City of Haverhill, MA
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 255-56 Nonconformity by initial enactment or amendment.

The provisions of this article apply to nonconforming uses, structures and lots as created by the initial enactment of this chapter or by any subsequent amendment.

§ 255-57 Extension and alteration.

[Amended 6-6-1978 by Doc. 103-C]
Except as hereinafter provided, this chapter shall not apply to structures or uses lawfully in existence or lawfully begun, or to a building or special permit issued before the first publication of notice of the public hearing on such chapter by the Planning Board, but shall apply to any change or substantial extension of such use, to a building or special permit issued after the first notice of said public hearing, to any reconstruction, extension or structural change of such structure and to any alteration of a structure begun after the first notice of said public hearing to provide for its use for a substantially different manner or to a substantially greater extent where alteration, reconstruction, extension or structural change to a single- or two-family residential structure does not increase the nonconforming nature of said structure. Nonconforming structures or uses may be extended or altered, provided that no such extension or alteration shall be permitted unless there is a finding by the Board of Appeals that such change, extension or alteration shall not be substantially more detrimental than the existing nonconforming use to the neighborhood or environment in which it is sited, and further, an authorized extension or alteration shall be limited by the following:
A. 
Any nonconforming use, except for agriculture, horticulture or floriculture of any open space on a lot outside a structure or of a lot not occupied by a structure shall not be extended.
B. 
Any nonconforming principal or accessory use of a structure may be expanded up to 25% of its existing floor area.
C. 
Any nonconforming structure may be altered or expanded and the conforming use extended throughout the altered or expanded portion, provided that any resultant alteration or expansion shall not cause the structure to further violate the maximum building areas and yard regulations of the district in which it is located, and further provided that a nonconforming use, if any, is not expanded beyond that allowed in Subsection B of this section.
[Amended 10-12-1976 by Doc. 135-C]
D. 
Any nonconforming structure or portion thereof which has come into conformity shall not again become nonconforming.

§ 255-58 Residential lot of record.

A. 
Any lot lawfully laid out by plan or deed duly recorded, or any lot shown on a plan endorsed by the Planning Board with the words "approval under the Subdivision Control Law not required," or words of similar import, which complies (at the time of recording, or such endorsement, whichever is earlier) with the minimum area, frontage, width and depth requirements, if any, of this chapter and which was not held in common ownership with any adjoining land, may be built upon for single- or two-family residential use provided it has a minimum area of 5,000 square feet and a minimum frontage of 50 feet.
[Amended 6-6-1978 by Doc. 103-C]
B. 
Any increase in area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirement of this chapter shall not apply for a period of five years from its effective date or for five years after January 1, 1976, whichever is later, to a lot for single- and two-family residential use, provided that the plan for such lot was recorded or endorsed and such lot was held in common ownership with any adjoining land and conformed to the existing zoning requirements as of January 1, 1976, and had less area, frontage, width, yard or depth requirements than the newly effective zoning requirements but contained at least 7,500 square feet of area and 75 feet of frontage, and provided that said five-year period does not commence prior to January 1, 1976, and provided further that the provisions of this sentence shall not apply to more than three of such adjoining lots held in common ownership.
[Added 12-18-1979 by Doc. 270-C]

§ 255-59 Reduction or increase.

A. 
Any nonconforming lot or open space on the lot (yard, setbacks, courts or building area), if already smaller or greater, as the case may be, than that required, shall not be further reduced or increased so as to be in greater nonconformity. This provision, however, shall not apply when a portion of a lot is taken or conveyed for a public purpose.
B. 
Any off-street parking or loading spaces, if already equal to or less than the number required to serve their intended use, shall not be further reduced in number.

§ 255-60 Change.

A. 
Any nonconforming use of a structure may be changed to another nonconforming use, provided that the changed use is not a substantially different use (unless the changed use is of greater conformity) and then only with the approval of the Board.
B. 
Any nonconforming use which has been once changed to a permitted use shall not again change to another nonconforming use.
C. 
Any nonconforming lot which has come into conformity or greater conformity shall not again be changed to a nonconforming lot or a less conforming lot.

§ 255-61 Restoration.

A. 
Any nonconforming structure damaged by fire, explosion or other catastrophe up to 100% of its equalized valuation may be rebuilt or restored and used as previously or for a permitted use, provided that:
(1) 
The owner of said premises shall start operations for restoration or rebuilding on said premises within 12 months after such catastrophe.
(2) 
The buildings as restored shall be only as great in area as the original nonconforming structure.
B. 
If such a structure is damaged to the extent of 100% or more than its equalized valuation, it shall not be rebuilt or restored as a nonconforming structure nor shall it be occupied by a nonconforming use, and the building remains must be demolished and removed from the site or repaired to conform to the provisions of this chapter.

§ 255-62 Abandonment or discontinuance.

A. 
Any nonconforming use of a structure or lot which has been discontinued for a continuous period of two years or more shall not be used again except for a conforming use. For agricultural, horticultural or floricultural uses the abandonment period shall be for a five-year period of nonuse.
[Amended 6-6-1978 by Doc. 103-C]
B. 
Any nonconforming structure which has been abandoned for a continuous period of three years or more shall not be used except for a conforming use and/or converted to a conforming structure.

§ 255-63 Moving.

Any nonconforming structure shall not be removed to any other location on the lot or any other lot unless every portion of such structure, the use thereof and the lot shall be conforming.

§ 255-64 Unsafe structure.

Any structure determined to be unsafe may be restored to a safe condition provided that such work on any nonconforming structure shall not place it in greater nonconformity, and provided further that, if the cost to restore any structure shall be 100% or more of its equalized valuation, it shall be reconstructed only as a conforming structure and used only for a conforming use.