An existing use, building and/or lot which is lawful on the effective date of this original chapter and is made unlawful by this original chapter or which is lawful under the provisions of this chapter as originally enacted and is made unlawful thereafter by an amendment to this chapter shall be known as and referred to herein as a "nonconforming use," with the exception of specific uses listed elsewhere in this section.
With the exception of specific uses listed elsewhere in this section, a nonconforming use may be continued, provided that such continuation remains the same in extent and nature as of the time when such use becomes nonconforming.
The nonuse of a nonconforming use for a period of one year shall be deemed an abandonment of such use, and it shall not thereafter be resumed except with permission of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
A nonconforming use may be extended or enlarged on the same premises, upon compliance with all other provisions of the Zoning Ordinance and the Town of Elma Building Code, provided that:
If the use to be extended or enlarged is of a commercial nature, the extension or enlargement shall be upon express permit of the Zoning Board of Appeals after a public hearing.
If the use to be extended or enlarged is of an industrial nature, such extension or enlargement shall be with written consent of 75% of all property owners within an area of 500 feet in all directions from the property involved and upon express permit of the Zoning Board of Appeals after a public hearing.
Where any building has been damaged by fire or other cause to the extent of more than 75% of its physical value, it shall not be repaired or rebuilt, except as provided in this chapter and the Elma Building Code; provided, however, that a building so damaged, which housed a nonconforming use, may be rebuilt on existing foundations upon compliance with all other provisions of this chapter and the Building Code.
The following nonconforming uses may be continued for a period of three years, provided that after such period any such nonconforming use shall become an unlawful use and shall be terminated:
In any residential, agricultural or commercial zone, any nonconforming use (except the cultivation of soil or maintenance of areas for the raising or growing of crops, plants, horses and cows) not in an enclosed building. This provision specifically includes, but is not limited to, a junk business or junkyard, auto wrecking and dismantling and the outdoor storage of motor vehicles which do not qualify for a New York State inspection sticker but is not intended to prohibit the storage of usable, uninfluenced motor vehicles used for farming purposes.
A nonconforming use which is dangerous or hazardous to persons and/or property shall become an unlawful use and shall be terminated within 30 days after said use is prohibited.
All structures shall meet the rules and regulations of the New York State, Erie County and local Health Departments in providing for nonpublic drinking water supplies and disposal of sewage wastes. On account of the varying topographical and soil conditions existing in various zones in the Town, the Zoning Enforcing Officer shall see that in issuing permits, with the aid and assistance and recommendation of the State, County and Town Health Departments, that all nonpublic water supply and new or modified sewage disposal systems shall be approved by the Erie County Department of Health.
Any structure vacated for a period of six months or more may not be reoccupied until all sanitary requirements of the Erie County Health Department are complied with, nor may such premises be reoccupied or water service be resumed by the Elma Water Department until the premises have been inspected by the Elma Building Inspector.
[Amended 11-5-1986 by L.L. No. 8-1986]
For regulations pertaining to topsoil, see the Gravel Pit Ordinance.
Roadside stands shall not be permitted except as defined in § 144-14, Farm produce stands.
A farm produce stand is a booth, shed, structure or erection used or intended to be used for the sale of farm produce, at least 50% of which has been grown on the premises, and is capable of being taken down and shall be removed when not actually used for sale purposes. Any part of such a stand shall be set back at least 15 feet from the road line, shall have an area of not more than 250 square feet and shall not exceed 10 feet in height. Each such stand shall have an area for parking purposes, at least 25 feet in depth and 40 feet in width, parallel to the road line and not within the paved portion of the highway right-of-way. The Town Board may order removal on five days' written notice for misuse, objectionable use, traffic hazard or where such use unreasonably interferes with the use and enjoyment of adjacent or nearby premises. Failure to remove after issuance of such notice shall constitute a violation of this chapter.
No auto dump, old car storage yard, salvage yard, dump, slaughterhouse, fertilizer plant or other offensive business shall exist or be permitted to exist, except that such uses may be permitted in an Industrial Zone with special permission of the Zoning Board of Appeals after a public hearing.
All buildings shall meet the minimum requirements of the Building Code of the Town of Elma and amendments made thereto from time to time. Buildings, accessory buildings and yards are to be so arranged and constructed as to conform in general appearances to the standard of the neighborhood in which they are located. No existing building and/or accessory building may be attached by breezeway or passageway to be used as a residence, except by specific permission of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Any use permitted elsewhere in this code, excluding residential use in any zone, shall be reviewed by the Planning Board prior to the application of use as to the appearance and type of construction as to be compatible with adjoining properties and upon final approval by the Town Board, after hearing in front of the Board.
No accessory building shall be constructed nearer to the front or side lot lines than is provided for in the regulations limiting height, bulk and arrangement of buildings. (See Article XI.)
There shall not be erected any signs in any zone in the Town of Elma except as allowed in the separate zones. (Refer to zones for size allowable.) Permission for the erection of a sign of larger size than is allowed in a particular zone requires the special permission of the Zoning Board of Appeals.
Any abandoned sign may be removed by the Building Inspector or at his direction, provided that due notice to remove said sign is given in person or by regular mail to the last known owner, with a reasonable opportunity for said owner to remove. A sign shall be deemed "abandoned" when it advertises a product or activity no longer in existence at the location or when the sign or its supporting structure is in obvious need of repair or presents a hazard to others. Removal must be effected without committing a trespass, and all costs associated therewith shall be assessed to the property owner.
[Added 3-19-1986 by L.L. No. 5-1968]
All openings and excavations made in any part or portion of the Town of Elma nearer than 50 feet from the highway line shall be fenced or guarded to prevent damage to humans and animals. Upon failure of the owner to comply on written notice, the work will be completed by the Town and the cost thereof charged to the owner.
For regulations pertaining to gravel pits, see the Gravel Pit Ordinance.
Upon petition, the Town Board, after due notice and public hearing, has the power to, and may, authorize the construction and use, in any of the zones outlined, of public or semipublic buildings, such as Town halls, public libraries, railroad stations, aviation fields and such other buildings, oil and gas transmitting companies and utilities as may seek permits.
Within any zone a hospital or sanatorium intended and operated primarily for the treatment of patients may be permitted upon the approval of the Town Board after due notice and public hearing and subject to the following conditions:
If such hospital or sanatorium is intended to care for any cases of contagious or infectious diseases or is designed for the treatment of tuberculosis patients or those suffering from mental disorders, all the structures which form such hospital or sanatorium shall be not less than 500 feet from any property or street line, except on permission of the Town Board after public hearing.
If such hospital or sanatorium is not for the treatment of any such contagious diseases or for tuberculosis or mental patients, any building thereof may be situated not less than 200 feet from any property line.
Within any zone a cemetery may be permitted upon approval of the Town Board after due notice and public hearing and subject to the following conditions:
That there shall be filed with such application the consents, in writing duly acknowledged, of the owners of record of 50%, measured linearly around the boundaries, of the property contiguous to the property for which such permit is sought.
That at least 10 days' written notice of such pending application shall be given by mail by the Town Clerk to all persons recorded on the last preceding assessment roll as owning property within 2,500 feet of the property for which such permit is sought, and such service of notice by mail to such property owners shall be deemed to have been duly effected when duly stamped envelopes containing such notices and addressed to their last known address shall have been duly deposited in the mail.
That no graves within such cemetery area nor structure shall be nearer than 10 feet to any property line and that such ten-foot strips along the edges of any such cemetery shall be suitably landscaped and planted so as to screen such cemetery from view so far as practicable, except as covered in § 144-10, relating to nonconforming uses.
No interment, except where nonconforming uses intervene as covered in § 144-10, shall be made in any cemetery or other place of burial within 250 feet horizontal measurement from the high water mark or precipitous bank of any lake, pond or reservoir or of any spring, stream or watercourse within the Town of Elma.
No sign, fence, wall, hedge, shrub planting or tree foliage which obstructs vision at elevations between three and seven feet above the street level shall be placed or maintained within the triangular area formed by two intersecting street lines and a line connecting points thereon 30 feet distant from their point of intersection.
For regulations pertaining to riding, boarding and livery stables and dog kennels, see § 144-58A(4).
Except by permission of the Town Board and after a public hearing, no public picnic ground may be established or operated for gain in any zone. Property owners' own personal or family use is not prohibited by this section.
All utility lines shall be maintained underground insofar as is reasonable and possible. In approving new subdivisions, the Planning Board may require that all new lines shall be carried underground or on poles located at the junction at the rear of lots instead of on road rights-of-way, except where existing poles may be used.
No trees, fences, shrubs or other foreign objects shall be placed in a highway right-of-way.
Any use, activity, operation or facility not specifically authorized or permitted by this chapter may be permitted only with the approval of the Town Board after public hearing unless prohibited herein.
No lot area shall be reduced or diminished so that the yards or other open spaces thereon shall be less than prescribed by this chapter, nor shall the population density be increased in any manner except in conformance with area requirements herein established.
No yard or open space provided for one lot for the purpose of complying with this chapter shall be considered as providing open space or yard required on any other lot.
In no zone shall a driveway be closer than two feet from a lot line.
Any use prohibited in an Industrial Zone is prohibited in Residential A, B and C and Commercial Zones.
Any use prohibited in a Commercial Zone is prohibited in Residential A, B and C Zones.
Any use prohibited in a Residential C Zone is prohibited in a Residential A and B Zone.
Any use prohibited in a Residential B Zone is prohibited in a Residential A Zone.