ZONING BY-LAWS
Devens Regional Enterprise Zone

November 18, 1994

The Joint Boards of Selectmen:
    Town of Ayer
    Town of Harvard
    Town of Lancaster
    Town of Shirley
The Massachusetts Government Land Bank

V. ZONING DISTRICTS AND ZONING MAP

  1. Zoning Districts and Development Goals General Description

    The following zoning districts, as further identified on the Zoning Map, are hereby established at Devens. The description of the development goals applicable to each zoning district are listed in subparagraphs 1 through 14 of this section A. The development goals reflect the development, marketing, planning, and environmental objectives outlined for Devens in the Reuse Plan. The uses permitted in Devens are described in Article VI. The uses permitted in each zoning district are listed in the Table of Permitted Uses attached at Exhibit D. If there are any inconsistencies or conflicts between the development goals and the permitted uses listed on Exhibit D and described in Article VI, the permitted uses shall control.

    The Commission shall, on or about July 1, 2000, and every five (5) years thereafter, issue a written assessment of the status of the redevelopment effort, evaluating the progress, type, and character of development in each district, as well as the realistic market expectations for future development in each district, for the purposes of comparing such assessment to the Development Goals outlined below.

    1. Environmental Business

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map on the western section of the North Post.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to locate and site industries that contribute to or capitalize on the increasing sensitivity to and awareness of environmental remediation and recycling, and the development of products emanating from these activities. Identified as environmental businesses in the Reuse Plan, these businesses and industries may range from businesses that use traditional industrial recycling processes to businesses that apply new remediation technologies or businesses that manufacture pollution abatement or remediation equipment.

        c. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

    2. Gateway I: Jackson

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Jackson Gate on the westerly side of the roadway.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide for a range of educational, cultural, institutional, and office uses that will serve as a distinct entryway and point of arrival for Devens. The permitted uses in this zone will capitalize on the unique natural and locational attributes of the site and help define the vision of the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone for purposes of economic development and environmental protection, as set forth by the goals and objectives of the Reuse Plan.

        The Gateway I site, also known as the Jackson Gateway, possesses a particular natural beauty that is to be enhanced and preserved by potential users. Additional siting and design criteria may be established by the Commission in the Regulations to ensure the future preservation of those attributes while encouraging uses that promote the Gateway theme.

    3. Gateway II: Verbeck

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of the Main Gate on West Main Street Street in Ayer.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide for a range of cultural, educational, institutional, and open space/recreational uses that will serve as a distinct entryway and point of arrival for Devens. The permitted uses in this zone will capitalize on the unique attributes of the site and help define the vision of the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone as set forth by the goals and objectives of the Reuse Plan.

        By creating a compatible scale and combination of built and open environment, the Verbeck zoning district will establish the sense of arrival to the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone as well as respecting the transition from the adjacent business, residential, and open space uses in Ayer. Additional siting and design criteria may be established by the Commission in the Regulations to ensure the future development of these attributes while encouraging uses that promote the Gateway theme.

    4. Special Use District I

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Salerno Circle/Shiloh housing areas.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to attract business activities that will reflect the intent and spirit of the Innovation and Technology Zone without the more intrusive or larger scale industrial component.

        In order to ensure sensitive and responsible use of these areas, due to their proximity to adjacent land uses, the Commission will be required to consider the following use and siting criteria when reviewing development proposals:

          (i) impacts on adjacent uses;

          (ii) degree of visibility from strategic viewing points in adjacent areas of Harvard;

          (iii) aesthetic quality of site development;

          (iv) buffering/screening of development;

          (v) site lighting designed to minimize visibility from surrounding areas; and

          (vi) preservation of existing vegetation, where feasible.

        c. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

    5. Special Use District II

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Moore Army Airfield on the North Post in Ayer.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to allow a broad range of industrial, light industrial, office, and research and development uses. The compatibility of these uses with the possible retention of local air service at Moore Army Airfield will be encouraged. In acknowledgement of the possible retention of local aviation uses, special events shall be allowed with special regulation. Uses supporting and complimenting the adjacent Innovation and Technology and Environmental Business Zones will also be encouraged. Buffers may be required between adjacent areas in Ayer along and near Route 2A.

    6. Residential I

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Birch Hill Circle, Birch Road, Sycamore, Cedar, and Poplar Streets, Grant Road, and Malvern Hill Road.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to foster the evolution of a residential neighborhood at Devens, intending to meet housing needs for residents of the towns in the Devens area. The reuse of the existing housing stock will be encouraged, as well as future development of additional housing types, provided that nothing contained herein shall prevent the demolition of housing stock, as needed.

        Additional siting, density, and design criteria may be established by the Commission in the Regulations to ensure:

          (i) compatibility with adjacent land uses;

          (ii) sensitivity to visual impacts; and

          (iii) reuse of existing structures, where feasible.

    7. Residential II

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Elm/Walnut Housing and Auman Street Housing.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to develop housing to serve the residential needs of Devens. This district will also allow office space for professional office and service uses that will be accessory to the primary residential use or a home occupation. The reuse of the existing housing stock and construction of new infill housing for residential and accessory office space will be encouraged in a manner that compliments the historic Vicksburg Square. Development of a diverse and stable residential core, as well as small scale professional office and service space, are considered compatible and vital components of the Reuse Plan and every effort will be made to ensure a sensitive and appropriate blend of these uses.

        Additional siting, density, and design criteria may be established by the Commission in the Regulations to address the following concerns:

          (i) compatibility with adjacent land uses;

          (ii) visual impacts;

          (iii) reuse of existing structures, including historic structures, where feasible;

          (iv) "number of employees" and other restrictions for professional office and service uses; and

          (v) parking needs evaluation and requirements.

    8. Business/Community Services I

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of the intersection of Dakota Street and MacArthur Avenue.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide a mix of small scale commercial, retail, and service uses. Uses in this zone are expected to complement and support the businesses in Devens and the needs of persons working in Devens.

    9. Village Growth District I

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of the Shirley Gate off Front Street in Shirley Village on the southerly side of the road.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this district is to provide commercial and senior residential opportunities for Shirley Village, while at the same time respecting the scale of the existing businesses and abutting neighborhoods. The intent is to accommodate a municipal facilities center, a variety of retail, service, and office uses of small to medium size and residential uses such as senior housing and assisted living.

        The Commission shall be required in its Regulations to establish design concepts which further the goal of creating a commercial center which respects village scale and layout. Said site design standards shall address issues of setback, location of parking, orientation of buildings to roadways, landscaping, site access and circulation, general compatibility of building massing with the existing village, and related considerations, including a maximum square footage use by a single business of fifty thousand (50,000) square feet. At the same time, it is intended that design options remain flexible, so as to encourage high quality and creativity in site and building design.

        Additional siting and design criteria shall be established by the Commission in the Regulations to address issues relating to:

          (i) buffer/screening requirements;

          (ii) visual compatibility with the Shirley Village environment;

          (iii) height restrictions; and

          (iv) options for clustering of buildings and flexible design that enhances connections to the existing Shirley Village.

        c. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

    10. Innovation and Technology Business

        a. Locations: Areas designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of the Army Reserve Enclave, 800 Block; Locust Hill housing area; Oak Hill housing area; Spruce/Maple housing area; housing area west of Robbins Pond; Army Reserve Enclave, North Post; and Federal Bureau of Prisons site.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide space to those industries and businesses that develop and require additional space within Devens or that relocate to Devens. Permitted uses in this zone exhibiting one or more of the following qualities will be encouraged:

          (i) development or sale of an improved or new product or service;

          (ii) expansion of a business;

          (iii) educational/academic links;

          (iv) research and development orientation; and

          (v) business connections or support services to other industries on Devens.

        It is recognized that the Innovation and Technology Business I district is intended to accommodate a wide variety of uses in a development pattern that is of relatively higher intensity than that of other areas in the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, particularly with regard to new construction activity. High standards for site planning will be encouraged to address significant site characteristics, including topography, existing vegetative cover and tree canopy, proximity to water and wetlands, and proximity to and characteristics of adjacent uses.

        c. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

    11. Village Growth District II

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of the Army Reserve Enclave-Intelligence School in Shirley.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide an area for small scale development involving office, light industrial, research and development, and compatible outdoor recreational, cultural, conference, institutional, and municipal types of uses, in a manner that is harmonious and in scale with abutting areas of Shirley Village.

        Additional siting requirements may be established by the Commission in order to be responsive and sensitive to adjacent uses. Any such additional requirements shall consider the following:

          (i) buffer requirements;

          (ii) site specific design requirements;

          (iii) industrial performance standards; and

          (iv) retention of existing active recreation uses within the district.

        c. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

    12. Rail, Industrial, and Trade-Related

        a. Locations: Areas designated on the Zoning Map.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide a development area that will generally be available to businesses that utilize or rely in whole or in part upon rail lines, surrounding rail-related uses, multi-modal transportation links, or trade with national or international emerging markets. Other uses in the district that generally support and enhance the transportation and trade-related uses will be encouraged.

        Additional siting requirements may be established by the Commission in the Regulations to protect the environment, particularly the aquifer.

    13. Innovation and Technology Center

        a. Locations: Area designated on the Zoning Map in the vicinity of Vicksburg Square.

        b. Development Goals: The primary goal of this zoning district is to provide an urban center for the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone in which incubator ventures and a broad range of businesses are encouraged. Its combination of historic buildings and traditional open space provides an environment unique to the former base and allows for an intensity of both business and public uses that is singular to Devens. Development of design, siting, and retrofitting criteria should be flexible in order to accommodate a wide range of users and their special needs, and any ancillary support services. A major theme for this zone is to encourage and promote the development of academic and educational support links for the entire Devens Regional Enterprise Zone, as set forth in the Reuse Plan.

    14. Open Space and Recreation

        a. Locations: Areas designated on the Zoning Map throughout Devens.

        b. Development Goals: The Open Space and Recreation zoning district is considered a primary and essential component of the Reuse Plan. The goal of this zoning district is to preserve and enhance the natural beauty and sensitive natural resources of Devens and serve as a buffer and transition zone for other uses. In addition, uses are expected to serve a wide range of passive and active recreational needs of the Devens Regional Enterprise Zone and the region as a whole.

        c. Prohibited Uses Limited to This District

        Large-scale facilities for open air concerts are prohibited in this district.

        d. Interim Use: Agriculture may be permitted on an interim basis, as provided in Article VI E 2 of the By-Laws.

  2. Zoning Map

    1. The official Zoning Map of Devens dated November 14, 1994, is adopted and incorporated herein as Exhibit A. The zoning Map shall be maintained by the Commission.

    2. A further delineation and description of the boundaries of the zoning districts are included in the document entitled "Zoning District Parcel Maps" dated November 11, 1994, and the provisions thereof shall be considered to be incorporated by reference into the Zoning Map and the By-Laws.

    3. Amendments to Zoning Map

        a. As authorized below, the Commission may, from time to time, amend the Zoning Map. The amendments to the Zoning Map listed below shall be considered minor amendments to the Reuse Plan and By-Laws pursuant to Article XV hereof.

        b. The Commission may increase or decrease the size of a district designated on the Zoning Map as an overlay district, as defined in Article X A of the By-Laws, provided such increase or decrease is intended to more accurately describe the area that contains the resources that are protected by inclusion in the overlay district and the revision is based upon reliable engineering or scientific data.

        c. The Commission may revise the boundaries of a zoning district resulting from modifications to the layout or capacity of arterial streets and other projects required to improve the infrastructure or utilities at Devens.

        d. Prior to amending the Zoning Map as provided in the preceding paragraphs a, b, and c, the Commission shall provide a written notice of such proposed amendment and the information supporting such amendment to the clerks of the Towns and the board of selectmen and the planning board of each of the Towns, stating the time and place of a public hearing to be scheduled to consider such amendment, which hearing shall not be scheduled earlier than thirty (30) days before the date of such notice.

        e. The Commission shall update the Zoning Map promptly after amendments to it are adopted. Upon entering an amendment on the Zoning Map, the date of the Zoning Map shall be changed to indicate its latest revision.

        f. The action of the Commission to amend the Zoning Map, as provided in this Article, shall be subject to judicial review, as provided in Article IV F, above.


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