Town of Lewiston, NY
Niagara County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
The zoning districts established in this chapter are designed to guide the future use of the Town's land by encouraging the development of desirable residential, commercial, and other use areas with appropriate groupings of compatible and related uses, thereby promoting and protecting public health, safety, and general welfare.
B. 
As a necessary corollary, nonconforming uses and structures which adversely affect the development of such areas must be subject to certain limitations. The regulations governing nonconforming uses set forth in this article are therefore adopted in order to provide a gradual remedy for existing undesirable conditions resulting from such incompatible nonconforming uses, which are detrimental to the achievement of such purposes. While such uses are generally permitted to continue, these regulations are designed to restrict further investment in such uses, creating permanent establishments in inappropriate locations.
C. 
In the case of buildings not complying with the bulk regulations of this chapter, the regulations governing noncomplying buildings set forth in this chapter are adopted in order to permit the appropriate use of such buildings but to prevent the creation of additional noncompliance or increases in the degree of existing noncompliance, except as specifically authorized.
A. 
General provisions. A legal nonconforming use may be continued, except as otherwise provided in this article. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, a nonconforming use or structure shall not be expanded or increased or enlarged to occupy a greater area of land than was occupied on the effective date of this chapter. A nonconforming use may not be changed to another nonconforming use. A use, once changed from a nonconforming use to a conforming use, may not thereafter be changed back to a nonconforming use.
B. 
Application to illegal uses and structures. Nothing in this article shall be deemed to authorize any use or structure which was not conforming under the laws of the Town of Lewiston as they existed at the time the use began or the structure was constructed or altered, nor in any manner limit the power of the Town to take any action to abate or remove such use or structure, or prosecute violations of the laws of the Town of Lewiston created by said uses or structures.
C. 
Repairs and incidental alterations. Repairs to both structural and nonstructural parts and incidental alterations may be made in a building or other structure substantially occupied by a nonconforming use, or in connection with a permitted change or extension of a nonconforming use.
D. 
Structural alterations. No structural alterations shall be made in a building or other structure substantially occupied by a nonconforming use, except when made:
(1) 
In order to comply with requirements of law; or
(2) 
In order to accommodate a conforming use; or
(3) 
In order to conform to the applicable district regulations or performance standards; or
(4) 
The alteration will not exceed in cost 35% of the equalized fair market value as determined from the last Town tax roll prior to the first alteration, with said thirty-five-percent limit (as measured at the time of the first alteration) to apply to the life of the building in the case of multiple alterations.
E. 
Construction approved prior to the adoption of this chapter.
(1) 
Any approval or permit validly issued prior to the effective date of this chapter shall expire.
(a) 
On the expiration date established under the prior chapter, or,
(b) 
If there is no expiration date under the prior chapter, on the expiration date established under this chapter, as measured from the effective date of this chapter.
A. 
General provisions. For the purposes of this article, a change of use is a change to another use; however, a change in ownership or occupancy shall not, by itself, constitute a change of use. A nonconforming use may be changed to any conforming use but not to another nonconforming use.
B. 
Special regulations for adult uses. In all districts, a nonconforming use may not be changed, initially or in any subsequent change, to an adult use, unless all requirements for adult uses are met.
A. 
General provisions. If a nonconforming building or other structure is damaged, destroyed or demolished, the provisions set forth in this article shall apply.
B. 
However, if a nonconforming two-family residence in a single-family residential district is damaged, destroyed or demolished, such building may be reconstructed provided that such reconstructed building shall, unless a use variance is granted, be a single-family residence, and the reconstructed building shall not create a new noncompliance nor increase the preexisting degree of noncompliance with the applicable bulk regulations.
C. 
Permitted reconstruction or continued use. In all districts, if any building which is substantially occupied by nonconforming use is damaged, and such damage does not exceed 50% of the total replacement value prior to the damage, it may be restored on the same footprint, provided that a building permit shall be secured within 12 months after the date of the damage and construction shall be diligently pursued to completion.
D. 
If damage to the building or structure exceeds 50% of the total replacement value prior to destruction, a use permit shall be required to authorize the restoration of such building or structure and continue the use, upon a determination by the Zoning Board of Appeals that the nonconformity has not been a nuisance to the surrounding uses and that reestablishing the use will not be detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare.
A. 
General provisions. If, for a continuous period of 12 months, the active operation of substantially all the nonconforming uses in any building or other structure is discontinued, such land or building or other structure shall thereafter be used only for a conforming use. Intent to resume active operations shall not affect the foregoing.
B. 
The Zoning Board of Appeals may extend the allowable period of nonuse without abandonment for up to an additional six months at a time.
C. 
Actual abandonment of the use, as shown by a discontinuance of operations and actual abandonment of the lot, or nonaccidental removal of the building where the use occurred, shall terminate the nonconforming use as of the date of actual abandonment.
A. 
Any structure erected or structurally altered and any lot or land put to use pursuant to the granting of a variance of the use and/or building regulations of this chapter shall be deemed a nonconforming use and shall be subject to the applicable provisions of this article.