Village Centers Overlay District (VCOD)

(formerly the Town Center Overlay District - TCOD)

The Village Centers Overlay District (VCOD) zoning proposal was overwhelmingly approved at the October 22, 2012 Special Town Meeting. The VCOD is the culmination of years of work and addresses a segment of Route 28 that has long been viewed as an economic growth center. The purpose of the (VCOD) is to provide incentives for economic development that will generate revenue for the Town and promote year round tourism and employment, while requiring strict design standards that reinforce Yarmouth’s community character.

The VCOD runs along Route 28 from the Winslow Gray Road area to the west, to Lyman Lane to the east, and establishes four (4) village centers with varying design elements and uses.
  • Village Center 1 – Parkers River Gateway: Enhances the character of Parker’s River, promotes public recreational activities and creates a mix of uses in a village setting.
  • Village Center 2 – Mixed Residential: Residential uses with a mix of compatible, smaller commercial uses that encourage people to live, work and shop in the area.
  • Village Center 3 – Family Destination and Entertainment: Create opportunities for year-round family-oriented activities that are appealing to residents and visitors, and which will create jobs for local residents.
  • Village Center 4 – Year-Round Services: Primarily commercial, with uses that support year-round residents.
The VCOD motivates investment by allowing types of development not available in the underlying zoning, such as reductions in dimensional standards, increased lot coverage and building heights, the flexibility to have mixed uses on one site and allowing for reduced and shared parking. In exchange for these benefits, the property owners are required to meet strict design standards that require traditional Cape Cod style architecture and promote good site design principals. These principals include defining the streetscape by bringing buildings closer to the street, providing sidewalks, street trees and pedestrian level lighting; reducing curb cuts; locating parking to the rear and side of buildings; promoting internal connections between parcels; and landscaping buffers.

The Planning Board and VCOD Ad Hoc committee have worked diligently for the past year and conducted a significant amount of outreach to residents, property owners, town staff and other stakeholders. The resulting bylaw incorporates a great deal of compromise. This public outreach helped garner community support for the bylaw, which was unanimously supported by the Planning Board, the Board of Selectmen, and the Finance Committee.

The Planning Board encourages any property owners within the four villages to come into the Planning Department to learn more about developing or redeveloping their property under the VCOD.

Also passed at the October 22, 2012 Special Town Meeting was the downzoning of two areas from B1 business zone to R25 residential zone. These areas included properties off Pawkannawkut Drive and a larger area south of Route 28 in the general area of Dayton Road to Evergreen and Spruce Streets.

Although passed at the Special Town Meeting, all zoning amendments need to be approved by the Attorney General (AG). AG approval is currently pending.

To learn more about the VCOD, please click on the following link which includes the Planning Board presentation at their formal Public Hearing on October 10, 2012.

For more information or to provide comments, please contact Kathy Williams, Town Planner, at or at 508-398-2231, Ext 1276.

Related Documents

Zoning Bylaw

Zoning Map

VCOD Summary


Draft Operational Rules of the Yarmouth Planning Board

10/22/12 Planning Board Powerpoint Presentation at Special Town Meeting