Zoning Initiatives & Proposed Town Meeting Warrant Articles
Zoning is the process of dividing land in a municipality into zones in which certain land uses are permitted or prohibited. The type of zone determines whether permission for a given development is granted. The Town is divided into zones within which various uses are permitted. Zoning specifies the number and types of uses permitted in each zoning area such as residential, agricultural, commercial, and industrial. Massachusetts General Law (MGL) Chapter 40A, known as the Zoning Act, gives cities and towns the authority to adopt ordinances and bylaws to regulate the use of land, buildings and structures.
Zoning in Grafton
The current Zoning By-Law and Zoning Map were adopted at Town Meeting on May 12, 1986 and have since been amended throughout the years.
Grafton is divided into nine primary zones; Residential, Low Density (R-40), Residential, Medium Density (R-20), Residential, Multi-Family (R-MF), Agriculture (A), Neighborhood Business (NB), Community Business (CB), Office / Light Industrial (OLI), Industrial (I) and Village Mixed Use (VMU). In addition, there are a total of six overlay districts; Campus Development (CDO), Chapter 43D Priority Development (PDSOD), Fisherville Smart Growth (FSGOD), Flood Plain (FP), North Grafton Transit Village (NGTVOG) and Water Supply Protection (WSPO), which additionally impact the types of uses allowed in those areas. Section 220.127.116.11 of the Zoning By-law outlines a wide range of allowed or conditionally permitted uses per zone.
View the current Zoning Map Amended 2020-06-20 (PDF).
Planning Board Duties Relating to Zoning Changes
The Planning Board holds public hearings and makes recommendations on proposed zoning amendments. State Law (MGL 40A, Section 5) requires that the Planning Board conduct a public hearing and present its report to Town Meeting on all proposed zoning amendments which have been placed on the Town Meeting Warrant. A two-thirds vote of Town Meeting is required to pass zoning amendments.