Zoning Articles

40R/Smart Growth Overlay District

The Town of Pepperell is investigating the possibility of creating a Smart Growth Overlay District (aka 40R) in the area along Lowell Road/Leighton Street and over the Senior Center parcel on Nashua Road.

The overarching goal of the proposed Smart Growth Overlay Districts is to encourage permanent supportive housing that is affordable, safe, and stable.  Adoption of a Smart Growth Overlay District will give the Town more control over the process for creating well-designed, residential development.

Designating a Smart Growth Overlay District ("SGOD/40R") is a lengthy process.  The Town must first submit a preliminary application to determine eligibility to the MA Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).  The application requires background reports on the status of the existing zoning, the potential build-out, and the capacity of the existing infrastructure (roadway, utilities and municipal services) to support new development.  The Town is also required to hold a public hearing to solicit comments on the proposed SGOD/40R as part of the designation process.  As of August 2022, all of these requirements have been met and the Town is awaiting a letter from DHCD stating that the proposed amendment to create a 40R Smart Growth Overlay District satisfies applicable statutory and regulatory requirements for preliminary eligibility.  All of the documents can be found below.

The next steps are to hold a Planning Board public hearing on the proposed zoning bylaw and design standards, and then move forward to Town Meeting on November 14, 2022.  Once adopted at Town Meeting, the Town must submit the final zoning amendment to DHCD for final review and approval.  Outside of the public hearings and meetings, the Town is continually engaging residents and other stakeholders to gather feedback and concerns about the proposed SGOD/40R.

Town Center Mixed Use Zoning District