Town of Cornwall, NY
Orange County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
It is the policy of the Town of Cornwall to provide for the continuation of nonconformities where, of themselves, such nonconformities do not endanger the public health, safety and welfare. Nonconformities are classified in order of their detriment to the public interest as follows:
(1) 
Nonconformity to the performance standards of § 158-17.
(2) 
Nonconforming junkyards, garbage dumps, open storage yards, trailers and unimproved parking areas.
(3) 
Nonconforming signs in residence districts.
(4) 
Nonconforming signs in other districts.
(5) 
Nonconforming uses in all districts.
(6) 
Buildings not in compliance with bulk regulations in all districts.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Tables of Bulk Regulations are included at the end of this chapter.
(7) 
Uses or buildings not in compliance with supplementary regulations, other than performance standards.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See § 158-21, Supplemental use regulations.
(8) 
Residential uses which are nonconforming uses for the district in which located.
(9) 
Nonconforming vacant lots of record.
B. 
Each of the classifications shall be subject to the nonconforming use regulations herein. Where the circumstance exists that multiple nonconforming classes exist for a single use or building, each of the classes shall be treated individually as set forth in these regulations. For example, the nonconforming use of a junkyard in violation of performance standards and with a nonconforming sign in a residence district shall be subject to the regulations as follows: regulation of performance standard nonconformities for violation of performance standards; regulation of junkyards for the junkyard use; and regulation of nonconforming signs for the subject sign.
A. 
It is the intent of the Town Board and it is hereby declared that failure to comply with the performance standards represents an imminent hazard to the public health, welfare and safety. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, operations or uses which violate the provisions of § 158-17 shall be terminated or brought into compliance with those regulations within two weeks of notice of such nonconformity.
B. 
In hearing any appeal from the provisions of this section, the Board of Appeals may grant relief from these provisions only upon a showing that the violation will not present an imminent hazard to human life, the public health and safety, in addition to those requirements set forth in Article IX. Any variance in the time for correction of the violation shall be the minimum, consistent with the intent of these regulations.
Each of the nonconforming uses specified herein is deemed sufficiently objectionable, undesirable and out of character in the district in which such use is located as to depreciate the value of other property and uses permitted in the district and blight the proper and orderly development and general welfare of such district and the community to the point that each of such nonconforming uses shall be terminated on or before the expiration of the specified period of time after the effective date of this chapter, which period of time is specified for the purpose of permitting the amortization of the remaining value, if any, of such use.
A. 
In any district, any legally established nonconforming use of open land, including such uses as parking lot, trailer park, junkyard or open storage yard for materials or equipment, may be continued for three years after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration of that period, such nonconforming use shall be terminated.
B. 
In any residence district (§ 158-12), any sign not of a type permitted, or of a permitted type but greater than the maximum permitted size, may be continued for one year following the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration of that period, such nonconforming use shall be terminated.
C. 
In any nonresidential district (§ 158-12), any sign not of a type permitted or greater than the maximum permitted size may be continued for a period not to exceed one year for each $15,000 of original value. In determining the period of time, the beginning date of amortization is the date such sign became nonconforming by virtue of this or any previous regulations.
A. 
A nonconforming use is any use, whether of a building or tract of land, or both, legally existing on the effective date of this chapter, which does not conform to the use regulations of the district in which it is located.
B. 
The following provisions shall apply to all uses existing on the effective date of this chapter which do not conform to the use regulations set forth in this chapter and to all uses that become nonconforming by reason of any subsequent amendment to this chapter.
C. 
Nonconforming uses (nonresidential). Nonconforming uses, other than residences, of buildings or open land, except those specified in § 158-31 herein, may be continued indefinitely, but:
(1) 
Shall not be enlarged, altered, extended, reconstructed, restored [except as in accordance with Subsection C(5) below] or placed on a different portion of the lot or parcel of land occupied by such uses on the effective date of this chapter, nor shall any external evidence of such use be increased by any means whatsoever, except if the Zoning Board of Appeals shall make a finding after a public hearing that such action would lessen any impacts associated with the nonconforming use, subject to the grant of site plan approval by the Planning Board for the same. Notwithstanding the above, any nonconforming hotel may be enlarged to an extent no greater than 25% of the ground floor area of said structure, provided that no building shall be located closer than 50 feet to any lot line. Any such extension shall be approved by the Board of Appeals.
[Amended 12-12-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
(2) 
Shall not be moved to another location where such use would be nonconforming.
(3) 
Shall not be changed to another nonconforming use without approval by the Board of Appeals, subject to a public hearing.
(4) 
Shall not be reestablished if such use has been discontinued for any reason for a period of one year or more or has been changed to or replaced by a conforming use. Intent to resume a nonconforming use shall not confer the right to do so.
(5) 
If a building containing a nonconforming use is damaged for any reason, it may be repaired but not enlarged, provided that such rebuilding is completed within one year after said damage occurs. If the restoration of such building is not completed within the said one-year period, the nonconforming use of such building shall be deemed to have been discontinued, unless such nonconforming use is carried on without interruption in the undamaged portion of said building.
A. 
A noncomplying building is any building which contains a use permitted in the district in which it is located but does not conform to the district regulations for: lot area, width or depth; front, side or rear yards; maximum height; lot coverage; or minimum livable floor area per dwelling unit.
B. 
Noncomplying buildings may be continued, repaired, structurally altered, moved, reconstructed or enlarged, provided that such action does not increase the degree of or create any new nonconformity to district bulk regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Tables of Bulk Regulations are included at the end of this chapter.
C. 
Noncomplying or nonconforming buildings which are allowed as either preexisting buildings, nonconforming as to use, or buildings which do not comply with bulk regulations may be structurally altered, internally and externally relative to access, to comply with current state and federal ADA or building code requirements. If such modification of usable space would mandate additional parking, architectural review or an amendment to a site plan, the Building Inspector shall forward the application to the Planning Board for review and approval prior to issuance of a building permit. No use or area variance would be necessary if additional building area is required only to bring the building into compliance with federal, state or local codes.
[Amended 6-13-2005 by L.L. No. 3-2005]
Any of the uses permitted by right in the Use Tables, Column 2, for residential districts listed in Use Tables - Residential Districts,[1] which are located in districts in which such uses are nonconforming, shall be exempt from the provisions of § 158-29. Such uses may continue as a use permitted by right, provided that they shall comply with the bulk and area regulations of the most restrictive district in § 158-12, in which such uses would be conforming as to bulk on the effective date of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: The use tables are included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
Nonconforming lots in residence districts. A lot under separate ownership on the effective date of this chapter which has an area and width less than otherwise required herein may be used for a one-family residence, provided that such lot shall be developed in conformity with all other applicable regulations and with the minimum lot width and minimum side yards set forth below:
[Amended 12-12-1994 by L.L. No. 4-1994]
For Lots with Widths
Greater Than or Equal to
(feet)
Less Than
(feet)
Minimum Side Yard
(feet)
Total Both Side Yards
(feet)
For Single-
100
150
20
50
Family
80
100
12
30
Residence
60
80
10
27
--
60
71/2
4 inches for each foot of lot width
B. 
Two or more nonconforming subdivision lots not in separate ownership shall have three years from the date of final approval by the Planning Board to obtain a building permit under the provisions of Subsection A. Any nonconforming plot in a subdivision finally approved by the Planning Board more than three years prior to the effective date of this chapter shall not be eligible to receive a building permit, and said subdivision, part or plot thereof shall be resubmitted to the Planning Board in accordance with the applicable provisions of this chapter and of the Town Subdivision Regulations.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 125, Subdivision of Land.
C. 
Any plot in a subdivision approved by the Planning Board after the effective date of this chapter which conforms to the bulk, width and depth requirements of this chapter but which is made nonconforming as to bulk, width or depth by any future amendment of this chapter shall have three years from the effective date of the future amendment or three years from the date of final approval, whichever is sooner, to obtain a building permit under Subsection A. Any subdivision plot for which a permit is applied for after the time periods specified herein shall conform to all the bulk regulations of this chapter and Subsection A shall be inapplicable to such a plot.
D. 
Any separate plot nonconforming as to bulk which becomes subsequently attached to other adjoining land in the same ownership shall be entitled to the benefit of the provisions of Subsection A only if the total contiguous plot remains nonconforming as to bulk after the plots become attached.