7.11 Natural, Recreational & Agricultural
.1 Urban Open Space:
(a) Urban Open Space is defined as all areas not divided into private or civic building lots, streets, right-of-way, parking or easements.
(b) Urban Open Space shall be planned and improved, accessible and usable by persons living nearby. Improved shall mean cleared of underbrush and debris and may contain one or more of the following improvements: landscaping, walls, fences, walks, statues, fountains, ball fields, and/or playground equipment. Walls and fences shall be made of brick, stone, wrought iron, or wood and shall not exceed 3.5 feet in height. (exceptions: fences used in conjunction with ball fields.) Urban Open Space shall conform to one of the Urban Open Space types described in this section, or to a minor variation of same.
(c) In a major subdivisions and multi-building developments in all zoning districts except Rural, urban open space shall be integrated into the design of the site. Such open space, whether on-site or off-site, shall be located within 1/4 mile of each building lot as measured along the right-of-way of streets providing access between the two. In large-lot subdivisions such urban open space shall be integrated into the design of the site so that, whether located on-site or off-site, such open space is located within 1/2 mile of all building lots, as measured along the rights-of-way of streets providing access between the two.
(d) Urban Open Space features should provide focal points for the neighborhood. A central square or green, for example, may comprise a majority of the open space. There should be a hierarchy of open space within new neighborhoods to serve the needs of all residents.
(e) No more than twenty-five (25)% of each above ground water quality/quantity treatment system (BMP) within an urban open space area can be used. Any above ground BMPs located within an Urban Open Space must add to the overall quality of the open space, rather than detract from area devoted to BMP. To exceed twenty-five (25)% limitation a design may be submitted to the Planning Board for review and approval. Such BMP design shall incorporate a combination of the following design elements; but not limited to, pathways, boardwalks, ponds with fountains, and landscape material. Underground BMPs are not limited.
(f) Urban Open Space types include Community Garden, Forecourt, Green, Greenbelt, Park, Parkway, Pedestrian Passage, Plaza, Promenade, Square, and Woonerf, and are characterized as described below or to a minor variation of the same.
.2 Agricultural Open Space: shall include areas set aside for agricultural purposes such as livestock, growing fruits, vegetables, grains, forestry, etc. The goals of the agricultural open space are as follows:
(a) To conserve areas of the town with productive soils for continued agricultural use by preserving large blocks of land large enough to allow for efficient operations.
(b) To minimize site disturbance and erosion through retention of existing vegetation and avoiding development in sensitive farmland areas.
(c) To protect scenic views and elements of the town's rural character, and to minimize perceived density by minimizing views of new development from existing roads.
(d) To preserve and maintain historic and archaeological sites and structures that serve as significant visible reminders of the town's social and architectural history.
.3 Common Open Space: shall include all other areas that are not suitable within the other open space categories. These area can include, but are not limited to the following:
(a) Entryway monumentation to include the landscaped area, berm (if applicable)
(b) Water quality/quantity feature, know as Best Management Practices (BMPs): The required maintenance easement shall be included as common open space. BMPs include, but are not limited to, sand filters, detention ponds, dry ponds, rain gardens, swales, and level spreaders.
.4 Natural Open Space: shall include areas where natural features, such as topography, rock outcroppings, hills and valleys are not altered. Only minimal thinning of vegetation shall be permitted to promote overall health of the natural area in accordance with the tree protection regulations of Article 7. The goals of natural open space are as follows:
(a) To conserve areas of the town with productive soils for forestry use by preserving large blocks of land large enough to allow for efficient operations.
(b) To encourage the maintenance and enhancement of habitat for various forms of wildlife and to create new woodlands through natural succession and reforestation where appropriate.
(c) To minimize sire disturbance and erosion through retention of existing vegetation and avoiding development in sensitive areas.
(d) To conserve open land, including those areas containing unique and sensitive features such as natural areas and wildlife habitats, streams and creeks, wetlands and floodways.
(e) To protect scenic views and elements of the town's rural character, and to minimize perceived density by minimizing views of new development from existing roads.
.5 Recreational Open Space: shall include areas where natural features may be altered to provide for recreational activities without impacting the impervious quality of the soil except as provided herein. These activities may include ballfields, equestrian trails, picnicking, primitive camping, golf courses, green spaces (manicured or not), etc. Structures related to the recreation space may count towards open space provided they to not create an impervious area over 100 square feet. The goals of recreational open space are as follows:
(a) To preserve and maintain historic and archaeological site and structures that serve as significant visible reminders of the town's social and architectural history.
(b) To provide for active and passive recreational needs of town residents, including implementation of associated town long range plans.