Wednesday, March 23, 2016

TEXT: Proposed zoning-change article initiated by Mike Deep's lawyer for Deep's Waubeeka Golf property permitting a time-sharing hotel development

Below is text, as provided by the town manager's office, of an article to appear on the May 17 Williamstown Town Meeting Warrant, in behalf of developer Michael Deep,which asks voters to approve a zoning change for 40 acres of the Waubeeka Golf property in South Williamstown so that Deep, its owner, can pursue construction of what he is calling a "country-inn" lodging project. The petition allows residential time-shares to be part of such a development and references "New England resort hotel properties." The Williamstown Planning Board voted, 3-2, on March 15 not to recommend approval of the change.  The petition was signed by Stan Parese, Deep's attorney, and 19 other Williamstown residents, the minimum required to initiate a citizen warrant article to Town Meeting. Deep is not a resident of Williamstown.

Article 35. To see if the Town will vote to amend the Williamstown Zoning By-Laws, §70 of the Code of the Town of Williamstown as follows, or take any other action in relation thereto:

Amend §70-2.1.B by adding the following;
Waubeeka Overlay District (WOD)

Amend §70-2.3 by adding the following;

F.     Waubeeka Overlay District is composed of land shown on the Williamstown Assessor’s Maps, as of the date of the passage of this chapter, Map 303, Lot 51 and 17, and Map 304, Lot 30.

Amend §70-7.4 by adding the following;

F.    Waubeeka Overlay District

(1)   Intent. The Waubeeka Overlay District is intended to permit and encourage redevelopment at the Waubeeka property in a manner that:

a)        Preserves the majority of the area within the district as an important community recreational and open space asset.

b)        Is consistent and in keeping with the historical context of the adjacent South Williamstown Historic District and the greater community.

c)        Promotes the public welfare by encouraging the reuse and enhancement of an existing economic asset; encouraging much needed expansion of Williamstown’s commercial tax base; and encouraging much needed expansion of broad and inclusive employment opportunities in Williamstown.

(2)   The Waubeeka Overlay District is superimposed over the underlying Rural Residence 2 district. Land in the district may be used for such uses as are permitted by right or allowed subject to special permit approval in the underlying district, subject to the same requirements as in the underlying district. Within the WOD, requirements of the underlying district shall apply except where superseded by the special requirements of the WOD in connection with WOD special permits. In the event a WOD special permit lapses pursuant to §70-8.4.B., is permanently revoked, or is permanently surrendered the special requirements of such WOD special permit shall expire.  

(3)   Permissible Uses. The following primary and accessory uses are permitted in the WOD upon Special Permit from the Zoning Board of Appeals.

a)   Primary Uses.

          i.      Hotel
          ii.     Restaurant
          iii.    Membership Club
          iv.    Golf Course

b)   Accessory Uses.

          i.     Uses customarily accessory to New England resort hotel properties.
          ii.    Agriculture and related uses as described in §70-7.2.D.

(4)   Development and Standards.

a)   Height Requirements: Buildings shall be limited to three stories in height, and no higher than 40 feet. The exterior design will reduce the apparent height and bulk of the building. Design features should have architectural elements that divide the building into smaller pieces Applicants are required to present plans that demonstrate consistency with this objective. 

b)   Landscaping. Landscaping should reduce the apparent height and bulk of the building. Landscape design will include trees, singly or in clumps, arranged to break up the mass of the building and provide a more human scale and shall be oriented in order to reduce massing from adjacent properties and preserve existing distant mountain viewsheds to the maximum extent practicable.

c)   Dimensional Requirements: The underlying dimensional standards with the exception of open space requirements, of the Rural Residence Two District shall apply.

d)   Parking Requirements: Subject to parking determination from the Planning Board as an unlisted use.

(5)   Open Space – Building Envelopes.

In connection with any WOD special permit, the entire WOD shall be divided into open space and building envelopes:

a)   Open space means areas left substantially in a natural or landscaped state. No less than 80% of the district shall remain open space as a condition of any WOD special permit.

              i.    Permitted Open Space Improvements: Open Space shall be inclusive of golf course area, subsurface infrastructure, accessory use solar photovoltaic infrastructure and panels, and such accessory buildings reasonably necessary to support the operation of such permitted open space improvements provided no such accessory buildings shall have an area in excess of 600 square feet. Examples of such accessory buildings include pump houses, equipment shelters, control technology shelters, rain shelters, rest rooms and snack sheds.
               ii.   Prohibited Open Space Improvements: All structures other than those permitted under subsection (5)(a)(i) above.

b)   Building envelopes means areas other than designated open space.

                   i.    Permitted Building Envelope Improvements: Structures, infrastructure, improvements, 
and landscaping related to Permissible Uses.
                  ii.      Prohibited Building Envelope Improvements: Dwellings.
                  iii.     Access to Building Envelopes shall be from New Ashford Road frontage.

c)   Infrastructure in the district need not be located on the same parcel, premises, or Assessor’s Map Lot as the structures or uses it supports. Building envelopes and the structures, infrastructure improvements and landscaping within them may span parcels, premises, or Assessor’s Parcels within the WOD.

d)   Plan Requirements: Any applicant for a WOD special permit shall submit a plan defining open space areas and building envelopes in accordance with this section. The plan shall be prepared by an engineer, architect, or registered surveyor.

e)   Any special permit under this section shall include a condition approving and referencing the Open Space / Building Envelope Plan. The building envelope or envelopes for the uses listed in subsections (3)(a) above shall be located within 500 feet of New Ashford Road and in the northeast quadrant of the district.

(6)   Special Permit Criteria: Any proposed development shall meet the following criteria in addition to the Special Permit criteria of 70-8.3.D

a)   The development shall balance development with preserving open space and view sheds on the remainder of the property.

b)   The overall development, including architectural design, shall be of a form, style, and scale that maintains and enhances those qualities and historical traditions of the Five Corners National Registered Historic District in order to protect the historic and scenic character of the adjacent district.

Amend §70-9.2 by deleting the following:

HOTEL OR MOTEL -- A building or portion thereof, or a group of buildings on a single lot, providing transient sleeping accommodations to the general public in guest units without kitchens, plus not more than a single accessory dwelling unit, but not including a tourist home or boarding or rooming house.

And replacing with the following:

§70-9.2 Definitions

HOTEL: A building or part thereof, or a group of buildings on a single lot, providing transient sleeping accommodations in guest units, not dwelling units, to the general public or, in whole or in part, in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Ch. 183B. Hotels may include a single accessory dwelling unit but shall not include a tourist home or rooming house.

MOTEL: A building or part thereof, or a group of buildings on a single lot, providing transient sleeping accommodations to the general public in guest units, not dwelling units, that are accessed from the exterior only and front upon parking lots. Motels may include a single accessory dwelling unit but shall not include a tourist home or rooming house.  

The Planning Board, by a 3 to 2 vote does not recommend the adoption of this article.


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