SECTION V : DESIGN STANDARDS

A. Suitability

1. Soil and Drainage. No land shall be subdivided for residential use if, after adequate investigation, the Board of Health determines that it cannot be used for building purposes without danger to health or safety. The Planning Board may, in particular instances, require satisfactory evidence that soil conditions and natural drainage are suitable for the proposed subdivision from the point of view of sanitation and public health.

2. Natural Features. Due regard shall be shown for all natural features, such as large trees, watercourses, boulders or rock outcrops, as well as for scenic points, historic spots and similar community assets, which if preserved will add attractiveness and value to the property.

B. Conformance with Master Plan and Zoning

The proposed streets shall conform, so far as practical, in width and alignment with those shown on the “General Plan” or Master or Study Plan of the Town, as prepared or adopted in whole or in part by the Board to be better served by a modification thereof in the general area of the proposed subdivision.

All lots shall conform in area, dimensions, frontage, “Buildable area” and all other requirements with the Zoning By-law of the Town.

C. Streets

Location

a. All streets in the subdivision shall be designed so that, in the opinion of the Board, they will provide safe vehicular travel and natural drainage with no drainage pockets, and so that they are adjusted to the topography and provide the minimum number of intersections with major streets. Due consideration shall also be given by the subdivider to the attractiveness of the street layout in order to obtain the maximum livability and amenity of the subdivision.

b. Provision satisfactory to the Board shall be made for the proper projection of streets, or for access to adjoining property which is not yet subdivided.

c. Reserve strips prohibiting access to streets or adjoining property shall not be permitted, except where, in the opinion of the Board, such strips shall be in the public interest.

d. A street will ordinarily be requested adjacent to parks, schools, and the Conservancy District to provide access to and proper policing of such areas.

e. Streets shall be laid out so as to allow at least 150 feet between intersections.

f. In order to lessen traffic congestion and safety problems, and in order to
coordinate development of necessary improvements to public ways, the Planning Board will consider the adequacy of public ways adjacent to or providing access to a proposed subdivision. It is the Planning Board’s intent that a proposed development not overly strain the capacity of existing or planned public ways so as to result in traffic congestion, access and safety problems.

Alignment

a. Street jogs with centerline offsets of less than one hundred and twenty-five (125) feet should be avoided.

b. The minimum centerline radii of curved streets shall be as follows:

Minor streets: one hundred and fifty (150) feet
Secondary streets: three hundred (300) feet
Major streets: five hundred (500) feet

c. All reverse curves on major and secondary streets shall be separated by a tangent at least one hundred (100) feet long.

d. Streets shall be laid out so as to intersect as nearly as possible at right angles.

e. No street shall intersect any other street at less than sixty (60) degrees.

f. Property lines at street intersections shall be rounded to ensure a radius of not less than twenty-five (25) feet.

Widths

a. The minimum width of streets shall be as follows:

Major streets: 70 feet right of way and pavement of 44 feet
Secondary streets: 60 feet right of way and pavement of 32 feet
Minor streets: 50 feet right of way and pavement of 32 feet

Grades

a. The centerline grade for any street shall not be less than seventy-five hundredths of one percent. (.75%)

b. The maximum centerline grades shall be as follows:

Minor streets: ten (10) per cent
Secondary streets: six (6) per cent
Major streets: six (6) per cent

c. All changes in grade exceeding one (1) per cent shall be connected by vertical
curves of sufficient length to afford, in the opinion of the Board, adequate sight distances.

Dead-end Streets

a. Dead-end streets, whether temporary or permanent, shall not be longer than five hundred (500) feet unless, in the opinion of the Board, a greater length is necessitated by topography or other local conditions.

b. Dead-end streets shall be provided at the closed end with a turnaround having an outside street line diameter of at least one hundred and twenty (120) feet, and the easement for such turn around shall terminate upon construction of an extension of such street.

D. Easements

1. Easements for utilities across lots or centered on rear or side lot lines shall be provided where necessary and shall be at least twenty (20) feet wide.

2. Where a subdivision is traversed by a watercourse, drainage way, channel or stream, the Board may require that there be provided a storm water easement or drainage right-of-way of adequate width to conform substantially to the lines of such watercourses, drainage way, channel or stream, and to provide for the free flow of water in its natural course or for construction or other necessary purposes.

3. Pedestrian ways and easements for bridle paths may be required to break up long blocks or to connect open spaces or park areas.

E. Utilities (Amended 1/90)

1. All utilities, including water, piped storm drainage, telephone, electricity, gas, wiring for street lights and alarm systems if any, and cable TV lines, but excluding transformers, shall be designed and installed underground at the time of initial construction of the subdivision roadway, in conformance with appropriate Town, Dig-Safe and utility company regulations. (The Planning Board may allow swale drainage.)

Location, depth and separation of underground utilities shall comply with street cross sections, Form D of these Regulations. Warning tapes shall be installed per the Required Improvements Section (Section VI) of these Subdivision Regulations.

Lot utility services shall be carried to the front lines (i.e., the outside line of the street right-of-way) prior to completion of pavement foundation, and subdivision plans and as-built plans shall show the location of said lot services.

F. Open Spaces

Before approval of a plan the Board may also in proper cases require the plan to show a part or parks or open area suitably located for playground or recreation purposes, for conservation or for providing light and air. The park or parks shall not be unreasonable in area in relation to the land being subdivided and to the prospective uses of such land. The Board may by appropriate endorsement on the plan require that no building be erected upon such park or parks without its approval for a period of not more than three (3) years.

G. Site Plans

Site Plans for Business Developments shall contain all the information required for a Definitive Plan of any subdivision and the following additional data for compliance with the provisions of the Zoning By-law of Hamilton:

1. Driveways and driveway openings in relation to street traffic

2. Parking and loading areas

3. Areas proposed for dedication for park, recreation or conservation, or for
restriction against buildings in a Cluster Development.

H. General

1. A waiver of these design requirements may be permitted when in the opinion of the Board topography or other physical consideration necessitates such waiver.

2. Not more than one building designed or available for use for dwelling purposes shall be erected or placed or converted to use as such on any lot in a subdivision, or elsewhere in the Town, without the consent of the Planning Board, and such consent may be conditional upon the providing of adequate ways furnishing access to each site for such building, in the same manner as otherwise required for lots within a subdivision. (Section 81 Q of Chapter 41)