This Article applies only to uses in existence on the effective date of this chapter. Except as otherwise expressly provided in § 167-72, the lawful use of any premises existing on the effective date of this chapter may be continued although neither such use nor the bulk of the same conforms to this chapter. The effective date of this chapter, as referred to in this article, shall also include the effective date of any subsequent amendment to this chapter which may cause any use to become a nonconforming use subject to this chapter. A use in existence at the effective date of this chapter, which use is permitted by special permit within the zoning district in which the use is located, shall be considered a conforming use for the purposes of this chapter and shall not be required to obtain a special permit to continue said use.
No existing building or premises which is nonconforming with respect to the bulk regulations for the zoning district in which it is located shall be enlarged, extended, reconstructed, substituted or structurally altered, except that normal maintenance, repair, alteration and/or reconstruction of such a building is permitted, provided that it does not extend the area or volume of space.
Repair and alteration. Normal maintenance and repair of and/or incidental alteration in a building occupied by a nonconforming use is permitted if it does not extend or enlarge the nonconforming use. No structural alteration or enlargement shall be made in a building occupied by a nonconforming use except:
Change of use. Any nonconforming use may be changed to any conforming use or, on application to and with the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals, to any use which the Zoning Board of Appeals deems to be more in character with the uses permitted in the district in which the said change of use is proposed.
Discontinuance of use. If active and continuous operations are not carried on with respect to a nonconforming use during a continuous period of one year, the building or land where such nonconforming use previously existed shall thereafter be occupied and used only for a conforming use. Intent to resume active operations shall not affect the foregoing.
Extension or enlargement.
Extension or enlargement shall mean, in the case of a nonconforming use in a building, the enlargement of such building so as to create additional floor area, the extension within any existing building to any portion of the floor area therein not formerly used for such nonconforming use, except where such additional floor area was manifestly designed for such use at the time such use became nonconforming, or the extension of the use of an area outside of the building and, in the case of a nonconforming nonbuilding use, the use of any additional land on which no substantial operations were previously conducted, provided that any such extension or enlargement is on the same lot occupied by the nonconforming use on the effective date of this chapter.
A nonconforming use shall not be extended except as follows: To the extent that the district bulk regulations permit, on application to and with the approval of the Zoning Board of Appeals, any nonconforming use, except a sign, may be extended up to but not exceeding a fifty-percent increase in its floor area or of its land area occupancy if a nonbuilding use. However, this provision may be used only once for each such use and in no event may be applied to multiple residences.
Damage. Except as in Subsection F below, any building or structure damaged by fire, casualty or act of God may be repaired, provided that the area of such building or structure shall not exceed the area which existed prior to such damage. All repairs shall commence within one year after damage occurs.
Destruction. If, in the opinion of the Building Inspector, a building or structure is damaged beyond repair, any new building or structure shall be in compliance with this chapter.
Each of the nonconforming uses and nonconforming features of such uses specified in this section may be continued after the effective date of this chapter for a reasonable period of amortization as specified below, provided that after the expiration of such period of amortization, such nonconforming uses or nonconforming features thereof shall then be terminated as specified below:
Nonconforming signs. In any residential district, any billboard or any other sign not of a type permitted, or of a permitted type but greater than four times the maximum sign area permitted, may be continued for three years after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration date of that period, such nonconforming use shall then be terminated. However, any billboard in existence on the effective date of this chapter in a C or PIO District and nonconforming as to sign area may be reconstructed or replaced, provided that its sign area is not increased.
Nonconforming open storage yards, outdoor displays or junkyards in any residential district or C District. Any nonconforming open storage yard or any outdoor display or storage of merchandise in connection with an auction establishment or store specializing in secondhand merchandise, in any residential district or C District, which is nonconforming because it is not permitted in the district, may be continued for one year after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration of that period, such nonconforming use shall then be terminated. However, no such use shall be required to terminate if, within said period, it shall be located within a completely enclosed building or it shall be suitably screened in a manner approved by the Planning Board. Any nonconforming junkyard in any residential district or C District may be continued for three years after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration date of that period, such nonconforming use shall then be terminated.
Nonconforming manufacturing uses in residential districts. In any residential district, any nonconforming manufacturing use which is first permitted by right in a PIO District may be continued for 10 years after the effective date of this chapter or 30 years after the initial establishment of such use or any addition thereto adding 50% or more to the real value of such use, as determined by the Town Assessor, whichever is the longer period, provided that after the expiration of that period, such nonconforming use shall then be terminated.
Nonconforming parking of commercial vehicles in residential districts. In any residential district, any nonconforming parking of commercial vehicles may be continued for one year after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration of that period, such nonconforming use shall then be terminated.
Nonconforming parking and loading spaces. In any district, nonconforming parking and loading spaces may be continued for two years after the effective date of this chapter, provided that after the expiration of this period, and provided further that the owner of the nonconforming premises has sufficient available open land at the site to provide parking and loading spaces which conform to the requirements of this chapter, such nonconforming use and feature shall terminate. Within one year after the effective date of this chapter, the owners of all nonconforming uses situated in R Districts shall provide such landscaping and screening as shall be required by the Zoning Board of Appeals to protect the residential character of the surrounding R Districts.
Elimination of nonconformities. Within 12 months after the effective date of this chapter, all existing uses, buildings and other structures shall comply with the applicable performance standards herein set forth; provided, however, that if the Zoning Board of Appeals finds that, because of the nature of the corrective action required, the twelve-month period is inappropriate, it may, as a special permit, grant not more than one extension for a period of not more than six months.
If, on application made at least six months before the expiration of the period prescribed in § 167-73 for termination of a nonconforming use or nonconforming feature thereof, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall find that the period prescribed is unreasonable or inadequate for the amortization of the special value of the property resulting from such nonconforming use or nonconforming feature thereof, then the Zoning Board of Appeals may grant such an extension of the period prescribed as it shall deem to be reasonable and adequate for such amortization, provided that no such period of extension shall exceed 100% of the period prescribed, and such extension can be granted only once for any use.