What is a Subdivision?
A subdivision is the division of a tract of land into two or more lots which usually requires the creation of one or more roads to provide legal frontage and access for the lots. Prior to submitting a definitive subdivision plan, an applicant may submit a preliminary subdivision plan for review by the Board and its consultants.
The Planning and Economic Development Board, in a public hearing, reviews subdivision plans. Notice of public hearings is given in the Milford Daily News and and is mailed to abutters within 300 feet of the site. Conventional subdivision plans consist of lots that meet the minimum requirements for area, road frontage, and other criteria specified in the Medway Zoning Bylaw such as lot shape factor and percentage of uplands. The Planning and Economic Development Board reviews conventional subdivision plans to ensure that all lots meet these requirements and that the proposed new roads, drainage, utilities and lots being created are adequately designed as specified in the Subdivision Rules and Regulations. If all the criteria are met, the Planning and Economic Development Board must approve a definitive subdivision plan.
What is an “Approval Not Required” (ANR) plan?
An “Approval Not Required” (ANR) plan refers to the division of land that already has frontage along an existing road. An ANR plan is also referred to as an 81-P Plan or a Form A plan. State law provides that any proposed lot which is provided suitabel access and which meets minimum frontage requirements on an existing public way which the Planning and Economic Development Board determines to be adequate does not need official subdivision approval by the Planning and Economic Development office. Instead, such lots are shown on an ANR plan that is subject to the Planning and Economic Development Board’s endorsement that “subdivision approval is not required.”
When the Board considers an ANR plan for a building lot, it first determines whether the plan shows a lot with adequate area and road frontage and next determines whether the existing road frontage is adequate and whether it provides adequate access to the lot. If these conditions are met, state law requires a Planning and Economic Development Board, without notification of abutters or a public hearing, to endorse the ANR plan with a notation that "subdivision approval is not required." An ANR plan may also be submitted to show changes to property lines between lots or parcels even if these parcels do not meet the minimum requirements for building lots. ANR plans are recorded at the Norfolk County Registry of Deeds.
Why do some residential developments also need a special permit?
Certain provisions of the Medway Zoning Bylaw allow for residential developments with smaller lots sizes and less road frontage than what is required for a conventional subdivision. These provisions can only be used if the Planning and Economic Development Board grants a special permit to the applicant. The Board may grant the special permit after holding a public hearing and preparing written findings that the proposed plan will not have adverse effects on the town or the neighborhood.
Special permits are required for:
- Adult Retirement Community Planned Unit Developments (ARCPUD)
- Open Space Residential Developments (OSRD) – Plans submitted under the OSRD provisions of the Zoning Bylaw generally allow the applicant to create the same number of lots as could be created under conventional rules but with smaller lot sizes and less frontage.
In return for these concessions, these developments are required to set aside and permanently restrict significant open space. In an ARCPUD, 10% of the dwelling units must be “affordable” (as defined by state law).
What are the Subdivision Rules and Regulations?
The Subdivision Rules and Regulations establish application procedures, performance guarantee requirements and construction standards for new subdivisions. Medway’s Subdivision Rules and Regulations provide the guidelines to developers and engineers to prepare acceptable plans. The Board can waive the strict applicability of the Subdivision Rules and Regulations if, in the opinion of the Board and its consultants, the waivers and plan modifications do not have an adverse impact on the design, safety, serviceability, or aesthetics of the subdivision AND are in the best interests of hte Town of Medway.
The Subdivision Rules and Regulations are prepared and approved by a majority vote of the Planning and Economic Development Board after a public hearing has been held. They may also be modified by the same process.
How does the Planning and Economic Development Board ensure satisfactory completion of subdivision developments?
The Planning and Economic Development Board holds performance bonds to guarantee satisfactory construction of subdivision roads, infrastructure and drainage systems. The Board releases lots for sale and building permits only when an acceptable performance bond is in place. As work is completed, the Board may reduce the amount of funds held in the bond. The Board will not vote to release the bond until all work is completed to the satisfaction of the Board, the Town’s consulting engineer and the Department of Public Services and after the improvements are exposed to one full winter.