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This online version of the Zoning Ordinance has not been checked for accuracy. Neither the Town of Wilton nor the Zoning Board can be responsible for the consequences of any action taken on the basis of any errors in the online text. The official text of the Wilton Zoning Ordinance is available in printed form at the Wilton town offices, and as a PDF file on the Town of Wilton web site.

This is the 2018 version of the Zoning Ordinance, including all amendments up to and including those passed by Town Meeting in March, 2018, but not any amendments passed in 2019 or later.

9A.0 Research and Office Park District (Adopted March 2002.)

9A.1 Purpose.
9A.2 Definitions.
9A.3 District Location.
9A.4 Permitted Uses.
9A.5 Research and Office Park Lot Requirements.
9A.6 Conditions for Use of Area Water Supply.
9A.7 Performance Standards.
9A.8 Procedures.

9A.1 Purpose.

The Research and Office Park District is an overlay district that allows research and development and related uses in rural parts of the Town where they would not otherwise be permitted. The purpose of the district is to:

  1. Encourage activities in a campus-like setting which will be both an aesthetic and an economic asset to the Town;
  2. Attract research, office, and light manufacturing activities which do not need to be centrally located in an industrial district, and whose developers prefer a rural setting;
  3. Preclude possible adverse effects on the local neighborhood and rural environment through a combination of very large lot sizes, low densities, rigorous performance standards, restricted traffic and tractor-trailer volumes, and aesthetic standards; and
  4. Preserve the natural and rural environments through the reservation of the majority of the area of developed lots as agricultural or conservation land.

Regulations and standards have been established to protect the residential and/or agricultural character of the district and are reasonable in exchange for the privilege of a Research and Office Park that would otherwise not be permitted in this district.

9A.1.1 Overlay District Principles. The Research and Office Park District is an overlay district that shall be used along with underlying zoning districts, as established in this ordinance. This district establishes special development standards and guidelines beyond those of the underlying zoning designation for the development of Research and Office Parks. The standards established in this Section shall only apply to Research and Office Parks with an approved Research and Office Park Plan, as described herein. If a development is not a Research and Office Park and a Research and Office Park Plan has not been approved, the standards of the underlying zoning district shall apply. Lots that are included in the Research and Office Park District but are not part of a Research and Office Park may be developed or used in any manner consistent with their underlying zoning district.

9A.2 Definitions.

9A.2.1 Heavy Manufacturing. The manufacture or compounding process of raw materials or products predominantly from extracted or raw materials. These activities may necessitate the storage of large volumes of hazardous, flammable, toxic or explosive materials needed for the manufacturing process.

9A.2.2 Light Manufacturing. The manufacture, predominantly from previously prepared materials, of finished products or parts, including processing, fabrication, assembly, treatment and packaging of such products, and incidental storage, sales and distribution of such products, but excluding raw materials industrial processing. These activities do not necessitate the storage of large volumes of hazardous, flammable, toxic matter or explosive materials needed for the manufacturing process. These activities do not include manufacturing processes predominantly comprised of hazardous, flammable, toxic or explosive materials.

9A.2.3 Lot Coverage. A measure of intensity of land use that represents the portion of a site that is impervious. This portion includes, but is not limited to, all areas covered by buildings, parking structures, driveways, roads, sidewalks and any area of concrete asphalt, but does not include buffered setback areas, lawns, recreational areas, or agricultural uses.

9A.2.4 Office. Administrative, executive, professional, research or similar organizations having only limited contact with the public, provided that no merchandise or merchandising services are sold on the premises, except such as are incidental or accessory to the principal permissible use.

9A.2.5 Principal Use. The primary use of any lot.

9A.2.6 Research Laboratory. Administrative, engineering, scientific research, design or experimentation organizations where product testing is an integral part of the operation and goods or products may be manufactured as necessary for testing, evaluation and test marketing.

9A.2.7 Research and Office Park. An area of minimum contiguous size, as specified by this ordinance, to be planned, developed, operated, and maintained according to a common Research and Office Park Plan as a single entity and containing one or more structures to accommodate principal uses or a combination of such uses, and appurtenant common areas and secondary uses.

9A.2.8 Research and Office Park Plan. A master land use plan that is intended to guide growth and development of a Research and Office Park over a number of years or in phases.

9A.2.9 Research and Development (R & D) A business that engages in research, or research and development, of innovative ideas in technology-intensive fields. Examples include, but is not limited to, laboratories, scientific, medical, chemical, applied physics, mechanical, electronic, biological, genetic or other similar experimental research, product development or testing facilities. Development and construction of prototypes may be associated with this use.

9A.2.10 Secondary Use. A structure or use that: (1) is subordinate in the area, extent, and purpose to the principal use; (2) contributes to the comfort, convenience or necessity of the principal use; and (3) is located on the same lot or Research and Office Park as the principal use.

9A.3 District Location.

The Research and Office Park District encompasses the following areas within the Town of Wilton:

  1. The area in southwestern Wilton located west of NH Route 31. As delineated on the Town of Wilton Tax Map, this includes lots E-21, E-22, E-24 through E-26 (inclusive), E-29 through E-32 (inclusive), E-35, E-36, G-4, G-23, G-24, G-26, G-28, G-29, G-36 and G-37.
  2. The area in western Wilton bordering the Town of Temple south of NH Route 101. As delineated on the Town of Wilton Tax Map, this includes lots C-127, C-127-1, C-128-1 and C-128-3.

9A.4 Permitted Uses.

9A.4.1 Principal Uses.

A building or structure may be erected, altered or used, and a lot may be used or occupied for any of the following principal uses, provided the use meets the requirements of this ordinance.

  1. Research and development uses.
  2. Research laboratories.
  3. Light manufacturing uses.
  4. Office uses.

9A.4.2 Secondary Uses.

A building or structure may be erected, altered or used, and a lot may be used or occupied for any of the following secondary uses, provided the use meets the requirements of this ordinance and conforms to the definition of a secondary use.

  1. Support services, solely for employees of principal uses and guests of Research and Office Park occupants, which meet the following minimum requirements.
    1. Support services shall be limited to child or senior day care centers, printing services, copy services, mailing and shipping services, office supplies, banks, meeting/conference rooms, eating establishments with no drive-through facilities and secretarial/office services.
    2. Support services shall not be visible from, have direct access to, or have signage visible from public streets. The limitation on signage visibility shall not pertain to inclusion of the names of support services firms on a directory sign listing occupants of a development in this district.
    3. Space occupied by support service firms may be provided in either of the following fashions:
      1. Space may be part of a multi-purpose building or as a part of a building principally occupied by a principal use allowed in this zone.
      2. Space may be in a building exclusively occupied by one or more support service firms. There shall be no more than one (1) two-acre lot devoted to this type of building for each seventy-five (75) acres within this zone.
    4. No support services shall be allowed in a development in this zone until the total building floor space devoted to principal use exceeds fifty thousand (50,000) square feet.
    5. At no time shall the total amount of gross floor area devoted to support services exceed ten percent (10%) of the gross floor area of all buildings in the development.
    6. No building occupied in whole or in part by support services shall be less than six thousand (6,000) square feet in size.
  2. Residential uses, solely for employees of principal uses and their families, that meet the following minimum requirements:
    1. One (1) dwelling unit shall be permitted for every ten thousand (10,000) square feet of gross floor area of the principal use(s)
    2. No dwelling unit shall be less than four hundred (400) square feet per occupant.
    3. At no time shall the total amount of gross floor area devoted to residential uses exceed ten percent (10%) of the gross floor area of the principal use(s).
  3. Residential uses already in existence within lots of a development may continue, which shall be counted against the minimum requirements of 9A.4.2.b.
  4. Open space, agricultural, conservation and recreation uses, only as otherwise permitted in and subject to the conditions and restrictions applicable in the underlying zoning district.

9A.4.3 Prohibited Uses.

All uses not explicitly permitted in this Section shall be prohibited in the Research and Office Park District. Such uses shall include:

  1. Terminals, including truck or bus terminals, and other distribution facilities.
  2. Bulk storage of hazardous, flammable, toxic or explosive materials for the manufacturing process.
  3. Heavy manufacturing.
  4. Warehousing.

9A.5 Research and Office Park Lot Requirements.

All Research and Office Parks within the Research and Office Park District shall meet the following requirements.

9A.5.1 Area. A Research and Office Park shall be at least twenty-five (25) acres. No building within a Research and Office Park shall be constructed on any lot less than one (1) acre.

9A.5.2 Frontage. The Research and Office Park shall have four hundred (400) feet of combined contiguous frontage on the Class V or better road from which the development receives its primary access.

9A.5.3 Setbacks.

  1. The setback for all buildings, structures and parking areas associated with the Research and Office Park and roadways other than the Research and Office Park’s primary access road shall not be less than two hundred (200) feet from all lots that are not part of the Research and Office Park and from all public rights-of-way. This setback may be reduced to fifty (50) feet from lots in the Commercial and Industrial Districts, from lots belonging to other Research and Office Parks, or from lots whose owners consent in writing to such reduced setbacks.
  2. The setback for all buildings, structures and parking areas associated with the Research and Office Park shall not be less than twenty (20) feet from all boundaries of the lot on which it is located.

9A.5.4 Lot Coverage. Total lot coverage of a Research and Office Park shall not exceed twenty percent (20%). Total lot coverage may be increased to twenty-five percent (25%) if the total area of the Research and Office Park is from fifty (50) to one hundred (100) acres, and to thirty-five (35) percent if the total area of the Research and Office Park size is one hundred (100) acres or greater.

9A.5.5 Undeveloped Land. At least fifty percent (50%) of the total development area shall be maintained in agriculture, as conservation land, or in a natural vegetated condition.

9A.5.6 Access. There shall be one (1) primary access road leading to the development. The primary access road shall be located on NH Route 101 or NH Route 31. The primary access road may be located on a Class V or better road if: (1) the property owner(s) of the Research and Office Park is the sole owner of the entire length of frontage along that road from NH Route 101 or NH Route 31 to the access road; and (2) new traffic attributed to that Research and Office Park primarily utilizes this primary access road. One (1) additional access road located on a Class V or better road may be created for emergency purposes. Existing structures in the Research and Office Park with existing access roads may retain these roads in addition to the one (1) primary access road.

9A.5.7 Structure Height. Maximum structure height is forty-five (45) feet or three (3) stories subject to Planning Board review in accordance with the Research and Office Park Regulations and the impact of the structure height on abutters to the Research and Office Park and the natural and rural environments.

9A.5.8 Traffic. Traffic shall not significantly increase on any road other than the primary access road as a result of a Research and Office Park. Each Research and Office Park shall be permitted to generate traffic in keeping with the character of the roadway from which the use has access and egress, according to the following schedule. For the purposes of this ordinance, each entering into or exiting from the Research and Office Park onto a public road shall be counted as a trip.

Street Access Maximum Allowed Trip Generation Per
Square Feet of Gross Floor Area
NH Route 101 and NH Route 31 24/1,000 SF
All Other Class V or Better Roads 12/1,000 SF

9A.5.9 Tractor-Trailer Volume. No more than two (2) tractor-trailer trips per up to 20,000 square feet of gross floor area shall be permitted per day within a Research and Office Park. An additional two (2) tractor trailer trips shall be permitted per day for each additional 20,000 square feet of gross floor area within the Research and Office Park. For the purposes of this ordinance, each entering into or exiting from the Research and Office Park onto a public road shall be counted as a trip. No tractor-trailer shall be parked in a Research and Office Park longer than three (3) days.

9A.5.10 Parking. Off-street parking shall be provided following the standards established in the Research and Office Park Regulations.

9A.5.11 Signs. Signs shall be provided according to the standards established in Section 16.0 of this ordinance and the Research and Office Park Regulations.

9A.5.12 Building Size. The footprint of any building in a Research and Office Park shall not be greater than 20,000 square feet.

9A.6 Conditions for Use of Area Water Supply.

9A.6.1 Public Water Supply. Research and Office Parks intending to be served by the public water supply system shall be reviewed by the Planning Board to ensure that the proposed developments would not require more than ten percent (10%) of the available capacity as determined by the system's current safe yield and average daily water usage at the time of the proposed development. In any circumstance, where the Town of Wilton may require professional assis-tance or additional information to make a determination of compliance, the developer shall be required to pay the costs associated with obtaining this assistance.

9A.6.2 On-site Water Supply. In areas not served by the public water system, Research and Office Parks shall obtain their own water supply. In cases where Research and Office Parks will be utilizing private wells to supply adequate water for the uses within the development, the following performance standards shall be applied in an effort to avoid depletion of water supplies for neighboring uses:

  1. In areas determined by the United States Geological Survey (U.S.G.S) as having a high potential to yield water, proposed uses may utilize a maximum of four thousand (4,000) gallons per day (GPD) of groundwater from a drilled well.
  2. In areas determined by the U.S.G.S. as having a medium potential to yield water, proposed uses may utilize a maximum of two thousand (2,000) GPD of groundwater from a drilled well.
  3. In areas determined by the U.S.G.S. as having a low potential to yield water, proposed uses may utilize a maximum of one thousand (1,000) GPD of groundwater from a drilled well.
  4. In areas determined by the U.S.G.S. as generally yielding enough water for domestic supplies, proposed industrial uses shall be limited to a maximum of seven hundred-fifty (750) GPD of groundwater from a drilled well.

The developer may conduct additional hydrogeological studies of the site to determine the actual location and extent of the groundwater, the capacity for groundwater supplies and the impacts on surrounding groundwater users at his own cost. The Planning Board may modify the above limits based on the results of the hydrogeological testing and the determination that sustained use of the water supply will not unreasonably reduce the water supply to adjacent users.

9A.7 Performance Standards.

9A.7.1 The performance standards in Section 4.6 of this ordinance shall apply to any Research and Office Park as a whole rather than to individual lots within the development.

9A.7.2 It shall be unlawful to create, permit, allow, or maintain a noise disturbance in the Research and Office Park District. Any and all excessively annoying, loud or unusual noises or vibrations such as offend the peace and quiet of persons of ordinary sensibilities and which interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property and affect at the same time an entire neighborhood or any considerable number of persons shall be considered a noise disturbance.

9A.7.3 No outdoor storage of any material (usable or waste) shall be permitted in the Research and Office Park District, except in outdoor storage containers. Storage containers shall be screened from public view by appropriate means, such as fencing, natural buffers or as otherwise approved by the Planning Board.

9A.7.4 No lighting shall be permitted that would cause glare from a Research and Office Park onto any street, road, highway, deeded right-of-way or into any abutting property. All luminaries and lamps shall be of fully shielded design and shall not emit any direct light above a horizontal plane passing through the lowest part of the light emitting portion of the luminary or lamp.

9A.8 Procedures.

This Section is an innovative land use control as authorized by RSA 674:16, II. In accordance with RSA 674:21, II, the Wilton Planning Board is designated as the administrator of uses under this section. Before approving any developments under this Section, the Planning Board shall develop Research and Office Park Regulations that shall incorporate the standards of this Section, and any additional requirements that the Planning Board finds necessary or desirable to achieve the purposes of this Section.

9A.8.1 Approval Procedures.

  1. Elements of Approval Process. The approval process for a Research and Office Park shall include the following two elements:
    1. Approval of a Research and Office Park Plan including all lots, buildings, and uses to be incorporated in the overall development. The Research and Office Park Plan shall serve as the master land use plan for the Research and Office Park. A Research and Office Park Plan shall be approved in accordance with the provisions of the Research and Office Park Regulations. Any changes or amendments to an approved Research and Office Park Plan shall require approval of the Planning Board.
    2. Approval of a site plan for the development of any nonresidential uses, multi-family dwellings containing three (3) or more dwelling units, changes or expansions of use and any additions or alterations that change the outward appearance of a nonresidential building within the Research and Office Park. A site plan shall be approved in accordance with the provisions of the Site Plan Review Regulations. If a Research and Office Park is to be developed in phases, site plans shall be required for each phase, and separate hearings shall be held to review each site plan.
    An applicant may submit and the Planning Board may approve both of these elements concurrently.
  2. Architectural Design and Compatibility with the Neighborhood. Planning Board approval of a Research and Office Park Plan shall include the review of the exterior architectural design of all structures in the Research and Office Park in accordance with the Research and Office Park Regulations. Such review shall be considered as an element of the Research and Office Park Plan. Such review shall ensure that the Research and Office Park does not negatively affect the natural and rural environments and conforms to the purposes outlined in the Section 9A.1 of this ordinance. The Research and Office Park Plan shall include graphic renderings, photographs or three-dimensional models to depict the proposed development. In undertaking its review and approval, the Planning Board shall consider the location, alignment, and spacing of new buildings in relation to existing and proposed future buildings in the development. In addition, the Planning Board shall consider the positioning and configuration of the proposed buildings on a lot or lots, the use of required setbacks, open space and buffer mechanisms and the overall campus type layout of the development.
  3. Subsequent subdivision or consolidation of lots within a Research and Office Park shall be permissible according to the same rules applicable to subdivisions elsewhere in the Town, but no lot or portion thereof shall be removed from or added to the Research and Office Park without Planning Board approval of an amendment to the original Research and Office Park Plan.
  4. Buffers. Buffers shall ensure that the Research and Office Park has no significant visual impact on abutting uses and protects the natural and rural environments. The natural vegetative state shall be the preferred type of buffer for any Research and Office Park.

9A.8.2 Suspension or Revocation of Research and Office Park Plan Approval.

The Planning Board shall have the authority to suspend or revoke any approval granted under this section for violation of any condition of the approval, including violations of Section 9A.7 of this ordinance, which shall be implicitly incorporated in the terms of all approvals under this Section. Any such suspension or revocation must be in accordance with the procedures of RSA 676:4–a.