Local Example – Acton, MA: Landscaping Requirements
Town of Acton
Zoning By-Law, SECTION 6. PARKING STANDARDS
6.7 Parking Lot Design Requirements
All parking lots shall be designed in compliance with the following design standards, except as provided in Section 6.9. In addition, the following standards shall not apply to parking lots serving a single to four-FAMILY residential USE, an Assisted Living Residence with 10 or less residents, a religious USE, and to parking lots with up to 15 parking spaces serving a Conservation USE.
Required parking spaces, loading areas and driveways shall be provided and maintained with suitable grading, paved surfaces and adequate drainage. Any parking lot containing five (5) or more parking spaces shall include landscaping as required below which is, in the opinion of the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas), located and designed to enhance the visual appearance of the parking or loading facility, to ensure traffic safety, and to minimize the adverse effects of the parking or loading facility on the natural environment.
6.7.1 Cells – Parking requirements shall be met by utilization of parking lot cells having a maximum of forty (40) parking spaces per parking lot cell. There shall be a minimum separation distance of thirty (30) feet between parking lot cells.
6.7.2 Set-Backs – Except as may be required elsewhere in this Bylaw, no parking space or other paved surface, other than ACCESS driveways, common driveways or walkways, shall be located within 30 feet of the front LOT line and within 10 feet of the side and rear LOT lines, and notwithstanding the foregoing, no parking space or other paved surface; other than ACCESS driveways, common driveways or walkways; shall be located within the limits of a landscaped buffer area required under Section 10.4.3.5. and Section 10.4.3.6.
6.7.3 ACCESS Driveways – Each LOT may have one ACCESS driveway through its FRONTAGE which shall be 24 feet wide, unless, in the opinion of the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas), a wider and/or greater number of ACCESS driveways is necessary to provide adequate area for safe vehicular turning movements and circulation. An ACCESS driveway for one-way traffic only may be a minimum of 14 feet wide. There shall be no more than one additional ACCESS driveway for each 200 feet of FRONTAGE and all such additional ACCESS driveway(s) shall be at least 200 feet apart on the LOT measured from the centerline of each ACCESS driveway. No driveway for a nonresidential PRINCIPAL USE shall cross land in a residential zoning district in which the PRINCIPAL USE is not allowed.
6.7.4 Interior Driveways – Interior driveways shall be at least 20 feet wide for two-way traffic and 14 feet for one-way traffic.
6.7.5 Notwithstanding the requirements for ACCESS driveways and interior driveways set forth above, ACCESS and interior driveways in the Village Residential District shall be at least 12 feet wide.
6.7.6 Perimeter Landscaping Requirements – All parking lots/cells with more than five (5) spaces and all loading areas shall be bordered on all sides with a minimum of a ten (10) foot wide buffer strip on which shall be located and maintained appropriate landscaping of suitable type, density and height to effectively screen the parking area. The perimeter landscaping requirements shall be in addition to any minimum OPEN SPACE or landscaped buffer area required elsewhere in this Bylaw. However, where the minimum required front, side or rear yard is less than forty (40) feet, the landscaped buffer areas required in Section 10.4.3.6 and the areas required for perimeter landscaping may overlap. In such instances, the landscaping requirements of Sections 10.4.3.6 and 6.7.8 shall be applied in a manner that will, in the opinion of the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas), provide a landscaped buffer as effective as it would be achieved through the separate implementation of the requirements of Sections 10.4.3.6 and 6.7.8.
6.7.7 Interior Area Landscaping Requirements – A minimum of ten percent (10%) of the interior area, exclusive of perimeter landscaping, of a parking lot cell containing more than twenty-five (25) parking spaces must be planted as landscaped island areas. The landscaped islands shall be so located that some portion of every parking space is not more than forty-five (45) feet from either a landscaped island or the perimeter planting area. Landscaped islands shall be dimensioned so that a circle with a minimum radius of 5 feet can be placed at each location within the island except that within the immediate vicinity of driveway or maneuvering aisle roundings and intersections the radius may be reduced to two feet. Curbing, at least five (5) inches in height, shall surround each landscaped island as protection from vehicles. The interior area landscaping requirements shall be in addition to any minimum OPEN SPACE required elsewhere in this Bylaw.
6.7.8 Plantings for Perimeter and Interior Area Landscaping Requirements Shall Consist of
18.104.22.168 At least one shrub per thirty (30) square feet and one shade tree per two hundred (200) square feet of landscaped area shall be provided, unless the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas) or their designee, determine that there exists sufficient existing vegetation to allow for a different amount of new landscaping.
22.214.171.124 Shade trees shall be of a species tolerant to the climatic conditions of Acton and of parking area conditions, and be at least one and three-quarter (1 3/4) inch caliper (measured four feet above grade level).
126.96.36.199 Shrubs shall be a mix of deciduous and evergreen varieties, tolerant to the climatic conditions of Acton, and be at least eighteen (18) inches in height at time of planting. Snow storage areas shall be planted with shrubs that are tolerant to weight and extended duration of snow cover.
188.8.131.52 The remainder of the landscaped areas shall be planted with ground surface cover, such as lawn grass or live ground cover, over at least four (4) inches of topsoil, unless the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas) or their designee, determine that another type of ground surface cover is appropriate for a specific purpose or location.
184.108.40.206 Wherever possible, the above requirements shall be met by retention of existing vegetation.
220.127.116.11 Planting shall be done in accordance with proper landscaping practices.
18.104.22.168 Trees, shrubs, grass and ground cover which die or become diseased shall be replaced.
22.214.171.124 Final locations of all plantings shall be inspected and approved by the Special Permit Granting Authority (if the parking area is related to a permitted USE for which a site plan or other special permit is required) or the Building Commissioner (for other parking areas) or their designee, including the viability of existing vegetation retained after development and any necessary replacements thereof.
6.9 Special Provisions for Parking in the Village, Kelley’s Corner, and Powder Mill Districts
126.96.36.199 The parking lot design requirements of Section 6.7 shall apply in the EAV [East Acton Village] District, except that:
a) The requirements for parking lot cells and separation of cells (Section 6.7.1) shall not apply.
b) The requirements for set-backs (Section 6.7.2) shall not apply. This does not waive the requirements for perimeter landscaping (Section 6.7.6).
c) The interior area landscaping (Section 6.7.7) may be substituted with one or more consolidated bioretention areas with minimum side dimensions measuring at least 38 X 12 feet each. Bioretention areas shall be designed and landscaped to trap and mitigate runoff from paved surfaces consistent with the description and intent of EPA Storm Water Technology Fact Sheet – Bioretention (EPA 832-F-99-012, September 1999), or equivalent. The landscaping requirements of Sections 188.8.131.52 through 184.108.40.206 shall not apply to bioretention areas. Bioretention areas may be sited anywhere in the parking lot that is convenient to manage parking lot traffic and facilitate pedestrian use, including adjacent to and connecting with vegetated areas on the perimeter of a parking lot. Bioretention areas shall be considered part of the minimum required OPEN SPACE.
Local Example – Littleton, MA: Low Impact Development
Town of Littleton
By-Laws, CHAPTER 173 ZONING
ARTICLE VII Parking and Loading Requirements
Section 173-32. Parking requirements.
C. Parking area design.
No off-street parking area shall be maintained within ten (10) feet of a street line. Required parking areas shall be paved and have bumper or wheel guards where needed unless serving a single-family residence or unless, in performing site plan review (see Section 173-16), the Planning Board determines that, because of seasonal or otherwise limited use, an alternative surface will adequately prevent dust, erosion, water accumulation or unsightly conditions. For parking areas of eight (8) cars or more, the following shall apply:
(5) Parking areas for eight (8) or more vehicles shall be drained through catch basins equipped with oil and grease traps and sediment traps unless the topography of the site prevents their use. [Added 5-9-1988 ATM, Art. 14]
(6) To reduce stormwater discharge and improve the attenuation of pollutants, applicants are required to use stormwater control Best Management Practices (BMPs) and Low Impact Development (LID) techniques in parking lot design (i.e., interior landscaping, vegetated/grassy swales, infiltration planters, permeable pavement, rain gardens, etc.).