waive, for good cause
shown, any or all requirements of ARHC Plan Review where such
action is in the public interest and not inconsistent with the purpose
and intent of this Bylaw.
c. The Planning Board's finding shall consist of:
 A written denial of the application, stating that the plan fails to
provide adequate information for the Planning Board to make a
determination of whether the development satisfies decisional
criteria set forth in this section.
 A finding that the project will constitute a suitable development
subject to any conditions, modifications, and restrictions the
Planning Board may deem necessary or appropriate.
 A finding that the proposed project does not constitute a suitable
development in that it does not meet the criteria set forth in section
6.5.

9.20 DEFINITIONS
CONDOMINIUM – A legal form of ownership of real property, usually
individual ownership of a dwelling unit in a multi-unit development where some
rights are held in common by the residents of that development.
HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION - A private non-profit organization
(corporation, association, or other legal entity) established by the developer to
manage, maintain, support, and finance the common area and facilities and open
space of an Age Restricted Housing Community Development, and to enforce
certain covenants and restrictions.

OPEN SPACE - Undeveloped land set aside for common or individual ownership
as a result of a Retirement Community Development, with conservation
easements and other deeded restrictions to ensure that the land will remain
permanently open and undeveloped. A condition of Age Restricted Housing
Community Development approval is that open space may not be further
subdivided.

AGE RESTRICTED - An individual who is 55 years of age or older.

AGE RESTRICTED HOUSING COMMUNITY - A master-planned development of
land as a unified, self contained, residential community, constructed expressly for use and
residence by persons who have achieved a minimum age requirement for residency of
fifty five (55) years or older, in accordance with M.G.L. Chapter 151 B, Section 4,
Subsection 6, and also incorporating the preservation of natural open space areas as an
integral element of the development. An Age Restricted Housing Community shall be
permitted only within the Age Restricted Housing Community Overlay District and only upon the granting of a special permit by the Zoning Board of Appeals.






 
Town of WIlliamsburg 141 Main St., P.O. Box 447, Haydenville, MA 01039-0447 PH: (413) 268-8400 Fax: (413) 268-8409