4.3 GC – General Commercial

4.3.A Purpose

The purpose of the General Commercial Zone is to maintain and enhance areas containing commercial uses that help to meet the needs of people who live, work, and visit Groton.

4.3.B Principal Uses Permitted By Zoning / Building Permit (Staff)

Farmer's market as a temporary use, a seasonal use, or a permanent use.

4.3.C Principal Uses Permitted By Site Plan Approval (Commission or City Planner)

  • Retail businesses as defined in these Regulations.
  • A licensed medical marijuana dispensary.
  • Automotive supply stores.
  • Eating and/or drinking establishments including the serving of alcoholic beverages, either as a principal or accessory use.
  • Business services, including but not limited to banks, credit unions, loan companies and other financial institutions, real estate and insurance agencies, utility offices, government.
  • Business and professional offices.
  • Personal service establishments as defined in these Regulations.
  • Dry cleaning and laundry pickup stations where the processing is done elsewhere.
  • Group daycare homes and child daycare centers subject to the requirements of Section 6.4.
  • Repair services as defined in these Regulations but specifically excluding boat repair, marine repair, machinery repair, outside repair, and the like.
  • Computer centers.
  • Telecommunication facilities, subject to the requirements of Section 6.12 of these Regulations.
  • Artist's studios and galleries.
  • Cultural/Historic Memorial Parklet of 5 acres or less of passive recreation with no active recreation or commercial uses, permanently accessible to the public; temporary or special events are permitted subject to approval by staff.

4.3.D Principal Uses Permitted By Special Permit Approval & Site Plan Approval (Commission)

  • Hotels and motels.
  • Boarding, rooming, or lodging houses.
  • Bed and breakfast establishments, subject to the requirements of Section 6.5 of these Regulations.
  • Gasoline stations, motor vehicle dealerships, and motor vehicle repair and/or service garages, and other similar automotive uses, as defined by State Statute subject to the conditions set forth in Section 6.6 of these Regulations.
  • Drive-in type establishments, including but not limited to, restaurants, car washes, beverage distributors, banks, theaters, and other similar establishments primarily designed to provide drive-in facilities.
  • Retail sale of alcoholic liquor.
  • Commercial recreation and entertainment facilities, including but not limited to billiard rooms, bowling alleys, skating rinks, swimming pools, night clubs, theaters, amusement centers, and other similar facilities.
  • Mixed use buildings containing dwelling units and permitted businesses and services provided business and service uses, excluding offices, shall only be permitted on the first floor and/or basement levels; and no mixed building shall contain more than two dwelling units.
  • Parking lots and garages in accordance with Section 7.1 of these Regulations.
  • Clubs, lodges, or associations.
  • Public buildings.
  • Public utility buildings and facilities.
  • Mortuary and funeral homes.
  • A boatyard for building, storing, repairing, selling, or servicing boats which may include the following as an accessory use: office for the sale of marine equipment or products, dockside facilities for dispensing fuel, restroom and laundry facilities to serve overnight patrons. Furthermore, adequate lanes must be provided to allow access and egress throughout the boatyard for fire trucks.
  • Docks and other marine-related facilities.
  • Taxi services facility.
  • Community Residential Counseling Facilities, in accordance with Section 6.8 of these Regulations.
  • Halfway houses, in accordance with Section 6.7 of these Regulations.
  • Vocational Training Facilities for persons with physical and developmental disabilities in accordance with Section 6.9 of these Regulations.
  • Micro-brewery-distillery-winery as a principal use provided that:
    • Such use(s) shall not occupy more than 3,000 SF of floor area for production.
    • Such facility may include a tasting/retail area in total not to exceed twenty-five % (25%) of the gross floor area.
    • The Commission may limit the hours that the micro-brewery-distillery-winery operation is open to the public.
    • Production shall be limited to not more than 10,000 barrels annually in the case of beer, and/or not more than 10,000 gallons annually of wine or spirits, or a combination thereof.
    • The facility shall maintain production records which shall be subject to inspection by the Zoning and Building Official for compliance with the foregoing provisions.
    • Prior to a zoning compliance permit being issued, the Applicant shall demonstrate compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations, and shall have obtained all permits required thereunder.

4.3.E Permitted Accessory Buildings, Structures & Uses

  • Other accessory buildings and uses which are clearly subordinate and customarily incidental to and located on the same lot with the principal use, and that will not be hazardous to the public health, safety, and welfare.
  • Accessory accommodations for watchmen, caretakers, or custodians in conjunction with a principal use on the same premises.
  • Assembling, converting, altering, finishing, cleaning, or other similar processing of products which is clearing incidental and customarily subordinate to a principal use, and where goods so produced and/or processed are sold from or used on the premises; provided the area used for such purposes shall be within a completely enclosed building.
  • Accessory outside storage of equipment, merchandise, materials, and supplies which is clearly subordinate and customarily incidental to a principal use and where goods so stored are sold from or used on the premises; provided that the area used for outside storage shall be effectively screened by appropriate structures, fencing, walls, or landscaping of suitable type, density, and height.
  • Micro-brewery-distillery-winery as an accessory use to a restaurant or drinking establishment provided that:
    • Such use shall only be authorized through Special Permit Approval and Site Plan Approval by the Commission.
    • The combined gross floor area of the principal use and the accessory use shall not exceed 3,000 SF.
    • The area devoted to production shall not exceed twenty-five (25%)% of the gross floor area.
    • Parking for both the principal use and the accessory use shall be established in accordance with Section 7.1.
    • The Commission may limit the hours that the micro-brewery-distillery-winery operation is open to the public to the same hours as the principal use.
    • Production shall be limited to not more than 10,000 barrels annually in the case of beer, and/or not more than 10,000 gallons annually of wine or spirits, or a combination thereof.
    • The facility shall maintain production records which shall be subject to inspection by the Zoning and Building Official for compliance with the foregoing provisions.
    • Prior to a zoning compliance permit being issued, the Applicant shall demonstrate compliance with State and Federal laws and regulations, and shall have obtained all permits required thereunder.
  • Temporary outdoor events subject to approval by the City Planner and Police Department and provided that placement of merchandise or other objects does not obstruct the sidewalk, affect public safety, or unreasonably reduce parking.

4.3.F Dimensional Standards

Name

General Commercial District

Minimum Lot Area4,000 square feet
Minimum Lot WidthN/A
Minimum Front Yard SetbackNo requirement, except when provided, there shall be a minimum front yard setback of 15 feet.
Minimum Side Yard SetbackNo requirement, except

8 feet where the lot abuts a residential zone

Minimum Rear Yard Setback15 feet where the lot abuts a residential zone

Otherwise no requirement, except when provided, there shall be a minimum rear yard setback of 15 feet

Maximum Building Coverage70%
Maximum Building Height35 feet

Notes

Section 8.3 of the Regulations may provide flexibility related to some of these dimensional standards.