Lenox Town Hall
6 Walker Street, Lenox, MA 01240
ph: 413-637-5500
Section I - Purpose & Authority

The subdivision control law has been enacted for the purpose of protecting the safety, convenience and welfare of the inhabitants of the cities and towns in which it is, or may hereafter be, put in effect by regulating the laying out and construction of ways in subdivisions providing access to the several lots therein, but which have not become public ways, and ensuring sanitary conditions in subdivisions and in proper cases parks and open areas. The powers of a planning board and of a board of appeal under the subdivision control law shall be exercised with due regard for the provision of adequate access to all of the lots in a subdivision by ways that will be safe and convenient for travel; for lessening congestion in such ways and in the adjacent public ways; for reducing danger to life and limb in the operation of motor vehicles; for securing safety in the case of fire, flood, panic and other emergencies; for insuring compliance with the applicable zoning ordinances or by-laws; for securing adequate provision for water, sewerage, drainage and other requirements where necessary in a subdivision; and for coordinating the ways in a subdivision with each other and with the public ways in the city or town in which it is located and with the ways in neighboring subdivisions. (See Section 81-M of Chapter 41, G.L.)

B.  Objectives and Criteria: Site Design

The following objectives and criteria shall be used, where applicable, in evaluating all subdivision plans. The proposed subdivision plan shall be designed in a manner that will:

a. be compatible with the existing natural features of the site and the surrounding area; will preserve the existing land form in its natural state, insofar as practicable, by minimizing grading and the erosion or stripping of vegetation that may result therefrom, particularly from development on steep slopes, and by maintaining man-made features that enhance the land form, such as stone walls, with minimal alteration or disruption;

b. provide adequate facilities for the occupants of the subdivision and will provide for the functional design of facilities, structures and site construction, in accordance with recognized design standards and criteria accepted by the Town of Lenox;

c. promote a high standard in the design of sites being developed, will enhance the natural character and appearance of Lenox, will minimize awareness of the existence of a subdivision, particularly a commercial subdivision, by screening views of the subdivision from nearby streets, single family neighborhoods or Town property by the effective use of existing land forms, or alterations thereto, such as berms, and by existing vegetation or supplemental planting;

d. locate intersections of subdivision streets with the Town's arterial or collector streets so as to minimize the risk of accidents and traffic congestion;

e. permit adequate access to buildings, and the grounds adjoining them, for operations by fire, police, medical and other emergency personnel and equipment;

f.  permit easy and barrier free access for persons with physical handicaps or other special needs to the public facilities, such as sidewalks, within the subdivision;

g. provide a system of routes for pedestrians, including bicycles, with minimal conflicts with vehicles;

h.  locate and design open space on the site, particularly such common open space and usable open space as may be required by the Zoning By-Law, so as to increase the visual amenities for the surrounding area as well as for the occupants of the subdivision;

i.  provide improved access to, or the development of additional links and connections to, a Town system of public facilities such as conservation areas, recreation facilities, footpaths or bicycle paths, streets or utility systems;

j.  either place electric, telephone, cable TV and other such lines and equipment underground or locate them as inconspicuously as possible; locate and screen support facilities, such as storage, refuse disposal, utility buildings and structures for recreational activities, to visually screen them as effectively as possible;

k. insure that new structures and facilities protect the design of buildings or places of historic or architectural significance, to the extent feasible;

l.  not create adverse impacts on the public services and facilities serving the subdivision, including those that are off the site, such as the sanitary sewer system, the storm drainage system, the public water supply, the street system for vehicular traffic, the sidewalks and footpaths for pedestrian traffic, and, in addition, for residential developments, the recreational facilities; or where there is insufficient capacity in, or adverse impacts on, such services and facilities, improvements will be made to provide sufficient capacity or potential adverse impacts will be mitigated in connection with the approved subdivision;

m. not present a demonstrable adverse impact on the surrounding area during construction resulting from:

1) excessive noise, level of illumination, glare, dust, smoke, or vibration which are higher than levels now experienced from uses legally permitted in the surrounding area,

2) emission or discharge of noxious or hazardous materials or substances,

3) pollution of water streets or ground water;

n. take all measures necessary to minimize soil erosion and to control sedimentation in the disturbed land area of a proposed development, such as, but not limited to, minimizing the velocities of water runoff, maximizing protection of disturbed areas from stormwater runoff, and retaining sediment within the development site following disturbances; or

o.  insure that no subdivision causes downstream properties, water courses, channels, or conduits to receive stormwater runoff at a higher peak flow rate, or to receive other unreasonable impacts, than would have resulted from the same storm event occurring over the site of the proposed subdivision in its natural undeveloped condition.

Under the authority vested in the Planning Board of the Town of Lenox by Section 81-Q of Chapter 41 of the General Laws, said Board hereby amends the rules and regulations governing the subdivision of land in the Town of Lenox which were adopted by vote of the Board following a public hearing December 28, 1966. These amended regulations supersede all previous Subdivision Control Regulations and are effective September 20, 1973. A public hearing was held on the amended regulations on September 19, 1973