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Raynham, Massachusetts.  Incorporated 1731

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Raynham Town Seal
Adult Retirement Community
(Added at June 7, 2004 adjourned session of ATM of May 17, 2004)

18.1  Purpose:  

To provide an alternative housing opportunity for persons 55 years of age and older;

To provide an attractive and suitable residential environment that is more amenable to the needs of people in their later years;

To encourage creative and innovative site planning and design, in order to enhance the attractiveness and suitability of this alternative housing type, and to better meet the specific housing needs of this segment of the population;

To encourage the preservation of common land for open space and recreational use by promoting the highest and best utilization of land in harmony with its natural features, and to retain the rural character of the town.

18.2     General Requirements:

a.  The minimum tract of land upon which an ARC may be constructed shall contain at least twenty (20) acres and shall be serviced by Town Water and Town Sewer.  An ARC may be allowed in Industrial and Business District by special permit.  

b.  Development of an ARC may be authorized by a Special Permit granted by the Planning Board in accordance with M.G.L. Ch. 40A and the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of a Special Permit.  Since such proposed development must constitute a subdivision, the proposed subdivision plan shall also conform to the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Raynham as most recently amended.  The Planning Board has the authority to waive requirements of the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Raynham as most recently amended and the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of a Special Permit where such action is in the public interest and not inconsistent with the intent and purpose of the regulations being waived.

c.  There shall be no more than two (2) primary residents allowed in an ARC unit.  In the event the primary residents need a full-time primary caregiver there may be more than two (2) residents.  In the event the parents of the primary residents need to reside with their child there may be more than two (2) residents.

18.3    Definitions:

ADULT RETIREMENT COMMUNITY (ARC) – a self-contained alternative residential community of detached single family dwellings, each single family dwelling being on its own lot as shown on a subdivision plan, constructed expressly for and specifically limited to use and residency by: (a) Persons who are fifty-five (55) years of age or older, hereinafter referred to as “occupant”; (b) A spouse, under the age of 55 years of age, of an occupant may reside in the occupant’s unit, hereinafter referred to as “spouse”; (c) A spouse who survives the occupant; (d) A spouse where the occupant has entered into a long-term care facility; (e) The parents of the occupant or spouse; (f) A paid caregiver providing medical or health care to an occupant or spouse.  Such developments shall comply in all respects to the requirements of MGL Chapter 151B and the Federal Fair Housing Law, as from time to time amended. (amended at S.T.M. 10/29/12)

BOULEVARD - a portion and/or an entire street that is divided by a landscape area.

COMMUNITY FACILITY (IES) – Developed common areas, constructed solely for the use of the residents of the ARC and their guests.  The Community Facility (IES) may include buildings housing activities and amenities such as game room, entertainment room, sewing room, library, kitchen, laundry facilities, exercise room, toilet facilities, locker rooms for men and women, etc.  Facility (IES) may also include outdoor activities and amenities such as swimming pools, gardens, paths and walkways, putting greens and the like.  All Community Facility (IES) shall be designed and maintained in conformance with the then existing Massachusetts standards for handicapped accessibility.

COMMON LAND - an area that is intended to provide light and air, and is designed for either environmental, scenic, or recreational purposes. Common land may include, but is not limited to, lawns, decorative plantings, walkways, active and passive recreation areas, swimming pools, streets, wooded areas, and community facilities, except for the portion of the common land that satisfies the requirement of Section 18.11.d.  Common land shall not include the private ways within an ARC.

18.4    Intensity Requirements:  

a.      Density for ARC:
Density for ARC Units
The number of units allowed in an ARC shall not exceed twice the number of lots in a conventional subdivision in the residential zoning district of the proposed ARC, which meets all dimensional requirements of the Raynham Zoning Bylaws and the Raynham Planning Board Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land.  The Board may, however, grant a waiver, at its discretion, from Planning Board regulations regarding length of a dead end street, and in doing so may limit the number of units in an ARC.

Density for ARC Units   

The number of units allowed in an ARC shall not exceed twice the number of lots in a conventional subdivision in the Industrial or Business Zoning District of the proposed ARC, which meets all dimensional requirements of the Raynham Zoning Bylaws and the Raynham Planning Board Rules and Regulations for the Subdivision of Land.  The Board may, however, grant waivers, at its discretion, from roadway design standards only, and in doing so may limit the number of units in an ARC.        

b.      All lots shall comply with the dimensional requirements below:

 Requirements   Minimum         
*Frontage                    50 feet    
Lot Area                     10,000 square feet 
Lot Width                    50 feet    
Front Yard Setback      20 feet 
Side Yard dwelling to
dwelling Setback         30 feet        
Rear Yard Setback       10 feet 

c.  An ARC development shall not be located within a five thousand (5000) foot radius from another ARC development.

*The minimum frontage requirement and minimum front yard requirement only applies to the street that will serve as access to said lot.

18.5     Number of Dwelling Units:

a.  The maximum number of ARC dwelling units in the Town of Raynham shall be limited to a number equivalent to seven and half percent (7.5%) of the existing single-family residential housing units (excluding ARC units) located in the Town of Raynham as of the date of the filing of the ARC special permit application.  The number of single-family residential housing units for the purpose of this By-Law
shall be the number of single family residential housing units (excluding ARC units) determined by the Board of Assessors as of January 1 of each calendar year, plus the total number of said housing units for which occupancy permits have been issued from January 1 to the date of the filing of the special permit application.  

18.6     Streets and Utilities:

All streets in the ARC shall be private ways that meet the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land in Raynham as most recently amended.  All infrastructure including but not limited to sewage, drainage facilities, and utilities shall be designed and constructed in accordance with all applicable federal and Massachusetts statues and regulations, Raynham bylaws, all Town of Raynham Rules and Regulations and the North or Center Water District Rules and Regulations, as the case may be, promulgated by the various Raynham Boards and Commissions.

18.7    Conditions:

Any plan approved as an ARC must contain or refer to recorded covenants regarding each of the following:

a.  The ARC must have a Homeowners Association, whose Homeowners Association documents and bylaws must be approved by the Raynham Planning Board through Town Counsel.  The bylaws must contain language which enforces the 55 and over age restriction and all deed restrictions.  
b.  The streets within the ARC shall permanently remain private, and they shall not be extended.  The Homeowners Association shall maintain all streets within an ARC.  The ways shall not be proposed for acceptance as a public street upon completion and shall be private ways in perpetuity.

c.  The lots shall obtain access from the private ways if, and only if, ownership of the lot provides automatic membership in a Homeowners’ Association, which is responsible for all maintenance and snow removal of or from the private way.  The Homeowners’ Association or entity shall retain all rights to the private ways.

d.  Perpetual easements in favor of all appropriate utility providers, including but not limited to water, sewer, cable, gas, telephone, shall be granted to allow access to and maintenance of public utilities as appropriate, prior to Planning Board endorsement of the definitive subdivision plan.

e.  No recreational vehicles, campers, non-motorized or motorized boats, trailers or the like shall be parked or stored at an ARC home.  The ARC development must provide a reasonable storage area for recreational vehicles, campers, non-motorized or motorized boats. This area shall be screened from residential properties within and adjacent to the ARC.

f.  Each unit shall not have more than two (2) registered vehicles parked in the driveway of an ARC unit.  No unregistered vehicles shall be parked in the driveway of an ARC unit.  No on-street parking is allowed on an ARC roadway.

g.  Upon the approval of the Planning Board and the Fire Chief, common driveways may be used in an ARC.  Common driveways must be placed only on the lots serviced by the common driveways.

h. An ARC development shall provide visitor parking at rate of .5 parking spaces per unit.  If an ARC development has clubhouse parking then the clubhouse parking will fulfill the visitor-parking requirement.  If the ARC development does not have a clubhouse with parking then the ARC development shall provide a visitor parking lot.

i.  The main entrance to the ARC shall be a boulevard with no individual driveways off of the first two hundred (200) feet of the entrance.

18.8     Common Land Requirements:

In an ARC, at least twenty (20) percent of the total tract area shall be set aside as Common Land for use by the ARC residents and their guests.  Common land shall be planned as large, contiguous parcels whenever possible.  The following additional requirements shall apply:

a.  Not more than thirty (30) percent of the required common land shall consist of bordering vegetated wetlands as defined in M.G.L., Chapter 131 and the regulations promulgated thereunder, as most recently amended.

b.  Common Land may be set-aside in more than one parcel provided that the size, shape and location of such parcels are suitable for the designated uses as allowed by the Planning Board.

c.  The Common Land shall include adequate upland access from a private way or ways within the ARC.

18.9     Use of Common Land:

a. The Common Land shall be dedicated and used for natural resource protection, passive and active recreation, park purposes, outdoor education, agriculture, horticulture, forestry, or for any combination of such uses.  The Planning Board shall have the authority to approve or disapprove particular uses proposed for the Common Land, which are not delineated herein.

b.  The Common Land may be subject to easements for the construction, maintenance, and repair of utility and drainage facilities serving the ARC or adjacent parcels.

c.  Not more than twenty (20) percent of the Common Land shall be covered by man-made impervious surfaces.  Natural looking drainage areas shall not be included in the percentage man-made impervious surfaces.

18.10   Ownership of Common Land:

a.  The Common Land shall be conveyed at no cost to a corporation or trust owned by the owners of the dwelling units within an ARC (Homeowners Association) and may be placed under a conservation restriction.  Ownership of the       appropriate percentage of the common land shall pass with conveyance of the lots or residential units.  The developer is
responsible for the maintenance of the common land and other facilities to be held in common until such time as the Homeowners’ Association is capable of assuming such responsibility.  Thereafter, the members of the association shall share the cost of maintaining the common land and any other common facilities.  The Planning Board shall approve the form of ownership and the documentation creating the Common Land prior to approval of a special permit.

b. A restriction may be required that must be recorded to prevent future residential development of said parcel(s). Said restriction shall not apply to that portion of the common land used for community facilities.  If a conservation restriction is used it shall be in accordance with Massachusetts General Law Chapter 184, Section 31-33 as most recently amended.  Restrictions shall provide for periodic inspection of the common land by the Town, if necessary.  Such restriction shall be submitted to the Planning Board prior to approval of the project and shall be recorded at the Registry of Deeds/Land Court prior to the conveyance of any building lot.  A management plan may be required by the Planning Board, which describes how existing woods, fields, meadows or other natural areas shall be maintained in accordance with good conservation practices.  Such management plan shall be submitted to the Planning Board prior to approval, if required.

18.11   Site Community Standards:

a.  Within the ARC, adequate access shall be provided to each dwelling unit; said access shall be convenient and appropriate for residents and emergency services.

b.   To the greatest extent possible, open spaces, house sites, streets and house lots shall be designed with due respect to natural landscape features, scenic views, topography, soils, and natural drainage patterns.

c.  All utilities shall be installed underground.

d.   An ARC must provide, as part of the Common Land, a screening zone along its entire perimeter.  The screening shall be seventy-five (75) feet in width to all abutting properties that are either zoned residential or currently having a residential use.  In all other cases, at the discretion of The Planning Board, the screening may be reduced to not less than twenty-five (25) feet.  The screening shall not contain any structures and shall be left in its natural state; however, the screening zone may be used for the placement of utility easements and/or primary roadway servicing the ARC.  The primary roadway shall not be within seventy-five (75) feet of a residential property.  The Planning Board shall require that the screening provide visual screening.  The screening shall include natural vegetation, plantings, walls, fences or vegetated earthen berm to provide a visual screening barrier between the development and the abutting properties.  

e.  Within the ARC, there shall be Community Facilities provided, which shall be available to all residents and their guests.

f.   The sewer mains, hydrants, and water mains within the private right-of-way shall be owned by the Town of Raynham, Raynham Center Water District or North Raynham Water District, as the case may be, and the appropriate easements shall be granted to the Town of Raynham, Raynham Center Water District or North Raynham Water District, as the case may be, within the private ways so that they may service and maintain their property.

g.   The ARC shall conform to the requirements for a self-contained retirement community as established by Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 151B, Section 4, together with any amendment thereto.

18.12   Application Process:

The application process for Adult Retirement Community Special Permit is comprised of three steps, as outlined below:

18.12.1   Pre-submission Meeting:

Prior to submission of the special permit application to the Planning Board, the applicant is required to meet with the Town Planner to review the proposed development of the parcel of land, in order to explore general conditions involving the site and to discuss potential problems.  Proposed plans shall be professionally prepared and show the critical features of the ARC plan.
18.12.2   Application for Special Permit and Concept Plan/Preliminary Plan:

a.  A concept plan/preliminary plan shall be submitted to the Planning Board. Such plan shall be prepared and stamped by a civil engineer or land surveyor who is registered in Massachusetts.  The concept plan/preliminary plan shall meet all the requirements of a preliminary plan as specified in the Raynham Subdivision Rules and Regulations, except as modified by the provision of this article.  It shall also contain the following information:

b.   Location of the proposed private ways, building lots, dwellings, and common land layout and uses;

c.   A concept plan/preliminary plan shall have a wetland line approved by the Conservation Commission and accurate perimeter plan.

d.   The applicant shall file with the Planning Board the concept plan/preliminary plan, and the Planning Board shall notify all parties in interest as that term is defined in M.G.L. c. 40A Section 11 of the time and place of the public meeting at which the concept plan/preliminary plan will be reviewed.  If the concept/preliminary plan is approved by the Planning Board for an Adult Retirement Community development, the Applicant shall submit a Special Permit application in conformance with the Planning Board Rules and Regulations Governing the Issuance of a Special Permit.  The Applicant shall at the same time submit to the Planning Board a definitive plan in conformance with the latest edition of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Subdivision of Land, Raynham, MA, except as modified by the provisions of this article.

e.   In exercising its jurisdiction under this Section, the Planning Board shall conform to all requirements and procedures applicable to a Special Permit Granting Authority when deciding requests for Special Permits under Massachusetts General Laws, Chapter 40A, as amended, including the requirements therein for public notice and hearings.

f.   Public hearings for the Special Permit and Definitive Plan will be held concurrently when time requirements permit.  In such an event, the hearing notice and a statement at the public hearing shall clearly identify both purposes and shall comply with the applicable requirements of General Laws, Chapter 40A and Chapter 41, as amended.  The Planning Board shall act separately on the Special Permit application and the Definitive Plan.  The denial of the Special Permit shall preclude the approval of the Definitive Plan of an Adult Retirement Community development, but the grant of a Special Permit does not require the approval of the Definitive Plan.  Each action may include conditions and modifications.

g.   Concurrent hearings and action on the Adult Retirement Community development Special Permit and the Definitive Subdivision Plan simplify the procedure and reduce costs.  Such concurrent proceedings shall be utilized whenever practicable.

18.13   Planning Board Approval:

The Planning Board may grant a Special Permit for an ARC if it finds that the ARC:

a.  Is consistent with the general purpose and objectives of this by-law;

b.  Is in harmony with the existing and probable future uses of the area
           and with the character of the surrounding area and neighborhood;

c.  Is consistent with the purposes of this section 18.1; and

d.  Has a proposed layout of private ways, lots and structures which are
 designed in harmony with the intent and purpose of this bylaw; and,

e.  Has a proposed layout and use of the Common Land which is appropriate
          in relation to the proposed dwelling units in the ARC, adjoining open   
           space, topography, soils, and other characteristics of the tract of land in
          question; and,
f.  Complies with the requirements of this bylaw, other applicable requirements of the Zoning By-laws and any regulations and guidelines promulgated thereunder and where applicable, the construction and design standards of the Raynham Subdivision Rules and Regulations; and

18.14   Special Permit Conditions:

As a condition of approval, the Planning Board may require such changes in the proposed development plans and may impose such conditions and safeguards, as it deems necessary to secure the objectives of this by-law and to protect the health, safety and welfare of the inhabitants of the neighborhood and of the Town of Raynham.

18.15   Change in Plans after Grant of Special Permit:

No change in any aspect of the approved definitive subdivision plans shall be permitted unless first approved in writing by the Planning Board.  A new special permit application and a definitive subdivision plan amendment shall be required if the Planning Board determines any proposed change in the definitive subdivision plans to be substantial.

18.16   Enforcement:

The Building Commissioner under Article 2: Administration of the Raynham Zoning Bylaws may enforce the 55-over restriction on the homeowner(s) violating the provisions of Article 18: Adult Retirement Community and/or the homeowners’ association associated with the ARC.  

18.17   Phasing:

When an Adult Retirement Community is granted a special permit from the Planning Board through this section, the Planning Board may exempt an ARC from the provisions of Article 16: Subdivision Phasing.  

Town of Raynham 558 South Main St., Raynham, MA 02767
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