Town of Lewiston, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
No building or structure shall be placed on any lot except in accordance with the yard, bulk, lot, area and height restrictions established in each zoning district, and any other restrictions established in the other sections of this chapter. In case of uncertainty as to the permissible districts for uses not specifically covered by this chapter, the Zoning Board of Appeals shall have jurisdiction to render a determination.
A. 
Yards and open spaces. All yards, courts and other open spaces required for a structure shall be located on the same zoning lot as such structure. No yard or other open space provided around any building for the purpose of complying with the provisions of this chapter shall be considered as providing a yard or open space for any other building; and no yard or other open space on one lot shall be considered as providing a yard or open space for a building on any other lot.
B. 
The maintenance of yards, courts and other open space and minimum lot area legally required for a building shall be a continuing obligation of the owner of such building or property on which it is located, as long as the building is in existence.
C. 
Except as provided herein, every part of a required yard or court shall be open from its lowest point to the sky.
D. 
The following shall not be considered to be obstructions when located in any required yard or court:
(1) 
Ordinary projection of window wells above the bottom of such yard or court.
(2) 
The projection of sills, belt courses, cornices, and ornamental features not to exceed 24 inches.
(3) 
Open or lattice-enclosed fire escapes, fireproof outside stairways and balconies opening upon fire towers projecting into a yard not more than two feet or into a court not more than 3 1/2 feet are permitted where the same are to be so placed as not to obstruct light and ventilation.
(4) 
Awnings and canopies projecting not more than 24 inches into the yard.
(5) 
Steps not more than four feet above grade for the purpose of access to a permitted structure or for the purpose of access to a lot from a street or alley.
(6) 
Chimneys or vents projecting not more than 24 inches into the yard.
(7) 
Arbors or trellises, flagpoles, fences, walls, and signs complying with the applicable provisions of this chapter.
E. 
The following shall not be considered to be obstructions when located in any required front yard:
(1) 
One-story bay windows projecting three feet or less into the yard.
(2) 
Overhanging eaves and gutters projecting 2 1/2 feet or less into the yard.
(3) 
In commercial and manufacturing districts, a building which does not meet the minimum front-yard setback for the district may have an awning or canopy which projects no more than 30 inches from the front exterior wall of the building or a wall sign which projects no more than 12 inches from the front exterior wall.
F. 
The following shall not be considered to be obstructions when located in any required rear yard:
(1) 
Open off-street parking spaces.
(2) 
Balconies, breezeways and open porches.
(3) 
One-story bay windows projecting 2 1/2 feet or less into the yard.
(4) 
Overhanging eaves and gutters projecting 2 1/2 feet or less into the yard.
(5) 
Recreational and laundry-drying equipment.
(6) 
At-grade or above-grade covered walkways.
G. 
The following shall not be considered to be obstructions when located in any required side yard:
(1) 
Overhanging eaves and gutters projecting into the yard for a distance of two feet.
H. 
No yards, now or hereafter provided for a structure existing prior to November 18, 2002, shall subsequently be reduced below the minimum yard requirements of this chapter for equivalent new construction. If the yard was already less than the minimum yard requirement for equivalent new construction, the yard shall not subsequently be reduced any further. Nothing in this subsection shall be read as rendering as a legal nonconforming yard any yard which was not legal at the time it was created.
I. 
Lot required for every dwelling. Every building used as a dwelling shall be located on a lot and, except for permitted dwelling groups or accessory buildings; there shall be not more than one such building on a lot.
J. 
Street frontage. No dwelling or structure shall be erected, or use conducted, on any lot which does not have immediate frontage on an existing or platted street or highway, suitably improved to the satisfaction of the Town Board, unless a variance is granted by the Zoning Board in accordance with Town Law § 280-a, Subdivision 3.
K. 
Measurements.
(1) 
In determining required yards and setbacks for an irregularly shaped lot or a lot bounded by only three lot lines, the rear lot line is a line a minimum of 10 feet long, parallel to the front lot line; and set at the most distant location from the front lot line.
(2) 
A distance from a structure to a line or location is measured from the exterior face of the nearest wall or vertical support of the structure to the line or location. For a structure that does not have a wall or vertical support, the Building Inspector shall determine the point of measurement.
(3) 
Any lot or structure which is or would be nonconforming in any manner by six inches or less is deemed to be in compliance.
(4) 
Front setbacks shall be measured from the edge of the right-of-way or, in the case of private streets, from the face of curb.
A. 
Yard requirements.
(1) 
Rear-yard exceptions for through lots. On a through lot where the rear lot line coincides with a street line, a front yard equivalent shall be provided. The rear yard depth requirements in the district regulations shall not apply on that portion of a through lot where the front yard equivalent is required.
(2) 
Side-yard exceptions for corner lots. On a corner lot where the rear lot coincides with a side lot line of an adjoining lot, the required width of the exterior side yard shall be a minimum of 20 feet. (The Town has a handout that illustrates the requirements of a corner lot.)
B. 
Exceptions to frontage requirements. Any legal nonconforming lot separately owned and recorded on the Tax Map of the Town of Lewiston at the time of enactment of this law which has frontage of less than the prescribed number of feet permitted in an applicable District may be used as a building lot if it has sufficient area to permit the required setbacks within such District.
C. 
Exceptions to height limitations.
(1) 
The height restrictions of this chapter do not apply to the following, except as stated herein:
(a) 
Chimneys, flues, spires, tanks, steeples, communications towers, ornamental towers or spires and belfries on otherwise conforming buildings provided that such structures, other than church steeples or towers on a public building do not exceed the height limitation by more than 40%;
(b) 
Flagpoles, radio or television antennas, masts or aerials which are located on a building and do not extend more than 20 feet above the roof of such building;
(c) 
Elevator or stair bulkheads provided that such structures do not occupy more than 10% of the roof area or exceed the height limitation by more than 40%;
(d) 
Solar energy systems not more than 1/2 story above the roof of such building; and
(e) 
No portion of any structure exceeding the roof of such structure shall be used as a place of habitation.
D. 
Exceptions to setback requirements.
(1) 
Notwithstanding the failure to comply with the setback and minimum yard requirements of this chapter, no variance shall be required when:
(a) 
An existing porch or deck is replaced with a new porch or deck, and no increase in the amount of noncompliance with the setback requirements occurs.
(b) 
A dormer or similar second floor addition is added on to a single or two-family home, without increasing the number of families that can live in the building or the total height of the property, even though the addition is in a setback area, where there is no increase in the amount of noncompliance with the minimum yard or height requirements.
A. 
On riverside lots, structures other than riverside accessory uses, shall be no closer to the river shoreline (measured at the top of the bank) than:
(1) 
Where there are already two principal structures on adjoining lots, no closer than the average distance of the two adjoining principal structures to the river shoreline, but no less than the rear yard for the district.
(2) 
Where there is a principal structure on only one adjoining lot, no closer than that principal structure to the river shoreline, but no less than the rear yard for the district.
(3) 
Where there are no principal structures on the adjoining lots, no less than the rear yard for the district.
(4) 
Riverside accessory uses and structures such as pools or other structures less than four feet high, and which do not obstruct the views of the river, may be placed in the rear yard of a riverside lot in accordance with the regulations for placement of accessory structures and uses. Fences in rear yards shall be opaque and not exceed four feet in height.
(5) 
See the Town's Riverfront Overlay for more direction.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Art. XVII, Riverfront Overlay District.
B. 
Bars, taverns and nightclubs shall not be permitted within 500 feet of residentially-zoned property, houses of worship, schools and parks.
C. 
Outside storage shall not be allowed within 200 feet of a residential district.